9 Pinays Share the Side Hustles and Small Businesses They Started During the Pandemic

This post was originally published here.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, we all had to make major changes in our lives. A lot of industries were greatly affected, meaning a lot of careers and jobs were lost. We talked to nine Pinays who had to do career shifts or start side hustles and small businesses to help them during these hard times, and let us tell you, they’re all so inspiring. If you’re planning to start your dream small business at this time to help with your finances, check out their stories below: 

Nicole Ceballos, Makeup Artist

Business: Nyala’s Homemade Cookies

Instagram: @nyalashomemade

Why she started her business: “Even before the pandemic, I’ve been selling cookies on the side to a small network of customers and two establishments. At the time, it was for extra funds for my dogs’ veterinary care (surgeries, cancer, general maintenance), and a productive break from the rigors of being a makeup artist.”

How different is it from your job as a makeup artist? “It’s a lot more quiet than being a makeup artist. In my regular job, I had to be face to face with my clients and other people, constantly in conversation. Baking cookies gets a little lonely with just the sound of music, clinking of the steel bowls, and the alarm of the oven. I also definitely miss the free aircon during shoots and gigs! The kitchen gets seriously hot when the oven is on for hours even with  four electric fans.”

What were the challenges you faced when you opened this new business venture? “We had zero social media presence because we focused more on our expansion as a supplier for coffee shops and co-working spaces, and we were scheduled to sample to multi-branch and popular cafes right when the quarantine started. We had to learn using social media for business, properly communicating with customers that were 100 percent strangers, creating content, and at the same doing all the baking from scratch, sourcing ingredients from new suppliers because our regulars were also shorthanded with the crisis, scheduling and booking deliveries at the height of quarantine. While we were lucky the industry we went into is considered essential and able to operate, the logistics of every move we made was an absolute NIGHTMARE. Because our cookies are freshly baked, they need to be sent out within the day no matter what. Lots of riders also took advantage of the low supply and high demand of delivery that they would charge a lot higher, so it was extra difficult to find riders who would take it for the price based on the delivery apps since that’s what we charge our customers. We incurred a lot of additional charges just so we could get the orders out within the day, which hurt our profit margins. 

There were many days during ECQ that we had to allot five to six hours just for booking delivery riders, and if there weren’t any, we personally delivered them, racing against time to be home by curfew. The panic and anxiety of being caught in checkpoints even with a quarantine pass and delivering essential goods forced us to rework our entire schedule. We would make dough from 9 p.m. until 12-2 a.m. (it was just too hot any earlier in the day), bake from 4 a.m.-8 a.m. so we can send them out as early as possible, because riders were more likely to accept bookings for regular prices in the morning.”

What was the best thing you got from opening your business? “It’s definitely this unique learning experience I wouldn’t have gotten as a makeup artist. I don’t do well with numbers but I had to learn how to do costing, profits and losses. I’m used to talking to strangers with my original job, but when talking to our customers, I realize I’ve adapted a certain tone and manner of speaking: mas pang-customer service, bubbly and sweet to match the homemade branding. This was a challenge because I’m neither sweet nor bubbly in real life. Haha! Adapt to survive indeed. I had to relearn everything I knew about photography, and scour my brain for memories of watching my friends do product and digital content shoots because wala naman kaming budget to hire a photographer or food stylist. Now, I use the same tricks to produce content for beauty!

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to start side hustles and small businesses now? Huwag mahiyang rumaket. There’s this stigma na pag rumaraket, gipit or nangangailangan, like it’s a bad thing. You should be proud that if you need extra money, you’re willing to work for it. When my dogs were sick, I had the money and people knew that, but it would seriously leave a dent on my finances. I literally got asked, ‘Mayaman ka naman bakit ka nagbebenta ng cookies?’ My parents would’ve been more than willing to split the veterinary expenses with me, but I didn’t want to ask. If I didn’t do that side hustle then, I wouldn’t have known my cookies were good enough to be sold to strangers that didn’t buy for charity, but because they really liked it. I never would’ve known it was worthy to be put on display in a coffee shop, and little did I know it would save me from unemployment and its mental and emotional repercussions during this pandemic. I was open to my friends, family and followers that I was struggling with the loss of work and they were the first to support me in my new venture. I was anxious, but never ashamed, that this crisis forced me into unemployment and needed to find other ways to make a living. Whether or not you need the money, if you want to add a side hustle, go for it. Keep it for a rainy day, buy stocks while prices are low, buy your parents gifts, donate it to frontliners—huwag mong ikahiya, pinaghirapan mo yan!

Nicole Tejano, PR Executive and Janelle Inojales, Civil Servant

Business: Emilia’s Home

Instagram: @emilias.home

Website: www.emiliashome.com

Why they decided to open their business: “I think it was our way of dealing with the quarantine. We all have different ways of coping, while some people are into cooking, exercising, and binge-watching Netflix, we are into decorating our rooms! And we really went into overdrive on redecorating when the pandemic hit so it’s not really surprising that our quarantine baby is Emilia.” – Nicole 

“Emilia really did help us to cope with feelings of anxiety and disenfranchisement. Plus, Emilia also helps feed my cats! Since I work for the public sector and decided early only to donate my salary to those in need.” – Janelle

How different is running Emilia’s Home from your regular jobs? “All I’ve ever known is nonprofit work. This is my first time doing anything business-wise!” – Janelle 

“I work for the beauty industry for my day job. So it’s a really different world and we both don’t have any experience in home furnishings. It’s just something that we appreciate from the onset.” – Nicole  

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “I have no business experience or background. I’m a solid introvert so it’s quite difficult for me to constantly have to talk to people. I almost quit Emilia because it was taking a toll on my mental health but Nicole swooped in and saved the day. That’s why she and I make such a great team.” – Janelle

“It really works for us that we are total opposites! Another challenge that we are constantly facing is being always available to our customers. Since it’s only the two of us and we both have our day jobs, we really can’t give all of our time to Emilia. It’s still a work in progress for us. Hopefully, we’ll find our balance soon!” – Nicole 

What’s the best thing about opening your new business?

“We get to learn about this new industry and we get to share beautiful designs that resonate with our clients’ unique experiences.” – Nicole

“For me, it’s our partnership with #TaraTulongTayo of @tara.baraha! We’re happy that Emilia gets to help our kababayans deeply affected by the pandemic even just in a small way.” – Janelle  

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to start side hustles and small businesses now? “Just go for it! Trust me, we didn’t know what we were doing and we don’t know what we got ourselves into but it’s worth it!” – Nicole 

“And don’t forget, mental health over everything. So find the right partner to be with you on this. It can get crazy!” – Janelle

Army Villapando, Marketing Manager

Business: BARE

Instagram: @barebyarmy

Why she started her business: “Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were so many changes that happened at work (and around the world, of course), so this business was my way of keeping sane. This was always something I wanted to do again. I actually launched BARE back in 2017, but I wasn’t able to sustain and grow the business then because I was doing it alone. When COVID-19 happened and working from home became the norm, I decided to relaunch it with the help of my boyfriend. We decided that I would be in charge of design and production while he took over creatives and marketing.”

How different is this business from your day job? “I’ve been in working in corporate since I graduated, so starting a business is a totally different ball game. As an employee, your KPI’s, targets, etc. are all set for you. However, when you’re running a business, you have to set those things all on your own and create a systematic way of working so that the business functions properly and grows at the same time. And of course, you’re working with a much smaller budget! Haha!”

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “It was challenging to find a unique selling point in a sea of so many other great brands out there. ‘What would make BARE stand out?’ Another one was navigating through this pandemic. We needed to make sure that we put our message out there but also, be sensitive of so many issues that needed just as much attention.”

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “I definitely gained a new perspective about myself and of course, life. Before, I would hustle just to find ways to treat myself while not compromising my obligations. Living in abundance was always the goal, but with everything that’s been happening, it made me see the importance of being satisfied and content with what I have. I realized how blessed I am to still be employed and to have the capacity to start my passion project. It also made me realize the importance of giving back, which is what we will do for our next collection. A percentage of the profit we earn from it will be given to those most affected by the pandemic, like Tatay Alberto and his fellow jeepney drivers who have little to no way of earning money.

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to start side hustles and small businesses now? “All I can say is, just do it. You have an idea? Build on it! If you’re spiritual, pray about it… A LOT. You’ll honestly never be 100 percent ready. Yes prepare but also, don’t overthink it.”

Nikki Uson, Marketing Copywriter

Business: Minikkins

Instagram: @minikkins 

Why she started her business: “Baking has always been my passion and people have always pushed me to sell my cookies. When lockdown started, I realized I had a lot of free time on my hands-more than I’ve ever had to be honest—so I figured it was now or never!”

How different is this business from your day job? “A complete 180! The only writing I do for Minikkins is writing the captions for IG and FB. Haha!”

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “When I first launched Minikkins, it was right when lockdown started, so everyone was still panic-buying. Sourcing ingredients was so difficult! None of the suppliers were replying, stores still hadn’t figured out their SOP for online orders yet, so it was really such a hassle to find everything I needed. On top of that, it was also still so difficult to book couriers for the deliveries. Now that Minikkins has grown, the new challenge I’m facing now is managing my time. My mom helps me a lot by baking the cookies before she goes to work and I prepare the pandesal before I clock in, but with the number of orders I’ve been getting, it’s become really tiring na. So we’ve decided to hire someone to help me with the orders. I still prepare all the cookie dough and pandesal dough before I clock in for work. She cuts all the dough balls, stuffs them, shapes them, bakes all the orders, and dispatches them. It’s been a good investment because now I can take in more orders!

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “Learning how to handle a business all on my own and using the money I’ve made from it to help other people. I’ve partnered so far with Tugon Ateneo, an organization from Ateneo that helps survivors of child sexual abuse and abandonment. For July, I’m partnering with Bake Sale for Better PH which brings together several bakers for one giant bake sale so we can pool together funds for several causes, and Candid Clothing, an ethical clothing brand that gives the Taytay seamstresses who’ve been out of work a job. Candid Clothing is supplying me with cloth face masks made from upcycled fabric which I will then be donating to the jeepney and tricycle drivers, basureros, and street dwellers in my area.”

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to start side hustles and small businesses now? “If you have an idea, just go for it! Look for groups on Facebook and Viber for supplies, materials, ingredients, and even couriers. Grab and Angkas also have promos for merchants so check those out. And most importantly, support your friends who also have businesses! If you have a friend who has a packaging business, consider teaming up with her so you can both benefit from your venture.”

Chezca Dayrit, Social Media Manager

Business: Virtual Assistant Services and Social Media Management

Instagram: @virtualasstph

Why she started her business: “It was actually pretty random! I had a hard time finding a job since I’m moving into a new town soon, and then I slowly started applying for remote work. Then when the ECQ happened, I decided to just do it and shift! Best decision ever.”

How different is this business from your old job? “It was a 9-5 marketing stint, wherein I had to travel 2-3 hours to get to the office! It was so tiring. With this, I have my own time. I can work at my own pace, and I am at the comfort of my own home. Bonus points that I don’t commute or spend money eating out!”

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “It was a bit hard communicating with my clients at first. Since I’m used to in-person meetings. But when I got the hang of it, it’s actually really nice.”

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “I can work at my own pace. I think most of us would feel the same: There are certain days that we feel down, and need a break. So I’m really glad about that one. It actually makes me more productive whenever I take breaks. Also I get to spend more time with my loved ones since I’m just at home.”

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to shift careers or start side hustles and small businesses now? “The best time to start is NOW. Take time to learn your passion and skills, and make money from it! Nothing beats doing what you love, and earning from it!”

Alex Natividad, Marketing Director

Business: CelebrityGreetings.PH, a celebrity video shoutout booking website for local celebs

Instagram: @celebritygreetingsph

Website: www.celebritygreetings.ph

Why she started her business: “We’ve always wanted to try this business out for years already, but we didn’t have the guts and the time to start it. We were always saying that we should do it, but it never materialized, until our bridal fair scheduled for May got postponed. We don’t really know when the wedding industry will be back, so we managed to launch the website in June.”

“We know mall shows, meet and greets, and live events are all paused now, so we thought it would be a good time to launch an avenue where personalities and their supporters can create more personal connections online.”

How different is this business from your old job? “My pre-pandemic job is in the wedding industry, we do fairs and we sell wedding accessories. One of my main responsibilities there is the fair, so it’s mostly managing the event and marketing. When I joined, it was already set up as a company.”

“But for the new business, we really had to build it from the ground up, do cold calls, present the idea and convince partners. It’s a website, so mostly it’s digital-focused in terms of marketing and components.”

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “It’s not a common concept here in the PH and we could only present and send proposals online so I think a lot of people thought it was a scam at first, haha! Since we’re also a new business, our team is only small so we work day and night to get everything done. At the start of quarantine, I also get jealous because a lot of my friends had steady salaries and they could watch Netflix, or bake or sell food online, while we were just setting up the website.”

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “I like going out, trying new activities and traveling, so personally, I think this new business really helped me get through the quarantine. My wedding industry job is at an all time low and all my hobbies require going out so this project motivates me everyday to get up, work hard and stop feeling down despite the difficult situation we’re in. “

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to shift careers or start side hustles and small businesses now? “I say go for it! If you’re planning to start a business or raket, it should be something you’re passionate about so you won’t feel like you’re working every day. Starting a new business or a side hustle can be really time-consuming and stressful, but if it’s something you like doing already then it won’t feel like work. Also, invest your time and money wisely so you can reap something great in the future.”

Toni Ann Nebreja, Flight Attendant

Business: Lash Party, a brand of premium hand-crafted faux eyelashes

Instagram: @lashpartyph

Why she started her business: “The aviation industry was one of the first major industries that was hit by the global pandemic. I was forced to make the decision to take an indefinite leave and this has honestly put me over the edge a bit. The lockdown, however, gave me the chance to push through with my long overdue passion project: My cosmetic lash line. Like everybody else facing financial uncertainties, I had to come up with a plan since I won’t be flying anytime soon. I made use of my available resources in order to make ends meet and fulfill my plans for Lash Party.”

How different is this business from your day job?  “My beauty business has allowed me to express more of my artistic side that I don’t really get to maximize in-flight. For someone whose work life has been all about flying in and out of countries and always being on the move, the shift to becoming an active online seller from home lets me focus more on researching trends, planning my content, and executing my ideas. Before I had to go on leave, I barely had time to explore my other interests. So the change of pace also gave my body time to rest and recuperate from my usual daily grind. It sure made my life slow down a bit and appreciate so many things that life has to offer aside from flying while still getting to interact with customers.”

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business? “Logistics and self-doubt.  I thought giving my suppliers the go signal for production pre-lockdown was enough for everything to run smoothly. Most of them promised that they could deliver by mid-January but COVID-19 started spreading so fast. The couriers stopped shipping goods and delays were experienced at the customs. I was starting to feel discouraged. I didn’t even know where to start with little to zero resources at that time. Part of the constant challenge I had to face while building my business was overcoming my own doubts. I started second-guessing if now is still a good time to sell my products and whether there would even be a market to engage. But I continued to work on my vision. With the help of my family and friends I composed myself and started with baby steps. Little by little I would receive inquiries on Instagram even prior to announcing that I can finally start accepting orders. I could feel the excitement around my brand’s following and got inspired even more to power through.

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “With my new cosmetic business, I love how I can use it as a platform to make people feel more confident and free to express themselves. The best part of being an online beauty seller is that I get to interact with people who I can share my passion with. I’m also an aspiring makeup artist and I love how Lash Party lets me discover and connect with a lot of amazing artists and creatives. The little things like giving tips on how to apply false eyelashes or recommending which type of falsies enhances my client’s beauty make me tick and hopeful for my brand. I love the relationship that I am building with my consumers and I think helping them explore their self-expression through makeup and my products has made my career shift meaningful.”

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to shift careers or start side hustles and small businesses now? “Believe in yourself and honor your own pace. The first step to success is to believe in your capabilities. The process is never easy, you will be tested in all ways possible and you will only have yourself most days so believe that you can and you will. There will be days when you feel like you can’t keep up in this fast-changing world and that is okay. Rest when you need to but don’t give up. Honouring your own pace is the greatest form of self-love that would set you up and sustain you for success.”

Ella Esguerra, Marketing Assistant

Business: Cloud Period Panties

Instagram: @cloudperiodpanties

Why she started her business: “I have always wanted my own business and be a boss for as long as I could remember. Working at a fashion brand, then eventually going to fashion school pushed me to start a fashion-related business that I’ve believed in for such a long time, which was period underwear. Growing up, I’ve had a difficult time with my period as well. I had to put an extra mattress on my bed every time I was on my period to make sure I don’t stain my bed. I would also wear extra cycling shorts or refrain from any light bottoms. On top of my personal experience, I also heard different stories from other women about their period problems. Those stories were what pushed me to find a solution for myself and others.”

“After a long time of researching and developing the product, I just told myself to go for it since it felt right and I also felt ready. The bonus was everyone was doing it anyway: Online businesses were popping out here and there.”

How different is this business from your day job?  “I was a Marketing Assistant at a children’s fashion brand. My role there was mainly focused on digital marketing, as well as picking and packing orders. I had training on what it was like to be very hands-on in running a fashion brand. I also learned how to do the labor-intensive tasks such as organizing the clothes in the warehouse and shipping out orders.”

“In a way, what I am doing now is similar to what I did in my corporate job. The main difference is the motivation and the drive to hustle is much greater now because it’s my own brand. Another difference is of course, the time. Back in my corporate job, I had to work from 8-6, from Monday to Saturday. Now, I get to be more flexible with my time and enjoy a work-life balance.” 

What were some of the challenges you had to face when you opened your business?  “The discernment process on whether I’d do it or not was a big challenge at the start. I had to really believe in myself and my reasons for doing it in the first place. It was an internal challenge of figuring out what I wanted then eventually how to make it happen.”

What’s the best thing about opening your new business? “Definitely positive feedback from other women. I always grounded myself with the belief that I started my brand of period panties, not to merely sell a product, but to sell a comfortable and confident experience for women out there.”

What’s your advice for Pinays who want to shift careers or start side hustles and small businesses now? “If it feels right, go for it and listen to your gut feeling. Life truly happens outside of your comfort zone. It’s scary at first, but what isn’t?”

Real Pinays Share Their Worst Experiences of People Who Don’t Pay Their Utang Back

This post was originally published here.

At some point in your life, you’ve accrued a bit of debt, and if you have a credit card, then you’ve obviously had utang at every swipe. There’s actually nothing wrong with debt if it’s managed well; the issue starts when the person borrowing money can’t pay back.

This unfortunately is the story of many of us na nagpautang—minsan kinalilimutan nang magbayad ng nangutang. Worse, we get seen-zoned every time we ask for our money back.

In our most recent #FNAsks, we requested for your worst utang experience and how you dealt with it. The stories you sent range from mild annoyances to full-time horror stories, all of which we can definitely learn from:

Make sure to put a cap on the amount you’re willing to lend.

Hanggang 3k lang kasi may mga taong magaling mangutang at paawa epek pero mahirap singilin, tatawanan ka pa ‘pag nakatalikod ka na.” – Rocelyne Kangleon

Lend money only when you know the person asking for it crucially needs it.

Ikaw na lang ang mananawa maningil, kaya it’s a matter of life and death na lang dapat kung magpautang. Nakakadala, nakakaasar na makita na may mga bago siyang shoes na iniyayabang sa social media.” – Haydee Buban

Don’t be afraid to ask for your money back—repeatedly.

Sa ‘kin 500 lang naman ang inutang, ‘di pa bayad ‘gang ngayon, siguro over five years na rin. Tapos ‘pag nagsimula ang BER months, biglang nangangamusta, ‘kumare’ ang tawag sa ‘kin (nagpaparamdam kasi inaanak ko anak niya).” – Ai Epiz

Nangutang pero one year to pay pala… Hindi kami na-inform, hehehe, peace.” – Zai Ramos Bronzal.

Hahahaha ayon ‘di na ako kinakausap, kinamusta ko lang naman, ‘seen’ lang ang peg.” – Mariah Abella

Lend money to those only whom you trust…

“Hahahaha hindi po ako nagpapautang talaga. As in. Call me madamot or what pero once nagpautang ako sa trusted na tao. ‘Yong alam kong worthy talaga. Hindi na ako nagpapabayad. ‘Yon nga lang hindi talaga ako nagpapautang.” – Jarbel Librando Ramo

…And be careful in choosing people to trust.

Nagtratrabaho kami sa isang company ni Ateng, pero ‘di kami close or friends, or whatsoever… Ipinakilala lang siya sa ‘kin ng TL ko kasi need ko talaga ng pera n’on. So ayon, may kakilala si Ateng na nagpapautang ng pera, pero collateral is ATM. Umutang ako, nagtataka pa ‘ko n’on bakit napaka-accommodating ni Ateng, sinamahan niya pa ‘ko doon sa bahay nung lender only to find out na ‘yong original amount pala ng inutang ko pinatungan niya ng extra para sa kanya.  Nung nalaman ko sabi niya magbabayad lang siya sa ‘kin every sahod… Kailangan ko pa siyang habul-habulin para lang magbayad, siya kasi nakapangalan sa ‘kin ‘yong buong amount. Hindi ko na iisa-isahin lahat ng excuse niya para hindi makapagbayad, pero nagbunga naman lahat ng pagsisikap kong pilitin siya. Hayop na experience ‘yon. ‘Di naman kami close, makikipatong pa.” – Nsy Ayshan

“2017, nabudol ako ng officemate ko i-swipe siya ng tatlong Macbook priced 164k each, plus 150k cash advance… Prior to that, may mga pa-swipe na siya and nabayaran naman so I thought kaya niya. Unang installment pa lang sumablay na, hanggang sa every month puro excuses na lang. Magbigay man, barya lang. Literally, naubos savings ko kakaabono ng monthly payments—no choice ako, card ko ‘yon e. Hanggang sa minimum due na lang nababayaran ko at lumobo ang interests.

“For a while tinaguan niya ako until magpa-blotter ako sa barangay nila. I guess, nakalampag siya, so nagparamdam at nakipagusap. She agreed to pay 66k a month, pero nawala lang ulit siya. Next, nagpadala na ako ng demand letter. Nakipagusap ulit siya at nagbigay ng mga cheke as partial payment. Nagtalbugan lahat ng cheke, una pa lang closed account na agad ang sabi ng bank.

“So heto ako ngayon, nagbabayad pa rin ng utang niya. The good thing that came out of the pandemic is that nag-offer ang mga cards ko ng payment structuring at discounted rates. It will take a while bago ko matapos lahat ng payments pero at least alam kong matatapos. There was a time na sobrang depressed ko… Nagtatrabaho ako to pay someone else’s debt just because I trusted a ‘friend’. I felt stupid, pero katangahan ko lang masisisi ko. I was deprived, my family was deprived, of my own earnings. Until now, nangangako pa rin siya na magbabayad pero parang ako pa ang nanlilimos sa pabarya-baryang bigay nya. Lahat na ng pakiusap nagawa ko, mabait na usap, galit na usap, nagmumurang usap… walang talab. Sadyang makapal ang mukha nya at sanay sa pangloloko.” – May Kristina Manalang Urbano

Magpapa-utang ka pa ba?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with lending money; it’s actually kindness to help another person out in time of need. However, you also need to remember that whatever you lend is an amount you wouldn’t mind losing or you wouldn’t have a hard time getting back; sarili mo pa rin ang dapat mong priority kung magpapautang ka.

Sadly, there are some “trust-worthy” people who change their colors when money is involved, so always make sure that you’re first covered. If you’re lending a big amount, always put everything in writing. While verbal agreements hold water, written ones can better keep you and your assets protected as they can be considered as hard proof of your financial arrangement. Should things go downhill and legal remedies are needed, a paper trail can help strengthen your case.

*Some answers were edited by FemaleNetwork editors for clarity.

Pia Wurtzbach Refrains From Buying Luxury Items: “Kasi hindi rin nagagamit”

This originally appeared here: Female Network

Pia Wurtzbach has learned to be more conscious of her luxury splurges amid the pandemic.

On Wednesday night, January 20, 2021, the 31-year-old actress-beauty queen answered some of her fans’ questions during her “True or False” session on Instagram Stories.

In one of her posts, Pia revealed that it has been a while since she bought a designer item. She explained, “I stopped doing this like since last year kasi hindi rin nagagamitAt saka, minsan parang pag binuksan mo iyong cabinet parang naiisip mo, ‘Grabe, ano ba itong mga binili ko?'”

In a separate post, Pia noted that she is not a brand-conscious person. She said, “I appreciate all kinds of brands. I love signature brands and even high-street brands, Filipino brands. I just mix it up.”

Even when it comes to gifts, the former Miss Universe titleholder reiterated the saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Pia said, “Lahat ng mga klaseng regalo naa-appreciate ko. Lalo na kapag pinag-isipan talaga at maythought. Kahit na drawing lang iyan, na-appreciate ko iyan. 

Wala iyan sa halaga, guys.”

Pia was last seen on TV as host of ABS-CBN’s dance competition World of Dance Philippines in 2019. She has not been active in the local showbiz scene since then. 

In her Instagram Stories, the beauty queen said she is focusing on her different business ventures.

Pia is currently based in Morocco with her boyfriend Jeremy Jauncey and has revealed her plans to go back to the Philippines.

Enjoying a bowl of ramen and celebrating small wins in the insurance industry

As reposted from Instagram 12/12/2020:

Treating myself to a big bowl of ramen. #latepost 😂

Celebrating small wins because as we all know it has been a tough year. I thought I would be jobless when quarter 2 came.

My friend Patrick Tianzon invited me to be part of their team, and well, due to the economic downturn I knew I have to adapt… real quick! Bills don’t stop from haunting you, do they. #TitaJudith

Fast forward December and I received a good news. 🙏Grateful to know that the hard work done this year paid off. I know a lot of us are struggling in our own ways to cope during a pandemic so I refrained from posting on social media; I did not want to give the wrong impression. 🙏

But later on, I thought this could also be my way of thanking our team, Patrick and our partners (calling them that rather than addressing them as ‘clients’) because it was truly touching to know that everyone’s so giving and supportive… especially because this is like all so new to me! Wah! 😱

Thanking also dear @jnlpangindian for the huge help and motivation when we started our @genhustle.ph project. Always so understanding and collaborative.

I also have to mention @lrgl.mrfl because she’s the first person who believed in me. @ladygaga said nga diba… it only takes one person… and you know the rest.

I don’t know if I should tag the rest of our partners because I know they also value privacy but I think I have DMed you all na…

Again, thank you all. 🤗 Your genuine support warms my heart just like how this ramen keeps me cozy amidst the holiday breeze 😂🍜

Sweet November, I’m back!

Hello, anybody home? Helloooo?

I have been really busy the past months, but I guess the question is… what made me come back?

I have recently connected with a college pal on LinkedIn. He told me he saw my website, and he was glad that I’m doing well, and it did not surprise him I pursued this path.

As communication majors, I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who are still thriving in the media industry.

And then it hit me… oh yeah, I have a website! :))

Also, a few weeks ago, I got a message from a stranger who said Glow Up inspired her. FYI, Glow Up is a show that I had worked on for the past year. Her comment – however random – motivated me to write again.

It was so random, unexpected. But it made me realize how important it is to establish your online presence.

Before writing this, though, I had to be honest with myself.

Why am I doing a blog?

Is someone really reading my blog? What is this for? Who is my audience? I have an audience?

I guess it boils down to intent – or as Simon Sinek says… Knowing Your Why. Start with Your Why.

And though it sounds like cliche, I want this blog to be a therapy.

I write for a living. But I guess I have to go back to that feeling of writing as a form of creative expression.

It feels liberating to write away without thinking about your editor, boss, or deadline.

I miss writing… just.because.

My next question was… what will I write about?

Blogging has come a long way. Before when you say blog, it basically means you want everyone to know about how you feel. It’s like literally baring yourself to the world.

But today, for me, blogging means business. Everything is business!

We live in a consumerist, capitalist world. And while I also think that blogging can be a source of passsive income, I’d like to think it’s not why I’m here.

I’m doing this because I miss writing for myself. Let’s just see how it goes.

I’m still afraid that I won’t be able to sustain it – meaning write regularly, or on a weekly basis. But I will try.

So to my college pal on LinkedIn and that random girl who read my blog a while back, thank you.

I will continue writing for as long as I know someone’s reading blog, or browsing my website.

Here’s wishing I can inspire or motivate you, in the way I know how. 🙂


Facebook Shops launch + Best Live Streaming Tool To Grow Your Businesses

BeLive Live streaming

This week, Facebook Shops was launched. This is an excellent opportunity for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs), and this is where BeLive can help them.

What is BeLive? BeLive is an easy to use and customizable web-based streaming platform that supports Facebook and YouTube. SMBs can foster a deeper and more authentic connection with customers by going live online. Live streaming is an indispensable tool for small businesses for customer engagement

With the lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many SMBs are engaging with their target audiences via live streaming and they are successfully converting viewers into customers.


In BeLive, we have 700 million engaged viewers worldwide. Communities like religious organizations, personal development, holistic wellness, entertainers, and even comic book stores are going live in our platform every day!

BeLive is a Facebook Live Video Solutions Partner that engages your audience and grows your community. Our mission is to help broadcasters, business owners, and content creators grow their communities through live videos


Why BeLive? You can promote your brand: add your brand logo, change custom colors and overlays anytime during your show, boost engagement, show your viewers’ live comments on the screen and use lower-third text to emphasize a topic. You can grow your community: invite up to 10 guests with your permanent link and show up to four people on screen. Zero setup; Go-Live instantly. All you need is your laptop and an internet connection.

I would be happy to share more insights if you need it. I’m so stoked to help you guys out!

Regards and stay safe!

Florence M. Rosini is a media relations, content and multimedia specialist based in Manila, Philippines. She is currently connected with BeLive, Kumu and GMA Network.

Glow Up: Bride to Be Makeup and Fashion Styling + Prenup photoshoot

It’s easy to say that love knows no boundaries, but it’s another thing to prove it. Our Glow Up case study this week, Angela Gallanosa, walks her talk.

Angela and her fiance Kirill Vasiliskovs made their long-distance relationship work, but it was more challenging than the usual love story because of their cultural differences. One is Asian, and the other is European. Kirill is living in Latvia but born in Ukraine.

But because true love always wins, all’s well will end well. Like in the Filipino proverb, “sa hinaba-haba nang prusisyon, sa simbahan rin ang tuloy”.

True enough for Angela and Kirilo who tied the knot last February!

Glow Up Angela 3

Our hosts, Win and Thia, will take the role of their wedding fairy godmothers as they lead their prenuptial shoot! Pooling the best in their fields, our hosts will invite celebrity and professional makeup artist Tor Torre to do Angela’s prenup makeup!

A hairstylist to the bright stars today, Mark Anthony Rosales will make our bride-to-be shine in a special hair styling session.

Glow Up Angela 2

And our hosts will give a handful of style advice for the soon-to-be bride in terms of the best OOTDs for a prenup photoshoot! And to complete this special episode, photographer Daniel Miralles will lead the photo shoot for today.

Like her, perhaps you should let your love story be your reason to Glow Up! Catch it this Sunday, at 8pm on GMA News TV.

Glow Up Angela 1

Photos courtesy of Mr. Daniel Miralles.


Professional live streaming made easy with BeLive

BeLive: Professional live streaming

I am so stoked to share that I am now connected with a promising live streaming platform based in Israel called BeLive. It took a while for me to tell you the good news because I don’t want to pre-empt anything, but finally, it can now be revealed.


One of the most exciting things for me as a freelancer is working with award-winning brands and leading organizations from just about anywhere in the world. Ever since the lockdown though, it’s sad to know that many people lost their jobs. Thankfully, I am one of the lucky ones who was able to join a multi-national company who can adjust to the work-from-home setup.

So what is BeLive?

BeLive is a professional and easy-to-use web-based live streaming platform with over 700 million engaged viewers worldwide. Business owners and content creators find BeLive very effective.

During the lockdown, there was a 300% increase in sign-ups and website traffic from countries like Italy and Colombia. Why? Because they find BeLive helpful in communicating with their audience.

We also found out that the average BeLive stream is more effective in comparison to other native application streams.

Screen Shot 2020-05-11 at 1.57.41 AM

In short, here are amazing benefits you can get from using BeLive today:

  1. You can now host your own live talk show.
  2. BeLive is the ultimate marketing tool to help SMBs promote their brand, interact with and engage with their audience, and grow their community
  3. Live streaming cuts through the social media clutter and offers consumers the authenticity they’re seeking
  4. Content creators can use live streaming to entertain home-bound, captive audiences.
  5. BeLive offers professional broadcasting services for everyone with a simple click, not just the tech-savvy or those who can afford high-end technology, which is especially critical for SMBs on a tight budgetwithout IT support.

These are just some of the things you can take advantage of while using BeLive. I’d be happy to share more details; just send me a quick hello through email at florence@belive.tv. 🙂

Have a great day ahead!

[Glow Up] Fashion and Styling Tips for Short Women

GU Short Girl Kris Bernal Ep

Glow Up #ShortGirlProblems.

That’s what the Style Council is going to deal with this week!

Reina Hispanoamericana 2018 Winwyn Marquez and Miss World Philippines 2019 Michelle Dee will be the dependable experts who will help Jericel Alvarez feel confident despite her petite stance.

Joining them is this week’s guest style council member, Kris Bernal, who was previously bashed because she is petite.

GU Short Girl Kris Bernal Ep 2

Fashion Tips

Standing at 4 feet 9 inches, Jericel feels like people still treat her like a kid although she’s already 21 years old. So Kris will serve as an inspiration for Jericel to stand tall and be confident!

Appropriate Makeup

To address that, Wyn will teach her a go-to makeup look that is age-appropriate. And for Michelle, it’s up to her to share styling tips that are flattering for her body type and height.

That’s what is in store for you this week on Glow Up, 8pm on GMA News TV.


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