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
TEXT AND STYLING BY RIA PRIETO
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SARA BLACK CREATIVE EXECUTION BY REVO C. NAVAL MAKEUP BY AARON SACKS FOR ELEVATION SALON HAIRSTYLE BY RIO LUIZA FOR ELEVATION SALON
STYLIST’S ASSISTANT ISABEL LEGASPI
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.wordpress.com) 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,
Sequined shift, RhettEala
Beaded top, JunEscario