Would you be willing to sacrifice something valuable to chase after a dream? Unbox PH founder and content creator Carlo Ople did, and he's the happiest he's ever been

"I left a vice presidential position. . .to do what I love now in the middle of a pandemic," says Carlo Ople, collector, content creator, and founder of Unbox PH. Ople has worked with big companies for 16 years, such as Friendster, TV5, and PLDT, garnering enough expertise to create and develop multiple businesses such as Unbox Creator Network, Project 7 to 1, and This is Hype PH that keeps his passions aflame.

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Currently, Ople has more than 776,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 211,000 followers on Instagram who are either curious to see his vast collection or anticipating the latest on sneakers, toys, technology, and gaming.

"When I was young, the tech part would come in the form of gaming," he recalls. His earliest memory of gaming is Battle City and Street Fighter, which he'd play on the computer with his father and older brother.

He also recalls his growing admiration for sneakers began when he saw an NBA legend play on TV. "I am part of a generation that was fortunate enough actually to watch Michael Jordan play, not just [through] YouTube clips. . .'Yun 'yung inspiring part about my generation because we saw him [that's the inspiring part about my generation]. Naalala ko pa 'yung favourite Jordan ko, 'yung Jordan 5, hindi ko pa ma-afford bilin so my mom bought me one [I remember my favourite Jordan, Jordan 5, I couldn't afford it so my mom bought me one]," he laughs. 

Although Ople had to put his interests aside when he started working in the corporate world, he reconnected with his passions when he began his YouTube career around 2017.

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Now, he has a bevvy of highly-coveted grails from Nike SB Dunk Low Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Dunky sneakers, Off-White Out of Office Sneakers, to limited-edition sports trading cards like the James Harden Dragon Scale NBA card.

But despite having checked several items off his bucket list, there are still some that the collector wishes to have. Ople says he wants a life-size version of his favourite character, Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z. Even then, the CEO is taking his time with his collection as every other collector should.

“Collect responsibly. Set a budget and don’t go overboard,” he relates. “Personally, the best thing about collecting is meeting and networking with fellow collectors. I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities in business and in my career, thanks to people I’ve met in my various hobbies throughout the years. So, meet people, talk to them, and build relationships!”

See also: 5 Things Every Watch Collector Should Know This 2021

This has translated into Ople's work—particularly his many businesses—through the years. "I'm a big advocate of side hustling. I've always felt that having a job is not enough to afford the life that you want to have," shares Ople. "Ever since 2010, I've been side hustling. That was when I first put up my first website, which is unbox.ph."

The founder initially wrote news articles about tech by himself. But over time, the company grew and extended with Unbox Creator Network, an agency for various digital creators delving into tech, fitness, and more. 

Then began one of the most anticipated pop culture events in the Philippines—Unbox Con, a convention that houses toys, cards, sneakers, and tech, thanks to the team behind Unbox PH.

This year's Unbox Con, which will be held at the SM MOA, SMX Convention Center, will be memorable as NFT tickets are being sold, further igniting the hype among tech-savvy communities.

True to Ople's belief in the importance of building relationships, events like Unbox Con can help bring together a community. And all it took was for Ople to take a leap of faith.

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