The Diary of a Bag Hag
Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ingrid Chua-Go, more famously known as the “Bag Hag,” is no bag lady. Partying it up with fashion titans such as Roberto Cavalli, rubbing elbows with supermodels and fashion photographers like The Sartorialist Scott Schuman, and sitting front and center at Fashion Week in New York, London, Paris and Milan, Ingrid is living the dream of every fashionista.   

Through her blog, The Bag Hag Diaries, Ingrid didn’t just give us a glimpse into the glitz and glamour, she took us back stage, where the real pulse of fashion thrived.

A decade later, the luster of that dream — for both Ingrid and her readers — has not dimmed. 

“It’s such a surreal experience. To be honest, if you’re not grounded, you will be swept away by the temptations of that world. After being in it for years, I’ve learned the ‘realness’ of it. The people on the outside think it’s the dream job, and it is, to an extent. But it’s also a lot of hard work,” she reveals.

“Sometimes, there are days that you don’t feel like going to work. You get tired and jaded. But then I remember that this is such a unique blessing,” she beams in gratitude, and thus she honors the opportunity by giving her all to her work.

“Thanks to my job, I’ve met such inspiring people and made even greater friends, not just those from the fashion world. From the doorman at my apartment in Milan to the kind, elderly waitresses at my favorite Italian cafes. If I were to leave, they would be the ones I’d miss most,” she shares.

But don’t be mistaken, Ingrid is not thinking of leaving anytime soon. In fact, this is just the beginning.

It all began on that fateful day in 2005, when Ingrid innocently posted on her blog: “To buy a Louis Vuitton Neo Speedy or a couch?”  What is a girl supposed to do? Ditching boring practicality and embracing the simple joy of owning a beautiful piece of luxury, Ingrid chose the bag. It was literally a life-changing decision, because that moment launched Ingrid’s amazing journey to becoming a powerful voice, not only in the digital world but also in global fashion.

Ingrid, as a blogger and social influencer, is a pioneer, and she’s paving newer ground as she crosses borders from online to TV. Her show on Star World, The Bag Hag Diaries, which is based on her adventures as a fashion insider, is on its third season. She is host and producer of the show, and pens the content for all the episodes. “So if it fails, it’s all my fault!” laughs Ingrid.

“There are certain things that I still want to do in this industry,” she reveals. “I still want to be in film, but not necessarily in front of the camera. I want to go back to my roots and do something more as a serious journalist,” shares the Communication Arts graduate from Saint Mary’s College. Previously, Ingrid worked in broadcast news in Hong Kong, and became the managing editor of Metro Weddings magazine.

In between producing her show and brushing up on her journalistic skills, Ingrid juggles her other roles as mother of two boys, co-owner of Accessory Lab in Power Plant Mall, and entrepreneur. She recently established her social media consultancy firm with friends, helping individuals and companies develop a stronger brand identity and helping them establish digital presence.

That’s a lot to handle, but the towering beauty in heels manages to do it with such grace and with her kooky brand of humor.

Like any ordinary gal, she says, she survives by soothing her stress with food and travel. “I’d love to be a travel and food writer. Discovering the world really opens your mind, and I work hard so that I can take my kids with me whenever I can. I want to give them an education outside of school.”

Home for her is her family, and she makes sure to spend that precious time together with her loved ones. It can be as simple as taking a trip out of town or watching a movie with her sons at their favorite hangout in Rockwell. “I love how Rockwell feels homey. It’s tucked away even if you’re in the middle of the metropolis. Even before I had Accessory Lab, Rockwell was my go-to meeting place when I used to sell bags.”

Ingrid is a vibrant, youthful woman with an insatiable thirst for life. Ingrid, indeed, has made it. She ends with her pieces of advice: “Don’t take too much coffee, write things down, and try to live your life one day at a time. Dream big, but be realistic. Don’t expect, because expectations lead to disappointments. Set goals, but make sure they are reachable.”

Photography by RITA MARIE • Creative direction and overall styling by Luis Espiritu Jr. • Makeup by PIA REYES • Hairstyling by DAVE LOPEZ  • Associate styling by TARA SUBALDO • Shot on location at the POWER PLANT MALL

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