Mostly Everything

The Perils of Being a Freelance Writer in the Philippines

This morning, “Big Brian” Ligsay made me listen to a radio drama he read titled Kawatanan ng Rentas Internas which is the sad yet humorous reality of applying for a TIN or tax number at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in this developing country I’ve come to love. Now that I look back into my professional life, I’m glad that I jump started my career in a reputable corporation so as not having any problems acquiring my TIN and not being subject for questioning for my credit card application. Personal advice — work for a company first to get your act together, then quit your job to become an entrepreneur.

Paano pala kung kailangan mo ng lisensya para magsulat? Isang physical manifestation ng concept ng poetic license? Kung sa drivers license may mga restrictions tulad ng “vehicle – up to 4500 kg GVW” […] paano kaya yung sa poetic license? (1) haiku and short essays only (2) essays up to 500 words and free verse up to 5 stanzas (3) essays above 500 words and free verse above 5 stazas (4) critical essays, short fiction, poetry, etc.”

[What if you needed a license to write? A physical manifestation of the concept of “poetic license?” If in the driver’s license you have restrictions such as …]

You can listen to this well read radio drama. The show is entirely in Taglish, an amalgamation of English and our local language Filipino. Highly recommended for us freelancers!

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

10 replies on “The Perils of Being a Freelance Writer in the Philippines”

I had to apply for my own TIN number! It took an entire day convincing the BIR to give me one!

Me: Aapply po ako for TIN number.
Lady: Kailangan mo ng kompanya.
Me: Hindi po ako regular employee, freelancer ako.
Lady: Hindi mo kailangan ng TIN number.
Me: Kailangan ko daw po.
Lady: Kailangan mo ng kompanya.

Due to my insistence, and ping-ponging between several floors. They finally gave me one.

At the same time that a company applied me for one.

End result? I have 2 TIN numbers!!! I don’t know how that happened.

I think I read this somewhere before, it was fucking hilarious.

I have a funny TIN story of my own. Turns out for the past 5 years I’d been using the TIN number of my first company, and I had no fucking idea. And neither did any of the companies who hired me! Idiots.


I know what you mean all too well. BTW… I will be creating a link from my site to yours. I have a blog about Web Content Writers. I hope you don’t mind. If you do – then inform me and I can take it down. Thank you.

[…] I was amazed that a service like this existed. And quite glad too that at the very least we have someone, who is not from the government, taking care of this effort. So here’s the deal. Ever since I went freelance, I had stopped paying my SSS contribution. It was one of the things I wanted to pay independently, and going through this transition is in theory very easy to do. But the government officials who I talked to behind the desk made payment so hard to do! Talk about making things difficult. I mean, I’m already giving you my money and you’re making it hard for me to do so (click here for radio drama)! […]

Kelangan ba talaga ng kumpanya para lang magka-TIN? For example eh magtatrabaho ako ngayon tas contractual lang tas after six months di na ako nagrenew so ung TIN ba na ibibigay nila sa akin eh mawawala na o akin na un forever?

Salamat sa sasagot. Sana sa email ko na lang. 😛

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mabuti ako walang problema nung kumuha akong TIN. hmmm.. bakit kaya? mabait naman sakin si kuya, susunod na araw, nakuha ko na ID ko.. ang tip dito -pag lalaki ka, sa babaeng cashier/registrar ka pumila, pag babae, sa lalaki. plus points kung maganda suot mo.. hehe. at always smile ^ ^,

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