My Journey as a Blogger in the Philippines

To all my blog visitors and blog followers, this coming April to May 2021, expect major changes on my www.joysofasia.com blog. I’ve decided to fully reconstruct my blog and highlight the awesome, useful, and viral content while restructuring and redeveloping my blog’s mission and purpose. Right now, everything is kept under wraps but expect more informative, and more engaging blog posts. For now, let me share my journey and life lessons as a blogger. This blog post contains my ups and downs as well as the lessons I’ve learned so far. Also, I included a new opportunity for bloggers that may help you especially if you have a lot of followers online. THE BEGINNER’S ONLINE DIARY: I started blogging in the 90s when the old Bravenet site was still existing. It was more of an online journal or a personal diary of my life and what inspires and motivates me. The site termporarily closed and deleted all previous blogs so I lost all of my content and entries. It was like losing a part of me that I would never get back. The good thing about it was it inspired me to be creative. I decorated my blog with images, gifs and I even chose a BGM which was an instrumental midi version of “Here comes the sun” by the Beatles. I also encouraged my 2 best friends, Unys and Angela to blog as well. I remembered how much fun I had blogging about my daily adventures in real life as well as online i.e. the Philippine Ragnarok Online game, an RPG that was introduced in 2003 if I remembered correctly. The servers then was just Chaos, then a year after that, they introduced the Loki Server. I was super addicted to that game that I even blogged about my daily adventures. I even posted screenshots of my headgears and pets. I know it was childish but I really enjoyed it that time. Too bad I practically lost everything and all the “memories” that came with each post when the previous Bravenet shut down its servers. > LESSON LEARNED: When you’re going to be posting things you want to keep for years to come, make sure you have a backup copy. For example, when you’re going to blog about something, save a copy of the content and photos in your Google account, Dropbox, laptop, and in your personal hard disk drive. This way, you’ll always have a copy. THE SLAMBOOK PROJECT & WINNING ONLINE BLOGGING CONTESTS: After I was forced to be confined at home because of my asthma and my low immune system in 2013, I decided to rediscover blogging via my blog, The Slambook Project. I used an online blogging platform that I fully trusted. This later on became a mistake and I had to pay for the consequences, which I will discuss later. What I loved about The Slambook Project was the freedom to express my creativity and ideas freely. I blogged about movies and focused on providing my readers with lessons learned after watching the movie as well as providing them with character quotes and memes. It was also then that I discovered Nuffnang Philippines when I saw a call for entries for their Air Asia contest on Facebook. Being born with a competitive spirit, I decided to join my very first blog contest. I was surprised when they announced the winners. It turned out that one of the Grand Prize winners was yours truly. I did my best but wasn’t expecting to win the grand prize because I was a beginner and there were a lot of seasoned and popular bloggers that joined. I was just so happy and thankful to God that I won. It was then that I realized how fun blogging can be, at the same time, I can use my creativity to win exciting prizes. I also explored doing some caricature so that my blog is more enjoyable to read. It was my very first blogging contest and winning it made it more special. In that contest, I won a trip for two to a local & an international destination. I used the local flight to go to Boracay, where my husband and I got to enjoy a lot of fun activities such as parasailing, helmet diving, zipline, giant ball, etc. As for the international flight, we decided to visit Malaysia. In Malaysia, we stayed at the awesome 5-star Grand Hyatt Hotel, where the Petronas Tower was clearly viewable especially at night. I always imagined waking up to that view and Grand Hyatt definitely gave us a unique 5-star experience by giving us the room that had the best view of the Petronas Tower. They also provided us with a lot of tropical fruits and a complimentary Anniversary Cake because they found out during my reservation process that we were going to celebrate our Anniversary at their hotel. The amenities were superb and hands down, that hotel is definitely one of the best ones we’ve stayed in. On our third day, we transferred to the Sunway Resort, another 5-star hotel in Malaysia. It was right next to the awesome Sunway Pyramid Mall which had this humongous pyramid and sphinx structures that made me feel like I was in Egypt.

My Journey as a Blogger in the Philippines

To all my blog visitors and blog followers, this coming April to May 2021, expect major changes on my www.joysofasia.com blog.

I’ve decided to fully reconstruct my blog and highlight the awesome, useful, and viral content while restructuring and redeveloping my blog’s mission and purpose. Right now, everything is kept under wraps but expect more informative, and more engaging blog posts.

For now, let me share my journey and life lessons as a blogger. This blog post contains my ups and downs as well as the lessons I’ve learned so far. Also, I included a new opportunity for bloggers that may help you especially if you have a lot of followers online.

THE BEGINNER’S ONLINE DIARY:

I started blogging in the 90s when the old Bravenet site was still existing. It was more of an online journal or a personal diary of my life and what inspires and motivates me. The site termporarily closed and deleted all previous blogs so I lost all of my content and entries. It was like losing a part of me that I would never get back.

The good thing about it was it inspired me to be creative. I decorated my blog with images, gifs and I even chose a BGM which was an instrumental midi version of “Here comes the sun” by the Beatles. I also encouraged my 2 best friends, Unys and Angela to blog as well. I remembered how much fun I had blogging about my daily adventures in real life as well as online i.e. the Philippine Ragnarok Online game, an RPG that was introduced in 2003 if I remembered correctly.

philippine-ragnarok-online-chaos-loki-640x480

The servers then was just Chaos, then a year after that, they introduced the Loki Server. I was super addicted to that game that I even blogged about my daily adventures. I even posted screenshots of my headgears and pets. I know it was childish but I really enjoyed it that time. Too bad I practically lost everything and all the “memories” that came with each post when the previous Bravenet shut down its servers.

> LESSON LEARNED: When you’re going to be posting things you want to keep for years to come, make sure you have a backup copy. For example, when you’re going to blog about something, save a copy of the content and photos in your Google account, Dropbox, laptop, and in your personal hard disk drive. This way, you’ll always have a copy.

THE SLAMBOOK PROJECT & WINNING ONLINE BLOGGING CONTESTS:

After I was forced to be confined at home because of my asthma and my low immune system in 2013, I decided to rediscover blogging via my blog, The Slambook Project. I used an online blogging platform that I fully trusted. This later on became a mistake and I had to pay for the consequences, which I will discuss later.

What I loved about The Slambook Project was the freedom to express my creativity and ideas freely. I blogged about movies and focused on providing my readers with lessons learned after watching the movie as well as providing them with character quotes and memes.

It was also then that I discovered Nuffnang Philippines when I saw a call for entries for their Air Asia contest on Facebook. Being born with a competitive spirit, I decided to join my very first blog contest. I was surprised when they announced the winners. It turned out that one of the Grand Prize winners was yours truly.

airasia-winner-joysofasia1

I did my best but wasn’t expecting to win the grand prize because I was a beginner and there were a lot of seasoned and popular bloggers that joined. I was just so happy and thankful to God that I won. It was then that I realized how fun blogging can be, at the same time, I can use my creativity to win exciting prizes. I also explored doing some caricature so that my blog is more enjoyable to read.

It was my very first blogging contest and winning it made it more special. In that contest, I won a trip for two to a local & an international destination.

I used the local flight to go to Boracay, where my husband and I got to enjoy a lot of fun activities such as parasailing, helmet diving, zipline, giant ball, etc.

joysofasia boracay

As for the international flight, we decided to visit Malaysia. In Malaysia, we stayed at the awesome 5-star Grand Hyatt Hotel, where the Petronas Tower was clearly viewable especially at night. I always imagined waking up to that view and Grand Hyatt definitely gave us a unique 5-star experience by giving us the room that had the best view of the Petronas Tower.

kuala-lumpur-petronas

They also provided us with a lot of tropical fruits and a complimentary Anniversary Cake because they found out during my reservation process that we were going to celebrate our Anniversary at their hotel. The amenities were superb and hands down, that hotel is definitely one of the best ones we’ve stayed in.

On our third day, we transferred to the Sunway Resort, another 5-star hotel in Malaysia. It was right next to the awesome Sunway Pyramid Mall which had this humongous pyramid and sphinx structures that made me feel like I was in Egypt.

sunway-pyramid-front-1080x717

joysofasia sunway pyramid

The 5-star Sunway Resort was a spectacle of its own with bright lights and disc-like structures and an African Safari theme on the facade that will definitely lure you in if you happened to pass by looking for a place to stay near the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. The stay there was definitely worth it. We felt like royalty walking in and checking in for the first time because of the ambiance and the spectacular facade. We couldn’t believe we stayed at such a posh place that looked more like a palace than a hotel from the outside.

sunway-resort

We picked the Sunway Resort because we just had to experience the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park and it has an adjoining gate that allows guests to go inside the Sunway Lagoon. Of course, you need to pay or have online booking before they allow you to completely enter the area. But just imagine the convenience of waking up, having breakfast and just walking towards the Sunway Lagoon to enjoy the day with your family and loved ones.

I just love Sunway Lagoon because it is theme park with rides for both adult and kids, it has a wildlife park with lots of animals, and it’s also a water park featuring the famous Vuvuzela. The Sunway Resort Hotel is also connected to it making it a 4-in-1 bang-for-buck family activity and staycation. The only downside is the theme park is so huge, it’s a must to travel in packs or at least have a waterproof cellphone per group in order to find each other.

joysofasia sunway

Sunway Resort has a breathtaking view upon entering the hotel entrance. It felt like we were going to check-in in a luxury hotel somewhere in Africa. It gives that African vibe similar to the hotel featured in the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie, Blended. To give you an idea, you can compare the photos below.

joysofasia sunway resort malaysia

Honestly, I am still dreaming of going to Africa and experience the Safaris and culture there. I am into wildlife photography but I’m just a beginner. To get an idea on my idea of wildlife photography, here’s one of my favorite photos that I took in the Singapore Zoo. I loved taking photos of this White Tiger and in the future, I hope to experience going to African Safaris.

ngapore-zoo-joysofasia

It is my dream to take photos of African Wildlife, maybe because it feels more authentic and breathtaking if the pictures taken are from the animals’ natural environment.

This is probably due to the National Geographic and other wildlife series that I kept watching on TV and online as a form of relaxation. Someday, after the pandemic is controlled, I hope to visit Africa. I have been searching and reading blogs of famous African bloggers to get an idea of how to maximize our travel to Africa in the future.

Immediately after winning the Air Asia Blogging Contest, I also won blogging contests sponsored by Timex, Sykes Asia, Hardy’s Wine, and Foton. The prizes ranged from money, laptops, tablets, etc. I also won in the Top 10 Emerging Influential bloggers in 2014.

There were contests wherein I thought out of the box and the client loved what I did. Shared below are the reasons why I won the Aion Plas Chamois Blogging contest. It was a contest that I accidentally stumbled upon while looking for new opportunities online.

aion-plas-chamois-1-1

aion-plas-chamois-2-1

There were even time when. I used caricatures to provide a different take on the item or product and it paid off well as I won the grand prize on both occasions.

First was with Timex, I drew known characters and even used some details from several movies.

timex2-joysofasia-1-768x760

Here are just some screenshots:

timex1-joysofasia-1

This next one was from the Foton Blogging competition. From the hundreds of entries, they chose only 11 winners and from the 11 winners who were invited to join in their event. From the 11 finalists, they would choose the grand prize winner. Little did I know I was the one who won. Nuffnang representatives kept asking me how long I’ve been blogging and I told them that I’ve just started. This was my second major win as a blogger and I was definitely in shock when I found out I was the winner during the event.

foton-joysofasia-1-1

This time, I took inspiration from the movie/cartoon series, Transformers. I include my inspiration below as well as my Foton version.

foton-joysofasia-2-1

I kept winning and I was really ecstatic and at that time, the blogging community for me was divided into three.

First was the bloggers who loved my ideas, techniques, and creativity. They are the ones who send me messages asking me about my blogging techniques. It was a bit overwhelming especially because I still considered myself a beginner and didn’t want the success to get into my head. The second group of bloggers hated me because I won frequently while the third group didn’t know about me because they belonged to the top tier so to speak.

I was kind of happy while it lasted and after winning consecutively, that’s when it happened. A hacker attacked my blog. I had a backup so I just kept on re-uploading the content however, after some time, I couldn’t upload it anymore since I was denied access so that’s when I temporarily quit blogging.

> LESSON LEARNED: Always have a backup plan because not every day will be okay. There are people who would do anything to remove their competition so always improve your defense and back-up plans.

COMEBACK & A NEW BLOG CALLED JOYSOFASIA.COM:

After almost 2 years, I decided to create a new blog. This time, I didn’t use an online blogging platform. Instead, I purchased my own domain and subscribed to a web hosting site so I can do multiple backups. I learned my lesson because online platforms are just temporary.

Even Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok, and other social media platforms are temporary. We’re not sure when they’ll shut down or cease their operations. Once they do, it’s difficult to save all progress, photos, and videos uploaded. At least when I have my own stuff, I can post anything and have the backup saved safely online as well.

With Joysofasia.com, I was able to rake in more sponsorships care of Nuffnang Philippines. There were also several blog entries that went viral and shared by lots of netizens. The top 3 include blog posts about Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (a Korean drama that featured IU and Lee Joon Gi), the comparison between Coco and the Book of Life (an animated movie), and the Train to Busan blog post.

Armed with my new blog, I was able to win more blogging competitions and contests online.

nuffnangph winner joysofasia

Here is a partial list of some of the contests that I’ve won and top brands that I’ve worked with.

A-Plus Paints (paint)

Aion Plas Chamois (product)

Air Asia (airline)

Fern-C (vitamins/health)

Foton – Rev up Your Ride (vehicle brand)

Galleon Philippines (website)

Hardy’s Wine (wine)

Lazada via iPrice (buy and sell app)

Opensnap (online application)

Oppo (popular smartphone brand)

Sky Cable

SM Supermalls (mall)

Sykes Asia (callcenter company)

Timex (luxury brand: watches)

Uskoop (website)

Viva Films (movie producer)

Companies that I worked with in terms of ideation and product development are:

Budweiser (alcoholic beverage)

Coca-cola (beverage)

Harbin (alcoholic beverage)

Lazada via iPrice (buy and sell app)

Mcdonald’s (fast food)

Metamucil (supplement)

Aside from the actual blogging, I also enjoyed covering events, product launching, blogcons, etc.

coverage apaint babes joysofasia

The other highlight of my career as a blogger is my winning the iPrice.ph blogging contest, wherein aside from the prize, I was presented with an award.

iprice2017 winner joysofasia

Another highlight was winning the Top prize for Oppo Content Scholar in 2018, wherein the announcement was made during Nuffnang’s Blogopolis 2018. It was the last Blogopolis so winning there meant so much to me since Nuffnang was a big part of my life as a blogger.

nuffnang-oppo winner joysofasia

And then it ended… in late 2018, Nuffnang ceased its operations in the Philippines. This was the saddest news I’ve received so far.

THE FALL AND RISING UP TO THE NEW CHALLENGE:

Unfortunately, in 2018, Nuffnang closed down and was discontinued so there was no more company that handled bloggers and social media influencers that can be trusted and were definitely impartial when it comes to blogging contests in the Philippines.

There are a few who tried to take the empty spot left by Nuffnang but some of them just don’t quite fit the bill. Nuffnang gave opportunities to bloggers and social media influencers to have sponsors, attend awesome events and conventions, and win exciting prizes in blogging contests.

Though we have to accept the sad fact that Nuffnang Philippines is no more, there is a flicker of hope for bloggers like me.

I was lucky enough to find INTELLIFLUENCE, which was actually better than Nuffnang because the sponsorship is international which means clients are not limited to just the Philippines. This is good because bulk (around 70%) of my readers and web visitors are from the United States and other countries.

So if you have a blog, social media sites, or planning to create a blog of your own, make sure to register on their website and take advantage of the opportunities. You have the option to choose which campaigns you want to join and all requirements are quite easy to do. They also feature social media influencers every now and then, which is an awesome opportunity to reach more sponsors and potential readers, and web visitors.

REDISCOVERING MY BLOGGING GROOVE:

I was supposed to relaunch my blog in 2019, however, due to being busy with other important things, I pushed the relaunch to 2020. That’s when the pandemic happened and I had to readjust my priorities so I rescheduled the redesign and relaunch this year.