Lia and I are in an ad.
I know. You’re also probably as dumbfounded as I am.
I don’t have legions of cult followers. My teeth are seriously crooked. I have a huge zit sitting on my nose. And if you spot me in a local supermarket, you’ll probably just see an average-looking, slightly overweight mom.
So you could just imagine my surprise when surfer-babe-slash-Biyaheroes co-founder, Mirra, sent me a message on Instagram saying, “We would really really REALLY love to take a video of you and Lia together with a backdrop of a beautiful local place. You guys will be our first and key ambassadors (along with an 86-year old Lola who wears bikinis).”
This idea was what got me to say yes (apart from the thought of working with a hip, bikini-trotting granny and some stalking on its founders and the Biyaheroes website); that it’s a service that shines the spotlight not on big names or large-scale businesses, but to ordinary people like you and me –
penny-pinching travelers who want to experience the beauty and culture of the Philippines in the most fun, convenient, and frugal way; and more importantly, small-scale locals whose businesses have no means of reaching billboards and glossy magazine pages. People who are everyday heroes in their own crazy way.
What’s up with Biyaheroes?
Biyaheroes is an up and coming start-up website that aims to provide a platform for modest provincial enterprises like carinderias, homestays, jeepney or tricycle operators, and tour guides. It also centers on creating a tight-knit community where travelers can connect, share tips, and plan their adventures in the Philippines.
|You can book exciting activities like this through Biyaheroes either via the Web or thru SMS. Your weapon of choice.
In a nutshell, what that means is that you, my fellow wanderlusts, can plan out your entire itinerary and confirm bookings – food, accommodation, transfers, activities – in a single comprehensive and easy-to-use reservation system without having to hop from one site to another. No long terminal queues, outdated info, or rigged rates.
And “because not everyone has Internet – especially provincial townfolk like carinderia owners or tricycle drivers – even if you don’t have Web access, you can simply send a quick text message to Biyaheroes to book and reserve a service or activity,” explains Mirra. Neat, eh?
The service is still in its infancy and the website is yet to be launched full-throttle, and we’re all super excited. It’ll certainly help bridge local tourism gaps and create better sustainability for locals who aren’t well-equipped with modern income-generating technology like the internet.
The video shoot…and stuff
I was prepped that the ad wouldn’t be the usual pitch-and-sell video, but a reflection of the chaotic and wonderful journey of motherhood. We want to focus on the experience of mothers who travel with their kids, they said. Or in JC’s (our videographer) words: “whatever it is you normally do when you and Lia travel.”
|If you’re happy and you know it, show your molars. In between takes in Pagbilao, Quezon.|
Thus, day 1 was all about riding buses and jeepneys, buying kasuy from a bus vendor, treading an overpass along EDSA Makati, gobbling up isaw, and interacting with locals.
And of course, Lia threw her classic beastly tantrum fits, which luckily, weren’t caught on cam.
Day 2 of the shoot was spent with Lola Moning (the bikini-flaunting wanderlust lola) and her family in their beautiful home in Pagbilao, where we did a bazillion takes for the voice recording. And where it was proven I have zero voice-over skills (“Lola did it in 2 takes! You had to do 100 takes!” LOL).
|From strangers to friends. Amazing that I met these guys only via Instagram. There’s Mirra and JC, and Lola Moning (watch out for her Biyaheroes video, too!) and her awesome family, including Ace (rightmost), one of the Biyaheroes co-founders.|
Because this is a baby step for everyone (the founders actually quit their jobs to get on board this venture), the campaign is largely pro bono. But we are all happy as can be. I guess we all believe that the best journeys are born out of love, unconditional and free, like traveling and motherhood.
Here’s saying cheers to all the adventure takers out there and the amazing mothers supporting their free wings.
Indeed, “Isang dakilang paglalakbay ang pagiging ina”.
For inquiries, you can shoot the cool folks at Biyaheroes an email at [email protected].