100 MIFG: The Pink Tarha and Ion Gonzaga – Pioneer Bloggers
While the web is littered with countless bloggers and social media influencers, only a few of them stand out as pioneers who have blossomed into bigger things. ‘Boy Dubai’ and ‘The Pink Tarha’ are the Filipino community’s leaders in this niche.
An authority blogger and pioneer in the area of inspirational lifestyle since 2011, Ion has quickly become a household name – thanks to his memorable blog that’s easily relatable to Filipino culture. Through the years, Ion, who once represented the UAE at the World Bloggers Day, has racked up an enviable amount of awards and deals as well as speaking engagements as an authority in the field. Last year, Ion also launched a novel e-commerce enterprise, Eternitee, which produces stylish t-shirts with empowering and inspiring messages.
He shares, “Until my content has relevance to the Filipino community, yes it makes an impact, and it empowers my fellowmen.” He adds, “My stories are mostly about my expat life – my typical day at home, at work, with family or friends, as well as the wisdom and the lessons learned from my struggles. These are the ingredients I use to create stories that bring positive changes in the lives of my audience.” He also professes, “Every time I receive comments and messages about how a blog I’ve written changed the way people live brightens my day. It is gratifying to know that there are people empowered by what I write and share online. One greatly influenced life can make a big difference in the world.”
The Pink Tarha
Some people think that a blog is just a blog, but when a blog can shine a light and make a positive difference on how a city is perceived – well that’s just special. Lifestyle bloggers Janelle Vales-Yasay and Reina Rejano-Beriña of The PinkTarha have contributed so much to the positive image of Riyadh, KSA, that they have received tourism excellence awards from the Saudi government, not to mention a feature on regional TV MBC, as well as a slot in the Top 10 blogs in the Bloggers Abroad Contest in 2017.
Their blog, which is a compendium of articles featuring restaurants, events, activities, shopping, travel, and how-to guides have become the definitive lifestyle guide for people in the kingdom. Recently the Pink Tarha has also launched its own Youtube channel and have also collaborated with various brands in the hotel, food and beauty industry.
“We have also been more active in the community as we get invited to be inspirational speakers for women empowerment during workshops and students career days,” says Janelle. “By writing about our experiences and the new things happening in the city, we have encouraged people to go out and enjoy their time here.” She adds, “It’s tough being an OFW, even more so in a place like Riyadh, so knowing that there are fun things to do lets them feel that they can do it, too!”
Speaking on social media and people’s fixation on the number of followers at a time when fans can be bought and automated, Reina comments, “Hard work, originality and quality of work will always speak for itself. More importantly, those will build trust between you and your followers. If you put your readers’ interest above fame, glamour, and fortune, only then can you be a true influencer.”
Photography by: Alex Callueng and Jun Muga
Illustrado 100 was made possible by sponsors: Giordano, Liali Jewellery, Mitsubishi UAE- Al Habtoor Motors, Michael Cinco Couture, Mapúa Institute of Technology, Centro – Amwaj Rotana Hotel , Max’s Restaurant Middle East and GVER – Your Friendly MarketPlace for Sharing
Co-Sponsors: Herschel Supply Co., Rove Hotels, The Medical City – Dubai , Filipino Institute UAE, MPQ Tourism, JAMES Travel and Tours Dubai, Off the Hook Seafood Restaurant, The Original Barrio Fiesta Restaurant – Dubai and Tapa King UAE.
Read more Illustrado 100 on www.illustradolife.com