1. Tell us about your career – what are you doing now, what is it like and what do you enjoy the most about it?
I am the editor-in-chief of an online publication, juana.com.ph as well as a contributing editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I have been in publishing for 12 years now, moving through the ranks, finally ending up as EIC of Baby Magazine and then now of an online publication curated by myself and fellow ex-Editors-in-Chiefs of print magazines. Its funny that I ended in this career. After finishing my internship with Christies, my tutor offered me an internship with Country Life Magazine with the arts and homes editor. That's how I got my first taste of publishing. I finally saw how to put my degree to practical use.
2. Why did you choose the UK as a study destination?
I've always loved the UK. We grew up going there for summers because we have an aunt who lives there. The universities, traditions all seemed so dignified and scholarly and that stuck with me.
3. What programme did you take and what drew you to this programme?
History of Art with Material studies. I wanted to take English, but my dad said that would not be so useful (haha look at me now) I always loved art and the 'materials' aspect was the interesting part as this dealt with authentication and restoration.
4. Did studying in the UK change the way you see and understand art?
Yes. The accessibility of art to regular people was amazing. I lived right in Fitzrovia so I could walk 15 minutes in any direction and be at a gallery or museum. It showed me that art is truly for public consumption and that being exposed to beauty and art that way, changes a person's soul and the way they think.
5. How did you find the experience of studying and living in the UK?
6. What’s the number one lesson you learned in your programme that you still carry with you today?
You are taught to think critically, not memorise. You can defend any point you have – wrong or right – as long as you have the sound data and evidence to back it up. You learn to analyse and understand things in context. My parents believed an arts background would nourish your soul and mind and that would make you a better person – being around that kind of an environment. They believed you could always learn skill – accounting, business – later on. They were right.
7. What’s your best memory in the UK while you were studying?
In our last year we took a trip to Italy for one of our courses, which was a lot of fun. As pieces of art of different artists are scattered through Europe, we saw the ones in London first and then finished off by seeing them in Italy. You see art come alive and in their environments. Another is getting the chance to see the Raphael exhibition being hung, before it was open to the public. Our tutor was friends with a curator at the National Gallery and we got to go and see it ahead of time, while they were hanging.
8. What are your ambitions for the future?
Perhaps use more of my history of art degree - the art part. The degree and way of thinking has helped my career. History of Art is a lot like literature. Instead of referencing books, you learn to look at paintings in their contexts. I have used that skill everyday of my career.
9. What’s your number one tip to survive an arts course?
10. What advice would you give to Filipinos who aspire to study in the UK?
Look for a course that will make use of everything the UK has to offer – in terms of out of the classroom experience. This helps your world view and experience.