Passion: Know your Whys

Victoria Herrera

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How do you keep yourself passionate about your work? Inspiring people share their stories.

PASSION IS LIKE A BUBBLE. Don't let anyone or anything burst it. Photo from Victoria Herrera

SINGAPORE – Some days I get out of bed and I am so excited to work. Whether it’s to write an article, prep for a shoot, or host an event, I always feel the rush of adrenaline because I get to do what I love.

Then there are days where I don’t want to get out of bed. I’d feel so lethargic and my mind would yearn to watch reruns of “Revenge,” “New Girl,” or “Game of Thrones” all day.

Do these days seem familiar to you?

The question we all ask ourselves is: How do I get past days when I am uninspired to do the necessary work?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about passion, and how it helps move a person from inaction to action. 

And it really boils down to the Whys: 

Why do you do what you do?

Why are you so passionate about your job?

Why are you committed?

Why do you feel the need to succeed in what you do?

When it comes to finding great Whys, I remember the inspiring people I’ve met who are motivated by something deeper. These are the people that I like to surround myself with because I feel their energy and ideas rub off on me. 

From wanting to improve every single day to being inspired to grow in their craft, these people want to make a difference in their field. They energetically lead themselves to their next goal because their inspiration, their fire comes from within. They know their Whys and this makes the seemingly mundane, repetitive tasks pale in comparison to the bigger picture. 

Keeping our Whys in mind can beat our dark, discouraging days. It gives us the conviction to do our work well.

I picked 5 talented, hardworking individuals in the Philippine fashion industry and asked them why they are passionate about their jobs. Whether it’s an industry newbie or a seasoned veteran, their Whys drive them to stay committed to do the work.

Loris Pena, stylist and fashion editor of Status Magazine

LORIS'S WHYs: Creative freedom + inspiration from other creatives + the chance to inspire others. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I never really considered styling as a job. I just enjoy what I do and I’m happy I can create the shoots that I want and have creative freedom to do whatever. I’m still a newbie to all of this so I’m still on a learning process. I just want to keep getting better and to improve in my craft.”

INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE. Fashion editorial in Status Magazine styled by Loris. Image courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I’m inspired by all the creative people around me. I also constantly look at random photographs, listen to hip-hop music, check out street style, travel, and read magazines. I am obsessed with Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, Christine Centenera, Rihanna, and Anna Del Russo. Their music helps my creative juices flow.”

GRATEFUL FOR APPRECIATION. Fashion editorial in Status Magazine styled by Loris. Image courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“When people come up to me and they tell me they love the shoot or want to collaborate, they keep me going.”

Lala Flores, makeup artist

LALA'S WHYs: Continuous learning + turning ideas into reality. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“This is my 14th year as a professional makeup artist but I have been in the fashion industry for 25 years now (11 years as a professional model). The fashion and beauty industries are really close to my heart. They are an integral part of my growth as a person. Makeup artistry is not a job for me anymore. It is in me, something I know very well.”

CELEBRITY FAVORITE. Actress Iza Calzado and Ford supermodel Danica Magpantay (Lala's daughter) in makeup by Lala. Photos courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I love the creative energy in this industry, the different geniuses you meet and collaborate with on every project you work on. There is always something new to learn everyday from people of different walks of life. You always have fresh chance to take your skills and talent in different directions. Nothing beats the feeling of making everyone involved in a project happy. 

“I keep myself inspired by continuously researching and observing the latest fashion trends, the latest in digital imaging and technology, observing pop culture and, of course, the latest breakthrough in beauty and makeup. There is always something new to learn and be inspired by.”

Manuela Basilio, fashion model

MANUELA'S WHYs: Global goals + the inner fire for family. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I always put so much dedication to whatever I choose to do. God didn’t give me all these blessings for nothing — my height, my built, and the gift of creating beautiful photos. There is a desire in my heart not only to model locally but also to do it internationally. So long as I have not fulfilled that desire, I won’t stop.”

WORLD-CLASS FILIPINO BEAUTY. Manuela’s modeling shot. Photo by MJ Suayan

“This is not only for me, it is also for my family. My family is the motivation that keeps my fire, my passion for modeling burning.”

KEEPING ON. A mentor helps Manuela appreciate her work. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I found out who I really am in this job and doing this makes me happy no matter how exhausting and stressful it can be. God blessed me with the right people around me, too. As long as God wants me to model, I will.”

Liza Ilarde, editor in chief of Style Weekend

LIZA'S WHYs: Sharing knowledge + creating works of art. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“I’ve been in the lifestyle publishing business since the late ’80s, and I have tried leaving this industry several times and always ended up going back. I guess what I am passionate about is sharing information in the best medium possible.”

NEVER SETTLE. 'The pursuit for perfection is never ending, so that inspires me: to make an issue better than the last.' Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“After being with Mega Magazine for 12 years, I took a hiatus. Then I realized that I had all this useful information that just stayed with me, so I started a blog — — and that became my medium. Today, I’m happy to be with Manila Bulletin and Style Weekend. I can share useful information with as many readers as possible. When someone comes up to you and tells you how much they enjoyed your magazine, how they liked what you wrote, how the features helped them, that’s when I know that I have done my job.”

Art Alera, photographer 

ART'S WHYs: Self-expression + building relationships. Photo courtesy of Victoria Herrera

“Aside from photography being a lucrative job, it is also an extension of who I am, a medium that voices out what’s in me, my personality, my outlook in life, and the way I’d like my life to be. Life is too short not to be passionate about what you do.” 

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE. 'Rejection is so normal.' Photography by Art Alera

“What keeps me going is knowing my purpose. Rejection is so normal and sometimes destructive. I believe I’m in this industry because God placed me here. My fulfillment isn’t from a great shot or a published work; it’s from the relationships you I build off cam.”

PURPOSE-DRIVEN. Know what drives you and be consistent with it. Photography by Art Alera

“Anyone can create an awesome shot, no doubt about it. But what could be our reason? A thousand likes on our FB wall? To make other artists feel that they are less creative? Or would you rather be remembered for something greater? One thing I keep in mind is that God has a great plan for me. I know His mighty hands are preparing something awesome for me.”

Are you passionate about what you do? Have you connected it to your Whys? What keeps you going between the bursts of inspiration and the valleys of boredom? 

Feel free to share your insights in the comment box below. Live your passion! –

Victoria HerreraVictoria Herrera is a TV and event host, model, and writer. In 2011, she released her first book, “Unscripted,” based on inspiring conversations on her previous radio show. In 2012, she hosted Runway TV Asia where she interviewed international fashion designers and celebrities. Currently based between Manila and Singapore, she continues to explore the world of creativity, design, and fashion as a contributor for several magazines and newspapers. 

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