“It’s 10:00 pm and I still have a lot of work to finish,” I thought to myself. It’s a Friday night and here I am still updating the second of two articles that I have to finish writing about. I’m tired, but I still have a long way to go. Why didn’t that Cafe Latte with non-fat milk and 2 Splenda packets help? It may have been because I had to get up early to go to work a tad bit before 8:00 am today to finish a power point presentation.

I have been a professional blogger since 2008. What is a pro-blogger, some of you may ask? Basically, I am a blogger, who is fortunate enough to earn from this activity. This started as a hobby, but eventually, I got to earn from advertisers. It’s not bad actually. You get to earn from the thing that you love doing the most. Also, there are a lot of perks. I spend time updating a couple of sites, but I do get invited to cover events, get samples of products that I have the opportunity to try out FIRST and get to eat at restaurants for free. Not bad right?

I’m sure those of you reading this would think that we have got it all easy. I recall what my mom would tell me when we encounter bad service… “tell them you’re a blogger and that you’ll write about them, so they would give you better service.” I wish I had the confidence to do that! I’m all for equality and what is right, but I am a little more discreet in my lack of satisfaction for disappointing service. I’d take out a rate sheet from the pile of papers in the counter, and go wild with writing my concerns and rants.

But yes, others do use their “blogger powers”. I guess I am not that vocal about being a pro-blogger. I think this stems from my own confusion on how to introduce myself to others since I have, (hmmm, how shall I say it?) a day job and a lot of part-time jobs and activities. I have an 8:30 am to 5:30 pm job. Yes, not all of us are Anton Diaz’s or Lori Baltazar’s nor Tricia Gosingtian’s or Cecile Van Straten’s (although, believe me, we all wish we were them!). Some of us still have day jobs, like moi!

I am a banker by day. I create bank products under the Transaction banking product development unit of a universal bank. My job requires me to think about business models, marketing strategies, operational processes, cost and pricing, and use acronyms not known to many like ADBs, MPRs, PPRs, TPRs, etc. etc. etc. It’s quite a fun job! And the stress levels? Pretty high actually. I get up in the morning, do my usual routine. Get to work by 8:15 am. I then create processes, call different units. Talk about technical stuff with our IT team. Call partners. Discuss strategies with business units. Present to bosses and sometimes even to the Board of Directors. Go to client meetings. Revise processes. Rethink pricing. Suggest ways to cut costs. Then go home at 5:30 pm.

I really have to go home by five thirty, since at this time, usually from 5:30pm to 8:00 pm, I meet up with clients, partners, and other people who I deal with for my other sources of income. I really sometimes have to literally run to meetings just to make it on time. It doesn’t help that my bag has a camera, my make up stuff, high-heeled shoes that I normally remove to exchange for a pair of flats in the evening, my iPad for note taking and my ‘baonan’. I also have my work laptop in case I need to finish something for work in the evening.

I would rush to different meetings. One would be for a business that I started with a partner called Hot Young Designers. We are supporting the young fashion designers of the country by helping them create their own collections. We help them financially and we also help them build a portfolio. The idea is ‘sort of similar’ to fashion reality shoes, but not televised, prolonged and closer to ‘real life’ (I suppose). We also teach them about business and marketing so as to help them in their future endeavors.

I also meet with clients to help them run digital marketing campaigns. Yes, I am also a social media consultant. I help brands create effective campaigns that would help them increase brand awareness.

I also have this new venture called Manila Workshops, where I organize weekend or one day workshops to help young entrepreneurs get started on that profession or business that they are eyeing. I have helped speakers arrange videography workshops, make up workshops, etc.

When I get home at 9:00 pm, I eat dinner, and then jump into writing articles for this blog and the other blogs that we have. Honestly so, sometimes it gets to be mechanical. We write articles, just so that we get to have updates on our blog. At times, even if we are tired, we really write from the heart (just like this one). These are the realities of being a part time blogger and a full time employee.

People think that everything comes easy for those who have the power of the ‘pen’ or the ‘keyboard’ in this case, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. We have to fulfill these different duties and we have to do both jobs or all of these jobs well. We have to deliver as we have committed.

Sometimes, I wonder, why do I put myself in this position. Sometimes, I think of just stopping — just lay down and watch TV and never check emails, comments in our blog or even dare to reply to clients and inquiries. But that’s just it. I can’t stop. I can’t stop because I love what I do. I love creating products during the day. I love creating solutions for our bank clients. At night, I love interacting with readers of my blog. I love giving them insights on what’s new and what’s hot in the Philippines. I love experiencing new things and going to new places to write about them. I love helping others through the workshops that I get to organize. I love meeting new people and helping new companies market their brands. I just love what I do.

It’s true that when you have passion for what you do, nothing can stop you.

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