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Textbook alternatives

As the world continues to see shifts in technology and business, more students are looking at nontraditional education to prepare them for their future as entrepreneurs.
By Peter Imbong |
Managing director of VitaOils School: The One School Graduated: 2007

While taking up entrepreneurship at The One School in Makati City, Natasha Rodriguez needed to put up a business that would not only satisfy her academic requirements, but also sustain her financially in the future. She had three requirements:

“It had to be eco-friendly and sustainable, it had to have an altruistic aspect, and it had to be something I was truly passionate about.” The result was VitaOils, a line of organic and locally made skin care products.

“I teamed up with dermatologists, pharmacists, and a cosmetic laboratory to create my products,” says the 28-year-old. Established in 2006, VitaOils uses mulberry as the main ingredient of all its products, from healing massage oils and energizing bath salts, to cleansing gels and body butters, all of which are proven to be “genuinely natural, organic, safe, and therapeutic.” And save for their essential oils, VitaOil products are manufactured in the Philippines.

“The One School is a very small college with a personal approach to teaching,” Rodriguez says. “Our mentoring system was very useful in setting up our businesses. They taught us different strategies on how to make it in the real world.”

And part of “making it in the real world” is not putting a limit to one’s imagination, Rodriguez says. When she started, her products were only available in the Sunday Legaspi Market in Makati, where she shared a booth with her dad. “Now, our products can be found in a number of establishments, yoga studios, and even has popular online distribution channels.”


According to Rodriguez, “My professors never made me memorize books in order to pass tests, and I loved that I was not only allowed but actually encouraged to voice out my opinion and express myself without fear of being judged.”

The One School
Founded: 2007
Campus: Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

 “College personalized.” Although The One School offers one bachelor degree (Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship) and two associate degrees (Associate of Arts in Graphic Design and Associate of Arts in Multimedia Studies), what it lacks in variety it makes up for in value with small class ratios and great focus on each student’s needs. Students are given mentors to help set up their business and they are required to create and own businesses that would not just help them pass class but also get them started in the world of entrepreneurship. Classes at The One School focus on providing students with lessons that are applicable to life and business.



Founders of Everywhere We Shoot
School: College of St. Benilde Graduated: 2010 (Vergara), 2009 (Garovillo)

Armed with a digital camera and the best photography equipment their money could buy (namely a pair of P95 halogen lights and aluminum foil in lieu of reflectors), Ryan Vergara and Garovs Garovillo began to shoot anywhere they pleased: in the middle of the road, amidst busy construction sites, and in derelict slum areas. Their mission: to be different. And since its creation in 2006, Vergara and Garovillo’s photography studio Everywhere We Shoot has been giving its clients new points-of-view in photography.


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