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 Sam Beltran, our Features Editor! (Check out the bentilador in the background!) She loves food, coffee, literature, movies, pop culture and travel.
What do you do for WIM?
I am one of the Feature Editors on the website. I’m one of those who come up with daily content that the website believes people would find interesting — from trending topics that Pinoys are buzzing about, to fun and insightful content that readers can relate to.
2015 Boyce Avenue Concert
Who hasn’t heard about WIM? Haha! I’m an avid foodie and I try to travel as much as I can so when you’re online a lot, you’re bound to come across When in Manila. I was a fan of WIM long before I came onboard the WIM team!
What’s the best part of working for WIM?
In this age where we’re challenging boundaries and exploring possibilities, WIM is a fresh face — young, imaginative and energetic, and it’s just amazing to take part in that kind of environment. It’s definitely not your typical 9-to-5 office, that’s for sure. There’s just something about delivering interesting content and through an engaging platform that really speaks to me. I’ve been a writer my whole life, and having this kind of avenue to express my ideas is a blessing.
Sam during a public speaking engagement at UST
What was your most memorable experience working for WIM?
Oh gosh! I’d have to go with either covering the Ariana Grande “Honeymoon Tour” in Manila last year, or the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical preview! The Honeymoon Tour is the biggest concert I’ve covered so far, and I am actually a fan of Ariana! The Beauty and the Beast on the other hand… one thing you have to know about me is I am such a HUGE musical geek, and a Disney baby to boot! And you’re telling me I have to watch and cover a musical? With Disney songs? For free? Who wouldn’t take that? :D
What were the challenges along the way?
I joined the team and started writing features for WIM while I was still in school, finishing my Journalism degree in UP. While hands down, WIM is such a fun job and I am incredibly fortunate to be working in this environment, it was definitely challenging when you’re in that adjustment period of handling a part-time job as well as a full academic load. Vince has definitely been very patient and understanding as a boss and mentor. I eventually got the hang of it though!
Ever since I worked with WIM, I have been online constantly, whether it’s plugging in at a coffee shop/co-working space/milk tea store or going on mobile — which makes sense since WIM is an online platform. I am constantly on social media to keep tabs on what people are talking about — whether it’s a funny vine or meme, a trending topic, or what-have-you. Either I write about them to engage people in discussion, or I do my own take on it. Either way, it gets readers roused and sharing their opinions and ideas.It’s not unusual for me to have my lunch or dinner at a restaurant I’m covering — I just have to work my daily schedule around it. There are times though when I have to drop everything and just go on assignment — whether it’s for a big coverage that I have to do, or when I have to travel for work!
I have fun with food features as I’m a huge foodie, and of course I love to travel so travel features are more than welcome! I love meeting people from different backgrounds and hearing their stories. This year I’d like to focus more on stories about people as well, not just places or activities to try. I have always been into writing profiles of people from different walks of life and celebrate their achievements, their differences, and the sheer interesting aspect of their lives in general. Where there’s a story, I follow wherever that takes me.
I wish WIM readers would know that_______________
I wish WIM readers would know that we absolutely love hearing feedback from you! Hitting the 2 million mark is a sign that we are definitely growing, which means we’re definitely bringing more engaging, informative and inspiring content this year. We’re constantly evolving and learning along the way, and we would love for you to stick around to see what we have in store!
I’d love for WIM to grow into a huge multimedia company that takes storytelling to a whole new level.
Most Successful WIM Stories
1. The story on Tiffany Uy graduating summa cum laude with a 1.004 GWA last year! That was INSANE. It has about 165,000 shares to date!2. “WATCH: Foreigners Speaking Beki” was an article I did featuring Fil-Am Wil Dasovich’s video talking beki with his dad in August 2015. Back then, his channel had probably just a little over 20,000 followers, and the videos a little over probably 10,000 views. I just thought it was a funny and well-produced video worthy of recognition. Apparently after I posted the story, his views and later, his followers went through the roof! I received a message from Wil himself thanking me for featuring the video, which later landed him a lot of guestings on TV and a hosting gig. We also became friends! Just a few weeks ago, I learned that Wil reached 100,000 followers on his Youtube channel. While I can’t take credit for his success through his own hard work, it’s just amazing to be one of those people who helped open a door for opportunities, and to have witnessed that from the beginning is just heartwarming. :)3. When I did my TV guesting for Pop Talk, as a guest panelist! It was an ice cream episode, so we hopped to different ice cream places and just gorged and gorged on mounds of ice cream. While it gave us an epic brain freeze and put us in an ice cream coma afterwards, it was overall an enjoyable experience. :)
Stay tuned to meet the rest of the team! If you have any questions and suggestions for Sam 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.