Archive of ‘Features’ category

[In Her Suitcase] Kath Eustaquio-Derla on Her Writing Journey and Her New Book

In Her Suitcase - Interviews

In Her Suitcase is an interview section on the blog that turns the spotlight on women who inspire me, who can inspire you, and who try to create their best lives by coloring their journeys in their own unique and remarkable ways.

Kath Eustaquio-Derla has gone a long way since her successful blog on called Bedroom Blog by Veronica.  She has always wanted to use her own experiences to reach out to young Filipino women by writing about dating and the single life in Manila.  Though already based in Malaysia, Kath was finally able to launch her first print novel, Before I Do, which tackles exactly just that — the adventures of a single woman and her frustrations with nagging relatives, and how she sometimes needs to become who she is first before “I Do”.  

Read on as Kath shares her journey as a writer and author, as well as the lessons she’s picked up along the way.  Can I just say how much I admire her for being able to juggle work and publishing books at the same time?!  Kath’s story also tells us that our interests and the things we are drawn to are no coincidence — her fondness for shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl may seem trivial, but these have actually helped define her as a writer! Congratulations on the book, Kath! 

Photo by Aceron Studios (3)

Photo Credit: Aceron Studios


Work definitely eats up most of my time during the day. I write for a New York-based media company and several firms in Manila and Singapore. My nights, at least the last few waking hours before I finally succumb to sleep, are spent on my passion projects.

Before I Do is my first print novel. It has an online counterpart, as a serialized piece, on Radish Fiction with new episodes every Wednesday. The prequel – What Am I To You –  is also a serialized piece on Bookbed, with new episodes every Thursday night.

Despite the heavy workload, I box three times a week at a local gym here in Malaysia. Some weekends, my husband and I perform in open mic sessions at local hangouts or meet some friends for ‘no mercy’ badminton matches and movie nights.



Looking back, I think one of the most significant moments in my journey as a writer was when my good friend, Cheekie Albay, asked me if I want to write for’s “Bedroom Blog.” Back then, it was like an online version of Sex and The City (the series, not Carrie’s column). I submitted some samples from my personal blog and was hired.


[In Her Suitcase] Work-Life Balance and Lifelong Learning with Audrey Angcos

In Her Suitcase - Interviews

In Her Suitcase is an interview section on the blog that turns the spotlight on women who inspire me, who can inspire you, and who try to create their best lives by coloring their journeys in their own unique and remarkable ways.

1970891_10152726558083763_6724644781718827015_nBefore the year comes to an end, I thought I’d publish an interview with Audrey Angcos who has been a huge part of my blogging life this year.  Audrey, like me, has a full-time job and is also a blogger.  Aside from work and blogging, she also has a few other passion projects that she does really well.  It’s apparent in the interview that Audrey pours her heart and energy into everything that she does, but what I admire most about her is that she’s grateful, real, and humble.  No wonder she’s been receiving so much blessings this year.

Read on as she talks about her cheerful journey.  Enjoy!!! :)

Thanks for your time, Audrey!  Tell us about what you do professionally.  What made you decide to pursue your job, and what is the most fulfilling part of it?

Hello! I have a full time work at the Senate of the Philippines. I work as Legislative Staff Officer from Monday to Thursday. I’ve been with the Senate for almost four years now.

I’m glad that I landed on a job that I enjoy. I have the nicest boss and officemates. and we are likeCarmel David Audrey Angcos family in the office. There are also instances when I am tasked to work for Senate-related events such as the yearly State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). These are the instances when I have to step out of my shell and interact with parliamentarians, senators from other countries, and diplomatic core groups. I enjoy the resiliency of my work. It gives me the right amount of challenge that pushes me to grow and learn more.

Now, tell us about your passion projects, i.e., the things that you do on the side.  What are they, why do you do them, and can you tell us about your journey to discovering these passions?

Oh, passion projects! Aside from my work in the Senate, I am also one of the board members of the Reading Association of the Philippines. This NGO helps promote literacy throughout the Philippines. I remember the time when I went to Tacloban to represent the organization. It was months after typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) badly hit Tacloban. With the help of International Book Bank (IBB), I went there to help rebuild the libraries of 25 public schools.


It was such a pleasant surprise to know that Duke Maximillian (the first cousin of Prince Charles) and Archduchess Valerie of Austria were also part of the mission. They went to Tacloban secretly and wore regular clothes to avoid media attention.

I cried and smiled as I listened to the stories of Yolanda survivors. One of the kids approached me and told me “I miss my mother so much! Even though Yolanda took her from me, I will still do my best to make her proud by studying hard.” He then smiled and said, “I also lost my older sister who was about your age. Could you give me a hug?” That made me speechless for few seconds. It was such a tiring yet very fulfilling experience! As I handed the books to the teachers and students and saw their happiness, oh, I can’t help but thank God for giving me the opportunity to do these things.


IMG_0485I blog at and am a contributor at I love writing!  Blogging is like sharing a part of yourself to your readers. It is such a delight whenever I receive a letter or an email from readers informing me how they love reading my blog and how my blog became a part of their lives. It is like communicating to friends that you haven’t personally met.

I also love supporting local entrepreneurs and local products. Through blogging, I was able to meet several entrepreneurs with different brands but all with inspiring stories to tell. It is such a privilege to be a medium for these brands to share their stories to the public.

Through blogging, I was also able to meet new friends! How great is that?!


I started doing collaborations and events this year (2015). I always have the desire to organize meaningful events. Last June, I went out of my shell as I co-organized a Blissful Blogging Workshop with Carmel, the first public Blissmakerie last September, and most recently, two Luminisce events last November and December!  It was a whirlwind romance between me an events organizing.

Audrey with Maggie Wilson, Stella Pastores, and Bea Santiago during the Luminisce Skinvestors' Treat, an event she organized

Audrey with Maggie Wilson, Stella Pastores, and Bea Santiago during the Luminisce Skinvestors’ Treat, an event she organized

There was a lot of pressure and yet, I was able to learn how to handle it and how to work efficiently under pressure. Honestly, I love the challenge of organizing events. When the event turned out well and the participants informed you that it was such a meaningful and intentional event, then that makes all the work, pressure, and sleepless nights worth it!

Are these passion projects helping you in your professional life, in any way?  How?

Yes, they train me to become more professional and efficient. I used to rely on the deadline of submission of reports. Now, whenever I receive the work, I would start doing it right away to avoid procrastinating.  (more…)

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