Friday, August 31, 2018

Experience | The Freelancer Fair 2018 : Up Your Game!

Slowly, I am coming out of my comfort zone.

And one of the biggest thing I have ever done as yet when it comes  to conquering my weakness, is by attending The Freelancer Fair last Saturday, August 25, 2018, which was held at Metrotent, Pasig city.

If you have been reading my blog ever since, you may have already been familiar about my trouble in communicating and socializing with others.

But, huwag ka, I went to the fair alone!

Well, one catch is that I have plans of meeting up with my WFHR classmates whom I bought tickets with to avail the group rate discount.

But that day was the first time I am meeting them in person as well.

So....what happened in the event?

Before I head on to telling my version of The Freelancer Fair, let me broadcast this to all the readers, that I got a little lost going to the venue. 😂

It is located within Metrowalk, and since malawak ang Metrowalk, I trusted my phone's map which led me to the oppposite direction!

When the map refreshed, it's telling me to walk the other way again.

Buti na lang may dalawang pulis na nakaupo sa isang store so I asked them where it is.

Yes, you are right. I am bad at directions. Kahit ituro mo sa akin kung saan ang C.R. mawawala pa rin ako. 😆

Kahit nga nung tinuturo nila sa akin kung saan ako dadaan, ibang kalsada pa ang tinitingnan ko. Thanks to Mamang nakabota ng white na naglakad mula sa direction ng Metrotent, nang ituro sa akin ng pulis yon, finally nalaman ko na kung saan ako pupunta.

So ito pala iyon:

I arrived at the place around 8:40AM and there are quite a number of people already.

8:00AM - 9:00PM is for registration.

The registration area has 4 lines:

1. Paid online - Surname starts with A to L
2. Paid online - Surname starts with M to Z (this is where I lined up, at tanging pinipilahan ng mga tao nang madatnan ko)
3. Walk-ins / Pre-registered
4. VIPS / Bloggers / Sponsors / Communities / Media

There's also a play area for kids. Children 15 years old and below can enter the venue for FREE (sayang 16 y/o na ako. Charot!)

I was given an ID and a lootbag.

I entered the venue and instinctively looked for the FLIP/WFHR booth to meet with them.

Found it on the rightmost corner of the area.

I even forgot to say "Hi" to the people in front managing the booth and walked past them to look for my group (the ones I bought the tickets with). 😆 I really suck!

Yes naman, namukhaan ko agad si ate Annie. 😁

She reminded me about registering at the booth and getting my pin and sticker. Oh diba, umpisa pa lang, nagkakalat na ako. Wait ka lang. Marami pa yan. Hahaha

I also got my number for the queue of FLIP's Free Massage.

Ate Annie got to experience the massage first and I feel embarrassed just standing idle there so I mustered up my courage and sat on the bean bag chair where two (2) people were sitting.

Yes, talagang pinicturan ko muna sila bago ako umupo.

I felt awkward, I have to say something.

First thing I said to the person sitting closest to me was, "Kayo po si?"

Then she introduced herself as "Bong".

I was shocked, which, unconsciously, was written all over my face! (Pagkakalat #2)

"Ms. Bong Isleta?" grabbing her hand and introducing myself with continuous stuttering, I told her that she has hired me before. (I've written my experience on that one-time task I did for her >>here<<)

She smiled and asked me how I was doing after that project, and I told her I got my full-time client after that. 😊

We chatted for a while with Kuya JP too (the one sitting next to her).

It didn't take long bago ako makasalang sa Free Massage dahil konti pa lang ang nasa booth.

(I can't even remember kung nakapagsabi pa ba ako sa mga kausap ko bago ako lumipat sa massage chair or basta na lang akong tumayo. My gawd.)

After the massage, now what? I don't know what to do.

I sat back on the bean bag and tried to chat again (met Ate Mariz).

L-R: Ate Mariz, Ms. Bong, Me
L-R: Ate Mariz, Me, Kalahating Ate Annie 😂
 FLIP/WFHR members are really warm people, well, at least the members I was able to talk to while I was at the booth. 😁

I've also met some WFHR staff like ate Quirie and we took a group photo with the FLIP stand.

L-R: Ate Annie, Me, Ms. Bong, Ate Quirie, Ms. Anna,
Kuya LJ (maka-kuya ako pero hindi ko naman nakausap xD), Ate Mariz
As the program started, we headed to the seats provided in front. Yes! Maka-"we" ako, may kasama na ako. 😄

The leftmost is Ate Maxie.

Medyo marami pang upuan ang bakante but as the event went on, it started to fill up as well.

Really though, the organizers have really worked hard and a lot of speakers were present.

In the morning, Ms. Ginger Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops, welcomed and thanked everyone with her opening remarks.

Usec. Monchito Ibrahim from DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) spoke about their program, R.I.S. (Rural Impact Sourcing), where they train locals in the countryside with ICT-based knowledge and skills that will enable them to become digital entrepreneurs.

And our community's coach! Jason Dulay, talked about the evolution of a freelancer, as he himself worked from the bottom all the way up, from newbie to top-earner.

I'm actually planning on creating a separate post about this evolution he discussed. And he's spot on with his ending statement: "The world is constantly changing, evolving. If you don't want to be left behind, you have to evolve too.....or get left behind."

Followed by him is DCAP's President, Edgardo Reonico Jr. (Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines). I wish non-freelancers were able to hear his talk, those who does not believe in freelancing. "Legit ka ba?", "Di ba delikado yan?", "Di naman totoong trabaho yan eh?", etc. He talked about how to turn to/become a professional freelancer, like legalizing our work by properly registering to all concerned agencies, etc.

Avery Ocumen went up after him. Her topic was supposed to be about how to maximize online tools for freelancing, but rather than just enumerating all the tools, which I too suppose we all wouldn't understand because we use different tools according to our specialty, she instead enumerated 5 facts about freelancing and laid out the top 20 fastest-growing skills based on the quarterly skill index of Upwork (I only know few of them and I'm not even that familiar). That goes to show we really need to up our skill, which this Freelancer Fair's theme is, Up Your Game.

Oh, and the 5 facts she mentioned are the following:

1. The freelance workforce is bigger than people realize. (This is true. Not only in the Philippines, but all over the world, freelancing is continuously growing)
2. Freelancing is about freedom. (No need to expound this)
3. Technology is enabling more freelancing.
4. Freelancing websites are playing a growing role in the global economy.
5. Freelancers are better equipped for the future. (Uhm, for me it depends. Or maybe I'm thinking it the different way?)

There was also a Q&A for the panels on how to maximize the use of social media as a freelancer. Panelists were Julian Canita, Jane Martinito, Toni Nicolas and Ann Penaredondo.

The supposed speaker before the Q&A was late, and it was already lunch time when he arrived. It was Sean Si, CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker, Qeryz,Sigil and Workplays. His topic was of course, about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I really need and want to listen to this because I can integrate it with my blog, but.....but.....I already feel reallyyyyy hungry and I can feel my stomach growling so we decided, ate Maxie and kuya JP, to grab lunch first.

I did eat while listening to him, and my memory was all filled with food. I can't remember a thing about the talk! I'm really a mess. 😑

And as I am uploading photos of the speakers here, I think I wasn't able to take a photo of him either!

But I was able to take photo of my food:

Mr. William Floresta of the newly launched Mikilala, talked a little bit about their program which is focused on real estate. I was surprised that my auntie know him (I mentioned him when I got home because she's a real estate broker).

Wizher also had their time to advertise their product and booth which is quite interesting. It is about Wi-Fi na tingi-tingi. Pwede mong gawing negosyo if you have a store. Pwede kang maningil ng P5 per how many minutes, or something like that. (Sorry I am not good at explaining but you can search them on Google if you are interested 😉)

Dahil medyo atrasado nang natapos ang morning schedule, we resumed in the afternoon at around 1:30PM. Ito ang talagang challenging dahil busog na kami. Parang mas mahirap nang magfocus at gugustuhin mo na lang magsiesta.

Fitz Villafuerte, co-founder of, took on the challenge and started his talk on How to Transition from Freelancing to Entrepreurship. It focused on the journey from being a Solo Freelancer to being a Solopreneur to becoming an Entrepreneur. This talk got me as well. It is within the mindset to distinguish which journey are you in and when you know it, you can start transitioning by setting your mindset to where you want to be.

The next talk got me nervous. Mourese Soriano, Project Manager of Unionbank GlobalLinker, instructed us to introduce ourselves to one another (as many as you can) for 5 minutes! Ask for each other's names and passion, he said. But within 5 minutes, I only got to introduce myself to two (2) person. Hi ate Mayen and ate Evelyn. 😆 Well, that relates to his talk about How Networking Can Grow Your Business.

Passion, Purpose and Profit were what Marian Medina talked about next. (I'm sorry, I can't move on from the previous activity that I was afloat during this time)

But I got back to reality when Jonecca San Pascual started with her topic. She talked about achieving success and happiness. It's pretty self-explanatory but we often forget about being happy when we are too focused on becoming successful. She's a success and happiness coach after all. A Co-Founder of Zentellect Corp. (I even took a video of a part of her talk. Tee Hee~)

Personal Branding. That's the focus of the next speaker, Lexter Ang, Brand Consultant & Communication, Designer

Toni Nicolas shared tips on How to Charge Premium and Be Seen as Authority in Your Niche Even When You're Just Starting Out. It's all about your influence. Give value and be consistent.

And last but definitely not the least, Martine Cosio De Luna, who's focused on empowering women, especially the WAHMs or Work At Home Moms. You can check out their group, Business In Heels, if you want to know more.

And we had our last Q&A which is about Working While Reclaiming Your Time for Life and Relationships as a Work-from-Home-Mom. Panelists were Martine Cosio De Luna, Maria Korina Cape and our very own, Anna Soriano.

In between talks, we also had games tulad ng walang kamatayang "Bring Me". 😂 Meron ding kung sino ang pinakamalayo ang pinanggalingan (an OFW won this), oldest and youngest freelancer attendee, finding Nemo este Marvin, etc. (Marvin De Leon is the host together with Jieneb Kho). Panalo din ang prizes. Ate Maxie got a bottle of  Kalamancello priced around Php 700. Me? I didn't get any. 😆

But! With the help of my newly found friends, they encouraged me to take pictures with our coaches, mentors and successful WFHR members turned WFHR staff during lunch break.

You don't know how much courage I had to muster up with each photos I got, especially to Coach Jason.

As you can see, naka-"Distancia Amigo" mode ako sa kanya. I didn't expect myself to be like that as well.

With Ms. Honey na sobrang active mag-cheer sa mga students sa group, may bonus pang Ms. Holly sa likod ng pic. 😂

And a pic with Ms. Holly herself.

Marami nang nasa booth noong lunch.

And! Erictoon's booth was just right next to FLIP's booth! I was able to get free stickers, buy a Freelance poster (humingi na rin ng autograph hehe) and took a selfie with him.

(Siyempre malayong malayo pa yung drawing ko sa Baybayin komiks 😆 I need to work hard!)

Nag-stutter na naman ako as I was introducing myself to him as a member of Freelance Blenders and the chat group (which he's a member too). Nabitawan ko pa yung poster at hanky ko as I was posing for the camera. Really, I'm such a mess. But nonetheless, the effort did not go to waste as he gave me a discount being a member of the group. Tee-hee!

Overall, my very first attendance of The Freelancer Fair is sure memorable, from the messes I did, to the great experience and memories I made with great people I met and will probably meet again in the future (Looking forward to this year's Christmas party na 😁). Lots of learning too. Lots of booth. Lots of different people. Although I haven't explored every bit of the fair, this is enough for me as a first timer. Next year, if I will be able to attend again, I'll make sure to explore more. 😀

I initially planned to visit every booth and take a photo of each one of them, but I here's the photos of the booths, in general, that I was able to take:

Out of all the booths I visited, this one is one of my favorite. I like the scents of their products! *Sniff sniff*

Oh look at Hatputito on the left being a social butterfly. 😝

Here's everything I got from the fair. Not that much as I wasn't able to go to every booth, but I am still happy. 😊

Past 5PM natapos ang fair (medyo maaga ito kaysa sa ineexpect ko). Pero kumain ulit kami after the fair, yung pang-dinner na. 😁

Ate Hasmin, Ate Maxie and Me.

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