For a while, JEFF ORTEGA was set on a plan: a political science degree, law school, and then public offi ce. But many summers ago, when he was introduced to surfi ng in his hometown of La Union, Jeff decided to walk his own path, setting out to become an entrepreneur and surf instructor.
Today, the 26-year-old holds an impressive portfolio of businesses, all of which have to do with what he’s grown to love and where he’s from. Jeff manages the La Union Surf School, owns the La Union franchises of Stoked Inc. and Ripcurl Philippines, as well as the burger joint Mad Monkeys. If that isn’t enough, he also runs the La Union Soul Surf festival. His efforts have fueled the upswing of tourism in the surf capital, which really shows his business savvy.
“My father always wanted me to take up law school and eventually run for politics,” he says. “But surfing happened. I try my best to complement both things by consistently pushing surf tourism, because it creates jobs locally and helps strengthen small businesses .”
He helps Esquire show off the season's finest rain jackets:
Photographs: Geric Cruz. Styling: Clifford Olanday. Art direction: Paul Villariba. Grooming: Muriel Vega Perez for Clinique. Styling Assistant: Miguel Escobar. Production Assistant: Ednalyn Magnaye. Intern: Annicka Koteh.