Vanessa Vergara | @vanivergara
Advocacy: Ocean Conservation
PR girl turned ocean advocate.
I am a PR girl, I manage the brand equity of a company. I can tell you about what the coolest brands are up to and I can give you a sneak peak of the most exclusive events but under all the PR projects and meetings, I am also this huge ocean nerd deep down. On the weekends, I trade my heels and put on my fins as a scuba instructor. I love to chase after the most thrilling adventures with sharks or explore the deepest depths of the sea. With every moment that a turtle gave me a high-five or a dolphin made me fall in love, I have turned into an advocate of the ocean.
What was your AHA moment when you finally said you want to pursue this? 
I finished my scuba instructor course right before I turned 26. It was 4 years in the making because I would only be able to train on the weekends or when I would take leaves. It was no easy feat, I would be finishing long hours from an event, then I would wake up early to travel to the dive site, but it was worth it. I started to participate in volunteer and conservation work and that’s when I saw what has really been happening in the ocean. While I was working on my corporate career, I learned that the ocean was dying quicker than I imagined. Marine animals were disappearing and some coral reefs would not even survive the next 4 years. I thought that I could pursue my dream of ocean conservation after my career but I was wrong. Time was, and still is, running out, and the next few years would be the most crucial of all.
What about it do you enjoy the most?
I find happiness in being the voice of the ones we often take for granted. Just in our lifetime, we already lost half of the world’s coral reefs and hardly anyone noticed or even cared. My organization, Reef Check Philippines, helps spread the message that coral reefs are basically the rainforest of the ocean and the moment we lose them we will not only lose the other marine creatures but half a billion people around the world will go hungry and suffer as well.
Describe your perfect morning?
Waking up to the sound of the waves.
What’s it like living your life?
It’s very hectic, get ready to wear heels in the morning and end the day in fins.
Girl inspo: currently it’s @sharkgirlmadison, but it changes everyday haha
Why’d you say yes to becoming part of #GirlsOfAmihan?
I love what the brand stands for, searching and sharing unique stories.
What's your advice for women pursuing their passion projects?
To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.
What’s next for Vanessa?
Let’s see what the ocean has in store for me ;)
Photos by: 
Raniel Hernandez

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