It’s been a blur of names, faces, tasks, negotiations, restructuring, and SEO. But while a challenge of this level may bend others down, Stephanie Castillo is taking everything in stride. Somehow, she’s taking on the mountain of adjustments with a red lip and a big smile. And, while she gamely admits she’s wearing PJs from waist down, everything on the Teams screen screams profresh.

We sat down with APAC’s Head of Content for a fun conversation of fur parenting, watercolors, and riding in cars with celebrities.

1. Can you tell us about your new role as well as your plans for leading the content team?

It’s my honor to join Green Park as Head of Content APAC. This role serves both the Editorial and Social teams and blends them into one Content powerhouse. I’m blessed because both functions are packed with incredibly driven and insightful subject matter experts, which has helped me hit the ground running.

I’d love to create content that is not only rich and relevant, but also surfaces in the natural habitat of its target audience. The digital space is a changeable animal, which means it shifts from trend to trend and channel to channel at breakneck pace. I want to capitalize on this by ensuring our material is placed at the right place, at the right time, all the time—whether people are seeking a quick, decision-making answer in the blank space of a search bar or scrolling at leisure for inspiration on their feeds.

The best kind of content ticks both boxes, providing solutions and delighting the market.

I also want to continue to support a strong community culture. Having led a large team in my last company, I know how important it is for people to feel seen, heard, and part of the conversation. This can translate into different things—holding technical workshops for upskilling, for instance, or providing a safe space to share ideas and concerns. It is my privilege to serve the exceptional teams in my care, and I aspire to do the role justice in this way.

2. Tell us a bit about your career up to this point and your career milestones.

I’ve worked for close to 13 years in publishing and e-commerce in the Philippines. The lion’s share of my career has been dedicated to the digital space. I started out at a women’s website in Manila, then contributed to a swath of global and local titles, and even had a brief stint at a television company. For the past 8 years, I was part of the founding team that built the No. 1 homegrown e-commerce platform in the Philippines, serving as head of content, creative, and marketing. My career has steeped me in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, but I’ve also been lucky to lead content for health and wellness, food, home goods, and parenting.

I think career milestones are subjective from person to person, so allow me to share some fun stories instead.

  • I once rode in a car for 8 hours with a Filipino movie star to interview her for the cover of a magazine. She had to go to several shoot locations on the same day and the commute between each was her only free time to talk. The magazine wanted 2,000 words, but the interview was so interesting that I could barely get the piece below 3,000. In the end, the editor-in-chief cut three ad pages to make the full story fit.
  • When I was working in e-commerce, my team was responsible for making a little-known K-beauty brand go viral in the Philippines. When this brand wanted to unveil a new formula, they asked if we could handle the global launch. This meant their product would debut exclusively on our platform, ahead of all of APAC, and even South Korea. Naturally, we said yes. Upon launch, the product sold out in 10 minutes, and the brand had to reroute stock destined for other countries to fulfill the demand in the Philippines.

I would probably say that my biggest achievement is mentoring really wonderful people. Watching self-effacing fresh grads transform into powerful, comfortable leaders in their own right brings a very special kind of satisfaction.

I’ve traveled with my teams, been with them through heartache and happiness, and built friendships that have outlasted job stints, however long. It’s fulfilling to witness how far a little TLC can go.

3. What, for you, makes content interesting and dynamic?

I’ve always maintained that the most effective content tells a clear story from start to finish, like a novel or a screenplay. Whether this is direct or imperceptible, in a long-form article or a TikTok video, there must be a great narrative. The audience needs to experience a curiosity-piquing beginning, an attention-holding middle, an ultra-relatable conflict, and a satisfying conclusion at the very end.

Is the topic fresh and juicy? Does the information add value and insight? Is the copy crisp and charismatic, and do the visuals support the atmosphere of the storytelling? Is the material memorable? Will it inspire brand-love, so much so that people will come back to it again, share it with their friends, and stay tuned for more of the same energy? Is the piece in the proper format (does it work as a stand-alone article, for instance, or can it also be reworked into an album on Instagram)? Has everything been edited as ruthlessly as possible to keep the pace rhythmic and the point in focus? These are some of the questions I ask myself when reviewing any kind of content.

4. Outside the office, where can we find you?

I’m a certified homebody, which means I spend most of my time in the leafy suburbs south of Manila. I’m joint at the hip with my dog, Luigi, who is a 5-year-old rescue and the love of my life. So you can find me at all the fur-parent hotspots: the dog park, the vet, and the pet supplies store (LOL). The pandemic has limited a lot of my movements in and out the country, but in the “Before Times,” I traveled as much as I could. My favorite cities are Seoul and Tokyo. Their cultures are engrossing: a blend of cutting-edge technological advancement and third-wave coffee shop serenity. I love the food, the style, the sense of safety, the youthful energy, and the fact that, whenever I visit, I always feel like I’m coming home.

5. Tell us some interesting facts about yourself.

I learned how to paint at the height of the pandemic—my current favorite mediums are Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors and Miya Himi jelly gouaches. I collect vintage denim, red lipstick, and crystals (the quartz family, in particular). I also love learning foreign languages and am a sucker for period films.

Finally, this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given: whatever you do, protect your peace. Setting boundaries like this will never limit you—it frees you from unnecessary noise and clutter and empowers you to focus on what is most important.

At the end of the day, that’s you and your health. Live well, work well, always.

Bonus question. Please introduce us to Luigi.

steph castillo's dog, named luigi