Category Archives: Advocacy

Finding My Own Place in the Blogging World

I started blogging more than ten years ago to share bits and pieces of information about HIV/AIDS.

My husband encouraged me to set up a blog to post the news and feature articles I wrote for a daily publication. Those articles were mostly about People Living with HIV/AIDS or PLWHAs. During those times, fewer materials about PLWHAs are available on the Internet due to privacy issues.

Because I was a newbie in the blogging platform, I searched for other blogs/bloggers who may share the same interests. While lurking, I stumble on mommy blogs. One blog features photos of kids following a weekly theme. I thought it was cute and decided to join the “meme” by sharing my kids’ pictures on the blog. I had fun because I look forward to interacting with fellow mommies every week.

Earn online

While interacting with other bloggers, I’ve learned that I can earn online. So I started signing up for various companies that pay bloggers for writing articles.

In 2010, I bought my first domain to earn more online. New friends were supportive to help me set up a blog with a nice layout. I’m still thankful to them for all the help they’ve extended to me. The other mommy friends helped me with the technical stuff and offered a hosting service for my first blog.

They’re the same friends who shared referrals to paying sites and direct advertisers. I was able to generate funds from the passive income. It was a big help for a single-income family like mine.

Brand ambassador

In 2012, I became part of a campaign that assists people to lose weight. Thanks to mommy friends who recommended me to join the weight loss challenge. Overall, it was a nerve-wracking but productive experience. I believe it was the peak of my blogging journey to date. I’ve met a lot of interesting people behind the blogs.

I guess I share the same sentiments with influencer Amy West when she recalls her experiences with brand partnerships. Amy travels a lot. She promotes brands and writes blogs while traveling to various places.  

I didn’t win the weight loss challenge, but I learned to take care of my health. I continue to exercise and mind my food intake.

Blog coverage

The blog exposure somewhat allowed me to cover events. I was lucky to attend a few, a Family Day in an exclusive school for girls; green social enterprises in a municipality in Metro Manila; and an art exhibit by human rights activists. The coverages brought back the memories I had as a reporter.

There were opportunities to review certain products. The good thing about blogging is that you can express your honest opinion about the product. For me, blogging plays a significant role in the promotion of new merchandise in the market. Potential consumers can easily access product reviews online and decide if they will buy the product or not.

Blogging onward

I have been in this business for more than a decade now. I can’t say I’ve made a mark in the blogging world because I’m an ordinary blogger with no accolades or large following. I’m happy enough to share the side of an introverted mommy blogger.

What keeps me motivated to continue blogging these days is a personal goal. You see, my son is in the last two years of college, and I rely on the income I get from blogging and online gigs.

Advocacy

I have mentioned sharing about PLWHAs stories in my other blogs. I believe the stories of real people living with HIV/AIDS will help raise awareness about the public health threat among vulnerable populations. 

International Women’s Day 2021

Happy International Women’s Day!

Cheers to the working women; mommies at home, mommy blogger friends, mommies in the corporate world; and single ladies (including my young adult daughter) out there!

Photo by Valentina Conde on Unsplash

I don’t have many pictures to share to commemorate the occasion. I’m happy to share a few that I was able to save from my computer. I actually retrieved them from my blog’s FB page.

These pictures were taken during the Villar Foundation-Green Enterprises Tour in Las Piñas in 2012. It’s one of the coverages I’ve done as a blogger.

Kudos to these women for thriving. Despite the difficulty of their jobs, they are proud to earn for their loved ones.

Basket weaving. She weaved the dry water hyacinths stalks to create this basket.

Water hyacinth was once tagged as aquatic pests as it clogs the river and serves as the breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes, but for the men and women of Las Piñas, water hyacinth is a source of income. Las Piñas has four weaving centers to date.

Twining coconut fiber. Finished coco nets are used for slope protection and control soil erosion.

Fiber can also be used as mattress filler and briquette holder for plants. Coco nets are being used by Las Piñas City and private developers.

Handloom weaving. Fine blankets are distributed as part of relief goods during natural disasters.

The handloom weaving began several years ago in Las Piñas is helping at least 20 families. There are 17 machines found in 5 barangays that produce 800 blankets a month. Each worker earns P65 per finished blanket. (I haven’t had an update on this yet. I hope the program still employs more women.)

These women believed in the virtue of diligence and hard work. They were happy to share that anyone can earn a decent living from segregated and recycled waste materials.

Some unforgettable stories I posted in my other blog, www.penname30.com

Meanwhile, this is me, when I was working as a reporter for People’s Tonight. I was interviewing a young girl for my story. I had good memories of doing my job to the best of my abilities. Happy International Women’s Day to all!

(This post originally appeared on http://www.momwritesforacause.com/international-womens-day-photos/)

Bioengineering

I’m glad to have stumbled upon this photo posted by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar on his Facebook page in July. The photo showed a segment of Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

According to Sec. Villar, coco net, and vetiver grass are being utilized in the 11-km segment of TPLEX to prevent soil erosion. The photo also carries hashtags #BuildBuildBuild and #Bioengineering.

DPWH Sec. Mark Villar photo

According to Wikipedia, bioengineering means the application of principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create usable, tangible, economically-viable products.

Sun-dried coconut halves

In 2012, we were able to observe how coco nets are developed in Las Piñas. The intricate process includes, drying up coconut halves; decorticating the husks; twining the fibers; finally weaving the net.

The tour at the green social enterprises in Las Piñas was made possible by the Villar Foundation.

Decorticating machine separates coco fibers from coconut husk

Twining and weaving nets from coconut husks are just one of the social enterprises of the foundation. The other livelihood projects include handloom weaving, house waste composting, vermin composting, producing hollow blocks from trash, and crafting baskets from water hyacinths.

Worker separates fiber for twining

The development of these livelihood projects was an offshoot of an endeavor to clean and revive the Las Pinas-Zapote River.

The husks not thrown on the river were left on the sidewalks, and the city had to spend more to haul the garbage. Trash collectors failed to collect sacks of coconut husk, so they end up polluting the river.

Twining the coconut fibers to create ropes

Mrs. (now Senator) Cynthia Villar, managing director of the Villar Foundation, met with experts from the Bicol University for the Coco Coir technology; to address the growing problem with uncollected coconut husks.

Twines are weaved in the loom to create nets

Dr. Justino Arboleda, an agricultural engineer, designed the machinery to make the coco-net. Coco Coir Enterprise utilizes coconut husk and converts them into a coco net.

Finished coco nets are being used for slope protection and control soil erosion. Las Piñas City and private developers use coco nets in various projects.

Congratulations Sec. Villar, for implementing the #bioengineering techniques to assist in the #BuildBuildBuild program of the government. This sure saves a lot of government fundings.