Photography DIX PEREZ
Make Up ARA FERNANDO
Hair GRACHEL MANDE
Videography ANDREW APUYA
Special thanks to OXYGEN CLOTHING
By Racquel Narciso
The Herrera siblings have always existed on the precipice of cool. Fashion, modeling, media, music, art, performance — you name it, at least one of them has scaled it. Combined with just enough drive, ambition, and business savvy to introduce their passions to the Philippine scene, the Herreras have long been regarded as style-makers and trend-setters. To Victoria and Teresa Herrera, however, this was more a side effect rather than an intended end result. “We never thought about looking good or being trend-setters,” Victoria says. “I guess when people see you doing new things and following your vision, they label you as a trend-setter. But it’s not something we would consciously label ourselves.”
“It was more important to learn new things and have memorable experiences as a family,” says Teresa, stressing that this was never the emphasis growing up. “Our parents valued learning and education more than fashion, that’s for sure.”
“We were just always inspired by new ideas, movements, and subcultures and wanted to bring these awesome ideas to our country”— Victoria
Victoria goes on to point out that to make a new idea take hold in an industry, you also had to know the business of it, and so they all studied a lot. “Everyone in my family is very entrepreneurial,” she adds.
Of the five siblings, it is Teresa and Victoria who most closely resemble each other — with their striking green eyes and porcelain skin. And the similarity doesn’t end there. “We have many things in common,” Teresa shares. “We have the same sense of humor and we are interested in the same subjects related to art, fashion, culture.”
Teresa, the eldest of the five, has already made a name for herself as an actress and top model in the Philippines and around the world. Now she’s focused on growing her art business, Collective88 (www.collective88.com) and is expecting her first child.
Victoria, the youngest, juggles several side hustles which include modeling, hosting, writing, and PR.
She’s also working with TOMS Philippines for an upcoming coffee shop concept and helps raise awareness for Mano Amiga Academy (http://manoamigapilipinas.blogspot.com/), a non-profit school in the Philippines that gives underprivileged children access to world-class education.
With a family of creative achievers, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like growing up in the Herrera household. “It was fun! It was like having playmates every day,” says Teresa.
For Victoria, the fun was about more than play. “I feel like I had four older mentors who I could learn from. A lot of my exposure came from watching my three older sisters and my older brother at work. From fashion to media to music, I picked up on their work ethic from a young age, so I feel like I’ve been interning since I was little. I was a sponge to a lot of their ideas, values, and philosophies that I feel helped shape who I am today.”
As many eldest and youngest siblings will tell you, there are certain roles that each will typically assume. This was how it was with Victoria and Teresa as well. Being the eldest came with its own set of duties. “It was challenging,” Teresa remembers. “I was always responsible for everybody. It shaped me to be a natural leader and organizer of the group.”
Being the youngest came with perks for Victoria. “I love it! I’m the youngest so I definitely was spoiled a lot.” As the baby of the family, Victoria also had a treasure trove of life lessons and sisterly advice to guide her. “(Teresa) roped us into her worlds. I am grateful that she exposed us to a lot and connected us with what she was experiencing.”
“It was challenging. I was always responsible for everybody. It shaped me to be a natural leader and organizer of the group.”- Teresa
Teresa inspired her to be more disciplined with her career and encouraged her to experience living everywhere, as she did when she was younger. “As the youngest, I feel like I’m the last one to sort of understand life — the ups, the downs, the uncertainty, the newness. So when I go through something difficult or something that she went through before, like moving to a new country or going to castings, I’m like ‘I can’t believe you went through this. This sucks!’ or‘This was amazing! I wanna do more.’”
Though hugely influenced by her older sisters and brother, it wasn’t long before Victoria found her personal brand of success. “At first, I wanted to be just like them. But I had to learn to grow into my own person and follow my own path. Now I see my success as something uniquely my own.” As she has embraced her individuality, their relationship as sisters have evolved. She has her own stories to share now, and a new way of relating to them. As she sums up the new connection they’ve discovered as siblings, three words stand out: fuller, richer, deeper.
Admiration certainly isn’t a one-way street with these two, as Teresa speaks glowingly about how her sister has come into her own. “Victoria is a talented writer and communicator. Every time I read her work, I learn something new about the person. Her insights about the human condition are quite unique, which makes her articles so memorable.”
Although the age gap between Teresa and Victoria is around a decade, it was never a point of difference between them. “If we do have differences, it’s more because, well Teresa is Teresa and Victoria is Victoria. We are different people and see things differently. It’s more about recognizing and respecting individuality than making it about age,” remarks Victoria. This mutual respect has kept them close throughout the years — a closeness that they also attribute to their mother. “(She) made sure we didn’t compete for her attention,” Teresa says. Growing up, their mother taught them to “take care of each other and always put family first.”
Turns out, being there for one another wasn’t very hard to do as they all ended up working together or being in the same industry. “We also share the same passion and drive to see our ideas turn into reality,” says Victoria. “From being excited to experience new adventures, to the desire for self-improvement, the openness to meet new people, the intention to learn more daily — these are some of the things that we share as a culture within our family and especially as siblings.”
“It was more important to learn new things and have memorable experiences as a family,”– Teresa
As siblings who spent a lot of time in front of the camera and growing up in the fashion industry, Victoria and Teresa learned a lot about fashion and beauty. But for both sisters, the most valuable lesson was being true to who you are. “When you are comfortable with who you are, you don’t really need to get validation from other things. You style yourself the way you want to because it feels good to express yourself that way,” explains Victoria. “Be authentic and your style should start there,” advises Teresa.
After years in the spotlight, Teresa succinctly describes ageless beauty in one word: confidence. And Victoria, already wise beyond her years, defines it as knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.
V: When I am with the people I love.
What is your daily beauty routine?
T: Minimal: cleanse and moisturize. I wear very little make up daily.
V: Drink lots of water.
What for you is a Calyxta Cover Girl?
T: Fun and fearless.
V: Someone who is comfortable being in their own skin.