Featured Blogger of The Month (May): Issa Villapando of Janessa Erin
Like many others, I first looked at blogging as a virtual diary; something to write my thoughts on while not having a physical evidence of it. I kept my blog to myself but, eventually, I learned that I could share much more if I opened up my “virtual diary” and shared it with others. And so, The Bae Blogs was born. I took it as a more professional way of representing and expressing myself, even taking in writing/blogging gigs here and there every now and then.
There’s always a part of me that wants to extend myself with others and turn my passionate ventures into fruitful and welcoming engagements. Thus, I present to you a new blog series: Featured Blogger of the Month. Okay, I know it’s not that majestic and original, but still, give it some love. <3
Every month, I’ll be featuring a blogger on my blog. It’s completely voluntary. However, for the first few volumes, I want to kick start this series with some awesome bloggers I genuinely admire. So, don’t be surprised if you already know them! Otherwise, I guess you’ve just found a new blog you can add to your blogroll? Wink, wink.
1. What is your name?
My name is Janessa Erin Go Villapando, but everyone calls me Issa!
2. What is your blog called?
My blog name is pretty simple since it’s just my first name: Janessa Erin.
3. Tell us more about your blog.
My blog is a mix of everything I love, which is food, travel, and my personal life. I also write about events I attend, which are sometimes gigs and things to do with arts! But I try to mostly focus on the first three because it’s what I know about the most and what I want to share with others.
4. Tell us more about the person behind your blog.
Blogging takes up a lot of my life, but what takes up most of it is freelance writing! While I also study online (I’m now taking up Broadcast Communications), I focus more on work, which is writing for various contractors and websites around the world. Oh, and I also tutor!
Besides school and work, I love spending time with family and friends. I love to eat out and travel as well, documenting where I go and some tips to help fellow travelers out.
5. When did you start blogging and why?
I actually started off as a personal blog back in 2011-2012, with poems and diary entries. I then moved on to posting DIYs, my OOTDs, or photography from my trips around the Philippines. I stopped doing that when I began college back in 2014. I only posted a few food reviews (on my own expense) on both my blog and Zomato a few times after that.
I revived it in March 2016, when I made the choice to shift courses and transfer universities. It was more on my recent climbs and updates about post-accountancy life until I was invited to review a restaurant. That’s when I started getting more invites to food reviews and other events. After joining groups and learning how to blog better, here I am!
Why I blog? For the passion. Writing and blogging about my adventures make me happy, and that’s what I’m focusing on right now.
6. What do you think makes your blog unique from other blogs?
I believe that there is more… personality in my blog? While I know everyone puts in a bit of their own pizzazz to their works, I feel like it’s just basic information at this point. I like to see mine as more of a combination of passion and fun. I like showing more optimism and a fresh, young perspective to the blogging world.
I may not be a talented makeup artist nor can I draw to save a life, but I darn well know what I’m eating and how to plan my travels, and I TRULY want to share it with you all and help you out without selling you anything but ideas on where to go on your next adventure!
7. Who are your inspirations when it comes to blogging?
I get ideas and inspiration by a lot of people around me, not one specific person. I do have my family to thank when it comes to raising me to think for MYSELF, though. I get inspiration from really awesome IG feeds as well (*aesthetic~~~), and I’m trying to learn how to flat lay or do cute poses for my blog!
8. Blogging has its up and downs, highs and lows. What is your number one advice for fellow bloggers to ‘survive’ in the blogosphere?
Do NOT give up. Just like any career or group you are in, there are thousands of different bloggers out there that may either encourage or discourage you from building your own. There will be a lot of people out there who’ll criticize what you do, but I say screw them. Do you and build your OWN personal brand without the scrutinizing eyes of others. Just play nice, respect fellow bloggers, and make new friends!
Also, don’t be afraid to speak up. After all, that’s what we’re known for. Don’t be afraid to smile and create connections. Converse, listen to new experiences and get advice from other people you may consider a friend one day.
9. What are your goals for your blog?
While I do focus on my fun and happiness, I hope to see my blog grow in a way that what I write builds a network and group of readers. And I want my posts to not only entertain but to help these readers with their next adventures. I want to ignite their passion and open their eyes (and sense of taste!) to new horizons and not just the usual.
10. Any blog recommendations for your fellow bloggers/readers?
I feel guilty when I say I’m not reading up on blogs at the moment (been catching up on work that I constantly forget, huhu). But I DO recommend these two blogs for their travel and food posts: http://sandundermyfeet.com and http://xtintina.com.
11. How can we reach you?
12. Lastly, any tips for new bloggers?
My last tip would be to just be happy. Enjoy what you are writing about, explore different styles, and do what YOU want to do. I officially began my blog as an ex-accountancy student hoping for a break. I simply wanted to travel, eat, and write! And through blogging, I was able to widen my horizons and not only do all those three things but to meet new people and close friends along the way. Don’t be shy and just keep moving forward.
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.