Pursuing Your Dreams Regardless of Age & Breaking Standards #ArielFearlessFilipinas

All my life my perception of happiness & success is getting a stable, full-time job at a prestigious company after graduating from college. My plan was to study without delays, graduate on time and obtain a degree, look for a stable job, find a man to marry and have lots of babies before I reach the age of 27. It's what most parents and grandparents expects us to do right? Immediately after graduation, I got hired by one of the top banks in the country as a teller. Read on to know more...

As an excited and overwhelmed fresh graduate, I thought this is how I would be able to reach my dreams-- by working in a stable and prestigious company. The screening process was like going through the eye of a needle. I had to go through a 4 part elimination type examination and 3 rounds of interview including a panel to get the job. I was assigned in BPI Pasig Capitolyo, one of the busiest branches and where taking a quick bathroom break meant death stares from clients waiting in line. Haha.  

After a year of counting other people's money and living on a 4-figure paycheck, I realized it was not the job for me, that I could do more. Just sitting there all day, caged, typing account numbers, counting other people's money and having to stay silent while I'm at it was no match to my zest and energy. So, I resigned.

I decided to spread my wings and apply at a known retail department store chain as an Assistant Category Officer. This time I was offered a bigger salary and a position that fits my personality. My job in retail was super fun and challenging. I think it was the job that really helped me grow and mature as a professional and as a person. It is also where all my other skills, abilities, capabilities and strengths were honed. Not to mention, where I discovered my personal style and my fondness in fashion and shopping. But after almost 2 years, I felt like I was stuck and needed more financial freedom and growth. So I took my friend's advice and applied to Branders.com, an American company specializing in promotional giveaways with an office here in Manila.  

I got hired as a Merchandising Assistant and got offered a very competitive compensation package which only got better after a few months and years. We worked at night but the job was easy, the pay was good and the people I worked with all became my close friends. Some I already know from my Robinsons job. I got promoted twice (to Category Supervisor & then Marketing Executive) and got rewarded with bonuses and also an increase in salary. 

Merchandising Department

Marketing Department

It was when and where I discovered my love for blogging, online buying & selling and taking outfit photos! I would post & share them on international sites like Chictopia and Lookbook.nu which were very popular back then. 
After a few months, I picked up a few readers and also received words of encouragement from all places. During my free time I also worked on my online shopping site, Archive Clothing on Multiply and Ebay. Fun times!

My blog! It started as a personal diary for my eyes only and shared it only with some close friends. :)

I also had a small only business called Archive Clothing where I sold vintage & pre-loved altered clothes:)

 Blast from the past! Haha

 And then, blogging and social media started to pick up and sparked some interest. I would endlessly browse through different blogs and social media sites and got inspired to create my own. I also got more interested in fashion to the point of considering it as a possible career. After weeks of soul searching and countless debates with myself, I finally took the biggest leap of my life. After 3 years of working in this comfortable place, and with a heart full of hope (and also fear), I left the corporate world and started chasing after my dreams. And I haven't looked back ever since. Best decision of my life. :) 

I'd be honest, I was scared out of my wits. I didn't know what to expect or what will happen after leaving this wonderful job that pays my bills. I had enough savings to get me through a few months but what if I fail? What if all falls apart? I was also already in my mid-twenties and my "expectations" as to the life I was supposed have and be living was still far-fetched.  

Before resigning, I made sure I had a backup plan and that came in the form of a full-time online job as a virtual assistant for an SEO company based in New York. Gotta pay the bills! Haha. So I worked at night and studied Styling at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines while working on my blog and online store during the day. It was very tiring but I have never felt more alive. I was finally doing the things I was passionate about without forgetting my responsibilities as an adult, of course. 

Got awarded as Chictopia Style Icon a few months after resigning! What a blessing. It only got better afterwards. 

My career as a blogger took off, as well as in styling. And I thank God everyday for the opportunities and the kind people I've met and continue to meet along the way who has all been instrumental in my continuous search for MY OWN happiness & success. Fast forward to now, 8 years later, I am still working freelance as a blogger, sometimes PR coordinator, events organizer for Bloggers United and fashion stylist! I feel so blessed to have worked with numerous brands for shoots and for my blog. 

 Mango Styled By Series

 Cosmopolitan Russia feature

 Zalora Pop-Up

 SM Style Hunt

We've had 12 successful Bloggers United event! Yipee!

 Album shoot of the iconic, Mr. David Pomeranz

 Rusty Lopez campaign shoot with JC De Vera

 Music video shoot of my favorite, my sis Kyla!

 Maybelline digital video shoot

Music video shoot with Ken Chan. Thanks always to Ms. Ethel for my Polyeast Records rakets!:)

My client til now, the Divine Diva Ms. ZsaZsa Padilla

 Also, Ms. Vina Morales:)

I also style for publications sometimes! Here's one from Sense & Style :)

 My favorite is styling for prenuptial / engagement shoots!

 Engagement stylist at work hihi

 Julie Ann San Jose for YSA

 Sam Milby for Unisilver Time a few years ago

 Also styled the whole Spongecola for Unisilver Time!

And Karylle:)

There are still so much to share but we'll run out of space and time. Hihi. For almost 9 years now, this is what I've been doing everyday and although stressful and extremely tiring, it's all worth it. I have never been happier and fulfilled. :) Insert my random travels which I am able to do because of my work and schedule. If I haven't taken that leap years ago, I would still be in a world I will never be completely happy in. My Mom still send me messages once in a while asking me to find a high-paying corporate job with nice benefits. For my future, she says. I understand her intentions, but I can't ever imagine going back to that place. I know being a freelancer is a huge risk, but that's what life is all about right? :) Now, I am in the process of opening up 2 businesses and I can't wait to share them with you soon! Wish me luck, please? And pray for me! :)

Just keep moving. If you encounter roadblocks, just work your way around it. :) No way to go but UP! :)

But I also want to share with you all another kind of fearlessness and courage I face everyday--- the pressure of finally settling down and having children. It's incalculable how many times I got asked and questioned when I'm planning to get married and if I plan to bear children anytime soon. I've always been vocal of my stand on this but not everyone gets it. I guess we all just have our own ideals and standards when it comes to life. It's kinda amusing seeing people's reactions whenever I tell them I am not yet ready to tie myself down (maybe ever?) and it is not my priority to procreate. I get that I am not getting any younger (I am turning 34 this year but I feel like 23 haha) and like what most of you told me, "my biological clock is ticking", but I don't think I will ever be ready. 

Me at the Coldplay concert last month in Singapore!

I still have so many things I want to do and accomplish, places to go to, things to build, etc. Some may think it's a little selfish, but it is my choice. Just like how some of you chose to build a family and raise children. There are just some people who are not domesticated. Like me. Haha. I guess times are really changing, and with it, us. In these modern times, I admire women who go after what they want, live their own lives, set their own bars, do things for the betterment of others, promotes respect and kindness and consistently evolve without feeling pressured or dictated upon by society's norms and standards. Rise up, speak your minds, do what you think is best for you. You are no longer bounded by limits they have set before. There is no time limit to going after your passion. I did it when I was 26! Whether you're married, single, childless or a mom of 4, each of you is a success story. Share it! :)


With this, I would like to share with you 100 Fearless Filipinas who were recognized by Ariel (including me! Yay!) last Women's Month. Each of them has their own strengths and Ariel celebrates each and everyone of them-- flaws and all. Just like Ariel that could remove 100 stains in one wash, these women have bravely faced challenges in their lives and overcame them. I hope I am able to inspire you to be the best version of yourselves and to go after your dreams regardless of age or status in life. Remove 100 stains in 1 wash and be fearless in facing any challenge that might come your way with the new Ariel. Don't settle because girls, you deserve the best. :)

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1 comment :

  1. Super happy with all your achievements and growth! :) To more success!


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