What are you studying right now?
I’m studying sociology in university. I wanted to do Marine Science, but going overseas to study was too expensive—so I just decided to do social sciences, because I felt like that was the next thing that I was interested in. Instead, what I do now is I intern with NParks, and try to do anything marine-science-related outside of school.
What is your dream occupation?
I’d love to be a marine biologist. It’s still possible now, of course, but it might be really long till I get there, so now I’m switching tracks to be a marine conservationist instead.
What got you passionate about marine life?
I used to watch a lot of nature documentaries with my dad when I was a toddler. Subsequently, when I was in primary school, I started watching them on my own. Shark Water was the documentary that got me started on this path, actually.
Which animal would you say is your favourite?
I think since I was a kid, I’ve been passionate about sharks. My most recent encounter with them was last year—since I entered university, I’ve been volunteering with an NGO called Thresher Shark Research & Conservation Project. What we do is we dive with the sharks and document their population and swimming patterns.
We see that you have a tattoo on your back—tell us more about it.
It’s actually not real—it’s a temporary Jagua tattoo. It’s an original design by a friend, and I felt drawn to it because when I went back to the Philippines recently, I climbed the third-highest mountain there and the design reminded me of that experience. That was my first hike and even though it was a really difficult climb, it inspired me to try more hikes.