The Blissmakerie 2016: Beautiful Businesses

Collaboration, inspiration, new friends, and more. That’s the Blissmakerie.

Blissmakerie

What’s the Blissmakerie? In the words of its founder, Martine de Luna of makeitblissful.com, it “is a gathering of creative, bliss-making women — bloggers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs — who believe in authentic community and collaboration.”

the inspiring Martine de Luna of makeitblissful.com

the inspiring Martine de Luna of makeitblissful.com

I first discovered it in 2014 through my most favorite blogger Patty Laurel (I’ve read and continues to read every. single. blog. entry. she posted since 2010 and counting!) when she wrote about the very first Blissmakerie. Back then, it was exclusive to people invited by Martine herself. Fast forward this year, several Blissmakeries have already been open to the public for a fee. So when I found out about this year’s event, I didn’t think twice about attending! I immediately signed up. Haha.

This was my second time to attend a Martine-hosted event (the first was Blog : Inspired back in 2014), and the theme of the Blissmakerie I’ve attended last month (there’s a different theme per event) was “Beautiful Businesses.” It was held at a very Instagram-worthy location: La Creperie in Salcedo, Makati. 🙂

Blissmakerie

Blissmakerie

Blissmakerie

From the moment I read what it was all about, I knew that I wanted it. Although I’m very much happy and satisfied with my current day job (at my dream workplace nonetheless! hehe!), I’ve always dreamed of owning businesses, too. I already have several ideas on my mind about what businesses I’d like to have in the future, and attending the Blissmakerie encouraged me more to pursue ’em — just like the special guests.

The special guests — Maricel Mendoza of A Sweet Cottage and Maggie Leather Crafts, sisters Steph and Lady Badoy of Boqueria Lifestyle Market (they styled the actual event!), and Kim Tiam Lee of Pulseras by Kim (who’s my instant newfound friend! Hi Kim!!!) — all have businesses that started as hobbies/passions.

Maricel of "A Sweet Cottage" and "Maggie Leather Crafts"

Maricel of “A Sweet Cottage” and “Maggie Leather Crafts”

Steph and Lady of "Boqueria Lifestyle Market"

Steph and Lady of “Boqueria Lifestyle Market”

Kim of "Pulseras by Kim"

Kim of “Pulseras by Kim”

It’s empowering, at the same time heartwarming, to know that more and more women have the chance to pursue their passions, turn these passions into businesses, collaborate, and then repeat!

As a millennial myself, meeting Kim was extra special because I could relate to her more, and she really inspired me. She’s a full-time architect and a jewelry maker both at the same time! I’ve always believed that quitting one’s day job (especially if you love it, as is my case) isn’t necessary to pursue other passions — including running a business. It’s always a choice (and mad time management skills, of course!). So Kim, marami pa talaga tayong pag-uusapan! Hahaha!

millennial blissmakers represent! (L-R: Kim, yours truly, Tiffy - thanks for this photo!, and RJ with her baby)

millennial blissmakers represent! (L-R: Kim, yours truly, Tiffy – thanks for this photo!, and RJ with her baby)

Anyway, another thing I love about the Blissmakerie is the Blissful Box! 😉

my Blissful Box...

my Blissful Box…

Every Blissmakerie ain’t complete without it. For each event, Martine and her team collate different brands (some are collaborators), which they think the attendees will love! They were right! I love each item in my own box!!!

...and its contents!

…and its contents!

(For the complete list of brands, click HERE.)

The Blissmakerie 2016 attendees (photo courtesy of Maricel Mendoza)

The Blissmakerie 2016 attendees (photo courtesy of Maricel Mendoza)

goal: to be a blissmaker in my own little way <3

goal: to be a blissmaker in my own little way ❤

And that’s pretty much it! As always, I hope you can also attend a Blissmakerie (or any Martine-hosted event for that matter!). I promise, they’re always pretty, inspiring, and of course, BLISSFUL!!! 😀

Are YOU Ready for May 9, 2016?

Are You Ready for May 9?

Six years ago, I voted for the first time, and I voted for someone I thought would be a great leader for the Philippines. I’ve even attended his miting de avance (see photo above). Heck, I even voted for his Vice President (VP) — even though a lot of people told me it would be “a waste of my vote” because he was a celebrity and inexperienced in politics. I still voted for my President’s VP thinking that since my presidential candidate chose to be “partners” with him, then my candidate saw him as the “best” person he could run the Philippines with. Why vote for someone who doesn’t share the same “vision and mission” of my President, right? But that was in 2010.

For my non-Filipino friends reading this, my President and VP back in 2010 were Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Eduardo “Edu” Manzano respectively. They both lost, by the way.

But even if they both lost, I don’t have any regrets. I don’t regret voting for them because in a way, I proved to myself that I could stand for what I believed in, regardless if many people were against my decision/s or told me otherwise.

Of course some will say that “standing for what I believe in” is also a dangerous mantra, especially if it’s something “wrong” in other people’s eyes. That’s where discernment comes in. And it’s always a case-to-case basis. I’m only talking about the elections here, capisce?

So yes, a couple of days from now (May 9, 2016), Filipinos will once again choose “leaders” who they think will bring the Philippines “improvement.” This is probably the first time I said anything about the 2016 Philippine elections (at least publicly), and man, I’m not liking the way how things have been diirrrty and uuugly.

Unlike in other countries who “benefit” from a two-party system, in the Philippines, that’s the exact opposite. Currently, we have five presidential candidates — and these five also endorse their own vice presidential candidates (unlike in other countries that whoever wins as President, his Vice President of choice automatically runs the country with him). So yes, you can say that Filipino voters carry a lot of “election weight” on their shoulders. Given the number of candidates, it’s also no wonder why the Philippines is now “divided we stand, united we fall.” 😦

We’re all divided right now because of the different candidates we support. Check at least the social media feed of one Filipino (voter or not), and there’s at least one election-related post. Some even became “friends to enemies” without realizing that at the end of election day, whichever candidates win, we’re all going to either rise or fall as one nation. And then these people will think, WAS ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA DRAMA WORTH IT?! Let me be the one to answer that: NO!

It’s clear that WE, Filipinos, are NOT yet ready for May 9. Or maybe that’s just me. But since we don’t have any choice, we must act on that day.

Coincidentally, May 9 is also the death anniversary of my mother. This year’s election day marks the Philippines’ 16th presidential election, and also the 13th year I’ve learned to live without my beloved mother. And although the pain of losing a loved one, especially a parent, never really goes away, I can at least continue to try to honor them.

Right now, one of the ways I can honor them is to fight for what I believe is right — just like how my parents raised me. I’m not gonna bash other candidates. I’m not gonna fight with my family and friends who will vote for other candidates I’m not voting for. I’m not gonna try to “convince” another person to vote for my candidate/s; that’s the candidate’s job. (Who are we to think that we’re better than others just because they want to vote for a different President/candidate? Don’t you think that doing so just makes you the “worse” person, trying to hold their free will and whatnot? So just don’t.) Heck, I’m not even gonna “blame” the next leaders of this country if the Philippines doesn’t change (and God forbid, gets worse!).

All I’m gonna do on May 9 is exercise my right to choose and vote. After that, I’ll continue to try to be a better person (and not just “a better Filipino”) than I was yesterday.

me, after voting in 2010

me, after voting in 2010

I’ll start by NOT throwing trash at inappropriate places. Simple, but effective. Maybe you have a different idea, and that’s okay. But come to think of it, maybe we should exert more energy on tackling climate change considering how HOT it has been in the Philippines lately. (Now don’t say that that’s probably a reason why people are also hot-headed these days. Seriously, how do you expect the Philippines to change for the better if YOU can’t change for the better?!)

For what it’s worth, I’m voting for a female presidential candidate. There are only two of them, but I’m still choosing not to disclose who. What for? Even if you knew and try to convince me to think otherwise, I won’t budge.

I’ve already decided who I’m gonna vote for this coming May 9, albeit not being “ready” in the broadest sense of the word.

How about YOU, my fellow Filipino voter???

#BlogInspired

Last month (or shall I say “last year”? Haha!), I was able to attend a very “blissful” event called Blog : Inspired (How to Blog with a Purpose & a Mission).

(photo courtesy of Share Movement's Facebook page)

(photo courtesy of Share Movement’s Facebook page)

The event was actually a blogging (obviously! 😛 ) workshop made possible by Share Movement‘s Jam Pangilinan and MakeItBlissful.com‘s Martine De Luna (who also happens to be the blog coach of my personal blogger idol, Patty Laurel! #starstruck)

with Martine and Jam :) (photo courtesy of Share Movement's Facebook page)

with Martine and Jam 🙂 (photo courtesy of Share Movement’s Facebook page)

I’m actually fond of attending workshops (I consider them intangible personal “investments”), but what made this event stand out from the rest was the fact that it donated its proceeds to Joseph Feeding Mission (JFM).

The session was started by Jam, who told us the whole the story behind JFM. And for someone who admitted that she’s into photography more than speaking in front of an audience, her introduction was really something because it really opened my eyes to the current situation of our brothers and sisters in need. 😐 Good thing there are people like her who thought (and continue to think) of ways to help those in need in their own special ways.

After that blissful intro, it was Martine‘s (the “bliss maker” herself) turn to inspire. 😀

I won’t dwell on the details anymore just in case you plan to attend a blissful blogging workshop in the future… but this, I’ll tell you. In that “crash course” on blissful blogging, I learned three main things (and more!):

  • There’s more to blogging than just “promoting” something.

These days, blogs have become important marketing tools for different companies and whatnot. And there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, we’re at a time when social media is slowly becoming a “necessity” already, regardless of age (okay, maybe 1 to 92 only! Or maybe not! Haha!). But are we sure that we’re blogging because it’s really our passion? Are our blog posts inspiring our readers or the complete opposite? Worse, do our blog posts NOT make them feel anything at all? As in blah, nada?

Simply put, there’s more to blogging than being used for marketing purposes. Sure, with the rise of “celebrity bloggers,” it’s natural for them to get endorsements here and there. Who doesn’t want that, right? If I were to have a site partner or sponsor, I’d be really delighted! But at the end of the day, we have to make sure that we stick to the “original purpose” on WHY we started blogging in the first place.

For me, that’s WRITING. I wanted an outlet to express my thoughts and “practice” my God-given talent, as well as inspire people along the way. With or without endorsements, I know that I’ll continue to do this. 🙂 And I may still have a long way to go in honing my chosen craft and passion (push lang ng push even if I feel like I’m starting to get rusty at it!), but hey, that just makes my whole “writing” journey all the more fun! Heehee! DIBA?!

(photos courtesy of Share Movement‘s Facebook page)

  • I’ll never get tired of learning (or re-learning) things and meeting new people.

And that’s why I love attending workshops! 😀

When I attended Blog : Inspired, I’ve already been blogging (though not consistently) for several years already. But it was only during the workshop when I re-learned what blissful blogging is all about.

The best part? I got to meet new people (my fellow attendees) who share the same yearning as mine, as well as gained new “life pegs” — Jam (for her passion in feeding the hungry — not just hungry for food, but hungry for the Lord too!) and of course, Martine (for her “blissful blogging” advocacy and others; know this, she turns down event invites if she feels like that doesn’t go hand-in-hand with what her blog’s all about).

(photos courtesy of Share Movement‘s Facebook page)

  • Generosity goes a long way.

Like I mentioned earlier, proceeds of this event benefited JFM. 🙂 But of course, the entire success of this event wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the generous enterprises that made the entire session more exciting! I, myself, brought home some goodies. As Jam said, everything’s just connected. We paid for the workshop, the proceeds went to JFM, but each participant still got to bring home something — all thanks to the generosity of others, too! Isn’t that amazing? Generosity does go a long way, and I hope and pray we continue to “pay it forward.”

You can check out the complete list of the event’s partners/sponsors by visiting Share Movement‘s Facebook page or Martine‘s blog. 😉

(photo courtesy of Share Movement's Facebook page)

(photo courtesy of Share Movement’s Facebook page)

I really hope YOU could attend a future Blog : Inspired session, too, one day. 🙂

Thanks again to my fellow attendees, Jam, and Martine!

(photo courtesy of Share Movement's Facebook page)

(photo courtesy of Share Movement’s Facebook page)

 Indeed, this whole blissful event has made me very much inspired. #BlogInspired 😉