Anton Diaz: In His Own Orbit

Launched in 2005, Our Awesome Planet was a pioneer of the food blogging scene, but Anton Diaz has stayed agile with the times two decades later.

This story about Anton Diaz appeared in the Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue.

In 2005, when social media was called “social networking sites” and was mostly limited to Friendster, MySpace and Yahoo Messenger, Anton Diaz wrote his heart out on his blog about places he had been to and food he had tasted.

That blog was called Our Awesome Planet. Born in the 2000s, Anton had the privilege of being one of the pioneer bloggers in the country. People had yet to understand the far-reaching corners of cyberspace and didn’t concern themselves with SEO—only words of experiences they hoped would translate with readers. On the other hand, print journalists called bloggers like Anton ‘hobbyists’ and websites such as Our Awesome Planet as ‘diaries.’

That was nearly two decades ago. Today, Our Awesome Planet continues to be one of the largest-reaching lifestyle websites in the Philippines, with comprehensive food and travel guides around the Philippines and a few popular overseas destinations. Anton is no longer the sole man behind the scenes, with a team that takes care of content and social media.

Yet surprising as the evolution of blogging into content creation may be, Anton says he saw it coming since day one.

The importance of evolution

“In 2005, I was working for Procter and Gamble Philippines, where I was the CIO. I quit my job there in 2008 because we saw that social media, this blogging thing, would really be successful. I just didn’t know it would take a long time for everybody to get into it,” the pioneer shares.

At the time since he started, Anton has noticed various waves of influencers, with each generation bringing its own flavor and changes. “The biggest impact was Facebook. When social media was just starting, people would go to websites. Then when Facebook came, they forced everyone to go to Facebook to be the go-to. The first wave was the original content creators. Then the second wave came when YouTube started, and then the third wave happened with the rise of Instagram,” he says.

For Anton, storytelling continues to be the heart of Our Awesome Planet, which allows them to explore other ways to share their experiences. 

Today, he and his team still write, but they’re learning to adapt their writing into videos to make them more enticing to kids and younger audiences on TikTok.

Staying true to your ‘Why’

Yet some things remain the same, Anton insists—including the survival of his website as a means of gathering people.

“Early on, we started an email list, and until now that list is active. So every time we write something, it’s sent to that core group of readers and then social media,” he says.

As a pioneer in the game, Anton says integrity and legacy have guided him through the many changes in the blogging and content creation space. 

“I hope we’re able to impart to our kids and to the next generation our love for the Philippines, the places, the food, that some people might neglect. This love local movement, this did not exist back then in 2005. So we had to really fight for the destinations and the food… [It was also about] supporting the local ecosystem of food entrepreneurs,” he shares.

Anton has also made his foray into entrepreneurship, seeking the mentorship of former Potato Corner honcho Joe Magsaysay for Gyud Food at the University of the Philippines Diliman, which he describes as “an incubation center” for concepts. “We’re hoping to have the best food around the Philippines, at least representative all in one place,” he said.

The blogging pioneer also has insights for people wanting to break into the food content creation scene. 

To read the full article, grab a copy of Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue —available on Download the e-Magazine from Readly or Press Reader for more exclusive features and stories.





Shoot Coordination ANTHONY MENDOZA



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