Live on a Tropical Island in the Philippines for Free

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Hi TMBA reader! This is a long post. Here’s what’s in it:

  • An offer for a 100% free stay on a beautiful tropical island for 4 months.
  • The story from a guy who just did it.
  • How you can apply to do the same.

If you happen to know any enterpreneurial, travel-ish, makin’-money-from-their-laptop type people who might want to join the TMBA team, please share this post with them!

If this is your first time here you can read about the TMBA or read the history of our internships.

Thanks for supporting the TMBA and encouraging your friends to apply! I’m going to turn this post over to Damian Thompson, who came to join us here in the Philippines a few months ago. He has done a KILLER job marketing Badladz resort and will be working on his start-up here in the Philippines for the remainder of 2011.


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When Dan asked me to write a guest post for the TMBA VIII offer, my first response was, “No worries, how much does that pay? You do realize I charge by the word, correct?”

After he finished laughing at me, he explained that I might want to do it for my TMBA brethren. That Dan is a smart one, tugging on my heartstrings like that. When Sean, the owner of the greatest little hotel in the Philippines also asked for my two cents, I decided to cave on the whole “I only write for money” idea.

What follows are my thoughts on the Tropical MBA, my specific assignment, and the Philippines in general.

The Good

The gig itself is a great fit for me.

On average I spend 10-15 hours a week on marketing the resort. The staff are amazing. Sean’s wife Mylene is a superstar. Sean will tell you it is her place and she runs the show– that is not just lip service. She runs a tight ship. You will feel like a part of the family from the very beginning.

I took this opportunity because I needed the runway to figure out what I wanted to do next. Knowing I had a roof over my head and 3 square meals a day makes it easier to sleep while you are dreaming up your evil plans for world domination.

I also met and am now a friend, student, and peer of some of the coolest, smartest people on the interwebs. I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky people to get into Dynamite Circle before it closed and I wouldn’t sell that spot for $1,000 a month.

You know the rest of the internet is just a series of tubes filled with porn and kittens, yes?

One of the best things about Badladz is the restaurant. They not only have amazing mexican food, they import cornmeal and make tortillas by hand. The local food is awesome as well. I am a huge fan of all things adobo these days…

Another amazing thing about becoming a “local expat” is that adventure finds you. David (@davidhme / TMBA II) and I were working one afternoon a few weeks ago when we were invited for a sail on a 63 foot yacht complete with beers, pizza, and birthday cake. Spontaneous fun is literally around every corner, dark alley, and local bar.

The Bad

There is always a little rain on any parade. There are two specific difficulties you have to manage with the job, and one personal challenge.

First, it is not the easiest place in the world to be mega productive. There is free WIFI in the restaurant but it gets really slow in the afternoon when everyone is on it. You will be working from dining tables not exactly ergonomically designed for long stretches of time. This, however, will force you into some good habits, like working in the mornings and then exercise in the afternoon, I have dropped 10 lbs without even trying.

The second difficulty is that you are on an island and as such there are power shortages a few times a week. They generally last less than 30 minutes but sometimes last a few hours. You need to plan your work accordingly. Don’t leave things to the very last minute or Murphy’s Law will bite that ass.

My own personal challenge and one that seems to affect most of the other lads here is that is very easy to get distracted if you aren’t careful and goal oriented. There are always places to go, things to see, people to meet… Between the beautiful weather, great people, and fun atmosphere you will be tempted to chuck the work aside and party instead.

That is OK every once in awhile, but it could be a daily occurrence if you let it.

You will want to have a small savings nest egg or be bringing in a small cash flow monthly. 100% of the basic necessities will be covered (shelter, electricty, food, water, coffe, and tea) but you need to pay for your own beer, sodas, laundry, entertainment, etc. You don’t need a lot, but something to consider.

The Ugly

Other than me, there really is no ugly to this story. There are definitely lessons to learn about the culture, being very specific when you talk with Filipinos, some of the old ex-pat psychic vampires, death-rides on the back of motorcycles at 3 am, but these are all stories for another time and I will be happy to share my tales over a beer or sixteen when you get here.

But Wait, There’s More!

As an extra incentive, as if you needed any, not only will I be around to assist the transition to the new gig for the lucky TMBA winner, Lewis Quartey (@lewisquartey / TMBA III) will be here as well. He is from England, so we must speak verrryyy slowly and only use small words, but he is an OK guy.

I kid…. Lewis and I have been tearing up Puerto Galera for the past 2 months and are taking our “nerds in paradise show” on the road in October.

So hurry up, put your best application together and get your ass over here!


PS. Oh yeah, pack light when you come but bring earplugs for sleep, they are life-savers.

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What is the TMBA VIII?

  • You’ll be the webmaster of You’ll update the site, add content, and keep it sharp.
  • You’ll help out on a broad range of projects that come up. BBQs, parties, IT support, etc.
  • You’ll help create strategic relationships with traffic and link partners.
  • You’ll update the Badladz blog and Youtube channel.
  • You’ll help answer inbound customer service emails and alert staff of bookings etc.
  • You’ll help create measurable increase in foot traffic and sales at the resort.

We believe to successfully complete these duties you’ll need to block off 10-15 hours a week. We are very flexible guys. We want results and a good time more than we want to monitor your working habits. The better you are at creating real results, the less time you’ll need to spend.

Here is what you’ll get in return:

  • 4 months of free lodging at Badladz Resort. Obviously you can travel anytime you want, if you don’t track our location we won’t track yours
  • A free room and room service. (no-WIFI in the room, only in the retaurant area). If you want WIFI in your room, you can use a Globe 3G stick which is relatively cheap. There are also many other places around town you can squat in all day long.
  • 3 great meals a day. The food @ Badladz is seriously awesome. You’ll eat classic Filipino dishes, and some western favorites, prepared by a pro.
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, and filtered water.
  • A futon to sleep on in Sean’s Manila condo upon arrangement (which includes roof top pool and great view of the bay). We’ve actually got a broad range of paid for places and friendly resorts around the Philippines, so you can hit us up for those contacts.
  • Use of non-rented Badladz motorbikes and kayaks (just cover gas and maintenance).
  • 100% access to Sean, myself, and all the active TMBA alumni for advice and support.
  • Free access to the Dynamite Circle membership forum and phone calls. 

Ok dude awesome! How do I apply!?

  • Answer in less than 350 words: why do you want to live at Badladz?
  • Answer in less than 100 words: why specifically is this a good fit for your life right now.
  • Send us a video (much preferred) or audio: say hi to us, let us know a little about yourself and why you want to come hang out at Badladz.
  • Answer in less than 15 sentences: what do you think we could do to the Badladz site and marketing strategy (currently none) that would have the biggest impact on resort traffic.
  • Answer in less than 3 sentences: what is your experience relating to wordpress? (with links to sites if applicable).

Send your applications to Dan @ You can fill out your answers on a posterous (or similar) or directly in an email.

When you arrive, we will throw you a BBQ party :D


  • Applications are due August 20th, 2011 9PM EST.
  • We’ll get on the horn with the finalists and select a winner by August 25th, 2011.
  • You book your ticket to arrive in the Philippines around October 1st, 2011.
  • Your term at Badladz runs from October 1st to February 8th 2012.
  • If you can’t meet these timelines, just let us know in your application. We are flexible.

Finally, a note from our sponsor, Sean Cooney the owner of Badladz…

Not much I can add to that great intro. Everything they said is true and words like awesome & amazing really do not do this place justice. By the time you have pushed all the buttons on our website, YouTube and FaceBook you’ll have a solid understanding what you’re getting yourself into.

Serious FUN.

As I write this we are breaking ground on our new Badladz Beach Resort Conference Center.

We’ll have more rooms, more bars, more guests, and more fun!

We gotta fill these rooms year round. We need a serious marketing personality who is innovative and courageous.

I’m looking forward to meeting someone like us– set on working hard and making a great living while enjoying a killer lifestyle.

Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times!



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That’s it!

Kick me an email Dan at if you have any questions.

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