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Life Must Go On: The Story of Blogger Camilo Villanueva Jr

Camilo Mendoza Villanueva, Jr is a former teacher at De La Salle University, University of the East Caloocan, St. Scholastica’s College, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He taught for more or less 4 years and have then decided to enter the BPO industry when he lost his partner for 25 years. He currently holds the position Junior Proposal Writer.

Aside from doing a regular job, Mr. Camilo also manages the blog http://happeningph.com. His site is so diverse that he blogs almost about anything, including but not limited to news, real estate, consumer products, arts, and culture. He posts news and features as is but he also does reviews.

I got the chance to interview him and we talked about his BPO and blogging career and a little bit about his personal life.

On His BPO Career:

  1. What made you decide to work in BPO?

Nung mag isa na lang ako, kailangan ko maghanap regular na trabaho. Sinubukan ko lang, kailangan kumain at umupa.

  1. How many years have you been in BPO?

1+ pa lang

  1. What advice can you give to those who want to work in BPO?

Apply lang kayo, maraming pagpipilian na posisyon na suswak sa skills at experience ninyo.

Kailangan open at masanay sa shifting schedules, magkahiwalay na dayoff, at matinding performance standards kasi sukat at bilang lahat ng ginagawa mo every hour. Mas matindi pa sa school.

  1. What is the most important lesson that you’ve learned in the professional aspect of your life?

Laging paunlarin ang sarili, matuto lagi, dahil mabilis magbago panahon.

Walang computer at internet noong nag aaral ako, ang pagsusulat makinilyado o sulat kamay, ang page nileyout sa papel, piktyur dinidevelop sa darkroom o sa photo shop.

Maki network, makipagkaibigan nang pang matagalan, maging mapagkumbaba. Lahat halos ng boss ko mas bata sa akin.

On His Blogging Career:

  1. What made you decide to blog?

Una kong na appreciate ang pagba blog noong nagtuturo pa sa kolehiyo. Ginamit kong platform para sa mga assignments at babasahin ng estudyante ng panitikan ang Filipino Writers blog noong 2009.

Gusto ko rin sana gumawa nito pero hindi ako marunong, wala akong sariling computer, at wala akong Internet. Nakiki-computer lang ako sa kumare ko noon.

Nag-freelance na ako matapos magturo at para libangin ang sarili ay madalas akong dumadalo ng kung ano-anong free events sa school, sa CCP, atbp gaya ng mga conferences, talks, exhibits.

Dito ko nakilala si Christine “Tin” Gonzalez ng Today Online na nag encourage sa aking mag-blog. Siya nag introduce sa akin sa mga bloggers, marami pala yun at may sariling Category sa Media, hindi ako conscious. Siya nagturo ng mga basics sa pag post, atbp. Pati sa pag attend ng events at papaano.

Di ko hilig talaga at inalok ko na lang na magsulat ako para sa kaniya. Sa maraming taong pagtatagpo at pangungulit na papayag niya akong i manage ang Happening Now sa WordPress, nagsulat dito, hanggang sa maimbitahan ng Wildfyre group para mapasama sa kanilang grupo.

  1. When did your blog start?

Dito nagsimula ang HappeningPH.com noong 2019 yata yun, di ko na maalala, pumili ng 10 artikulo mula WP para i migrate sa.dot com, at nagtoy-tuloy na. Hosted siya Bale ng Wildfyre, search mo siya, network of bloggers siya.

  1. What advice can you give to aspiring bloggers out there?

Wala pa ako maipapayo dahil ako man kinulit at kinulit nang maraming taon at hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring Internet connection sa bahay, kahit mapa-oo na ako.

Nasa Facebook kasi talaga ako, sa mga reviews, photos, at thoughts ko tungkol sa mga na dadaluhan ko, pwede siguro I migrate o I link content dun to blog o baligtad? Wala akong alam sa technicalities nun, e, o ng blog.

Pero base sa nasabi ko, go lang ng go muna, magsimula, magsulat mang magsulat kung tipo ka na nagsusulat, o magnetwork nang mag network para marami kang maishaere na artikulo, balita, o press features. Dumalo ng maraming events at makipaglkilala sa mga organizers, prticipants, at PR.

Higit sa lahat, para sa gaya kong walang alam, mag-aral at matuto at humanap ng pagkakataon na matuto gaya nitong workshop ni MsKathyKenny.

Nakadalo na ako noon ng talk on digital media like kina Ms Janet Toral pero wala pa akong blog na mahihimay at maisasalang sa workshop. So magsimula muna baho mag-aral, para may basehan ka at magagamit sa mga lessons, hindi from scratch.

  1. What can you say to those who want to try blogging but are afraid to start?

Ako ito for many years.

Hanggang ngayon afraid pa rin lalo’t nakikita ko ngayon kung gaano ka savvy at fab mga blogs ninyo, galing talaga!

Hindi ako conscious sa mga blogs ng iba, haha! Unless I was asked to write for them like for Larawan at Kape at TechUpdateAsia ni John Cueto, minsan sa Wazzup Pilipinas ni Ross, parang publishing magazine pala ang blog na realized ko. You can write for other bloggers if you want gaya ko. Haha.

Seek mentors or other bloggers to apprentice with.

May mga libro din ako about blogs and monetizing blogs decades ago pa pero di ko maintindihan. Wala rin nga akong time bumabad sa internet, magblog, dahil wala naman akong Internet sa bahay, so phone lang. Mahirap. Ako lang yata ang ganito. Hehe.

Look for people bloggers who would encourage, teach you, and stick with you through the process hanggang makaya mo na magisa. But don’t forget them.

On His Personal Life

  1. How are you, now that you said you are alone?

Okay naman, wag lang nagkakasakit.

  1. How does your day start and end?

Pasasalamat at papuri. Stretching and cold shower in the morning, ganun din sa gabi

  1. What motivates you to keep going in life?

Pag magisa ka na lang wala kang maaasahan o mauuwian sasalubong sa iyo, kailangan mong kumilos at gumawa ng paraan hanggang kaya mo

  1. What advice can you give to those widows/widowers?

Patuloy lang ang buhay, babalik ka sa mga gusto at kaya mong gawin para sa ikabubuhay at ikasisiya ng sarili

Within the short span of time that I got to talk to Mr. Camilo, I realized how strong he is as an individual. Given that he is alone now, he still manages to wake up day by day, full of hope and optimism in life. He may have had dark episodes in the past but he still continues to have faith in God. And with that, I can truly say that he is an epitome of an individual who doesn’t know the words giving up.

To know more about Mr. Camilo Villanueva, Jr, you may visit his Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/cmvillanuevajr/

*This is a writing exercise from the Blogging Mentorship Program of MsKathyKenny

1 thought on “Life Must Go On: The Story of Blogger Camilo Villanueva Jr”

  1. Salamat po sa interview na ito – nakakatuwa at nakakataba po ng puso – at sa pag-feature sa akin at sa HappeningPH.com sa Mommy Van blog.

    Salamat din kay Mam Kenny Ngo sa napakagandang activity na ito!

    Nakilala namin ang ibang blogs at ang aming mga sarili sa pananaw ng iba.

    Sana maraming nanay at the tatay – lalo na mga tatay – ang maengganyong magsulat at mag-blog para I share din ang kanilang mga karanasan at pakikiagapay sa buhay bilang magulang, asawa, anak, at kasama sa buhay.

    Like

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