Jasmine Ting: The ‘probinsyana’ has come a long way

She has written for Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and New York Magazine. ‘It’s been a dream.’ Photo by Ruben Chamorro

New York City was but a pipe dream for someone who was raised in the small, northern Philippine city of Tuguegarao.

Jasmine Arielle Ting never imagined she’d end up thousands of miles away from her hometown, nor did she ever think she’d be working as a features journalist in the Big Apple at 24. She began as a young writer competing in local school competitions, and today she’s published in major publications such as Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine (Grub Street), and more. “It’s all still very unreal, to be honest. It’s been a dream.” she told The FilAm.

“Of course, my life is far from the glamorous Carrie Bradshaw fantasy,” she laughs, referring to the popular Sex and the City character — a columnist with a designer shoe collection, and a one-bedroom in the West Village. “I can’t afford to have cocktails and brunch every single day with my girlfriends. That’s just not realistic,” she said. “Making it as a journalist here in New York takes a lot of hustle, ambition, and confidence. I didn’t really think I had any of that until I moved here.”

To be fair, Jasmine seems to have always had drive without realizing it. She made sure never to drop the school paper as an extracurricular activity throughout grade school, high school, and up until her college days. She also began taking magazine internships the summer before her junior year as a literature major in Ateneo de Manila University, though it wasn’t required by her course of study.

Trekking the neighborhood for some errands.
Jasmine puts her multimedia skills to use for NYU Journalism’s weekly news show.

After interning for luxury men’s magazine Rogue in the Philippines, writing for popular teen glossy Candy, and then interning at national food blog Pepper.ph, Jasmine wound up becoming the editorial assistant for Pepper upon graduating. She then went on to pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at New York University.

At NYU, the young journalist honed not only her writing and reporting skills, but also found a passion for video journalism. This led her to a video internship with long-standing gourmet food, wine, and travel magazine Saveur. This eventually turned into a part-time job as their Video Production Assistant. While pitching, shooting, and editing videos for the magazine’s online channels, she also wrote articles for Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, and became the weekend editor for PAPER Magazine. She has interviewed personalities the likes of Rachel Brosnahan (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians) and celebrity hairdresser Jonathan Van Ness.

She acknowledged her parents played a huge part. “They’ve always been supportive of my life as a creative, even though they didn’t…still don’t completely understand what I do,” she said.

Randolph and Nancy Ting, she explained, are engaged in the rice and grains trading business. “Like many Asian parents, they wanted me to become a doctor or a lawyer, but never forced it. They never dissuaded me from following my own path. It still surprises me that the uncertainty in my profession never fazed them.”

“I think the turning point when I realized I had a talent for this was when my mom encouraged me to join a Harry Potter writing competition posted in The Philippine Daily Inquirer.” She shared, “I wrote about my favorite character, Hermione Granger. I didn’t really expect anything to come from it. To this day, my family has my piece from the newspaper framed in my childhood home.”

Though she’s come a long way, Jasmine doesn’t forget where she came from. “Yes, I’ve met and interviewed celebrities, gone to a couple of fancy events — those are exciting and all… but, at the end of the day, I’m still the probinsyana (province girl) I’ve always been,” she said.

© The FilAm 2020

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