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 30 mommy bloggers in the Philippines ranked according to Facebook and Instagram 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!

(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
- have an Instagram account set to public, and
- have Facebook pages for their blogs.

These then make them very attractive to brands. I didn't check site stats because, honestly, some blogs get huge visits because ang galing lang nila mag-SEO pero walang saysay ang blogs nila. Meanwhile, some "small" blogs are very well written and influential. Some of the bloggers here are more known as beauty bloggers (Askmewhats and Misty Mom, for example) or as food/lifestyle bloggers (Frannywanny and Animetric), but as long as they blog about motherhood, they're considered a mom blogger.

Aaaaand now, without further ado, the Top 30 Mommy Bloggers in the Philippines!!! ranks 18.  

For brands, these are the bloggers you want to recruit to share your links and Facebook posts. Facebook is the home for viral content because everything is so easy to share on this platform.

Ranked according to Facebook page followers:

1. Pehpot Pineda of Mommy Pehpot - 154,781
2. Denise Rayala of Royal Domesticity - 126,163
3. Peachy Adarne of Mommy Peach - 19,691
4. Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger - 16,982
5. Louise Fandiño Santos of Mommy Practicality - 14,914
6. Levy Martinez of Mommy Levy - 13,112
7. Michelle Ressa Aventajado of Momma ‘n Manila - 12,852
8. Jackie Go of Go, Jackie Go! - 11,761
9. Rowena Wendy Lei of Animetric's World - 11,661
10. Rochelle Rivera of Rochelle Rivera - 10,508

11. Istin Dizon Paigna of Rants & Raves of a Bum - 9,413
12. Shari Poquiz of The Misty Mom - 7,835
13. Mauie Flores of The 24 Hour Mommy - 7,754
14. Kath Rivera of Dear Kittie Kittie Kath - 7,046
15. Fleur Sombrero of Mommy Fleur - 5,951
16. Shen Cala-or of Shen's Addiction - 5,354
17. Glaiza Tominio of Moomy Musings - 5,340
18. Frances Sales of Topaz Horizon - 5,087
19. Michelle Lim of My Mom-Friday - 4,556
20. Michelle Estranero of RockstarMomma - 4,501

21. Nikki Tiu of Askmewhats - 4,217 
22. Frances Ang of Frannywanny - 3,848
23. Jen Maslang of Shop Girl Jen - 3,935
24. Mamanee San Luis of Mamanee's Nest - 3,651
25. Ava Zabat of Artsy Fartsy Ava - 3,405
26. Nish Dyosa of Dyosa the Momma - 3,007
27. Kimberley Reyes of Mom On Duty - 2,996
28. Richelle Molon of Morena Mom - 2,838
29. Teresa Dumadag of Hands-On Parenting While Earning - 2,400
30. Marie Bulatao of Mommy Unwired - 2,165 ranks at 14.

If you want your products styled, or your services, restaurant or vacation spot presented in a gorgeous format, or if you just want beautiful people to represent your brand, then IG KOLs are the best people to tap. As a bonus, here are the moms who actually have amazing blogs that can support those beautiful photos.

Ranked according to Instagram followers:

1. Shari Poquiz of The Misty Mom - 38.6K
2. Jackie Go of Go, Jackie Go! - 35.9K
3. Peachy Adarne of Mommy Peach - 35.7K
4. Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger - 16.7K
5. Nikki Tiu of Askmewhats - 15.6K
6. Ava Zabat of Artsy Fartsy Ava - 14.1K
7. Pehpot Pineda of Mommy Pehpot - 12.9K
8. Levy Martinez of Mommy Levy - 10.5K
9. Michelle Ressa Aventajado of Momma ‘n Manila - 10.2K
10. Rowena Wendy Lei of Animetric's World - 10.2K

11. Nish Dyosa of Dyosa the Momma - 9.8K
12. Shen Cala-or of Shen's Addiction - 8.9K
13. Rochelle Rivera of Rochelle Rivera - 8K
14. Frances Sales of Topaz Horizon - 7.5K
15. Michelle Estranero of RockstarMomma - 6.9K
16. Kath Rivera of Dear Kittie Kittie Kath - 6.6K
17. Frances Ang of Frannywanny - 6K
18. Fleur Sombrero of Mommy Fleur - 5.9K
19. Michelle Lim of My Mom-Friday - 5.6K
20. Denise Rayala of Royal Domesticity - 4.7K

21. Louise Fandiño Santos of Mommy Practicality - 3.5K
22. Jen Maslang of Shop Girl Jen - 3.4K
23. Richelle Molon of Morena Mom - 2.2K
24. Glaiza Tominio of Moomy Musings - 2K
25. Istin Dizon Paigna of Rants & Raves of a Bum - 1.7K
26. Mamanee San Luis of Mamanee's Nest - 1.7K
27. Marie Bulatao of Mommy Unwired - 1.2K
28. Kimberley Reyes of Mom On Duty - 1K
29. Teresa Dumadag of Hands-On Parenting While Earning - 494
30. Mauie Flores of The 24 Hour Mommy - 474

Instagram is very volatile, though. You lose or gain followers by the dozens in a day! Crazy. I feel like IG fans are fickle and not loyal (for example, I unfollow accounts every day!). Also, if you're the type who posts sexy bikini shots, then your following is a lot of horny males, which is not the target market of mom brands. Plus, KOLs delete sponsored posts all the time especially if the brand art directs the photo (a.k.a. obvious ang product placement). Worst of all, the link is in bio. Who actually goes and taps the link in bio anyway? Even the "swipe up" option, I hardly ever swipe up. In my opinion, Instagram is not really a great place to put your money. But that's me and that's not my money so don't listen to me haha

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. Very humble goals. 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.