Since January 2016, I have been traveling together with my siblings and friends. We go on random trips and we were so active on social media. It was last April when I got my first ever photo feature on an online hub. I was on cloud nine and it felt so unreal then. For a local guy from the province, it was that big of a deal for me! Hahaha! That’s when I started working meticulously on my Instagram feed. I am very particular with each of my posts and it paid off! I got back to back features on an in-flight magazine and I started getting brands to trust me as well. Last July, I received my first package from an international brand and it was the most satisfying thing that ever happened to me as an online enthusiast! Since then, I got more brands tapping me for commissioned works and collaborations. It was everything I dreamed about and it’s slowly being realized now.
August 2016, I drafted a personal blog dedicated to my bestfriend who died of Leukemia (see A Walk to Remember post) and a month later, it has turned into a website. Just a few weeks ago, I have reached another milestone I never expected even in my wildest dreams. I broke into over 2 MILLION reach for one of my posts. It was so surreal. I don’t understand the formula of virality but I am just so grateful I got the taste of it. While the number of Facebook likes is the name of the game these days, we still believe that nothing compares to the feeling when people look at you as an INSPIRATION. More than fame, we rejoice over random messages and comments from people saying that we actually affect and influence them to live outside the norms. We take time to engage in every conversation people open up. This is the best return of investment we get from all of our travel posts. Thanks to YOU! 🙂
As I talk to my #JoinTheJourney friends and look back at how we lived our lives the past few months, we felt nothing but gratitude. Traveling has changed us into better people. I used to be a spoiled brat and heavily dependent on my parents. But when I was introduced to the different facets and realities of life while traveling, I realized I had to fix my direction. This is when I started redefining my visuals in life. What is little to me might already be more than enough to other people. You don’t have to be wealthy to be significant. I developed so much passion in GIVING. I am in no position to elaborate on this, but people who know me could definitely attest to how much I love to give. Traveling made my life so dynamic in the sense that I want to experience the extremities of it. I have tried sleeping in the luxurious rooms of 5-star hotel, Marina Bay Sands but it is nothing compared to the billion star accommodation I enjoyed pitching a tent in a deserted island with the Milky Way as my grande chandelier. Experience will always downplay social symbolism.
We owe a lot to the experiences we get while traveling and this is something we want to do for the rest of our lives. We are so grateful for the support system we have been getting from people we barely even know personally. Ashley Yee and I would even kid about not getting a high-paying job for as long as we will be sent across the world to do travel contents. Talk about passion for our craft. Haha! We dream of just traveling the world and see where life takes us.
Then out of nowhere, this offer from BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS came in. People started tagging us and encouraged us to apply. I personally, thought this is such a long shot considering that this is a global call and there are millions of talented photographers and videographers around the world! However, it always seems impossible until it’s done. So Ashley and I decided to at least send an application in hopes to join the prestigious BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS team. We thought we got nothing to lose if we try. If this is meant for us, I know it is bound to happen in God’s perfect timing. If not, then greater things are yet to come. 🙂
Way before this opening for #BDTeam, we already followed Sam Kolder on Youtube and were huge fans since his Year 2015 video. We also planned to host him and his friend Peter to the Philippines but he got his well-deserved break when he took part with Beautiful Destinations’ team. This highly influential brand founded by Jeremy Jauncey and Tom Jauncey is the dream of most travel content producers. And to work with the people who share the same passion and advocacy as you, is like saying that LIFE HAS COME FULL CIRCLE. No matter what happens, we will continue to share a piece of our lives to other people by making them see other sides of the world thru our travel stories. Life is a blessing and it is beautiful when shared.
Before I end, let me introduce to you my group of friends behind #JoinTheJourney. We all share the same passion and that is to travel with a purpose. Follow them on Instagram by clicking on their names.