Thursday, February 28, 2019

Going strong

Guys, can I make sorta yabang? LOL

I'm emailing influencers and editors now, right, introducing myself and all. And some of them reply, "Aren't you TOPAZ HORIZON???" And when I giddily say, "YES!", they go sumtin' like dis:

1. "My MOM is such a fan!"

2. "You're one of the pioneer bloggers! And you're STILL AROUND! So galing!"

3. "Aren't you still blogging? It's been YEARS! Amazing your LONGEVITY in the business!"

4. "Wow, you're doing PR now. But you're still blogging? That's great! So many of your peers have RETIRED."

This is good. This is good. Riiiiight???

Wow. Thirteen years this May, folks. 13 YEARS. Thanks for sticking around, my dearest Loyal Readers. I so love you all!

P.S. That's a throwback photo of me blogging on my first ever netbook, an HP Mini. Best investment evaaaar!

P.P.S. Who are the bloggers who have retired??? Kaloka naman these kids!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Top mommy bloggers in the Philippines ranked according to Facebook followers

As a newly minted PR Manager, I now have to keep an eye on bloggers, vloggers and KOLs (that's key opinion leaders) a.k.a. influencers. I guess a lot of people roll their eyes at the job title "influencer" because that is an invented word as well as an invented career so the world had to invent the term KOL.

Anyway, I wanted to blog about the top mommy bloggers in the Philippines today because...

(a) Marketing and PR people research this topic all the time so I want this post to be on page 1 of Google search hehe. And also to help out my colleagues in the industry. Of course! (UPDATE: It's the top entry on the search list yey!)

(b) I want to tell you, my dear Loyal Readers, that I'm not even on the Top 10 list! What! Please help me out by sharing my blog, FB page and IG with your friends and family!!! Thank you. Love you!

(c) I need to remind myself to prioritize blogging because it is more lucrative than ever and I'm being lazy lazy lazy.

There are hundreds of mom KOLs in the Philippines but most of them are celebrities who charge hundreds of thousands of pesos per mention. Most are only on Instagram, which means they can't explain a brand campaign or do a thorough product or service review. Also, branded posts on IG are not searchable on Google. Many mom KOLs don't have a Facebook page so they can't share a partner brand's FB links and therefore have a harder time making posts go viral. And lastly but most important of all, many mom KOLs don't have blogs!

So for this report, I picked mom bloggers who:

- regularly update their blogs (at least once a month)
- have an Instagram account set to public, and
- have Facebook pages for their blogs with minimum 5K followers.

Aaaaand now, without further ado, the Top 30 Mommy Bloggers in the Philippines!!!


For brands, these are the bloggers you want to recruit. Their blogs are not just well written, they're also regularly updated (once a month at least) so you can be assured they have loyal readers. When they blog about your product or campaign, their readers are a captive audience (vs those who blog erratically). They also have a lot of Facebook followers to share your links and Facebook posts with. Facebook is the home for viral content because everything is so easy to share on this platform.

Ranked according to Facebook page followers:

1. Ciara Magallanes of Mommy Diaries PH - 540,224
2. Pehpot Pineda of Mommy Pehpot - 251,823 (last year: 154,781)
3. Denise Rayala of Royal Domesticity - 143,962 (last year: 126,163)
4. Gracie Maulion of Tipid Mommy - 102,277
5. Levy Martinez of Mommy Levy - 36,415 (last year: 13,112)

6. Nessly Hamoy of Mom Nessly/Tribobot - 26,731
7. Kaycee Enerva of Kikay Sikat/The Macho Mom - 25,347
8. Sheena Sy Gonzales of Sheena Loves Sunsets - 23,153
9. Peachy Adarne of Mommy Peach - 21,624 (last year: 19,691)
10. Louise Fandiño Santos of Mommy Practicality - 20,231 (last year: 14,914)

11. Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger - 17,430 (last year: 16,982)
12. Kaye Figuracion of K Figuracion/I Love Keisha - 16,571
13. Sigrid Dugeno-Lo of Lovingly Mama - 16,014
14. Nish Dyosa of Dyosa the Momma - 15,613 (last year: 3,007)
15. Mhaan Arambulo Santos of Mommy Rockin' In Style - 15,205

16. Rochelle Rivera of Rochelle Rivera - 14,906 (last year: 10,508)
17. Michelle Ressa Aventajado of Momma ‘n Manila - 13,200 (last year: 12,852)
18. Rowena Wendy Lei of Animetric's World - 12,107 (last year: 11,661)
19. Berlin Domingo of Momi Berlin - 12,103
20. Jackie Go of Go, Jackie Go! - 11, 715 (last year: 11,761)

21. Kath Rivera of Dear Kittie Kittie Kath - 11,011 (last year: 7,046)
22. Mauie Flores of The 24 Hour Mommy - 10,881 (last year: 7,754)
23. Istin Dizon Paigna of Rants & Raves of a Bum - 9,174 (last year: 9,413)
24. Kathy Kenny Ngo of Life is Kulayful - 8,905
25. Michelle Estranero of RockstarMomma - 8,903 (last year: 4,501)

26. Jen Maslang of Shop Girl Jen - 8,832 (last year: 3,935)
27. Earth Rullan of Earthlingorgeous - 8,582
28. Frances Sales of Topaz Horizon - 6,838 (last year: 5,087)
29. Fleur Sombrero of Mommy Fleur - 6,488 (last year: 5,951)
30. Dorry Lyn of Mom's Shout Out  - 6,293

31. Richelle Molon of Morena Mom - 6,215 (last year: 2,838)
32. Madz de Leon of Mommy n' More - 6,187
33. Shen Cala-or of Shen's Addiction - 5,410 (last year: 5,354)
34. Kimberley Reyes of Mom On Duty - 5,255 (last year: 2,996)

TO THE MOMS ON THIS LIST: I know you're happy to be on the Top 30 list. Congrats! BUT please don't share what your rank is yet haha I'm updating it this week so baka tumaas o bumaba ka pa (or in my case, baka mawala pa ako huhu).

Anyway, if you know a mommy blogger who needs exposure, kindly tell me about her so I can include her on this list. Remember: She has to regularly update her blog, have an Instagram account set to public, and have a Facebook page for her blog.

By the way, many of you may be wondering why some popular mom bloggers aren't on the list. That's because I checked many mom blogs and some don't do sponsored posts or they have reached mega celebrity status that they are just way too expensive. But if you think they should be on a top mommy bloggers in the Philippines list anyway—regardless whether they accept brand sponsorships or not, or simply because they have a huge following and therefore is a top blogger—tell me and I'll make another list!

As for me, my goal this 2019 is to increase my Facebook followers to 6K and my IG followers to 8K (UPDATE JUNE 2020: Goal achieved!). Very humble goal. I believe in organic growth but I think I've reached critical mass. It's time to advertise. Hopefully, the next time I make a top mommy bloggers in the Philippines list like this, tumaas na po ang ranking ko haha

Help meeeeeee!!! Love you all!

Friday, February 15, 2019

My husband's best Valentine's Day gift ever

Vince surprised me with a love letter. He's good at giving gifts but this one, this is going to be a hard one to beat because it's one of the very best. The best ever? Well, our sons, of course!

The article appeared in The Asian Parent Singapore. Click here to read it there, complete with cutie photos of our babies. But I'm putting screencaps here anyway so I can always have it on my blog. And cry happy tears always.

Thank you, Vincent. Thank you for everything.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Of boys and school buses, and my breaking heart

I know I've disappeared. I started this year with my L'Oréal contract ending and me with no other plans for anything else really. I wasn't worried. The past 7 years have been like that anyway—start with nothing and end with everything. But by mid-January, I had a chat with an old friend who has a boutique PR and events agency and before I knew it, I'm the new PR Manager of Paint It Red.

I have a very good feeling about this year and so I can't help but be excited for the new adventure I'm about to take. I'm back in the corporate world but with a very flexible schedule. How lucky am I? I'm very grateful.

And yet, in the last week before I started work, I picked up my kids from school as usual and cried. I was at the fetcher's waiting area, booking a Grab, fanning myself in the heat of the afternoon sun. As usual. From there, I can see the students walking down the long path from their classrooms to the gate. As always. I was watching out for my own in that long and unruly line of boys when I saw my kids and they saw me and their eyes lit up and in that moment, I felt it. The grief. It smashed into me and I was out of breath.

Because I'm employed now, I won't be able to fetch them from school anymore. I've never really liked that chore so I had always taken this for granted but at that moment, I knew with terrible clarity that I'm going to fucking miss this shit. And I cried with longing for the days that will be no more.

How many of us have the painful privilege of seeing a chapter closing?

So the last three weeks have been me and the boys going through sudden changes. I found a school bus. At first, we were all anxious. They've never been on a school bus. I rode it a few times with them to check the routes, the other passengers, how the driver drove. I gave them extra baon because now our daily after-school merienda won't happen anymore. I gave them so many instructions on being safe, being kind, and watching out for each other.

And then finally, it was time to let them go. The night before they had to go on their own, Iñigo stayed up late. "Iñigo, you have an early day tomorrow," I said. "Go to sleep na."

"I'll help you fix our baon and breakfast, Mama," he stalled.

So I let him help me. And then softly he said, "I'm going to miss you, Mama."

And I couldn't say anything because my throat had closed up. So I just hugged him and let his love wash through my breaking heart, grateful for the comfort my little boy gave me.