The architect who found herself online
Anna Salas-Madronero, 29, is an architect who lives and works in Nueva Ecija with husband Romulo Madronero, whom she married in December 2014. Just like her, Mr. Madronero is an online freelancer for graphic design.
Fresh from graduating at the Far Eastern University, Madronero was initially hired by one of the country’s biggest developers to work as a design officer for construction for almost three years. However, as a young architect, she felt the need to design something on her own.
Not wanting to lose her personal style and skill, Madronero quit the company in 2011 and tried her luck in online freelancing.
Just like any new employee, she also struggled at the beginning in the freelancing world. “In the beginning, many clients online preferred male architects because they are more known in the field. But in the long run, foreign clients recognized my skills as an architect regardless of gender,” she recounted, “Happily, I also see women now excelling in the field already maybe because I believe we are more artistic and articulate.”
More importantly, the architect also had the artistic freedom she had always desired in online freelancing. She shared, “Here, I get to design freely. I also get to work for people, architects, developers who are really want you to design. With that, I get to enjoy my profession more today.”
Even online, Madronero is every bit a professional architect via the following process: First, she studies the site photos that show the size of the space she is hired to design, the actual requirements like numbers of rooms, and the client preferences. These are all sent to her online by clients who usually come from Australia, Canada and the US.
“I usually design homes. I also got to work with Subway Australia, as well as a restaurant chain from the US. In general, I do residential and commercial establishments,” she enumerated.
Madronero also disclosed that her online job is more “rewarding” not only because of her artistic freedom but also because she earns more this way. She said, “The pay in freelancing is higher itself because it’s in US dollars. It’s like you are working overseas too.”
In terms of her family life, The Sunday Times Magazine ventured to ask Madronero how working online has turned out for her and her husband. She candidly replied, “We are always so busy, so we can’t afford to go out. Sometimes we hardly have a social life anymore. But when we want to and we can, and we make it a point to go on a vacation once a month.
“But we do bring our laptops and check work if the hotel has WiFi,” the committed online freelancer ended with a laugh.