Sometimes, fate has a way of allowing you to find the people you need the most. That is how I view my experience on those two fateful weekends that I spent in Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point in La Union, and Binangonan, Rizal.
To be honest, I never thought I would find myself in such a summit – the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit – because for a time, I disliked the word “marketing” and everything associated with it. I felt that I did not have the required guts to be involved in anything related to “selling.”
But after years in theater and events, and a full year at a rock bar where I did pretty much everything myself, I realized I have been doing marketing without really knowing it.
When I needed customers to come to my bar and other events, I did marketing. When I needed sponsors for my events, I did marketing. When I met with my suppliers, I did marketing.
I have been doing marketing ever since I have been traveling, “marketing” the places I go to by posting my experiences, my photos and any information related to these places. I have been doing marketing since I put that online retail shop, Kikayism, with my good friend from graduate school PJ Valenciano, now designer and owner of Palamuti– a line of handmade accessories made for women. I have been doing a lot of marketing and I never actually realized it.
I found out about the summit from my friend Ana Locsin, the woman behind Pitaka Lifestyle Billfold, a line of tarpaulin wallets with adhoc Filipino designs, who shared the summit’s poster on her wall. At first I was really just interested in being able to come see Thunderbird Resorts.
There were two venues on two different weekends. One was for February 2, at Thunderbird Rizal, which was quite close to where I lived. Another was for January 26, at Thunderbird Poro Point in La Union – less than an hour away from the surfing capital that is San Juan. At first thought I decided I was going to the one in Rizal because of the proximity. On second thought, I thought going to La Union was also a good excuse to come out there to do some surfing.
I compared the two schedules, modules and speakers and found that they were not too similar, and that I could benefit from attending both. And so I did.
Part 1: DIM Thunderbird Poro Point
I took the 6-hr bus ride from El Nido to Puerto Princesa, flew in to Manila, and took the 5 hr-bus ride all the way to La Union, from Thursday til Saturday. I arrived in San Fernando very early in the morning, quite freezing and very sleepy, but very happy to be there. I got to see the sunrise and had delicious coffee with the view of the San Fernando sea.
I was the very first to arrive at the resort and was perhaps, the first one too to the coffee table. I needed it.
The speakers were varied, but I loved them all. From the honesty of Vanj Padilla of Pangalatalk.com, admitting how she found it hard to switch from traditional to new media, and how difficult single motherhood was (and how I loved her in every way!)