Expert Interview Series: Ross Flores Del Rosario of Wazzup Pilipinas
Ross Flores Del Rosario is the founder of the award-winning WazzupPilipinas, a community lifestyle and news/events site which is also known as the National Blog of the Philippines. We recently caught up with Ross to learn about what it’s like to live and work in the Philippines.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I am an electronics and communications engineer (ECE) from Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT). I was formerly an information and communications technology (ICT) Officer of the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP), but I eventually started my own business as an IT solutions provider focusing on network and server setup and administration, but also catering to computer hardware and software installation, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting, etc.
However, when social media abruptly disrupted the way people send and receive information, I had to meet the high demand, so I prioritized offering online services which included managing the Wazzup Pilipinas online publication.
Wazzup Pilipinas (which also goes by the tag line The Pambansang Blog ng Pilipinas) started in 2013 and has actively partnered with several brands, organizations, government agencies, colleges and universities, and correspondents to deliver the latest happenings to all of its readers. It has consistently been receiving annual awards from many different bodies, starting with the Top Emerging Influential Blog award in 2013.
Since the cost of living in the Philippines is cheaper than the U.S., does that mean that everything is less expensive? Or are there some items or services that are just as costly (or even more expensive)?
The cost of living in the Philippines may be cheaper as compared to the U.S., but it doesn’t mean everything is less expensive. We still have expensive services like Internet connectivity and electricity, which are among the most expensive worldwide. But since these services are crucial in running a business, people have no choice but to continue to use them.
Tell us about the business climate in the Philippines right now. How has the rise of the Internet changed the climate?
The Internet has opened up a lot of possibilities for entrepreneurs or startups, especially through the creation of innovative mobile apps that have changed the way we carry out our everyday activities like hailing a cab or booking a hotel room.
When it comes to personal technology like mobile phones, computers, and gaming devices, how does the Philippines compare to the U.S. and Europe?
We are quickly catching up to the rest of the world as far as easy access to these gadgets. The technology brands recognize us as among those who would immediately patronize the launch of their newest models, so they include us among their distribution channels.
Finish this sentence: “The best thing about living and working in the Philippines is…”
…that we get to experience most of the newest trends and technologies as soon as they become available. This is because we are so appreciative of all kinds of products and services that we welcome them all with open arms.
What do you foresee for the future of the Filipino economy? Will there be more opportunities for young people to work and open businesses?
I believe there will be, as there are really many business opportunities available in the country. This will be true especially for the young people who have many bright and innovative ideas that could revolutionize the future of the economy not only for the Philippines, but for the whole world as well.