5 Filipinas on Creative Ways to Make a Living
Everyone needs to find ways to make ends meet. Read about these five women who inspire creativity through the odd jobs they take on, and what it means to make a living creatively.
When the hustle culture kicked in, singular jobs became outdated. In the last few years, workplaces became more flexible, aspirations grew bigger, and expenses became larger – meeting these changes and demands meant finding new ways to make a living. From taking on multiple roles to discovering passive resources and profiting from passion projects, these five Filipinas are showing creative ways to get that coin – and thrive. After all, is beneficial for your well-being.
1. Create a New Demand
When the lockdown happened, Alex Natividad, a marketing director for a wedding events company, found herself pursuing a concept she put on the back burner years earlier. Her brainchild, Celebrity Greetings.ph, lets customers book celebrities to record personal shoutouts. Alex built it from the ground up, from making cold calls to pitching to potential partners.
“We’ve always wanted to try this business for years, but we didn't have the guts and the time to start it. We were always saying that we should do it, but it never materialized,” Alex explains. After a bridal fair scheduled for May 2020 got postponed, she realized it might take a while for the wedding industry to pick up again. By June, her new business was up and running.
“I think this new business helped me get through the quarantine,” says Alex. My wedding industry job was at an all-time low, and all my hobbies required going out, so this project motivated me every day to get up, work hard, and stop feeling down despite the difficult situation.”
2. Merge Your Passions
Karen Arguelles became an online seller in 2019, peddling foldable play mats and other baby items under the banner Toys and Tots PH. Her inspiring story, posted on the Facebook group Madiskarte Moms PH, was not a walk in the park. “I must admit, it wasn’t an easy journey, especially at first when you had to make your starting business/brand known from scratch. But since ginusto ko ’to (I wanted this), I have to make it work and have more patience, of course,” she says.
But despite the challenges, Karen believes passion as a starting point is necessary to succeed. “Para hindi mo feel na (so you don’t feel as if) you’re working,” she declares. “You’ve got to love what you’re doing para may foundation ka na (so you set a good foundation). Then to follow, of course, ang sales/revenue.”
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3. Use Your Organizational Skills
After film school, Tess Rivera landed a job as a wardrobe master for Discovery Channel. There, she met producer Inky Nakpil who introduced her to “fixing” or helping foreign productions with their logistical needs (permits, press passes, translations, finding contributors, scheduling, sourcing equipment, transport arrangements, accommodations, cargo assistance, fielding local crews). Tess reluctantly took the job and, shortly after, landed her first assignment with a production crew to film a documentary in an actual prison, where she had to stay for a whole month.
“It was a scary but very fulfilling experience, and so I carried on being a fixer. It was a matter of meeting the right people at the right time,” Tessa recounts. Despite being in a less-than-ideal work environment for her first project, she says the best part of the job is the diversity of the exciting locations she ends up in – mountains, beaches, factories, deserted islands, volcanoes, and even landfills.
Working as a fixer isn’t for everyone. It requires dedication and grit. “Since our crew is based abroad, they usually stay in the country for extended periods to make sure they get everything they need. This system would take us across the Philippines and very far away from Manila for weeks at a time. You miss a lot of social and life events, but if loved ones understand, then it's ok. It's all part of the job.”
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4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Like Alex, Mary Bautista started in marketing. She wanted to work outside a cubicle. Now, a YouTube influencer specializing in tech and lifestyle, she began with nothing but old equipment and her wits – proving that you don’t need a lot to make a living.
“I couldn’t afford new equipment since I had just resigned from my previous job,” she explains in a Podcast. “The only tech item I had at the time was my phone, the digital camera I used when I was in college, and the laptop my brother got for me.”
When the iPhone XS first came out, it was that brother who asked her to unbox it. Her limited tech knowledge made her hesitate, but her love for creating videos pushed her to get over her feats. Soon, she began incorporating gadget reviews into her beauty vlog. The interest in her tech videos grew and so did her followers.
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5. Chezca Dayrit, Virtual Assistant
Chezca was already a social media manager before she decided to become a VA or virtual assistant. The two- to three-hour commute plus long office hours inspired her to look for more flexible opportunities. However, the shift required an adjustment period. “It was a bit hard communicating with my clients at first. Since I was used to in-person meetings. But when I got the hang of it, it's nice,” Chezca says.
“I can work at my own pace. There are certain days that we feel down and need a break. So, I'm glad I can do that,” she adds. “It makes me whenever I take breaks. Also, I get to spend more time with my loved ones since I'm just at home.
For the lucky few, making a living from your passion doesn’t feel like work. As the old saying goes, choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. When these women started, they were just having fun hustling unique jobs, unaware that they would one day be living a dream. So, take it from them. You, too, can work hard – and have fun doing so.
Have these women inspire you to aim for success? Check out the and take your craft to the next level.