How would you describe each other? How did you become friends?
FAYE: It’s been 13 years since we became blockmates in lawschool, Vivian is smart, organized and a tiger-mom. Camille is funny, witty and compassionate. They’re two of my bestest friends, and shall remain so for-evah…because they know too much.
CAMILLE: I knew Faye in college. Pero hindi kami close noon kasi “cool” siya. Hehe. Vivian went to a different college but we all became friends in law school. I would describe Faye as very outspoken, empowered at, madalas, M.I.A. (Missing In Action). Ganun ata talaga pag party girl, very in-demand. Vivian is probably the most intelligent, hardworking, organized person I know. Siya ang backbone ng TSN and she keeps both Faye and I on track when it comes to our blog “due dates”.
VIVIAN: Camille is born to be a star. Di lang siya pinagbigyan ng parents niya mag-audition sa Little Miss Philippines, but if she was given the chance, she’ll probably be one of the finest actresses of the Philippines. Hahaha! The most out-going person sa aming tatlo is Faye. That’s why I agree when Camille described her as always missing in action, but she’ll be there when you need her the most. We have been best friends since law school and I can say that our friendship grew stronger because of The Soshal Network.
Who do you think is the funniest among the three of you?
VIVIAN: I am speaking for the three of us when I say it’s no other than Ms. Provinciated. Kahit si Camille natatawa sa sarili niya. Ever since law school, she’s the funniest among the three of us. Kahit ano gagawin niya… kahit magmukha siyang ewan.
CAMILLE: Sa totoo lang, si Vivian ang brains behind some of the funniest posts namin sa TSN. She comes up with the most hilarious ideas. Ako lang ang dakilang taga-execute, lalo na ng mga bagay na sobra nang nakakahiya.
FAYE: Totally agree with Vivian on this. Camille is exceptionally hilarious. Bukas nya lang bibig nya matatawa ka na. And the great thing about Camille is that she whole-heartedly just wants people to be happy, and that’s why it works.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about you or The Soshal Network?
VIVIAN: The biggest misconception about The Soshal Network is that it’s a serious blog for “social climbers” in its negative sense. Actually, we’re just a group of ladies being true to ourselves and sharing our stories, experiences and ideas which we think other people can relate to.
Madalas kaming makatanggap ng comments na “ay lawyers pala kayo? Hindi halata.” “We do not mind those comments actually and even accept it as a compliment. Sa totoo lang, lawyers have a great sense of humor. Iba-iba lang ang degrees.
How did the tone or voice of your blog come about? Was it a conscious decision to create a blog that wasn’t too serious?
VIVIAN: When starting a blog became a topic of our dinner conversation, sabi namin di naman kami like ibang celebrities/bloggers na ang ganda ng photos, ang fabulous ng events, branded lahat ng outfits, etc. But then we thought that our imperfections and not-so-glamorous experiences can be interesting. True enough, many have told us that they can relate to our topics and stories.
FAYE: “Unconscious” kami nun ginawa namin ‘to. At its inception, we never in a million years would have thought TSN would be what it people say it is today. We wanted an outlet for our creativity and feeling namin parang masayamag-blog as a way for us to stay in-touch and share stories. Kaya nga sya naging TSN ang tawag namin – in lawyer speak it stands for “transcript of stenographic notes”, a verbatim record of what has transpired during a legal meeting, hearing or event. Gusto kasi namin yun mga nakakatawa naming conversations ang ilalagay namin sa blog, kasi palaging riot pag nag-uusap kami. Then it evolved to more kalokohans, thus…The Soshal Network.
Are you guys really like how you are presented in the blog? Or is just a persona that you wear?
VIVIAN: Kaming kami po ang nasa blog in all its kabakyaan glory. I am Domesticated since I write from the point of view of a mom and a wife. Faye is Sophisticated dahil siya ang least bakya sa amin, and she loves to go around the city and try out the happening places. Camille is Provinciated because she hails from the wonderful city of Bacoor and writes about her provinciated problems.
The blog is not our personal diaries though, so there are some things which we choose not to write about and keep private. Pero kaming kami po yun.
What do you think drives popular culture here in the Philippines? From your observation, what are the characteristics of the events, people, or things that become cultural phenomenons for Pinoys?
VIVIAN: I think the ideas come from different sources but it’s mainly the media (both traditional and social) which brings it to the mainstream. Those that become cultural phenomena for Pinoys are events, people or things which are very relatable.
FAYE: Filipino pop culture would be driven by what the pundits say drives it, I guess. As a non-expert I’d hazard that popular culture in the Philippines is probably driven by what majority of Filipinos derive pleasure from, and that’s largely determined by what they desire or what would make them aspire to have something — and usually it’s what they see from their local “idols”.
Cultural phenomena become what they are when eitherthey instigate some big sudden upheaval or it’s completely distinctive or identifiable to your culture. Maybe you go post a video online one day, then in a matter of weeks you’re filling up an entire stadium with thousands of people without saying one word. Or maybe a group of people refuse to use a knife and cut pork-chops and steaks with a spoon and a fork. Those are phenomenal.
How do you feel about the success of the blog? What about being famous? You’ve recently become #LegitSoshalClimbers. What’s good about it? What are the downsides?
CAMILLE: When we started the blog, we just really wanted to write for ourselves. But when people picked up on what we were doing and appreciated it, sobrang saya!Sabi nga ng mga kamag-anak namin, “Sa kalokohan pa talaga kayo nakilala noh!”
FAYE: TSN’s “success” is definitely exciting and exhilarating for us! More so because it was never the plan to be “successful bloggers”, gusto lang namin dati magsulat and magpatawa and magkaron ng pagkakalibangan.
It’s weird when you ask about “being famous”… parang nakakahiya na nakakakilig na hindi kapanipaniwala. Not much has changed really, lokaloka pa din kami.
Sa pagiging #LegitSoshalClimbers all I can say is sana ‘wag kami ma-disbar with all our shenanigans. The great thing about it is we found an advocacy…palagi kasi kami tinatanung sa mga forum kung ano daw advocacy namin, eh di yan meron na! Downside? Can’t really say there’s any downside…we don’t take ourselves seriously enough I think to even assess the downside of writing about silly things to make people happy.
What has been the best feedback you’ve received from readers?
CAMILLE: Whenever we receive messages saying “Benta!” or “Relate!”, that’s when we feel TSN achieved its purpose. Yun naman talaga ang gusto namin, magpasaya at magsulat tungkol sa mga karaniwang experience pero once you read about it, mapapa-“Oo nga noh!” ka. Once we received a message from a reader based abroad. TSN dawang daily dose of laughter niya at nagpapawi ng pagka-miss niya sa Pilipinas. Malaking bagay samin yun.
Do you get negative comments about anything you write about? What was the most hurtful criticism people have said about you or the blog? How do you deal with it?
VIVIAN: Yes, we do, pero konti lang. May nag-comment dati na I write too much about my daughter and mag-start nalang daw ako ng ibang blog na puro daughter ko lang ang bida. I cried. Nawalan na ako ng gana magsulat, but Camille and Faye were there to encourage me. So, I dealt with it by writing more about my daughter. Hahaha! It makes me happy eh. Eh di ‘wag niyang basahin!
Can you define being soshal for our readers?
VIVIAN: Kahit sino puwede maging soshal! May pagkakaiba ang sosyal sa soshal ha. Dun kami sa soshal. Ang tunay na soshal ay hindi nahihiya sa estado nila. In fact, people will like you more if you’ll just be yourself.
FAYE: Being soshal is a lifestyle. Being soshal means nagpapakatotoo ka pero tuloy ka pa din sa pagiging masayahin ano man estado mo sa buhay. It means you find a way to enjoy what life has to offer with whatever the Universe has given you.
CAMILLE: Ang mga SOSHAL ay mga taong magli-Lipton na lang kesa mag-TWG, walang pambili ng plane ticket pa-LaBoracay at nagwiwindow-shopping lang sa Powerplant Mall, pero may sapat na creativity at abilidad para ma-achieve pa rin ang same aura at look…on a budget.
Thank you, Manila Bulletin and Mr. Clifford Olanday! Napabili tuloy kami ng 50 copies 😛