follow us on

Tessa Prieto-Valdes Talks About How She Helps Save The Seas, One Small Act At A Time

The society darling has been actively participating in several marine pursuits, and she encourages people to join in the cause, in both big and small ways

This World Earth Day 2021, Metro and sustainable skincare brand Bioten celebrate three environmental advocates who have used their platforms and talents in creating more awareness for the most pressing issues that the planet is facing. Like Bioten, these three advocates put purpose to concrete action and commitment to the environment.

Bioten and Tessa Prieto-Valdes have partnered together to donate Php 93,000 for the clam seeding project of Save the Philippine Seas. This is representative of the 93% ingredients of natural origin in Tessa's preferred Bioten skincare line. Read on below to check out Tessa's story.

She’s not called the Sea Princess for nothing—interior designer and social butterfly Tessa Prieto-Valdes wears her alter ego proudly on her sleeve.

Apart from her statement-making and flamboyant choices and taste, the society darling has been known for her big efforts in saving the marine and coastal turfs. “For years, I have been an ocean lover!” Tessa exclaims when asked about what ignited her passion for the environment. What began as curiosity for the marvelous world of underwater via a scuba diving lesson back in college turned into an advocacy. After that first plunge into the depths of our seas, there was no turning back.


Tessa has since been consistent in joining several ocean cleanup projects, as well as staging projects to help different fishing communities. She set up donation drives and charity galas, such as the Red Charity Gala, where they donated several bangka boats to many villages hit by calamities. She and her husband Dennis Valdes also commemorated their 25th anniversary with an installation of 25 buoys in carefully chosen reef sites in order to protect our precious marine life.

But this fierce fashionista’s endeavors don't end there. As style is embedded in her veins, incorporating her cause with it is a no-brainer pursuit. “As a lover of accessories, I have and collect earrings, crowns, bangles, and necklaces that are ocean-themed. I also support local weavers and traders—I buy native beach bags and clothes that have the same theme,” Tessa tells Metro.Style.

Staying at home during this pandemic has given her a better sense of what is truly important. “From a life of parties and excessive fashion statements, I have become a beach bum with simple pleasures and appreciation for everything—sunrise and sunset and everything in between,” she muses.

Thus, it imparted a bigger impression on her, and the designer seeks to further spread the word on appreciating and doing baby steps towards the end goal. It’s especially important with Earth Day upon us, reminding each of us our responsibility as residents of this world. “Love our planet is the biggest message,” Tessa asserts.

“We have abused it for so long. Just like our lives, we need to heal and make a positive difference! Protecting Mother Nature shouldn’t be just a day in the year, but a continuous effort to help save our resources.”

For one, she believes that keeping the world plastic-free is a conscientious choice, and advises that we become wiser in our consumption of single-use waste. “The trash we throw gravely affects the entire world,” the socialite reminds us, mindfully pushing for small scale attempts done on the daily.

At present, Tessa is currently doing a special project with eco-conscious beauty brand Bioten to seed giant clams in chosen reef sanctuaries and help prompt ocean awareness. “Giant clams can only grow in a clean environment—this will help keep biodiversity in good condition!” she happily reports. Climate change is real, she says, and no matter how small an act you do is, she wants you to take it.

Bioten is available at Watsons, The SM Store, and online on Amorfia and Lazada. Visit Facebook: Bioten Philippines or Instagram: @biotenphilippines

Artwork by Mawee Borromeo

Art Direction by Raff Colmenar