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Ria Tagulinao

Fun-sized Filipina who writes about marketing, writing, and life. Sometimes she mixes them up to make cool stuff.

Korean hearts for you all! | Photo from the author

Hey! Ria from Manila here. First of all, thanks for taking the time to get to know me. I hope this bio gives you a good idea of the face behind the words. I’ll start with four essential things about myself.

Meet Ria

A Marketer By Day

“Marketing is simply storytelling.”

To be specific, I’m a trade marketer. Ring any bells?

Yeah, I didn’t know about it either until I started working. Since this is probably the least known subset of marketing, here’s the easiest way to describe it…

Redefining success in “The Defining Decade”

Photo from the author

As of writing, I had just turned 27 years old — my first, and hopefully last pandemic birthday.

This health crisis has slowed down what would have been a flurry of activity for 20-somethings. This defining decade is supposed to be a time for chasing and realizing desires — Career growth and side-hustles. Licensure. Rock-solid abs. Financial security. The opportunity to travel, meet new people, and learn new things. We want to be more sure of ourselves, of what we want, and where we’re going. …

Research suggests there’s power in reflecting on the what ifs

Person about to step and trip on a banana peel.
Person about to step and trip on a banana peel.
Photo: kstudio/Freepik

The words that changed my outlook came from, of all places, a presentation on workplace safety at my new job. “Always report the near misses,” the facilitator said, as a slide showed a couple of boxes falling off a forklift and narrowly missing the man standing underneath it.

When I saw the image, I flinched. But then I thought, “Wow, lucky guy.”

This past year has been a string of near misses for me. My sister, a doctor, tested positive for Covid-19 but had an asymptomatic case. Soon after switching jobs, I learned that my former company would be shuttering…

Research shows you’re better off skipping the “next episode” button

Screenshot from the author

Whenever I travel, I’m often drawn to city centers. I love the busy streets, people walking by, the vibrant downtown shops, the fullness of life. This is probably a big reason why The Bold Type— a smart, sexy drama that follows three 20-something women in New York City — had such a strong hold on me.

All four seasons are now on Netflix. And like a true blue binge-watcher, I devoured the first season within a day. Then, something strange happened.

With only three seasons left, it hit me that my days with Jane, Kat, and Sutton were numbered. …

There are two types of writers

Jacqueline Carlyle | Photo from Business Chicks

In the past months, I read Zinsser’s On Writing Well, bought a writing course, and connected with many different writers— but the thing that finally woke me up from my writing slump was a Netflix show.

Meet Jacqueline Carlyle of the TV series The Bold Type. She’s the smart, sassy editor-in-chief of a women’s magazine called Scarlet. Then there’s Jane Sloan, a young, ambitious woman who just achieved her dream of becoming a writer for the magazine.

But what does it mean to be a professional writer?

Jane has yet to find out. Here are five moments and quotes from…

A satisfying career isn’t a matter of enjoyment

Photo created by tirachard | freepik

“Follow your passion” used to be a piece of highly romanticized advice until people began to expose its cracks and pitfalls. It turns out the “perfect” job is an illusion. You actually need the necessary skillset or, as Cal Newport calls, the “career capital” to make your passion a viable pursuit. And even after making the leap, you could one day wake up and realize that the fire isn’t there anymore. Still, when someone says: “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, how can you not consider the advice?

Even American mythologist…

Creating a list of lessons can be a real lifesaver

Photo created by diana.grytsku | freepik

After a quarter-long writing slump, I found myself skimming through my Penzu online journal.

On the 28th of June in the year of our lord 2020, I wrote a list of fourteen short lessons on writing. I had only been writing on Medium regularly for three months. I was devouring writing tips left and right. And the learning curve and realizing curve (if there was such a thing) were steep.

Almost a year later, I see that these are lessons that I’m continuously learning every day. And I know it takes more than a list to fully grasp, practice, and…

No, it’s not about their 118,458 followers

Photo from Harvest Pro

Most of us aim for the major publications because of their reach. We want those eyeballs. Especially for relatively new writers like myself, we need those extra eyeballs.

But if you’ve written for these places, or have scanned through their stories, you’ll know that not a lot of them really take off. And it’s easy to think, “Maybe publishing there isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Don’t fall for this myopic mindset.

After getting into most of these publications, let me tell you this: It’s always worth it.

The trouble is that the real benefits of writing for them…

Respect your weekend

Photo created by lookstudio | freepik

“Time is precious and it’s slipping away”. I heard you, Christina Aguilera. And for some reason, it seems to slip away much faster when it’s the weekend.

One day you’re celebrating “T.G.I.F!” Then the next thing you know, it’s Monday. Again. You’re still tired from that big presentation last Thursday. You’re still irritated by that co-worker who told you at the last minute that he couldn’t meet his Friday deadline. You thought the weekend would put you in a better mood. But much like most Mondays, all you can think of is this: “Where the hell did my weekend go?”

You’re the driver. But you’re not alone on the journey.

Photo created by freepik

“Drive home the point”— we, writers, are all too familiar with the catchy phrase. With every story, we know what we need to do: Get the message across. Make our case. Justify the Big Idea.

As storytellers, we believe in the beauty of ideas, and more so when they’re our ideas. As honorable as this is, the truth is that our passion sometimes renders us vulnerable. We over-describe. We put intricacies here and there. We express the same thought repeatedly— rephrased in three different ways — throughout our stories. For a short while, we lose the ability to remove ourselves…

Ria Tagulinao

Writer. Marketer | Join my newsletter. Let’s put the “good” in The Good Life:

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