Pojie Pambid: Inspiration from an Established Designer

Pojie Pambid

Pojie Pambid 2

{Interior Design by Pojie Pambid}

One item I had on my list of things to do after the board exam was to interview Sir Pojie Pambid. Dreaming of becoming an established interior designer myself, there are a few people I look up to. And yes, he is one of them!

To those of you who don’t know who he is, in a nutshell:

Pojie is an established interior designer in the Philippines. He has taught in Philippine School of Interior Design for eighteen years, and is currently the school’s director. He is also the Editor in Chief of MyHome magazine, “the country’s number one best-selling home and design title.”

He is one of the professors I had in PSID, and one thing I love about him is that he’s always on time and prepared for his classes. In a country where “Filipino time” is a cliché, he has made himself stand out. And oh so much passion he’s got! Other factors I like about him is his eye for detail, and his perfectionism. Not to mention, his impeccable taste in design!

Knowing he had so much on his plate, I am grateful he took time to answer all the questions I asked him on life, success, teaching and interior design and more—and elaborate ones at that!

On Life and Success I

Q: How did you get to where you are today?

A: It had to do with my three Ps: Prayer, Patience and Perseverance.

I have always believed in the power of prayer and throughout my life, I’ve relied on prayer. I have always been prayerful and where I am now is because of the fact that I have always believed that prayer works.

I also believe that patience got me where I am today. I have always been one who does not believe in overnight success. Whatever success I am enjoying right now is probably because I was patient enough to go through the process and I didn’t rush things.

I believe in the process of ripening, and through that process, making mistakes and learning from them, and I also persevered. I think this comes with patience. Regardless of what curve balls life threw at me, I pushed through. Some I was able to dodge while others hit me right in the face but when it did, I just picked myself up and moved on.

Q: What traits do you believe one has to possess to become successful?

A: I think one has to be a professional through and through. Respect for your work and your peers’ are also important traits. Loving your work counts a lot because when you love what you’re doing, you have a tendency to be really good at it. When that happens, success cannot be far behind.

Also, I think that for one to be really successful, ethics counts a lot. What you are as a person also reflects in the kind of job that you do, and superiors always favor a principled person over an ambitious one.

Responsibility also goes far in the success parameter. Whether it be in the work environment or outside the work place, I think one has to be responsible for his actions. And one trait that exemplifies this is the ability to own up to your mistakes.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement thus far?

A: Teaching. Seeing my students graduate and make something out of themselves is for me, my greatest achievement. I’d like to think that I had something to do in the their success. 😀

On Teaching

Q: How long have you been teaching in PSID for?

A: 18 years.

Q: What do you love about teaching?

A: What I love about teaching is that it is anything but predictable. I have been teaching the same subjects for 18 years already, but every term something fun and exciting happens in the classroom; that every term a new set of students come in and it’s like a totally new experience. I love that I can have fun with it and allow students to learn in the process. I like that my students laugh inside my class and I like that they enjoy my classes.

Q: What challenges you the most?

A: The challenge in teaching is that realistically, it’s not really a bread-and-butter kind of job. I wish that teachers were compensated well and that they be given the proper remuneration they deserve.

Q: What traits does one need to become a successful design teacher?

A: Dedication. I think the best teachers are the ones that are really dedicated to their students. I think that a successful design teacher or any teacher for that matter is a selfless teacher, putting aside personal stuff in favor of the class. Students see and appreciate this kind of dedication and in turn reward the teacher by being the best that they can be. This, is the best accolade a teacher can ever receive—that you have inspired your students to become great professionals because of your selfless dedication to the job.

Q: You have so much passion. To me, that makes you stand out. What are your thoughts on this?

A: What can I say? I’m inspired. I like the thought that I am helping to mold minds and turning them into great thinkers, great designers and great individuals. I like the thought that teaching is reciprocal; that I also learn from my students and that I accept the fact that I do not know everything—that my students help in teaching me the stuff that I do not know. I’m passionate about it because it yields the results that I want. My students turn out to be great all-around professionals and they blaze their trail and make a name for themselves. How can you not be passionate about that? 😀

Pojie Pambid 3

Pojie Pambid 4

{Interior Design by Pojie Pambid}

On Being an Interior Designer

Q: How long have you been practicing Interior Design?

A: 18 years.

Q: What do you love the most about it?

A: The look on my clients’ faces when they see what I’ve done for them and the appreciation that follows.

Q: What do you find the most challenging?

A: Having to conceptualize good design is always challenging; especially something that takes the personality of the client and the budget constraints that go with it but I love challenges so I just make the most out of it and give my clients the satisfaction of a good interior design regardless of how much or how little we spend on the project.

Q: Describe your personal style.

A: Definitely Filipino, contemporary Filipino with indigenous and tropical touches.

Q: What do you consider the best interior design project you’ve done? Why?

A: My own place. Because I am my worst critic and apparently, with my home now, I have pleased myself.

Q: What is your design philosophy?

A: That good design is not directly proportional to cost.

On MyHome

Q: Talk about MyHome magazine.

A: MyHome magazine in the country’s number one best-selling home and design title. 😀

Q: How long have you been the editor-in-chief?

A: Going on 3 years now.

Q: How did you work your way up to that position?

A: I started out as an advice columnist for JieMail in 2005 and then was given another column, Style Guide, a year after. Last 2009 the position of EIC was offered to me but it took me about six months to finally accept it. That was in 2010.

Q: What do you love the most about it?

A: My team. I’m blessed that I have a wonderful team that I enjoy working with. I think the pressure and the stress of the job is lessened because of the support group that I have in the office. I think a job becomes more meaningful and rewarding because you love the people that you work with. I also love the creative control I have over the content of the magazine and that it allows me to travel and see other places, visit beautiful homes and experience working in a creative environment. I also love, love, love the opportunity that I’ve been given to feature my students’ work in the pages of MyHome because that’s my ultimate pride and joy!

Q: What do you find the most challenging?

A: Pleasing people. Sometimes it gets very difficult to balance advertising, editorial and circulation concerns (not to mention that we have to make money in the process). Deadlines are also somewhat challenging but only when they keep on changing it, otherwise my obsessive compulsive calendar can cope naman.

On Life and Success II

Q: I’ve heard you’re hosting a new lifestyle TV show. Tell me about it.

A: It’s called MyHomeTV and it’s the TV equivalent of MyHome magazine. It’s a 30-minute show that focuses on what’s new in interior design. It also focuses on trends and tips,  products and DIYs and the latest real estate developments.

Q: What do you have planned next for yourself in terms of your career?

A: Retire! LOL! Seriously though, as far as my career is concerned, I really have not planned anything. Everything seems to have miraculously landed on my lap so I don’t really have any plans, I’m just waiting for the next thing that will again, miraculously land on my lap.

Q: Did you have all of these planned, or did the opportunities just come your way?

A: Like I said in the previous answer, none of this was planned. I just let Him take the wheel and so far naman He has steered me in the right direction. I remember the time that I was confused about the career path that I was going to take, my prayer was this, “Plant me where You want me to bloom.” I guess that’s what He did.

Q: How do you balance your time among all the duties and responsibilities you have?

A: I think good time management and having very responsible people to work with. I am able to balance four jobs because I am very strict, obsessed even, about time. I maintain a very strict schedule and I see to it that the schedule is met otherwise everything falls apart.

I also believe in delegation. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the people I work with helps. It allows me to maximize their potential and minimize mistakes, getting the job done in the process.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring interior designers?

A: Never rush success. Success is all the more sweeter in the lips when it is savored. Never complain, never regret anything and never be afraid to make mistakes. Make the most out of what life has to offer.

Q: What do people not know about you?

A: What people do not really know about me is that I am really shy. Every time that it’s the first day of classes or at the beginning of a seminar that I’m giving, I have to pray first because I am shaking like a leaf and I have butterflies in my stomach. It always happens. I also do not like crowds that’s why I don’t like socializing. Not really a party person. I’m quite a loner and that is probably the reason why I like living alone. Weird ba? Hehe!

***

I love learning from people who are way ahead in the path I see myself in. One thing I have taken from this is that success cannot be rushed. Success is a journey, a journey where you need to take one step at a time. Instead of lamenting that which you don’t have, focus on what you have going for you today, this very moment.

In all your current dealings, give your all, no matter how insignificant it may be. When you give the best you can, trust me, people will take notice, and doors of opportunity will open wide for you. Be professional, and for goodness’ sake, be a little of a perfectionist! 😀

Thank you so much for your time, Sir Pojie!

PS! He needs a love life!!!!!!!!!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Czarina_allanigue October 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I am so happy for you Jie! You deserve every success you have! It’s so exciting reading this interview 🙂 I got so so inspired with your words……… Oh yes I agree with Ms. Cederstam— A love life is coming your way!!! Take care a lot!

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