The “Next Step”… What’s in it for The Bag Hag?


In the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reorganizing offline (aka real life lol), and have been figuring out what is my “next step.”  You noticed my absence on the blog—and I’ll slowly unveil what has been on my mind, although I hope I won’t confuse you because I’ll just be “spitting” my thoughts out as they come. So pardon the lack of organization and the poor grammar.

After I had completed the 3rd season of The Bag Hag Diaries on Star World, I decided to go back to writing for my column on The Philippine Daily Inquirer—which I have missed so much. I have so many stories for the paper, and I owe my editor all those stories I had promised to write. Am fortunate to have a very understanding editor who waited for me to finish my commitment with my work in television. As soon as TV was done, I focused on my column, so the blog had to take a backseat.

I love working in television. It did take up a lot of time which was why I could no longer write for the paper, and had little time to focus on the blog as well. I spent hours conceptualizing the programme episodes (all 13 of them each season)  of The Bag Hag Diaries on Star World and had to go through a terabyte or so of raw footage each season to see if what we had filmed is good enough for a story to be told. I also had to write the story apart from hosting it! Hahaha, so I was hosting, producing, and writing ? I was very lucky though, because the team I have been assigned to work with, is just brilliant—from my executive producers down to our very pregnant video editor. We worked so well together. It was a very cohesive partnership and without them, I doubt my show would make it to the 3rd season! Thank you so much, STAR WORLD for all the faith that you had put in me!

Sometime this year, I began questioning everything that I was doing. I wanted to know where all of this will lead. I have had a very good run in my career within social media in the last few years. And to be honest, I would be able to tell you that perhaps out of all the short term goals I had originally set for myself and had wanted to achieve when I began the blog, I’ve been able to fulfill maybe a good 85% of it. On the outset, life was rosy and great. But at the time I began the blog (2005), I was already going through something difficult in my private life. Shortly after my wedding in 2001, my father fell ill. And when my father was diagnosed of cancer, that was when I really felt my life began taking a nosedive. No one outside my circle knew it—and I had to deal with all that privately and quietly. And I don’t think any of you would’ve known either because I have always had a positive outlook and remained optimistic. I had to stay positive for my children. And each time I felt down in the dumps, I remember how blessed I still am. And how grateful I should be for the life that I have.



Let me try to tell you a little bit about how my downward spiral began. I got engaged in November 2000. It was a blissful time that was short- lived. Because it was also the time that a political storm (within the Estrada administration in the Philippines) was already brewing. My fiancé came from a very controversial family. And they were embroiled in that political brouhaha. If you don’t know what happened back then, you might want to google it because telling the story from my side would mean writing a novel about the whole experience which would involve key political figures. No thanks ? 1. I don’t wish to relive that dark period in a very detailed manner or else I’d have to set up a Gofundme account to pay for a good shrink’s fees haha; 2. I don’t want any of those politicians putting a bounty on my head with what I’d reveal.

December 2000: My last Christmas as a singleton. It was supposed to be a very happy time. I was supposed to be with my family and we all had plans of flying to Hong Kong (our annual trip) with my paternal grandmother. But this Christmas was different. Instead of another blissful and quiet Yuletide season of being with my Dad and the rest of family, my fiancé’s family had to immediately flee the Philippines because of politically- related threats, related to the cause of the subsequent impeachment of the former President of the Philippines. My fiancé did not know when they would be back in Manila. I thought about our planned wedding. Everything was in limbo all of a sudden. My father immediately took that situation as a sign that I should hold off everything, at least until the problems of my fiancé’s family were solved. I had argued that none of that “situation” would directly affect me. My father knew otherwise and was insistent on my postponing the wedding. I had a choice. To listen to my father and stay put with my family and put our marital plans on hold while my fiancé goes through hardship and difficulty with his parents, or to be with my fiancé and provide him with the full support he needed at the time. He is an only child, so if he goes through hardships, he will deal with them alone like he always did, plus at that specific time his parents already had a lot on their plate. This was where things got difficult—I was so torn. I was torn between being with Dad, family, and my aging grandmother, and my fiancé whom I knew was so lost, unprepared, and beside himself. His life fell apart (and subsequently mine) because of his parents’ political involvement. And the only support system he’d have would be his friends, and me. He had asked if I could be with him because he needed me there. He raised the possibility of us getting married in the U.S. instead. In the end, I chose to fly out with my fiancé. I had a day’s notice to tell my father that I was to fly with my fiancé (everything was happening so fast and so suddenly) without knowing when we will be back. I knew my father was so heartbroken by my decision. I had given up so much already for the man I was going to marry—I had turned my back on a fledging career in an international television network– something I had fought tooth and nail to get (haha that’s a different story– again it involved my Dad 😀 hahaha I did give my Dad a lot of heartache, no?). And before I accepted the engagement, I was happily living in Hong Kong, a city that I loved so much because of its fast pace. I was so happy to live there because I was surrounded by like- minded friends and ambition- driven people. But I ended up giving up that incredible career in Hong Kong because I had to move back to Manila to prepare for the wedding and for married life. And then, there I was yet again giving up something for the man I was to marry—this time, I was giving up the time I’d have with my Dad and family to be with him. I hoped for the best, and prayed that all that sacrifice I was doing for my fiancé and his family was all going to be worth it someday, that what I did for them would be greatly appreciated and never forgotten. This was the most painful sacrifice I had to make that was within my control, as a single woman.

My father was so unhappy that night. I don’t recall crying so much during my single life like I did that night as I packed my clothes. My heart has never ached like that (not even when I was heartbroken in the past haha ouch but it was the truth). I had felt like I was turning my back on my family. Back then I had thought that they were and will always be my family, but I also had to make this emotional investment to be with my fiancé who needed me to be by his side. I still remember telling my father that it was he who had taught me the value of loyalty, of being there for someone who needs help. And if I didn’t go with my then- fiancé, it was like I was turning my back on helping him. And that would’ve gone against what he had taught me as a daughter growing up. Plus back then, there was still no skype, viber, or whatsapp. So communication would largely still be via overseas calls and email. What kind of emotional support would I have been able to give my then- fiancé?

Haha writing this made me think– gosh even today I am still trying to justify my actions when I clearly know now that I should’ve just listened. But I am also sharing this now because perhaps this is a way for me to let go.  Sigh. I never forgot that night. Every single detail of it. My mother could only shake her head at me, hearing how I was justifying why I should go with my fiancé. Looking back though, you have no idea how I wish I had listened to my Dad instead. This is still a regret I cannot get over. Because that was really his last Christmas with us.

In December 2001 (5 months after my wedding), we already spent Christmas Eve with him at the hospital. Really, if I had known then what I know now, I would have listened to him. To this day, I have not stopped feeling guilty for what I did. Each time I think of that time, tears well up in my eyes. I still feel horrible. With what had happened to me in my personal life, I felt that I should’ve chosen to stay with my family. Because at the end of the day, it is your own flesh and blood who will appreciate your sacrifices the most, and will unconditionally support you emotionally through thick and thin. That was a verrrry painful lesson that I had to learn the hard way, one that I never shared with you all, until today.

Anyway, it’s already the month of May 2016—more than 14 years after that incident. And OMG it has officially been 6 years since I last had a stint with an international news network as a hard news journalist (ahaha legit!!!)

LOL with old Spud covering the Philippine elections in 2010 for Al Jazeera!!

So many changes have happened throughout the years. So many tears were shed, so much pain was felt, and so much happiness was shared. Ahhh life!! 🙂  In a month, I turn a year older again (waaaa and my body now feels the change hahaha), and it’s time to figure out where I am at again, and where I want to be. Overthinking about one’s life can be unhealthy, but I think doing this at least 3x a year is alright haha. Self- psychologize haha. Anyway, today I thought of many of my contemporaries in the industry and realize about how far they have gone, and how much reach they ended up achieving. And to think we almost began the same time—maybe just a year apart!! Hahaha look at where they’re all at now, and where I am hahaha. But it’s not about comparing oneself to another. It’s not about setting the bar based on the performance of others. If I had done that, then I can say that I have failed, miserably LOL. Kidding aside, ,y contemporaries are all style bloggers, and they have become so successful at what they do and I couldn’t be prouder of them. For a time, I attempted to do what they were doing. They made it look easy, so I attempted to play dress up and swan around and be photographed wearing the most beautiful clothes.

Shot for Patrick Rosas’ “Rituals” book

I have to say it was so much fun. But oh my, it was also then that I realized I had no patience for it. People think what they do is easy. Trust me, it’s not. Especially if you can’t put your game face on all the time and be photograph and instagram- ready—every single day! On most days if you run into me, I am just wearing a tee and a pair of my favorite comfy shorts or jeans.

My daily uniform– a simple tee. With Spuddie who turns 1 year old on May 11, 2016 LOL

I really just happen to love shoes, bags, and well, accessories (bling—though I wish I could afford them enough to have something new and sparkly everyday lol). My passion really lies in storytelling. I love to write. But more than writing, I just love sharing my experiences. And of late, I feel that it’s just so much easier to work with video to tell that story. With video, you will be able to see and share my emotions more accurately, and find out how silly and animated I can really be in real life (as opposed to how snooty you think I might be because of what I write or maybe because of how I write it LOL). Hence Snapchat! And if you haven’t yet downloaded Snapchat, do it. It’s really voyeuristic (if you just watch the snaps of others) but it’s like having your own reality TV show too (if you take part and snap videos) LOL. I’m on Snapchat as THE_BAGHAG  😀

So moving on to my plans now for the remainder of 2016. A year ago, I thought about putting a new company in Manila. I already thought I had it figured out. I had a handful of friends that had interest in what I wanted to put up. Unfortunately everyone in the group also had their own thing to do—family, their own work and businesses to run. So sadly, that idea never really came into fruition. This year though, I am attempting to work on the idea again, with a different set of peeps. I am hoping to get this off the ground before the year ends.

As for this blog, I will be revamping it very, very soon. I will still update it throughout the month of May since I will be traveling again (oh gosh I still owe you guys my Germany and Austria story). But after May, I might not update often. Because something’s brewing again ?

Life is about constant change. It is an evolution. Each year, I have a new set of goals. I still don’t know how 2016 will end, and I am still constantly changing my plans. Hopefully though I have follow- through. I have lost the discipline and determination that I once had, sadly. This blog has been my salvation. It saved me. And I do appreciate you all so much for reading it. And for coming back agaib from time to time to use it as a resource site. I promised myself that I’d make more time to interact with you all on instagram, which I have been doing. And I’d love it too if you could give me feedback there– promise to take your constructive criticisms into consideration and in stride too ?

THANK YOU SO MUCH for being so understanding of my blog absence. Hopefully this new thing will be so much worth the wait ?

Anyway, follow me please on instagram @THEBAGHAG and on snapchat THE_BAGHAG to stay updated with my “adventures” ?


  1. Wishing you all the best as you formulate and live the next phase of your life! Life is meant to be an incredible journey of ups and downs, fears, challenges… take the wisdom of the past but never regret any of it! X Kristie

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