Stylish sisters, Vern and Verniece Enciso get candid on the pressures of staying relevant online and the trials of chasing their dreams.
Sitting in front of the mirror of One Mega’s studio one January afternoon, at a time that seems like a lifetime away now, before COVID-19, the V&V sisters take a quick glimpse at their makeup, preparing for an on-cam interview for their Making MEGA in Rio experience. They’ve both mastered the art of twinning as they wear color-coordinating outfits; a pink dress with a touch of nude and hair twirled into soft curls. Coming to greet them, they beam excitedly when they notice my editor and I are coincidentally wearing the same color palette, too.
“We should take a photo!” Verniece, 25, enthuses as she whips out her pearlescent vivo S1 Pro, holding it up to have its crisp and clear front-facing camera study our faces for a neat focus.
“That’s right, we totally should, loves,” Vern, 27, replies while we head into the conference room, looking for the best light, naturally.
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It’s taken weeks to get to this moment: With traveling, cover shoots, advertising shoots, and countless events on their plate, not to mention managing a business they have built on their own, trying to pin down an afternoon for an interview seems like a task in itself. See, Vern and Verniece Enciso are among the handful of pioneers in social media influencing in the country and to this day, they still lead this pack of digital influencers.
It started ten years ago—when blogging was becoming a career path, Vern and Verniece became the hot new It-girls on social media. Creating a website to blog about their #OOTDs and travels regularly, their loyal followers increased gradually and they were able to turn social media into a full-time job. To put it simply, they did it before it was cool.
Unbeknownst to many, it wasn’t always Vern and Verniece’s dream to become an influencer, though. In fact, the term influencer isn’t something Vern has taken a liking to. “One of the struggles with being an influencer is people don’t take us seriously, because they think that it’s all just taking photos,” Vern says, understandably furrowing her brows at the term that has been thrown around way too much in modern-day marketing. “But to be honest, I think the people in our industry influence people in a way where, not just what you buy or how you how you see things, but it’s really how you even think now.”
As Vern and Verniece join the illustrious cast of superstars in the #MakingMEGA documentary series, with this year’s installation being a trip to the fabulous and festive land of Rio de Janeiro and a side trip to Machu Picchu, it’s safe to say that these stylish sisters are proof of how you can chase your dreams successfully when you use social media right.
“Making Mega is known for, you know, all of these big celebrities that are so hard to reach,” Vern says. “So, putting influencers in Making Mega is such a milestone for us, because it means that we’re finally getting recognized, like, our industry, after all of these years.”
A quick glimpse and aimless scan through one’s many timelines makes it very clear that the digital age has become so different since ten years ago, and anyone who is anyone is doing their own thing on social media. For Vern and Verniece, it has meant putting in the years of hard work, getting their name out and there and dutifully building on it to get to where it is today. People may not understand it poring over their social media platforms or living vicariously through their shopping adventures and travels, but these young ladies have ticked off the blood, sweat, and tears to reach the heights that they enjoy now.
The one thing that they always say is that in this journey of theirs, they have each other to trust and to hold, which pretty much gets them through anything. As they continue to endure and persist in this path they chose, Vern and Verniece Enciso agree that it also necessary to build up a formidable foundation to allow them to do and give their absolute best. Take traveling for example, while it may seem fun and fancy free, the stylish sisters swear that it is much easier said than done, and thankfully, they have something in complete faith to make their journeys as full of pleasures as it can be.
For their once-in-a-lifetime, dream-come-true trip to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Machu Picchu in Peru, in their hands is the Metrobank Vantage Credit Card; their easy ticket to fulfilling these ambitions. Traveling the world has never been easier for these sisters—thanks to their credit card. As a result, they were able to fully enjoy their time off, doing what they love to do when abroad, particularly wining, dining, and shopping their way through South America. With a single swipe and tap of their credits, every purchase and payment was made in confidence without having to worry about foreign currency exchanges, conversions, and as anyone who has traveled would agree, carrying copious amounts of cold hard cash.
“We really splurged on food, the sisters echo other, detailing how they made last-minute pit-stops to purchase things to bring home. “Oh, and we did scour for brands local to the city,” Vern chimes in. “Good thing we had the Metrobank Vantage Credit Card, so it was one less thing to stress about,” further gushing about their preference for cards over cash when shopping abroad. “All our dining and shopping sprees during this trip earned us Rewards Points, which we can use to redeem free air miles for our next adventure.”
When I Grow Up
“When you ask these kids what they want to be when they grow up, they say, Ryan Toys Review,” Verniece says, enlightening the room on the realm of the digital landscape as the young’uns know it today.
Vern adds, “We have a baby brother who is six years old and if you ask him now what he wants to be, honestly one of the things he wants to be is a YouTuber. So, imagine that’s how much influence that we put in the world right now,” clearly exhibiting a distinct growth that is far beyond the reaches of by-the-numbers age, but instead, displaying a wizened sense of wisdom.
At some point in the interview, Vern tells us that she once wanted to become a lawyer. And though it didn’t exactly become her career path, she shares that her drive to become a lawyer all those years ago became useful when it came to defending herself on social media. “I was always reading books, I would always practice on my mom on how to argue. I guess for me, that strength became that shell that I put on myself and it was meant to become my armor now.”
These days, an essential to sharing your life on social media is having a tough exterior, like a shell, as Vern would describe it. People are brutal and unforgiving when someone with a platform uses it the wrong way. The Internet, as they say, has all the receipts and it doesn’t go away. Vern and Verniece have shared a few rough moments in their lives that social media became a big factor. One would think that after ten years, they would be bullet-proof for anything said about them, but V&V get candid on how social media took a toll on them growing up.
“People will always say, ‘You know what? Both of you are too uptight.’ People who are thriving are all these loud people,” Vern says.
When that shift in social media was happening, both Vern and Verniece had to explore and reinvent their style; what is their branding? Should they be loud, too? Should they change up their look? Show more of their silly side? And so, they went through the motions of soul-searching, digging deep from within their realities on who they really are and what they want to do next with the scope of influence they have now amassed.
Throughout that process, they had many things to anchor themselves to: each other, their loved ones, and of course, their followers. And as one is wont to do in varying degrees of an eat-pray-love journey, such as the one they both embarked on in South America, the other thing they could trust to help them produce and document their memories and snippets of baring revelations was the vivo S1 Pro. A nifty piece of smartphone innovation as it is, it helped Vern and Verniece keep their lives together in tangible aspect, proving to be a worthy must-have for juggling their multi-hyphenate lives, and of course, to post super clear pictures online–all thanks to the S1Pro main camera that delivers 48MP clarity. And with a jam-packed schedule, these stylish sisters on-the-go needed a phone like the S1 Pro that has fast-charging battery abilities, which was naturally ready to be procured as soon as drool-worthy backdrop presented itself or a memory-making moment happens,With the vivo S1 Pro in their pockets, Vern and Verniece became fearless as they explored what it meant to truly be themselves.
It is never easy to try new things, especially when used to a comfort zone. But Vern and Verniece proved that exploring their style is more than just a new fashion perspective. It is broadening their horizon, starting up a business, and using social media not as their whole world but rather as their platform to create and share who they truly are.
Young Girl, Don’t Cry
Of course, numbers still take part in the pressure they felt to keep themselves relevant. They admit that they still struggle to decide what they want to show online. “To be honest, three years ago, it became a competition na.” Vern says. “When you wake up, you get annoyed. Cause let’s just say you didn’t reach 10,000 likes every photo, I feel like I want to take it down…Before I would be crying about it. I would feel like I wasn’t good enough. But now it just affects me for like two seconds–it just filters out.” She then adds, “I think that’s what comes with age.”
However, at the corner of my eye, I see Verniece tearing up. Being the younger of the two siblings, it was evident she wasn’t in that same headspace yet. This is probably why when we asked what advice she would have given younger girls who want to follow in her footsteps, Verniece couldn’t find the right words to say.
“It’s so hard to say an advice where I’m still like–” tears start rolling down Verniece’s cheeks, streaking what was once was a perfect veneer of alabaster skin. We give her a moment, but before we knew it, she picks herself up, wipes the tears away and shake it all off with a smile on her face.
As it was clear that social media has its ups and downs for the Enciso sisters, they’re quick to point out that social media is so much more than what they’ve originally set themselves up to do. Vern and Verniece Enciso have stepped out of their comfort zone and decided last year to start up on a passion project–a blooming perfume business called VV&Co. Using their vantage in social media as an advantage to start a successful perfume line, investing in something they both believed in was no problem for Vern and Verniece. Thanks to Metrobank’s Vantage Credit Card, they were able to expand their financial capabilities even more as entrepreneurs. Apart from cushioning their necessary expenses, this seemingly simple credit card was the necessary next step to transition into the great women they intend to be. Not only has it accorded them ample purchasing power and global purchasing convenience, the Metrobank Vantage Credit Card has inadvertently taught them about the value of money, when to spend and splurge, and how to further budget all their earnings. “It really does help in more ways than one,” they affirm, especially now as they move further along and navigate the adult world.
In the midst of Verniece’s so-called quarter-life crisis, which is a natural occurrence for every grown up, she says that she turned to her sister for advice. “I was like, Vern, what do I do?”
“I said, you have to do something new,” Vern continues. “Then I realized, that was the product of our quarter-life crisis. It [VV&Co.] also led to the questions we had ten years ago, and all the dreams that we had ten years ago. We really wanted something of our own because social media is honestly not our own anymore.” Vern expounds, “Because everybody is a social media person per se, it’s not my own anymore. So I guess that’s why I was also lost, because before I thought it was just me…So, when we had VV&Co, when we started putting a stamp to our name–every decision, every single bit was ours.”
Vern and Verniece now find themselves in a position where they can finally say that they have explored their own style. Social media was their ticket to success, but VV&Co. is their destination.
When asked what they would have told their younger selves before starting their blog ten years ago, this is what the sisters said: “There’s always gonna be an audience made for you. That’s what I really learned in social media with business. That God really makes his own little special audience for you,” Vern answers.
“I’m struggling now, but I think I’d tell myself like, don’t be scared, just be excited. Sometimes I underestimate myself and I forget that I’m only 25. There’s so much ahead of us because we’re so young…” Verniece’s voice breaks. “I don’t wanna cry na!”
The candid display exhibits how much more they have to say, which is something we also want to see in a sea of self-awareness and self-curation. But more than that, it is an account of their walls coming down, lifting the veil of perfection, and letting the world see who they really are. Beyond the perfect, well-framed, and evocative exterior, the enduring siblings are strong, hopeful, and most importantly, refreshingly real.
Sure, there will be tears as times go by, that’s just how life goes. But perhaps then, it won’t be one of uncertainty, instead of clarity clinched in the charmed lives of Vern and Verniece Enciso.