Dear awesome friends...
I started Our Awesome Planet, OAP for short, in January 2005 after the big Tsunami that hit South East Asia and before my first son Aidan was born in Asian Hospital.
In those times, the art of blogging is new. The only thing going for me is my love of photography and my love of anything related with technology. I am not a writer (at that time). The only things I ever wrote were my engineering related papers ( I am an Electronic Communications Engineering graduate) and project related documentations in P&G. At the onset, the only thing on my mind is to write for my newborn son, Aidan, a little bit of his parent's history and his childhood days.
A lot of people have been asking me why I blog. I wrote an entry on this topic in my blog post: Why Blog? In a gist, OAP is a written dedication to our sons, Aidan and Joshua, so that they would have a documented history of their childhood. I hope that through these pages, our family's adventure and significant milestones are immortalized. I still can't forget the first time we brought Aidan to El Nido Palawan playing in the waters of Shimizu and Entalula Island; and our first time in the island of Balesin . I love sharing the excitement of learning that we are giving birth to another baby boy, waiting for Baby 4's birth, and finally giving birth the La Maze way in Makati Medical Hospital.
***UPDATE 9/22/11: The Balesin island cannot be visited anymore and membership will by invitation only. The island is now owned by Alphaland Corporation. ***
I was tempted in the past to turn OAP into an online magazine but I decided to keep OAP as a family blog turning it to something like a virtual heirloom that will be handed on my sons. My wife Rache is now blogging at Mrs Awesome Planet hosted by Sanrio Town and my son Aidan just created his first blog post.
If time would allow and destiny would be so kind, I aspire to be a respected food writer and historian like Doreen Fernandez, a National Geographic photographer like George Tapan, and a successful pro-blogger like Darren Rowse. Even though I am not there yet, I hope that my journey will inspire at least one soul to strive hard and be the best that he/she can be. In the end, even if I don't become famous as Doreen, George or Darren, as long as I know that I left this world a little better, I think I made my mark!
To understand why I decided to go full time on my blogging career last May 2008, you got to read these four sentimental blog posts: Romi's Everest and My One Big Dream, What's your Everest?; Paalam Julia -- Your Spirit Lives on; Summer of 2008: Love for Philippines, Rogin E update, and Taking OAP to the Next Level; and Why Blog. Recently, I wrote about achieving my 1,000 Blog Post blogging milestone. I was inspired by the Holy Spirit when I attended the first Kerygma Feast last November 2007 by Bo Sanchez and it gave me the courage to pursue my calling.
Throughout my close to four years of blogging career, I'm proud to have shared the food and travel secrets of the Philippines. I predicted two dessert craze in the Philippines: the Cupcake Craze when Sonja first opened in Serendra and the Frozen Yogurt craze with the first Cold Spoon outlet in Angeles, Pampanga. I introduced a lot of people to the Great Bulacan Sale when we first discovered it in July 2005. I witnessed the excitement of seeing the first Filipino to climb Mt. Everest by my friend Romi Garduce (and finally, God willing, the first Filipino to climb the 7 Summits in 2010.)
I was fortunate to witness the early beginnings of Carlos Celdran's Intramuros Tour, Ivan Man Dy's Chinatown Food Tour, and Tina Decal's culinary tour of Quezon. Together with Joel of Market Manila, and Lori of DessertsComesFirst, we pioneered Food Blogging in the Philippines. I also wrote the first blog posts on most of the Viaje del Sol destinations in 2005. Our Awesome Planet will always be remembered for its post on the virtual tour of the Mall of Asia and the opening of the first Imax in the Philippines. Also, I'm particularly proud of sharing the most comprehensive Awesome Calendar of the Philippines.
Most OAP readers love these unique OAP articles:
- Secret Online Multiply Stores in Manila
- The Holy Bread of Padre Pio
- Top 10 Awesome Restaurants of the Philippines
- Top Ten 10 Cool Things to do in Boracay!, Boracay's Mystique...
- Top 5 Bora Resto!
- Boracay 101: A Bora First Timer's Guide To Boracay's Best Restaurants, Must Try Food and Gimmick Places
- The Day Gary Vaynerchuck Rocked my Internet Marketing World
- Nothing Beats an Antonio's Dinner in Tagaytay
- Bistro Filipino by Chef Laudico -- Best Filipino Fusion Food
- I lust for Boutique , The Essential Guide to The Boutique
- The Definitive Guide to T-House, Tagaytay
PS: I'm a die hard Green Archers Fan!
About Our Awesome Planet
Our Awesome Planet (OAP for short) is a top lifestyle blog that documents the food and travel adventures of our family in real time. It showcases the best of food and travel destinations in the Philippines, ASEAN and the world. OAP readers are smart professionals/entrepreneurs with a family and foodies who love to travel.
Statistics (September 19, 2014)
- Founded: January 2005
- Age of Blog: 9.5+ years (Pioneering Blog in the Philippines)
- Blog Posts: 2,564+ Posts
- Comments: 32,107+ Comments
- Blog Subscribers: 8,524+ Email Subscribers
- Facebook Fans: 126,427+ Fans
- Twitter Followers: 17,200+ Followers
- Instagram Followers: 9,872+ Followers
- Pinterest Followers: 2,237+ Followers
- YouTube Followers: 889+ Subscribers
- Google+ Friends: 5,867+ in Circles
- Klout Score: 70