#WIMterns: Meet our first batch of interns!

“Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them.”

This has long been one of my favorite quotes. It has guided me in all of my major decisions, and it’s the first quote that comes to mind as 2016 comes to an end. The same quote reminds me of the WhenInManila.com internship program.

When in Manila Interns WIMterns

Through the internship program, I was able to meet new friends who inspired me to work harder and have more fun in the process. These young go-getters have also created an impact on the work that WhenInManila.com does. Some of our most viewed articles and videos were done by our interns. In fact, two interns are already working with us part-time while still in school!

From a group of 25 interns, these are the interns who have completed 100 hours with us before 2016 ends. We are very proud and happy to present to you the first batch of “graduates” from the WhenInManila.com internship program!

Marketing Team

Unlike the Photography, Videography, Writing, and Graphics Team, it was harder to assign tasks to the Marketing Team. WhenInManila.com started out as a community blog by storytellers. People shared stories whenever they wanted–just for fun. Almost everyone was either studying or had a day job. We didn’t have a Marketing Team or a concrete plan on how to work with brands. This often means that our methods for marketing are different depending on the client and the campaign. This also means that the job description for interns under the Marketing Team was also not as concrete with those from the other teams. But as a testament to their resourcefulness, our interns from Marketing set up their own projects and tasks. They also had the dedication to see these projects through. They even volunteered for the tasks from the other teams.

Alvin Nelson Cheng


Alvin was the first intern we recruited to work with the admin team–and for a good reason. He’s a natural leader, a hard worker, and a proactive team player. Whenever the admins posted about upcoming events or scheduled features, Alvin was among the most active ones. Apart from volunteering for our suggested tasks, he also pitched his own features and personally engaged with business owners to have them work with When in Manila. He always approached work with a can-do attitude, and has made the admins’ jobs so much easier because of how frequently he volunteers for tasks and events. He also does an excellent job at representing us, because he always arrives so early for meetings and events! You know a client and a brand will be well taken care of once Alvin volunteers to work with them.


Q&A with Alvin

1. What’s the best thing about the WhenInManila.com internship program?

The best thing about the internship program is you can test your capabilities, and you have limitless freedom. It is up to you to motivate yourself and take charge in what you want to do. There are three components to intelligence. IQ, EQ, and XQ. XQ stands for execution. No matter how smart or how sociable you are, if you aren’t able to make your ideas come to life, then it is a waste of time. This internship is where you can improve your XQ.

2. What are the skills you learned or improved on because of the program?

Coming to WIM, I had two goals: to get an experience with marketing and to learn how to write better. I can definitely say that both of these skills have improved. I can write three-page articles, (with revisions of course) but at least that I know I could tell a story that communicates well to the readers. And for marketing, I handled social media accounts, talked to clients, and attended events representing WIM.

3. Any tips for the second batch of interns?

Be assertive and proactive. Not everything is spoon-fed.

WIM Portfolio: http://www.wheninmanila.com/author/alvin-nelson-cheng/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wheninmanilaALVIN/

Instagram: @alvinthechimpmunk

Twitter: @chengalvin

JP Sium


JP has a knack for spotting the most unique brands and restaurants. It’s amazing how I pass through the same streets as he does, but I never notice newly opened hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cozy cafes. He just has a natural eye for brands and places that would later become unique articles and videos. But more than a natural eye for stories with potential, JP also has a strong work ethic to back up his ideas. Once he spots something that has potential, he coordinates with the brand owners and the interns from the other teams. Before you know it, JP has already set up an entire team. Together, they produce a video and an article complete with stunning photos! We eventually get feedback from restaurant owners about how happy they are. They also gush about the interns’ work on social media. On the rare instances when interns from the other teams are unavailable, JP also does an excellent job as the photographer and the writer. Some of the restaurants he went to even use his photos for their publicity materials–a surprising feat considering he didn’t even apply as a photographer. With him, you wouldn’t know what to expect except that he would exceed your expectations.

P.S. JP also became the unofficial crush ng bayan and occasionally goes viral on Twitter.

Q&A with JP

1. What’s the best thing about the WhenInManila.com internship program?

Having the opportunity to feature restaurants, events, etc. can easily be the best thing about the WIMtern program, but, personally, the connections I have made throughout my stint is what I loved the most. In this program, you don’t just get to work with the people you interact with, you also get to be friends with them even outside of WIM.

2. What are the skills you learned or improved on because of the program?

It’s not a surprise that you would get to hone your writing skills in WIM. What I didn’t expect is that my photography/videography skills would also improve. It’s probably because of two things:

1. I get to be exposed with people that are really good at photography/videography

2. I get to apply what I learned from them.

3. Any tips for the second batch of interns?

TWO WORDS: BE ACTIVE. Be active in conversations. Be active during meetings. Be active in volunteering for events. Not only will that make the duration of your internship more fun, it would also make it more worthwhile– you get to maximize this amazing opportunity with amazing people.

WIM Portfolio: https://www.wheninmanila.com/author/jp-sium/

Blog: https://oftimerealityanddreams.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @PauloSium

Twitter: @PauloSium

Graphics Team

Blew David


Blew David

Blew was one of our most in-demand interns–so many people wanted to collaborate with her! Admins were talking about her even before we met her in person. For her application, she sent us a link to her “creative stash” Instagram account (@crazyfemalebrain), and we were completely blown away. (Pun intended.) Just look at how beautiful her illustrations are!


From her portfolio, we could tell that she’s talented. But once we got to work with her, we found out that she was so much more than that. She’s a hard worker who relates well to people she works with. She’s always hungry for feedback, even if we’re already blown away with her works! On top of being creative and talented, she is also very systematic with how she works. She is always focused, prompt, and dependable. She sets her own deadlines and contingency plans. She has also gone beyond the tasks we recommended to her. Despite being under the Graphics Team, she has produced videos, photos, and write-ups. She also comes up with timely ideas that make us think, “How come we didn’t we think of that before?!” With her talent, initiative, and attitude towards her collaborators, Blew will definitely be an asset to any team she joins.

WIM Portfolio: https://www.wheninmanila.com/author/blew-david/

Instagram: @kirstenblew

Instagram: @crazyfemalebrain

Twitter: @kirstenblew

Videography Team

Vivien del Valle


Vivien del Valle

In a room full of people, Vivien might not be the first person to catch your eye. For one, she was wearing black every time I saw her! She doesn’t have a boisterous personality, and she doesn’t call attention to herself. This is probably because she doesn’t have to. Her work speaks for herself. She has a quiet consistency that has made her among the first interns to finish 100 hours. During the start of the program, Vivien talked about her dream project: a series of articles on La Union, her hometown. Since none of her co-interns were also based in La Union, she spent months quietly working on the series by herself: the photos, the videos, the write-ups, and even coordinating with the owners of the establishments. On top of that, she also volunteered for a lot of features in Metro Manila. She reminds me of my favorite quote from Maria Popova, “Greatness is consistency driven by a deep love of the work.”

Q&A with Vivien

1. What’s the best thing about the WhenInManila.com internship program?

It was the ultimate learning experience. Being an intern in WhenInManila.com meant that you would have the freedom to choose what you want to do and how you want to do it. That free and independent type of work environment gave me the opportunity to learn so much about myself, and about this industry I’m in. Plus, I got to discover a lot of awesome new places, taste great food, meet amazing people, and experience a lot of new things.

2. What are the skills you learned or improved on because of the program?

My writing skills definitely leveled up a notch. The various types of articles I had to write gave me countless opportunities to discover perspectives and styles I never knew I had. My photography and videography skills improved as well. Having to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments for the interwebs to see gave me brand new eyes to gaze at the world. The improvement on my people skills were a huge bonus. Who knew I could talk to big-time business-owners and famous people without fainting?

3. Any tips for the second batch of interns? 

Know what you want and understand your passion. Then go ahead and do it! Take a leap of faith. Yes, it’s cliché but it’s also true. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself with others. There will always be something in this world that only you can do. I went into this internship knowing that there will always be better writers, photographers, and videographers. But hey, I was doing what I love and sharing my own thoughts with the world. No one else could do that better than myself.

WIM Portfolio: https://www.wheninmanila.com/author/vivien-del-valle/

Instagram: @viviendelvalle

Twitter: @viviendelvalle

Alvin, JP, Blew, and Vivien were the interns who finished their 100 hours before 2016 ends. We will continue to update this list as more of our first batch of interns finish their 100 hours.

If you are interested to be part of the second batch of interns, check out this link. Applications are open until January 7, 2017. Announcement about the application would be on January 14, 2017.