I’ve had my share of encounters with extroverts in my years of existence. They both fascinate and intimidate me, the ultimate introvert with a perpetually RBF (resting b*tch face); in my experience, extroverts always have a ready smile anytime, anywhere. Today’s SOS muse is all that and so much more. To say that Amor is an extrovert isn’t even scratching the surface. The woman talks a mile a minute and my sleepy brain on that busy morning I met her at the GeiserMaclang HQ took a while to fathom what it saw and experienced. First, the atmosphere: it was vibrant, hectic (but not in a stressful way, I felt), people coming and going, meetings ongoing and employees making jokes while some were barking orders. Second, the space: everyone was housed under a huge floor with walls and practically every corner filled with artwork of all types, shapes and sizes. It was like being in the Art Fair but in an office setting; some even had their original labels under the pieces. I swear I saw some familiar paintings and installations from past exhibits, a couple of which were from artist Leeroy New (my current art hero and Amor’s too!).
After a few minutes of quietly observing, out comes Amor cheerily welcoming me into her office that has transformed into a dressing room filled with local indigenous, one-of-a-kind finds, striking accessories and shoes including her personal make up artist, Ron Peña, who mentions we have met before when I styled our common friend for her website. Amor tells me she has spared her lunch break for our shoot and this makes me a bit nervous; this better be damn good if she skipped eating for it. We talk, or rather, she talks while I try to pick up everything about her work and passions, mind you there are a LOT. Her wardrobe is a mix of local designers she is loyal to from Manila and the provinces (Cordillera, Iloilo and South Cotabato) she visits for her advocacy of bringing to light the genius fabric artists from these regions. I was amazed with what I learned, heard, felt and saw. Her passion easily transports you to where she’s been with her animated words and demeanor; this is why she’s the marketing bigwig that she is—the woman can sell anything! But we didn’t have time for too much talk, I had photos to take and she, places to be and people to meet. Here’s the end result of that fast-paced morning, including snippets of her detailed answers. Perhaps someday when I grow up, I’ll be as engaging and colorful as her—minus the RBF, of course.
What she does Globally awarded brand architect / risk crisis and reputation strategist / marketing innovator / sustainable development goals advocate.
Personal style “An almost perfect reflection of her vision of the Philippines: local designers practicing global design sensibilities like Maureen Disini, Jor-El Espina of Iloilo, Zhaun Barry Agabe of T’nalak Dreamweavers in South Cotabato and authentic heritage craftwork from the late Narda Capuyan from Cordillera and the modern interplay between the two”.
Her days be like I wake up very early in the morning to do business “housekeeping”: check emails, write thought leadership posts, connect with partners. I also schedule my most important meetings in the mornings. Come 10 am, it’s not unlikely that we have accomplished two meetings already. I work a lot and very closely with the team so mornings are spent with them. Lunch for me is almost sacred, being my most important meal. Afternoons are spent with client and evenings with partners and our advocacy work. It’s very important that what I wear pulls me together from the very early morning to the evening.
I usually travel on weekends for our communications, CSR 2.O, tourism programs that require an out of town component. I’m either in the Cordilleras, Eastern Visayas/Leyte or South Central Mindanao. Because of our work in tourism, resource management (water, environment etc) I have developed hobbies that are akin to my work. I have climbed the biggest cave systems in the country, gone up and down Apo in a day, learned how to dive. Our extensive work in the food service industry has allowed me to visit some of the secret kitchens in SAMAR and the indigenous kitchens of the T’bolis.
Travel overseas has been my way to detach. To celebrate my 40th birthday, I traveled to Bhutan on a study tour. The work is not just mentally grueling but also physically demanding. But I have never been happier.
Favorite designers and shopping haunts Apart from the local folks mentioned earlier, there’s Georgina Ong of Alchemista, Frederic Malle for scents, IWC for timepieces, Denovo diamonds, Tiffany, Margiela, Issey Miyake and Prada.
Top 5 closet staples
Uniqlo for my staples, the adult line of Petit Bateau, La Senza inner wear, IWC watch and Frederic Malle scents.
Style evolution Let me put it this way, it’s not about looking good but about consistency. Everything you do, say, put on your body, become associated with, has to be consistent to your values and therefore, your brand. It’s not about looking good for looking good’s sake but about what statement you convey and deliver. Fashion for me is just another way to convey what I feel strongly for: support of global discourse with strong local roots, comfort, high performance and functionality, support of small scale producers and creators, celebration of creative collaboration and everything that makes us Filipino. Branding is all about values you hold dear and it should permeate every aspect of your life. Values should be so rich, we can taste, smell, see it. That’s the singular role of brands for me, a delivery mechanism for our values.
Current uniform It has to be polished, serious but not too intimidating. Monogrammed oxford shirts from Uniqlo, black jeans, block heels in tan or black.