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On How I Started on Social Media and The Reasons Behind My Posts

My blogging history goes back way before Facebook and Instagram took over the social media world. In 2006, I started blogging through the now-defunct Multiply blogger site for only one reason: to share my fundraising events for Bantay Bata 163. But then I started dreaming of becoming a fashion blogger, so I thought I'd utilise the platform to give fashion tips and ideas to other people. Unfortunately, it didn't take long before I realised that I wasn't really fashionable enough to do this. I love dressing up yes, but there is definitely a difference between being plain stylish and being a fashionista, so I gave up on this dream straight away. Besides, I wasn't prepared to spend so much time and money in buying clothes, shoes and bags just so I can tell what other people should buy or wear. I didn't think I was credible enough at that time, and I still don't think I am. When I joined blogger in 2011, I thought I'd give fashion blogging another chance but I terribly failed. I could not possibly tag every single item of clothing that I was wearing, hence I gave up for good.

Eventually, the success of my fundraising events apparently became a source of envy to some Filipinos in the community. They started what it seemed like a movement against me at that time. I had to endure attempts of character assassination but I didn't confront any of them. Instead, I used my blog to express my anger and frustration. It was then I started to openly share my thoughts and feelings on social media. It was liberating and until now, I still enjoy this freedom of expression - very much so that I already got into trouble at least a couple of times for being reflective and honest.

And then I started travelling and found new passion in sharing my surreal travel experiences with my friends, initially on Multiply. Then I was introduced to Facebook in 2008. I liked the layout immediately and how it was easy to navigate, so I eventually slowly moved away from Multiply and found myself posting more on Facebook. 

So, why do I post what I post on social media? I would be a hypocrite if I don't say that at one point, I used social media to get back at those who talked behind my back- to fuel their envy. I posted my travel photos to give them more reasons to dislike me perhaps, because the best revenge I believed (and still do) is to show your "haters" that you are happy. Don't get me wrong, when I was travelling a lot (between 2009 and 2012), I was at my happiest so there was sincerity in those happy photos.

Then I started writing captions on my photos on Facebook and writing about my travels on Blogger. At this point, I have matured enough to let my haters hate all they like, and focused on sharing my story with those who cared. I started receiving comments and private messages from friends and some strangers, telling me how they enjoyed looking at my travel photos. I guess what inspired me the most was when people told me that they also felt like they have been to the places that I have been to, by just reading my story. Some people also asked for itineraries and referred to my blog when planning their own trip. This encouraged me to write more, even if to be honest, I am not a good writer.

You see, I came from a working class family and growing up, travelling was very far from my mind. Besides, society made me believe that travelling was only for the rich people. So all I ever wanted was to get a degree and work abroad to give my family a better life. Travelling came late to be honest and it came as a blessing. 

When I started travelling, I started to see the world differently. I was no longer the ignorant girl who was scared of so many things, including talking to strangers and trying new food. I became more confident and most importantly, less judgemental. I became more understanding of people in general, more appreciative of different cultures and more interested in experimenting with food. Travelling taught me a lot about life outside my comfort zone and greatly about myself.

And for people, especially the younger generation, to tell me that they are inspired by my travels and that they also would like to visit those places one day, gives true joy to my heart. I am a true testament that even the things that you never dreamed of come true if you believe you can, and if you listen to your heart. Perhaps the message I want to get out there is the fact that although everyone is not entitled to travel, everyone is entitled to dream. My dreams gave me the inspiration to work hard, learn more and do more, hence I am where I am today. I'm sure anyone can dream and do this, too. I am confident that one day, all the dreamers will be where they have always wanted to be. 

Food is another thing that I post regularly on social media. I have no reason for it apart from the fact that I love eating. Perhaps, sometimes I go over overboard and try expensive food, but I guess I deserve it, too? To be fair, I started taking photos of my food as part of my travel stories,  even before everyone started doing it on instagram and facebook. Besides, I have friends who love food too, and my posts actually give them ideas on restaurants or cafes that they may want to try when they visit the places that I have visited. Posting food on social media actually inspired me to do better in the kitchen, too. Whilst I was not very keen on cooking before, I now make extra effort for my food to look and taste good for the gram. Haha. Seriously speaking though, I gained a new skill in cooking and my food is now more appreciated by my loved ones. In fact, it has become my language of love. 

Lastly, I post my thoughts, feelings and emotions on social media because I find it very therapeutic. As a frustrated writer and a TED Talks speaker- lol , writing somehow gives me that opportunity to realise my dream to empower and motivate other people. I may not have that strong "influence" as many other people have, but the fact that some people actually appreciate my honesty and the authenticity of my posts is enough inspiration for me to continue writing. There have been a few followers, friends and readers who have expressed their gratitude to me, for sharing my life experiences because my experiences apparently resonated with them. Some of them were empowered to open up to me because they were scared of being judged by other people, including their own family and friends. It also humbles me when someone reposts my personal quotes or share my blog because - who am I at the end of the day? It is very inspiring to know that somehow in my own little way, I can touch other people's lives, too.

I guess it is fair to say that in using the social media platform, I found one of my purposes in life- to openly share my life, dreams, experiences and my heart in order to help (some) people to 1) realise their own dreams, empower them and inspire them to believe that one day, they will be able to get even farther than where I am today 2) understand that authenticity is the key to get to where you want to be in life 3) believe that it is okay to be human- admit your mistakes, be honest and apologise, and 4) believe that life is not perfect, and it takes a lot of courage and bravery to admit life's imperfections on social media.

And with this, I want to share a message sent to me by one of my followers on instagram whom I don't know personally. Messages like this empower me to be brave and honest about everything in life:

"You are such an amazing brave woman and I am so moved by your ability to take charge of your life and speak the truths about life! So often social media is just a platform to share what we most "desire" to be or "aspire" to have- very rarely does the surface meet the realities of what lies beneath...your struggles and basically life to date have made you a woman I can look up to...I know that no matter what happens we can still be the best version of ourselves. Thank you for sharing Cristine."



  1. Hi Tine,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and inspiring story. Your humble and challenging beginning made you who are today. Your photographs and captions tells us all; a happy and loved, strong and independent, passionate and committed lady. Keep writing and keep that strong faith always. God bless your loving and caring heart. Looking forward to more travel stories.
    Ps. Yes we need a break from the hustle and bustle of this season xx

  2. Thank you very much for your kind words. Much appreciated.


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