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TrailblazersI Am Generation T: Ingrid Chua

I Am Generation T: Ingrid Chua

I Am Generation T: Ingrid Chua
By Samson Ko
March 11, 2019
The journalist and TV presenter talks productivity, success, and the most important thing in her life

I Am Generation T is a series of quick-fire Q&As with some of the extraordinary individuals on the Generation T List.

Ingrid Chua is perhaps best known for her influential fashion and travel blog, The Bag Hag Diaries. But there’s a lot more to Chua than handbags.

Besides running her website, the filipina journalist writes for publications such as Philippine Daily Inquirer and is a TV presenter and producer, recently wrapping up production on a food show for Fox Networks Group. She’s a freelance brand and fashion consultant, and also owns Accessory Lab, a boutique that sells semi-precious accessories from mostly Asian artists.

A strong believer in the value of hard work and respect, Chua thinks success is best achieved with a lot of effort, a dash of luck and—this may come as a surprise from a social media influencer—a little less phone time.

Who’s your hero?
My father. He was 15 years old when he came to the Philippines from China. At that age, he had to learn the English alphabet and the language from scratch. He adapted seamlessly and went on to go to the University of the Philippines, graduating with magna cum laude honors in his chosen major, chemical engineering. He was a hardworking man who wanted us to experience a good, comfortable life. And with his own success, he has never failed to give his time to socio-civic causes. He was very humble—he donated libraries, classrooms, and even school buildings, strongly believing in education for all. We did not even find out about his numerous donations until after his death!

Ingrid Chua in Italy for Philippine Tatler Traveller
Ingrid Chua in Italy for Philippine Tatler Traveller

What was your reaction to being on the list?
I was really humbled because I do not expect to be recognised for what I do. I love the idea of having my own time, doing things I enjoy, and I didn't realise the work that I have done would one day be recognised like this. So it is really a great honour to have been given a spot on this prestigious list next to people I greatly admire.

Any productivity hacks you swear by?
Do not use your phone when you have to concentrate on something important. Less phone time, less social media time equals more time to take care of important matters, more time to be productive, more time to be efficient and get things done. Find a way to limit the amount of time you spend scrolling through social media accounts—one hour a day maximum is most ideal. You won't miss out. And if you fear of missing out on something on social media, it only means you need to set your priorities straight.

What are the habits of successful people?
I think you need to have grit and tenacity. One should remain undeterred by obstacles and always keep an open mind—accept constructive criticism without getting angry or upset. One must always be open to learning, open to evolving, and remain humble at all times.

The best advice I ever got was...
Find out what you love. Do something you're very passionate about and find work within that. You will realise that work becomes really easy and seamless if you are doing something you enjoy.

And the worst is…
Staying in a marriage for your children even if you are both unhappy and miserable. Children may grow up with both parents, but their psychological health can be severely affected if they continue to witness how miserable each of their parents are. Constant arguments or bickering will affect your children too and their emotional health. Mental health was never something that was openly discussed in the past in my society. The older generation had always believed that parents must stay together for the children even if one of the two is already having an affair with another person. Children do get so affected by that—and that archaic societal mindset needs to change.

Stick to core moral values of honesty and integrity, and always make time to help less fortunate people.

Ingrid Chua

What’s something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I love to cook. One of the things I really enjoy is cooking gourmet meals at home.

The most important thing in your life is…
Always, always, always my family.

What’s the most important thing your parents ever taught you?
My parents always taught me the value of hard work. Never take things for granted, and never take advantage of people. Stick to core moral values of honesty and integrity, and always make time to help less fortunate people. Remember to be grateful for everything you have and what you've been given every single day. Gratitude matters a lot.

What do you want to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for being a person of integrity and honesty, above everything else.


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