Creative Entrepreneurs: Making business sense of the creative life

Creative Entrepreneurs Summit

Follow your passion. Do what you love. Make a decent living. Does anyone really get to do all three? Often we are made to believe that the best you can do is get one out of three.

Writers Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez would like to think otherwise. The two who are behind Writer’s Block Philippines know a thing or two about turning passion into profit.

Santos left a cushy banking position as Assistant Vice President to pursue a career as a freelance journalist. Meanwhile, Sarthou-Lainez has maintained a career as a full-time freelance writer-editor for more than a decade.

“We were always being asked how to get started in writing and then always asked if it is possible to make a living from it,” said Santos who is a two-time Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee.

Answering that question was the reason behind forming Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP). Santos and Sarthou-Lainez began conducting writing workshops that would help aspiring writers jumpstart their freelance writing career.

Dozens of writing workshops and hundreds of participants later, they continue to do what we love and love what we do.

“Globally, the creative industries are booming. To maximize this shift in the marketplace, we need to learn how to be creative entrepreneurs,” said Sarthou-Lainez, a former travel ambassador for Moleskine notebooks.

To help creative professionals along, WBP will bring together successful creative entrepreneurs who are at the top of their game and are eager to give participants the needed fist pump to take the first leap (it’s never just a “baby step”) to starting their creative enterprise.

Writer’s Block Philippines is hosting the second Creative Entrepreneurship Summit on March 5, 2016, Saturday ,1-5pm, at Commune Café, Polaris corner Durban Streets, Poblacion, Makati City.

Guest speakers include Marielle Nadal founder of CraftMNL, fashion photographer Niccolo Cosme, and performance artist Carlos Celdran.

What:                      Creative Entrepreneurs Summit

When:                      March 5, 2016, 1-5pm

Where:                    Commune Cafe

Polaris corner Durban Streets,  Poblacion, Makati

Entrance Fee:       P500.00 (inclusive of coffee and snacks)

Running a creative enterprise can be taught. But to think like a creative entrepreneur, one needs to learn how to create a balance between passion and profit from other creative entrepreneurs.

This event is made possible by Fully Booked,,, and Rappler.

Power Mac Center presents ​​‘Cinemansanas’

Pixelworx Cinemansanas 1

Premier Apple reseller Power Mac Center launches Cinemansanas, a campaign for aspiring and established artists who have a vision in storytelling through film in the digital age. Cinemansanas is the second installment of Pixelworx, Power Mac Center’s advocacy of recognizing artists who break the standards of the art scene. It is celebrated with a series of workshops, live demos, and an ultimate art challenge.

This year, Cinemansanas dares artists to defy convention and create a short film using Apple devices. The digital short competition calls for short film entries with the theme “Designing for a Bold New World.” Entries may be executed in any form, i.e., documentary, narrative fiction, and the like as long as they are original and shot and edited using Apple devices.

The contest has two main categories. The Student Category is open to all officially enrolled High School and College/University students while the Professional Category is for local residents. All finalists in the Student and Professional categories will qualify to win the People’s Choice Award.

Power Mac Center aims to honor the brightest and best local talents in contemporary creativity further by participating at the Adobo Design Awards Asia (ADAA) Open/Theme category: Digital Short Film. Student entries are automatically eligible to win the much coveted ADAA recognition (Student category) while professionals will have to pay a nominal fee of Php500 for their category.

“Power Mac Center challenges everyone to reconnect with their inner artist. We need a new breed of storytellers now and with the amazing things you can do on the iPad and iPhone, the only limit is your creativity,” said Joey Alvarez, Marketing Director of Power Mac Center.

The Student Category Diamond Award winner will receive Php30,000 worth of Power Mac Center Gift Cards, while the Professional Category Diamond Award winner will take home Php50,000 worth of Power Mac Center Gift Cards. Runners-up in both categories will get Power Mac Center Gift Cards and products as well. Meanwhile, special prizes await winners of the Adobo Design Award for Digital Short (Student and Professional categories) and the People’s Choice Award.

The deadline for submission of entries is on March 20, 2016. For the registration form and full contest mechanics, visit

As in the previous year, Pixelworx Cinemansanas will feature a series of workshops led by brand ambassadors, as well as live demo sessions in select Power Mac Center stores. This year’s workshops will showcase some of the country’s premier figures in the film industry.

The chosen Pixelworx ambassadors are Erik Matti for Direction, Yam Laranas for Cinematography, Ricky Lee for Scriptwriting, and Mario Cornejo and Monster Jimenez for Film Production. It is a rare opportunity to have these distinguished film artists share their unconventional way of visual storytelling to equip participants with valuable skills that can help in their own filmmaking.


Apart from the workshops, also scheduled are in-store activities featuring live demonstrations of apps used for filmmaking. Topics include Digital Filmmaking with iMovie, Musical Scoring with GarageBand, and Final Cut Pro X for Mac OS. This will show how Apple devices can be used as instruments in crafting in any chosen medium, particularly in creating film masterpieces.

cinemansanas omnibus a4 PATH-raster

Interested participants may check the Power Mac Center social media accounts for the online registration announcement.

For more information, visit any Power Mac Center branch, or go to or call 855-8888.

Invitation to #AsiaOnScreen Film Festival on May 8-12, 2015!

ASIA ON SCREEN 2015 Film Festival
May 8-12, 2015
Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza

Asia Society Philippines and Security Bank, together with Shangri-La Cineplex and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), invite you to witness the best films from Asia at ASIA ON SCREEN 2015.

Moviegoers will enjoy a showcase of award-winning films from across the region. Participating countries in the film festival are the following: Australia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, China and the Philippines.

Bring your date, friends and loved ones to experience the best of Asian cinema!

Tickets will be available on site at Shang Cineplex for PHP 100. For inquiries, please contact Jenny Rockett or Avanti Narayanan at or 550-2612.

Official Facebook event page:
Official Hash tag: #AsiaOnScreen
Asia Society Philippines: @AsiaSocietyPH


Get ready to go outdoors this summer

8.5x11_ROX Outdoor Festival 2015_2nd Option AD

Celebrate a weekend packed with the best reasons for you to Get Outside. R.O.X. continues on with its final stage of the Get Outside campaign through its highly-anticipated R.O.X Outdoor Festival, which will be happening on April 18 to 19 in partnership with Bonifacio High Street.

This two-day event shall be the outdoor convert’s gateway to the adventuring life. There will be sporting competitions – Bouldering Competition, TNF Mountain Athletics, Columbia Trying Stuff Ramp Challenge, Fox Pedal Plank, mini games and activities, as well as exhibit and booths from R.O.X.’s top outdoor brands and partners. The event will also feature different adventure groups, tour operators, and environmental organizations who’ll be helping bridge the gap between customer and experience provider.

There are several talks lined up tapping topics such as outdoor photography, trail running, backpacking, surfing, bird watching, travel talk, outdoor filming and mountaineering as well as special Outdoor Film Showings, concert/band performers from Indio I by Quiksilver, Lena McKenzie by Roxy, Lucille Band by Hurley and the awarding of the winners of the photo contest, which showcases incredible outdoor experiences. Those who are interested to take part in the contest can submit their entries up to March 20, 2015. Up to P60,000+++ total worth of prizes plus a chance to see his/her photo on display at the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival are at stake. For full details, visit In addition, special discounts will also be offered on selected products from R.O.X. brands during the event.

The two-day outdoor activity will not just focus on promoting the different brands that the store carries, but more importantly, highlight the benefits of enjoying the outdoors. More than just providing a great shopping experience, R.O.X. really aims to engage people in enjoying exploring the outdoors through fun activities that even newbies will be able to appreciate. So come and visit the R.O.X. Outdoor Festival and make this a summer to remember.

The event is in partnership with Bonifacio High Street and supported by TNF, Salomon, Fox, Columbia, Eddie Bauer, Telic, Nalgene, Roxy, Quiksilver, DC, Hurley, Mountain Hardwear, Stance, Timbuk2, Poler, O’Neill, Volcom, Core, Go Pro, Goal Zero, Otterbox, Spyder. Media Partners: Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star,,, Writer’s Block,, View Magazine, 2.0 Magazine, Explore Magazine, Powerplay Magazine, Speed Magazine, Endurance Magazine, Travel Now, Travelife, Clavel, Balikbayan and Multisport.

For event details and updates visit or follow R.O.X. in fb/roxphilippines. #roxoutdoorfestival, #getoutside, #roxphilippines

R.O.X. is the only store that lets you in so you can get outside! Visit us in R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street, Marquee Mall Pampanga, Camp John Hay Baguio, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Centrio Mall Cagayan De Oro and the District North Point Bacolod.

Parenting Summit on How to Raise Smarter Kids

Brain Gain

Parenting in today’s age presents challenges that wasn’t present a decade ago: Aside from a highly competitive academic environment and evolving school curriculums, parents have to contend with the pervasive influence of social media and the internet. With all these challenges our children are faced with, how can they cope up, thrive, and excel in today’s dynamic and wired environment?

To address the concerns of parents of millennial children, Our Awesome Kids – a subsidiary of the popular food and travel blog Our Awesome Planet – is organizing an education forum entitled “BRAIN GAIN: How Parents Can Help Raise Smarter Kids! Techniques to Boost Intelligence and Productivity in School and in Life” at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Makati on February 28 (Saturday) from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.  This is an ideal education forum for parents who want to help children boost their learning potential, academic performance and overall productivity.

The summit brings together top educational experts in their fields, which include:

Mary Joy Abaquin, who will speak on  ‘How Understanding A Child’s Multiple Intelligences Helps Improve Their Productivity in School.’ She is the founder of the Multiple Intelligence International School (MIIS) and holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University (Summa cum laude) and a Certificate in Professional Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education Program.

Cherry Pua-Africa, who will talk about ‘Igniting the Fire In Your Child  (Using NLP to Empower Your Child to Achieve His Highest Results)’. Cherry is the founder of the Singapore-based World Stage Superstar program, a successful student franchise that has trained close to 10,000 students, parents & educators in the top local and international schools across the ASEAN region. Cherry has a Masters in Education and is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) trainer from the American Board of NLP.

Goh Choon Kim, who will speak about ‘How Brainfit Fitness Improves Intelligence’ and ‘Improving Focus Among Children In A Highly Wired Environment.’ Goh holds a post-graduate degree in Education from the National Institute of Education, Singapore and has been actively involved in Singapore Education as a lecturer and consultant, working with schools and parents in the areas of cognitive and socio-emotional development.  Ms Goh’s key interest is in neuroplasticity and the impact it can have on schoolchildren and the way they learn.

Roberta Quiambao who will speak on, ‘New Study Techniques to Improve Grades and Overall Productivity’. Rossanna is the President of the country’s biggest tutorial service and review center – AHEAD Learning Systems, Inc. which has been recognized as the “Most Outstanding Tutorial and Review Center” and “Most Outstanding Learning Center” by three national consumer groups.

Jeanette Yu Co who will talk about ‘The Foundations of a Happy Learner: A Fit Brain + Knowledge’.  Jeanette holds an MA in Education and is President of BrainFit studio, the leading provider of the most up-to-date and neuroscience-based brain fitness training programs in the country that improve both general intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ).

For inquiries and reservations, please contact (+63 915) 932 2330 or (+63 2) 812 0102.  You can also visit or email us at  Limited slots available.

The Brain Gain is brought you in partnership with Our Awesome Planet, BrainFit Studio, Mommy Mundo,  Writer’s Block Philippines,, Rappler, Smart Parenting and the Philippine Star.

Fellowships open for the 18th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop on Reporting Corruption in October

The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) will hold the 8th Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop from October 3 to 8 at the UP College of Mass Communication, Diliman, Quezon City.

Fellowship slots are available for this workshop. Applications are open to full-time print, broadcast and online journalists, as well as selected journalism educators and students.

This year’s workshop theme is “Huwag Kumorap: Investigating Corruption in Media and Government.”

Resource persons from the academe, government and non-government organizations will speak on issues like investigative reporting, corruption-related laws, ethics and freedom of information.

Since its first workshop in 1985, the Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop has trained hundreds of community journalists. Among the past fellows are Cong Corrales, Raymund Villanueva, Dino Balabo, Froilan Gallardo, Frank Cimatu, Ilang-ilang Quijano, Jo Clemente, Diosa Labiste, Danny Calleja, Flor Abanto and Maurice Malanes.

Applicants should be currently engaged in the journalism profession with at least two years’ working experience. They should also be below 45 years old. They must submit an application letter; resume; two published/broadcast news reports; a story plan for an investigative report on corruption in media or government; and an endorsement from their editor, local press club president or a Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop alumnus.

Limited slots may be given to senior journalism students. Student applicants are required to submit an application letter, resume, sample works and an endorsement from their professor, department chair or dean.

The fellowship will cover board and lodging. Participants will be billeted inside the UP Diliman campus.

Interested journalists, journalism educators and students may send their application papers to The Project Director, 18th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop on Reporting Corruption, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

The deadline for applications is on August 1.

For more details, please call the Office of Extension and External Relations (OEER) at 920-6864 or 981-8500 local 2668 or email at

Guess who will be “traveling up” with us on our upcoming workshop?

photo - kara santos

We’ve got news for those who have signed up for “Travel the Write Way: A Travel Writing Workshop” on May 25.  Writer’s Block Philippines will be joined by a special guest speaker who will share her experiences on how to successfully put up a travel blog.
Kara Santos is a freelance writer, photographer and the blogger behind Travel Up. Her travels have taken her from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, from the abandoned desert city of Petra in Jordan to the still vibrant temples of Bali in Indonesia. When she’s not on a plane, boat or bus somewhere far away from Metro Manila on assignment, she can be found motorcycling off for the weekend or leveling up her experience points in the latest PlayStation RPG.
She graduated from Ateneo de Manila with a BA Psychology degree. Years later she got a scholarship to take up Photojournalism in the Asian Center for Journalism still in the Loyola campus.
After working at Reuters shooting rallies, slums, politicians and the occasional quirky news, she became a correspondent for the Inter Press Service and a freelance writer for various publications. Her work has appeared in Sunday Inquirer Magazine, Smile, Leisure + Adventure Travel, Illustrado, and Motorcycle Magazine, to name a few.
It was during an assignment in 2011 for the Inquirer that she got the idea to start a travel blog. She was then covering a media tour of several provinces in Northern Luzon with other journalists and travel bloggers. With just one article output expected from the magazine, the new blog became a platform for photos and other stories that didn’t see print.
After her first post, she became addicted to the idea of writing about her travels. She loved the fact that she could write with more freedom in this new medium. And now more than half a million page views later, her blog is still going strong.
The name of the blog “Travel Up” was inspired by the video gaming concept of leveling up, “gaining higher levels of completing tasks and challenges.”
Another blogger has described her writing as “easy to digest, relatable and allergic to empty adjectives, while still managing to take the reader on a ride to the edge through the experiences themselves”. — The Poor Traveler.
Besides traveling and motorcycling, she also enjoys taking care of her cat Kitness even though the feline sometimes gets in the way of marathon gaming sessions on the PS3 and article deadlines.

The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens

The Write Stuff

Do you dream of being a writer when you grow up? Do you enjoy scribbling stories in your notebook? Or do you have an online journal or blog?


Sign up for “The Write Stuff: A writing lab for teens” by Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) and do something creative and fun this summer.


It doesn’t matter whether you have writing experience or not, the important thing is to have that interest in writing—that would be a good start.


Youngsters between 12 to 17 years old can sign up for our half-day writing workshop on April 5 (Saturday), 1-5pm in Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. This workshop aims to develop your writing skills by helping you find your writer’s voice, learning relevant writing techniques, and doing writing drills.


The event will be facilitated by the founders of WBP, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez who have been doing writing workshops since 2010. “Ever since then, it has been our advocacy to help aspiring writers see their names in print, as well as encourage teens to bring out the inner writers in them,” shares Santos.


Since we live in the digital age and tech is virtually the second language of the youth, we believe it is also important to give teenagers guidelines on how to write online, especially on social media sites. Features Editor of, Bea Acosta, will share more tips about this subject matter during the workshop.


Anna Limon, Editor-in-Chief of will talk about what the writer’s voice is and how to find yours. She’s thinking of including cats and Internet in her presentation, but we’ll find out for sure on the actual workshop day.


“It’s all about flexing your writing muscles to get you into the writing groove, and that’s what we’ll do in this writing lab for teens,” reveals Sarthou-Lainez.


Here’s the course outline for The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens.

I. Is writing a skill or a talent?

II. What is the writer’s voice and how do I find mine?

III. Technology as the language of the youth

  • Writing for social media
  • Creating your brand online

IV. How do I get started?

V. Writing Drills and Exercises

There are only limited slots available so register now!

For more information about the workshop, contact us through this number (0917) 397.9927 or email You can also visit

This event is in partnership with Fully Booked,, and Travelife magazine.

An Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing

Have you ever heard of the phrase “starving artist”? Have you ever told someone that you want to be a writer only to be told that “there’s no money there”? (Even if no one told you that you weren’t going to get rich from writing, didn’t you think that already?)


There are many reasons to believe that living the creative life is an indulgence that is best reserved for those who already have money or those who only want to do it to earn extra money on the side.

And there are just as many reasons not start your writing career and living the life of a creative entrepreneur.


At our upcoming talk, “An Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing,” Writer’s Block Founders, Ana P. Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez will give an overview of the life of a creative entrepreneur and will discuss the importance of personal branding, setting and meeting monetary targets and creating various income streams for business sustainability.


“Introduction to How to Make Money from Writing” will be on February 1, 2014 (Saturday), 2pm to 4pm at
The Forum at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. This talk is FREE for members of Fully Booked.


This event is open to members of Fully Booked. Limited slots only! For inquiries or reservations, call/ text/ email 858-7091/ 0906-637-0829 /