Hi you! Welcome to this more personal space where I get to share the story of how my husband and I got into blogging. I am the face and writer of this blog but my husband is as much a part of this as I am. He’s constantly beside me in this journey, supportive and helpful. I hope to encourage you to find stillness through life’s storms, relentlessly pursue your dreams and live life to your fullest.
So my husband and I got married on November 8, 2013, the day that Yolanda (also, Haiyan), the strongest typhoon in the history of the world, hit the Philippines (wedding story here). A year later, another storm came our way when Junmark was forced to resign from his stable job. I was a full-time graduate student preparing for my thesis then (Masters of Community Development). It was going to take time before we get his separation pay, we just got back from a trip abroad, we’ve got bills to pay and our savings were locked into several pre-need plans. Good thing that I was on a scholarship and I was about to receive the last tranche of my allowance around that time but it was amounting to only Php 2,500 (~US$54). We pretty much had nothing around that time…I had to put on hold my thesis and we had to give up our apartment. My plan and pride were crushed. We had to go live at my parents’s house, something that I had never imagined myself doing after marriage, but it was all we could do and I am of course very thankful that we had a place to go to and family that are willing and able to support us.
I have always been into baking and had planned to start a homebaking business way back but never felt prepared for it. Nonetheless, I slowly invested on baking equipment and tools as well as tested and developed recipes. With the circumstance at hand then, I thought it was the best time to finally start the homebaking business. We decided not to mope around one minute and dug our heels on the ground to start our new venture while Junmark was also looking for another job. With the allowance I got, we purchased ingredients and I started baking cookies. We first sold cookies during a garage sale (another source of income) that we organized at my parents’ home. Our friends and families were our first customers and they were giving us rave reviews…but of course! Haha! We however got our more objective affirmation when we started supplying to Rosalie’s under the brand Sweets fr: Home. Rosalie’s is well-known for its rice cakes but is also a very popular Pasalubong Center.
We were doing this for a little more than a year when we thought about expanding our reach by offering premium cookies (more expensive) to a different market – Metro Manila. In line with this, we also decided to start a blog by the name of BAKE:HOPE:LOVE to help market these products and also document my baking adventure. After all, baking is one of my passions. That was around February 2016 but even before launching our new product line, we realized that selling baked goods was not really the direction we want to take. Baking is a beloved hobby but it was not something we felt we could bet our lives into.
After much reflection and prayer, I am personally led to “go into the deeper waters and cast my net again” (Lk 5:4). For me, this meant going deeper into blogging and subsequently rebranding the blog. I have always loved to write and blogging was actually an idea I have toyed with and put aside since 2008 after quitting med school. Yes, I was supposed to be a medical doctor but that’s another story I’ll share on another occasion. Anyways, it was May of 2016 that I launched the new blog name, The BuckEat List, which better represents the direction I would like to take. It was not an easy beginning. It was filled with fears, doubts, frustrations and errors. Moreover, Junmark never found a job. He was rejected here and there for no apparent reason. He gets to final interviews and then gets cut. I tried to find a job too but that did not work out as well. We tried other things but things didn’t push through. Every door and window seemed to have closed in on us and it hurts so badly. We were left essentially hopeless and helpless if not for the small cracks of opportunities that started opening through the blog late last year. Thank God!
We continuously got back on our feet and stepped one foot over the other believing that God is in control of our lives. He gives and takes away for our own good, to direct us to our great destiny and for the best life we could ever have or imagine. We stubbornly trusted even as we cannot see and there we found peace, joy and hope. We are definitely still beginners at this game but now we’ve become more confident and filled with faith that this is what we’re supposed to be doing and that we’ll fluorish here. Our purpose and direction have become clearer as well and we are just so excited for what 2017 brings.