Hello September: Blogging + Life Updates

September 01, 2020

Sharing with you some blogging and life updates in the last two months, including learnings and realizations while on quarantine.

September in the Philippines signals the start of the Christmas season. Yes, if you are a reader from outside the Philippines, we have one of the longest (or probably the longest) Yuletide celebrations in the world.

A photo of a swimming pool at Anvaya Cove
I recently found this old photo in my long-unused camera, dedicated to all people who miss traveling like me

Hello September: Blogging + Life Updates

    However, aside from jokes circulating in social media about the appearance of Mr. Jose Mari Chan, singer of the classic “Christmas In Our Hearts” song, the season is still not palpable as compared to previous years. That’s because Metro Manila and some other parts of the country are still under community quarantine. 

    That means most establishments are still operating on limited hours while some are even not allowed to open yet. People are still encouraged to just stay at home and not go out unless necessary. 

    As for myself, I am still working from home since July but come August, I started to report to the office once a week. Like anybody else whose routine has been disrupted by the pandemic, there was nothing to do but adjust to the situation and to keep me busy with work, family, and personal projects. 

    Anyway, here’s to share with you some of the things that I had been busy with since publishing my mid-year update: 

    Blogging Updates 

    In terms of my personal projects, it is blogging that I dedicate a lot of my time to. Since the Metro Manila lockdown last March, I looked for ways to address my plummeting stats. I worked on my old posts but starting last June, after updating almost half of my posts, I slowed it down and focused on creating new content and updating my knowledge in content creation. 

    Blogging updates as well as laptops and notebooks used for blogs
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Travel content has taken a huge slowdown, primarily because of the coronavirus travel restrictions. Again, we wanted to visit Boracay last March but the local COVID-19 travel ban plus our personal decision not to travel with our children meant that all plans are on indefinite hold. 

    Our luggage would have to sadly take a break in the meantime. With that, I focused on creating parenting and lifestyle content instead. 

    Here are some of my favorite posts from last month: 

    Aside from making ice cream, one of the things I learned during the quarantine was how to cut our toddler’s hair. I created a post to help other parents in getting their baby to cooperate with them during their haircut session. 

    I also wrote a post about an herb called pansit-pansitan, regarded by many as a weed but is actually a plant packed with many health benefits. 

    I also wrote about how GCash can help people budget their money. These are just some of my favorite posts that I hope people would find value in. 

    Last August, I was able to secure partnership with three brands: one is an appliances brand, the other is a haircare brand, and the last one is Colgate. I was really happy that Colgate chose me to be one of the bloggers who will be part of the #GrowUpSmilingTogether campaign to promote the brand’s baby and kiddie toothpaste variants. It is one of the biggest brands that I was able to work with and I am just happy for the opportunity. 

    Also last month, I signed up for an online webinar regarding blogging success organized by Writing Hacks Academy. It was a fruitful one hour with a lot of new learning as well as affirmations on what I currently know about blogging. Some of my key takeaways are the following: 

    1. Always innovate, don’t stagnate - continuously learn trends and improve your craft.

    2. Just go for it  - don't overthink, start what you have set out to do now.

    3. Find your happy - be happy when you write and your readers will feel it, too. 

    On the technical side of blogging, I am just amazed by how a small tweak can lead to better traffic. I reverted my robots.txt to its default setup and submitted a new sitemap to Google Search Console and it did the trick. It was not a huge spike in traffic but it was definitely noticeable. 

    I have also been using Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends a lot lately to research for good keywords. I am just thankful to have been able to learn how to use these tools to help me with SEO. 

    Social media versus blogging
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    One thought that has been going around in my head about blogging is this, “Is blogging dead or dying?” and the definite answer for me is “no.” While social media (particularly Instagram and, lately, TikTok) is fun and easy, nothing can replace the information that can be communicated in long-form content. As such, blogging is here to stay for a long time, maybe even longer than those popular social media channels. 

    So, if you are thinking of starting that blog, just go for it. There are a lot of platforms where you can begin (such as in Blogger, WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few) and study the technical aspects of blogging. 

    Life Lately 

    As I had mentioned earlier, Khris and I are both working from home. We consider this as the ideal setup because we are with our kids and we can check on them anytime that we need or want to. Working from home is also the most practical setup these days because, well, it’s much safer to just stay at home. 

    We do not have any big plans except that we might have to give up our condo unit soon and maybe move back to my in-laws’ house in Novaliches while Metro Manila is still under the community quarantine. Other than that, we have postponed looking for our own house or maybe a bigger condo unit. 

    Let me just share with you some of my thoughts and realizations while on quarantine. It is just sad that this pandemic has exposed the bad side of a lot of people. I try to understand them because surely they are also under a lot of pressure. On the other hand, it is good to uncover truths and finally further trim down our circle of friends. 

    In terms of work, I am just thankful that our company continues to provide for us. We still have our livelihood intact. But similar to some of our friends, the pandemic has exposed the bad side of some colleagues. It’s just sad to think that, while we are all in survival mode, some people could still have the capacity to not play fair. Well, that’s life. Then again, it’s always better to know the truth. 

    That’s it for now. I hope you are well and safe. How has life been to you? Won’t you share your story with me?
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    1. It is great to get your perspective on life and blogging in The Phillipines. I have never been but look forward to hearing about the life on the other side of the globe.

    2. The quarantine has been tough, that's for sure. In the US things are starting to open up again, but I hope people continue to be smart.

    3. I was just thinking the other day that the pandemic really showed the true colors of so many people. I was really surprised at first.

    4. I will have to try the Google sitemap thing on my website. I can always use more traffic.

    5. I'm hoping that things get back to normal quickly for you all over there!

    6. The pandemic canceled all of my travel plans. It’s interesting to see things slowly open back up.

    7. I agree the pandemic has brought out true colors! For some though, it's made them a better person.

    8. We are a family that love to be out and about visiting our friend and celebrating. I am so looking forward to more human interaction. I was able to plan virtual weddings and 6 drive by graduations

    9. Richelle Escat2 June 2021 at 05:02

      I was also using Gcash for about more 3 years now. I agree, it helps a lot when we want to save up.

    10. This pandemic has brought us a lot! I just hope and pray that this will be over soon

    11. wow! I can't wait that this pandemic period ends and we can travel without problems!

    12. The pandemic really did change some a lot. I'm happy that things are starting to look up now though. I just hope it stays that way.

    13. ROXAS EDGARDO8 May 2022 at 03:07

      Done to Read ur Blog mommy and Daddy, Sobrang worth it Basahin at hndi nkakasawa salamat po sa patuloy na pagshare, im here always to support Your blog po . Salamat po for sharing this kind of experience 😊💕💕

    14. Jowana Gumboc8 May 2022 at 03:08

      Thanks for sharing your story and tips. As a mother. Napapanatili pa din maging malusog ang aking pamilya ngayon na may pandemya. Bawat sulok ng bawal kailangan malinis at nakasanitize lahat ng gamit. Madalas namin din gawin ang magtiktok para mabawasan ang stress namin habang nakalockdown. Sa kalahating taon kahit papaano nakakaraos pa din sa araw araw. Blessed na kami kapag nakakain ng 4 na beses sa isang araw. Kailangan lang magdasal na matapos na ang pandemya.

    15. Ramil Hinolan8 May 2022 at 03:08

      I hope I can learn something about SEO - Google Keyword Planner, Google Trend, and robot.txt if I have the time. Thanks for sharing this. https://www.thecityrat.com

    16. Sorry to hear that Christmas has come so late to the Philippines this year :)
      But happy you found new content to write about in the quarantine.
      I wonder what are those exact 'bad' lessons you've learned about people during the lockdown. I guess we all have some experiences like that, it would be great to hear an open talk on these matters.
      Good luck with your blog!

    17. In due time, sir. In many occasions, the key to mastering things is to take it one step at a time. Sometimes, we think of SEO as a super-technical aspect of blogging. But in reality, the foundation of which is good writing.

    18. Thank you po for your kind words. :)

    19. Naku, totoo po na yang TikTok na yan nakakaaliw at nakakabawas stress. Hindi man ako nagti-TikTok pero yung mga bata na kasama namin sa bahay sobrang natutuwa dito.