Stu­dent of the world

She’s trav­eled all her life, but Jenny Rock­ett’s jour­ney to new ex­pe­ri­ences, cul­tures, and ways of think­ing is far from over ‘It is ab­so­lutely the great­est feel­ing in the world to be passionate for some­thing and makes ev­ery moment of one’s life worth li

Red Magazine - - Contents -




Thanks to Instagram, I found out that an old friend of mine was back in Manila.

I met Jenny Rock­ett more than a decade ago when I was work­ing for a teen mag­a­zine. What struck me most about her was her quiet, de­mure dis­po­si­tion. Un­like most models her age want­ing to know what out­fit they were go­ing to wear or which makeup they were go­ing to use, she would sim­ply sit in one cor­ner and read a book.

Af­ter a cou­ple of years, a friend­ship formed and if you ask me about Jenny, the last thing I would prob­a­bly re­mem­ber is that she’s ac­tu­ally a model. More than a pretty face, she is driven and ex­tremely in­tel­li­gent—two of the many traits I like and ad­mire most about her.

What are you busy with th­ese days?

The last few years have been a whirl­wind be­tween work, writ­ing a travel blog, and study­ing again. In three years, I think I have lived in six dif­fer­ent coun­tries and three con­ti­nents—mostly for mod­el­ing, some­times for pho­to­jour­nal­ism, and lately for school. When I left New York in 2009, I lived in Manila, Hong Kong, Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore, and Paris. At the moment, I am back in Sin­ga­pore fin­ish­ing my last se­mes­ter of my post-grad­u­ate stud­ies, work­ing on a re­search project in Thai­land, and trav­el­ing for prod­uct en­dorse­ment work around Asia.

You mod­eled a lot. Are you still pur­su­ing that?

Yes. I started mod­el­ing rather young at 12 years old and I never imag­ined I would still be do­ing it to­day! Even in New York when I was study­ing and work­ing full time, I mod­eled on the side. But it was only un­til I came back to Asia that I im­mersed my­self in it com­pletely. What was sup­posed to be a two-month stint in Hong Kong in 2010 turned out to be a two-year in­ter­na­tional ca­reer, which con­tin­ues to spon­sor my ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port my love for travel. I am in­cred­i­bly thank­ful ev­ery sin­gle day for my bless­ings, lucky to be able to work on a job I en­joy, and in­spired by the cre­ative, tal­ented, and passionate peo­ple I work with.

How do you bal­ance your time?

In my view, bal­ance is ev­ery­thing. That’s really the key to en­joy­ing life and draw­ing the most from it. Grad­u­ate school is very de­mand­ing. So align­ing my sched­ule with my prod­uct en­dorse­ments when they arise can be dif­fi­cult. To deal with this fast-paced life, I al­ways make time to be healthy. That means run­ning, read­ing for plea­sure, eat­ing well (motto: you are what you eat), and do­ing some­thing for the soul ev­ery so of­ten.

What is pas­sion to you?

Pas­sion is liv­ing for some­thing; hold­ing onto an ideal (how­ever sim­ple or grand), fo­cus­ing your mind­set to­wards it and—most im­por­tantly—hav­ing the pa­tience and strength to en­dure. It is ab­so­lutely the great­est feel­ing in the world to be passionate for some­thing and makes ev­ery moment of one’s life worth liv­ing.

What’s your pas­sion?

I live and work to travel. I have been trav­el­ing all my life and I am still ex­cited at the thought of go­ing some­where new or vis­it­ing some­where old, too. Not sure why I don’t ex­haust of travel, but I tend to be pretty ra­pa­cious about seek­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences, cul­tures, and ways of think­ing. It’s an ob­ses­sion, ac­tu­ally!

Two years ago, I started a travel blog (www.trans­mon­go­lian­di­aries.word­ to chron­i­cle my train jour­ney from Asia to Europe. It was a train jour­ney from Hong Kong with stops in Bei­jing, Ulan Ba­tor, Moscow on my way to Paris. No other travel ex­pe­ri­ence has con­sumed me more than this trip and it was an un­for­get­table epic jour­ney that has stayed with me on sub­se­quent trav­els since.

Where are you go­ing to school and what course are you tak­ing? Why?

In 2011, I started a master’s de­gree in pub­lic pol­icy at Sciences Po Univer­sity in Paris. I now live in Sin­ga­pore, fin­ish­ing a dou­ble de­gree at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore and ma­jor­ing in pub­lic man­age­ment and gov­er­nance. I am in­ter­ested in how the pri­vate and pub­lic worlds, as well the me­dia of a coun­try, shape the lives of peo­ple and de­ter­mine the fate of many. I pur­sued th­ese cour­ses be­cause I wanted to have a macro-per­spec­tive of how to­day’s world works and how it can be changed for the bet­ter.

What do you plan to do in the fu­ture?

When I was in New York I worked in me­dia at the United Na­tions and CNN. I would like to con­tinue the pub­lic work I started there do­ing some­thing with news pro­duc­tion and me­dia, hopefully with a lit­tle more con­fi­dence and value added af­ter my master’s de­gree. I also dream of open­ing my own bou­tique cof­fee shop in Manila, serv­ing the bean as thought­fully and care­fully as one does with wine. One day.

What five things do you like most about Philip­pine pol­i­tics?

It’s free en­ter­tain­ment, catty, be­wil­der­ing, “flex­i­ble,” and there are a lot of good peo­ple in pol­i­tics (we just don’t hear enough about them). To be a Filipino politi­cian is prob­a­bly the hard­est job in the world. I have the high­est re­spect for those who can stom­ach it at any con­se­quence with­out sac­ri­fic­ing their high­est mo­rals. Now that’s a really hard thing to do!

What five things would you like to change in Philip­pine pol­i­tics?

Pol­i­tics is dif­fi­cult and takes a long time to change. But our coun­try def­i­nitely needs lead­ers with high mo­rals, big hearts, strong guts, a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity, and those who know when it is their time to stop serv­ing! De­spite the neg­a­tive im­age of politi­cians in this coun­try, I strongly be­lieve Filipino politi­cians are ca­pa­ble of pos­sess­ing th­ese traits with the right in­cen­tives.

What are you most ex­cited about?

I am ex­cited ev­ery day about life. The big­gest travel jour­ney of all is life. I al­ways try to re­mind my­self that we have one life, and it is up to us to en­joy its mo­ments fully, tran­scend the things that don’t mat­ter, and travel our life jour­neys well.

Name five peo­ple you ad­mire and why.

Th­ese are the five that come to mind at the moment and sym­bol­ize all the other peo­ple I don’t men­tion: 1) Chris­tiane Aman­pour, CNN: guts, jus­tice, and

per­se­ver­ance. 2) Natalie Port­man: class, tal­ent, and in­tel­li­gence. 3) Pia Cayetano: a true Filipino role-model mother, se­na­tor,

and ad­vo­cate.

Se­quined shift, Rhet­tEala

Beaded top, JunEs­cario

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