Anna is a multi-hyphenated changemaker who is best known for being the Executive Director and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas (SPS), a movement to conserve and restore the Philippines’ coastal and marine resources through information, education, and communication activities and community-based projects. In 2012 Anna founded the Shark Shelter Project, which builds the capacity of local communities in Daanbantayan, Cebu, to protect thresher sharks and their coastal and marine resources. In 2015 she founded the Sea and Earth Advocates Camp in partnership with the US Embassy in the Philippines, an environmental education and leadership program that empowers youth aged 18-23 years old to be leaders in conservation.
To date, the SEA Camp has trained over 250 youth leaders in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
In 2019 she became the first Filipino fellow of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action Fund.
Outside SPS, Anna has served as a consultant for the Climate Change Commission, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Philippine Business for the Environment, Oceana, and the Purpose Business Ltd. For ADB, she led the implementation of environmental education workshops in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands for youth, teachers, and community leaders to increase awareness and action-oriented solutions on marine conservation, coastal marine ecosystems, and plastic pollution. She is now providing research and communications support to help develop ADB’s ocean health agenda.
Anna’s written works as a lifestyle journalist have appeared in CNN Philippines, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and the Philippine Online Chronicles. She co-wrote a workbook entitled An Introduction to Climate Change for Filipino Youth (2011), co-edited the Philippine Roadmap for the Conservation of Sharks and Rays (2017), and co-wrote and edited Philippine Shark Conservation Legislation: A toolkit for policymakers (2018).
In 2011 Yahoo! Southeast Asia recognized Anna as one of the seven inspiring modern- day Filipino heroes for her courageous efforts in environmental conservation. A year later, Anna received the Future for Nature Award in the Netherlands, making her the first Filipino and youngest recipient of the award. She was named one of Devex’s 40 International Development Leaders Under 40 and was also a founding member of the Global Shapers Manila Hub, later holding the positions of Vice-Curator and Curator. She was one of the first Global Shapers to be invited to the 2012 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.