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Frances Cabatuando gives thanks for a year marked by community, collaborations, and causes



In time for the runup to the holidays, community builder and content creator Frances Cabatuando hosted a sumptuous thanksgiving luncheon to celebrate a year marked by community, collaborations, and causes. The intimate event gathered members of the media, trade partners, and Cabatuando’s teammates from KROMA Entertainment and talent agency NYMA.


“It has been a very productive year for me and there is more work to be done up to the end of 2023, but I found it essential to pause even just for one afternoon, reflect on how great the year has been, and give thanks,” expressed Cabatuando before receiving guests at Grace Park Dining in Makati in late November, appreciative of the support received throughout the year.


In an intimate Q&A over dessert and coffee, Cabatuando talked about what she is grateful for this year, beginning with thriving online communities Home Buddies and Hangout Buddies, which have flourished as vibrant hubs of connection and camaraderie that transcend virtual boundaries.



BUILDING COMMUNITIES

Founded at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown as a means to discuss nesting ideas and share best practices in home improvement, Home Buddies has become the largest Facebook community in the Asia Pacific region with 3.2 million members—or kapitbahays—as of this writing. Cabatuando, fondly called the community’s Mayora, also grew Home Buddies into a robust brand complete with advertising partnerships, an eponymous podcast, and a physical bazaar to celebrate its 3rd year. The community has also penetrated Pinoy pop culture, with Home Buddies terms #TeamPuti and #TeamKahoy becoming everyday references to home aesthetics.


Just as the world was opening up again, Cabatuando created Hangout Buddies where kapitbyahes are able to share sulit travel tips, bucket lists, memes, and pro tips on itinerary creation, visa applications, and the next travel sale. The community has close to 220,000 members to date, has celebrated its first physical meet-up, and has secured brand partnerships along the way.


FORGING COLLABORATIONS AND SUPPORTING CAUSES

Beyond the realms of community building, Cabatuando's yearlong journey was punctuated by an array of collaborations with renowned brands, media entities, and industry groups, each endeavor a testament to her multifaceted talents and unwavering dedication. She began 2023 as one of Cosmo.ph’s Women of Influence and was profiled across a variety of media platforms throughout the year. As a content creator, she collaborated with brands across real estate, shelter, digital entertainment platforms, retail, tech, and telecommunications—all in keeping with her personal brand.


Notably, she spoke about her efforts directed towards raising awareness about the global climate change crisis, the often overlooked needs of SPED students, and providing small business owners with marketing opportunities.


Cabatuando shared about mainstreaming the climate change conversation via her fellowship at Makesense Asia this year. She has been discussing and simplifying concepts such as sustainability and renewable energy with her immediate communities.


She also recalled inspiring educational communities in Metro Manila and beyond to give select SPED classrooms makeovers to enhance the learning experience for its students, prompting her to work on a SPED classroom makeover via Brigada Eskwela in Pasay City.


Cabatuando is also hands-on in engaging small business owners and giving them exposure to new customers via activations such as the Home Buddies Bazaar and other pop-up events.



“Frances indeed has many things to be thankful for and this is what today’s celebration is about, but we at NYMA and KROMA Entertainment are as grateful that she is growing her communities, forging collaborations, and advancing her causes with us. She has helped us in many ways to fulfill our mission of nurturing trailblazers to break through all media spaces. We are eager to continue the journey with her in 2024,” said Kat Bautista, head of NYMA.


Excited for what’s ahead, Cabatuando promoted the official Home Buddies website https://www.homebuddies.community/

and hinted on stronger partnerships and even more exciting plans for in the next year as the luncheon drew to a close. “I am excited for what the future holds, even more with the support of our communities and the trust of the press and brands. I am personally fulfilled and delighted with what we've achieved so far, but rest assured, the best is yet to come,” she declared.


Special thanks to YOU Beauty, ZAP Deals, KangKong King, Linen & Homes, and OMNI Electrical & Lighting for supporting Thanksgiving with Frances Cabatuando.



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