When in Manila recently reached two million likes on Facebook! This was a humbling milestone for the When in Manila Team. As we met together to brainstorm on how to improve, we thought it would be best to reach out to our readers on a more personal level. After all, When in Manila is a essentially a community. We’re not merely content producers who dish out new articles daily–we want to establish a sense of community and constant exchange of ideas with our readers. To make this possible, we’re happy to launch a new series: When in Manila’s #MeetTheTeam!
MEET REBECCA LEE, OUR SENIOR COLUMNIST!
What do you do for WIM?
I feature social enterprises, homegrown brands, and start-ups. I interview different personalities like bloggers, hosts, motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, artists, and students. Just recently, I started working on more how-to’s, on articles for Fashion and Beauty, and on conceptualizing Facebook Live shows.
How did you find out about WIM?
Ironically, I found out about When in Manila when I was still writing for another publication. I was assigned to make a feature article about fun things to do in Metro Manila. I realized that most of my research led me to When in Manila!
What’s the best part of working for WIM?
Almost too many to mention! Long story short, the best part of working for WIM is finally getting my dream job. An added bonus is getting it while I’m still in school. When I was in grade school, I told people that I wanted a job that would allow me to meet different people and travel to different places. That’s what WIM allows me to do. But back in grade school, it was all about what I wanted–people to meet, places to go to. I had a very consumerist mindset, always asking what I wanted out of a job. But experiences in college made me examine the impact I want to make through my job. And I’m glad that I’m able to magnify my different passions and interests through WIM.
I really appreciate how WIM helps me feature items that are made in the Philippines.
My favorite lipsticks come from Happy Skin Cosmetics, a homegrown cosmetics brand.
These colorful upcycled bracelets are from Olivia and Diego.
Olivia and Diego is the first brand from Mindanao that I got to collaborate with!
I fell in love with local brands because of Gouache. They produce beautiful items, like the bag in this picture.
What was your most memorable experience working for WIM?
When I got to cover Taylor Swift’s Red Tour Manila with my childhood friend Courtney! I’m a huge Swiftie, so being able to see her live was such a huge privilege for me. It was made even more beautiful because I got to experience that milestone with Courtney! I was crying in MOA long before Taylor went on stage. Hagulgul levels na ‘ko when she started singing All Too Well!
What were the challenges along the way?
When in Manila reinforced my belief that the worst enemy will always be yourself. The most challenging part of the journey was (and still is) overcoming my insecurities. Sometimes, I let perfection paralysis hinder me from becoming more productive. Sometimes, I let trolls get to me. I’m grateful for the mentors and teammates I have with WIM. We all learn together as individuals and as a team.
This walkway is one of my favorite spots in school.
It’s my go-to place for people watching and just pacing around to take a breather.
Describe what the normal day working with WIM is like.
I’m still in my final semester in school. If I’m on break (like right now), I usually wake up, have brunch, and work until 2 or 3 am. “Work” includes finding inspiration on what to feature next and what to write about, so this means catching up on my favorite websites, reading, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks. I also schedule special days for shoot, brainstorming sessions, networking with potential collaborators, and teammates. But if I’m not on break, I go to school in the morning until the afternoon. I do my homework in the evening, and squeeze in WIM-related work at any time of the day when it’s possible. This includes when I’m stuck in traffic, when groupmates are late for meetings, when the professor doesn’t show up in class, et cetera. The beauty of working for a WIM is that you could work anywhere and anytime.
Fill in the blanks “I wish WIM readers would know that_______________”
…we’re extremely open to comments and suggestions. We’re all about community. We enjoy collaborating with others and building relationships.
Future Dreams for When in Manila
I want us to have a regular online show! We’re more used to blog posts full of words mixed with photos, memes, embedded videos, and GIF’s. But I believe there’s so much more we could do once we start incorporating videos as part of our regular content production process. This is what I’ve started trying to do through the Facebook Live feature, but I’m still experimenting with it.
Future dreams for yourself as a blogger/admin for WIM:
I want to be more systematic with how I manage my time and tasks.
Three Favorite WIM Stories
Redefining Excellence, Success, and Productivity: 8 New Things I Learned from Francis Kong
#MadeInThePhilippines: 15 Homegrown Brands We Love
Netizens Complain about UP Summa Cum Laude’s Ethnicity: “Are Chinese-Filipinos So-called ‘True’ Filipinos?”
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: @leerebecca_com
Profile Photos by Zeus Martinez and Ben Beringuela
Stay tuned to meet the rest of the team! If you have any questions and suggestions for Rebecca or for any of the team, feel free to comment below! Would you like to be part of the team, too? Click this link to know how.