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PR Girl-Turned-Ocean Advocate Vanessa Vergara Will Inspire You To Protect Our Coral Reefs

Her past life was that of a PR girl, where she would think of strategies to make the products that she handled in the sphere of her niche customer’s conscious buying habits. At that time, while working for cosmetics brand M.A.C, she also worked with divers’ groups during her free time.


Massimo Dutti top, Paulette Leigh skirt, and Charles & Keith shoes


The equation has since flipped: Now, while doing her marine work, she does her PR jobs for brands like Sunnies on the side. Vanessa (or Vani) Vergara is bringing about a different kind of consciousness, and the product is something less tangible but more pivotal for everyone on the planet through her work with Reef Check Philippines.



With Reef Check Philippines, she has instituted three main programs—Adopt a Reef, where one can sign up and adopt through donations and actually spend time in the ocean; Adopt a Coral, where individuals can donate to adopt a coral and send a student from one of the organizations’ seaside communities to school; and Voice for the Ocean where they hold gatherings to talk about the situation and what needs to be done.

These projects spring from her marketing background, which helps her in communicating the important messages of conservation to a wider group of Filipinos. She helps talk about the issues in a way that is more relatable to communities and different audiences. “When the news about the Great Barrier Reef being proclaimed as dying, people were reacting to it. What they should know is that we have those resources here as well, and we need to protect them, that is what I am setting out to do.”


Photography Cyrus Panganiban  for Metro magazine

Styling by John Karunungan and Hillary Lee of Styledit group

Make up by Bianca Vela

Hair by Russel Gonzaga for Aveda

Shot on Location at Makati Garden Club


This article originally appeared in Metro Magazine, Women of Now 2018 issue with Heart Evangelista-Escudero on the cover.