From VJ, model, TV anchor, and entrepreneur to the Philippines’ first ambassador of International Justice Mission, here’s a look at Amanda Griffin Jacob’s unconventional choices.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s March 2023 cover story.
British-Filipina “it girl” Amanda Griffin Jacob is remembered for rocking swimsuits in magazine pictorials at the turn of the millennium. Now an entrepreneur, human rights advocate and mother of four, she has kept a trim figure that she attributes to a daily hot yoga practice, a plant-based diet that allows room for dark chocolate, and a disciplined mindset. Based in Singapore, where Filipino-American husband David Jacob works as regional CEO of Marsh Asia, an insurance brokering and risk management firm, she takes occasional short trips to the Philippines for a new undertaking, which she is still keeping under wraps.
Last February, Jacob blitzed through Manila for business but squeezed in a cover shoot for Lifestyle Asia. At Okada Manila’s Tower Villas, she donned black strapless gowns and pantsuits with a classic Cartier Tank Française watch or bangles from the same French luxury brand’s Juste un Clou (“Just a Nail”) updated vintage collection. On a daily basis, Jacob said, she went for simplicity and ease when dressing up. “I usually just pop on a pair of statement earrings to jazz up a basic look.” During her latest shopping round, she had acquired six pairs of such earrings, sourced from around Asia. She put on Juste un Clou hoops that set off her oval face. She pointed to the rose gold Juste un Clou or Nail bracelet with diamonds as her favorite. Well, it’s got history: In 1971, visionary Italian-American jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo, known for giving Cartier a modern edge, created bracelets and rings after a bent (hardware) nail.
The minimalist and subtly unconventional designs of the Cartier collection seemed to echo Jacob’s non-mainstream choices. How many pretty influencers such as herself would choose, as she did, to help create awareness for the pressing social scourge of online child sexual exploitation? She is the first ambassador in the Philippines of International Justice Mission (IJM), an international NGO that frees victims, brings criminals and enablers to justice, conducts aftercare programs and coaches authorities on more effective enforcement of anti-trafficking laws. Her focus is Online Sexual Exploitation Crimes (OSEC), which covers the photography or video recording and livestreaming of the sexual abuse of a minor for a remote paying client. In the Philippines, the offender, usually a subscriber from the West, transmits payment via a money transfer agency (MTA) to the OSEC “vendor,” who gets the children—anywhere from toddlers to teenagers—that will be forced to participate in child sexual exploitation material (CSEM). The action is usually livestreamed so that the customer can “direct” the goings-on.
Four years ago in Singapore, Jacob recalled, she had received a flyer advertising a talk on human trafficking, to be held at a social club. During the lecture given by a lawyer from Cebu, Jacob had been stunned to learn that the Philippines was a major global supplier for human trafficking—illegally transporting individuals and coercing them into providing labor, or for sexual exploitation—and that Cebu, her mother’s home province, was a hotspot. “I wondered why I had to hear about it in Singapore,” she said. “Didn’t more people back home know?” She had immediately sought an audience with IJM officials and shortly after, in 2020, was appointed its first ever ambassador.
Here are more of Amanda Griffin Jacob’s stunning looks from comfortable and chic to exquisite black tie.
PATTY ANG Black oversized suit set with male pearl embellishments. Yellow gold Tank Française watch, Rose gold Clash de Cartier earrings and ring all from CARTIER
Fuchsia and black gown with matching gloves by CHEETAH RIVERA. Yellow gold Tank Française watch and Rose gold Clash de Cartier earrings with diamonds all from CARTIER
Black bustier with matching skirt and ivory overcoat by MARK BUMGARNER. White gold Love necklace diamond-paved, White gold Juste un Clou bracelet with diamonds, Pink gold Juste un Clou with diamonds, White gold Love bracelet small model diamond-paved, and Trinity ring classic with diamonds all from CARTIER
Sage silk gown from PATTY ANG. Rose gold Clash de Cartier earrings and bracelet, White gold Love bracelet small model diamond-paved, Pink gold Love ring diamond-paved, Pink gold Love bracelet with diamonds, and Pink gold Juste un Clou rings with diamonds all from CARTIER
Lavender and pink marabou feather dress by MARK BUMGARNER. Pink gold Clash de Cartier earrings, necklace, bracelet, and ring, Pink gold Juste un Clou bracelet and ring with diamonds, and Love bracelet in pink gold with diamonds all from CARTIER
Pink gold Juste un Clou earrings, bracelet, and rings with diamonds, and White gold Juste un Clou bracelet with diamonds all from CARTIER
Read the full cover story by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia March 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Text MARGE C. ENRIQUEZ
Photos DOC MARLON
Shot on location at OKADA TOWER VILLA
Creative Direction MARC YELLOW
Sittings Editor CANDY DIZON
Stylist ROKO ARCEO
Makeup ANGELINE DELA CRUZ assisted by MILES REYES
Hair PATTY INOJALES
Shoot coordination MAE TALAID
Shot on location at OKADA TOWER VILLA