We remember the time when PEP was just an idea.
Eight people were given what seemed like a simple task: Create a showbiz website.
We remember our soft launch: October 15, 2006.
Our site had only 15 articles.
Our first story—uploaded by Jocelyn Dimaculangan—was about Raymart Santiago, and it carried the title, "YES! was wrong."
It generated our first comment that came from a baffled reader who happened to be surfing the Net: "Akala ko ba partner kayo ng YES! magazine?"
We remember the first press conference we attended.
It was right after Typhoon "Milenyo" and it was for a clothing brand endorsed by Iza Calzado.
When asked about the "publication" she worked for, writer Candice Lim explained what PEP was all about.
Her explanation was longer than Iza Calzado's interview quotes!
And despite Candice's detailed description of the site, people had to ask: "Ano nga yun?"
We remember the first time PEP hit 1,000,000 page views.
It happened nine days after we first launched the site.
Our editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon wrote a story about Gretchen Barretto, and the title carried a quote from the controversial star. "Don't call me prima donna" certainly captured the public's attention.
Three months later, we crossed the 4,000,000 page views mark. This time, the story was about Kris Aquino and James Yap's marital problem called Hope Centeno.
Fast forward to 2012, www.pep.ph is now a one-stop shop for anything showbiz—scoops, exclusive interviews, features, opinions, galleries, podcasts, and videos about stars and facets of their life.
There are now 26 full-time employees—who, routinely, skip meals to write a breaking news item, forego sleep just to read comments, sacrifice holidays to cover an event, and miss special occasions to be with the stars.
To date, we've uploaded or published over 455,000 articles—thanks to our contributors, talent managers, publicists, and sources that have been helping us produce stories with speed, accuracy, and fairness.
Since we started, we have received over 2.5 million comments—or about 1,400 opinions per day. Except for a few posts, which, according to some stars, are rude and ruthless, majority of the comments have either amused or amazed showbiz aficionados all over the world.
Today, we get an average of 37,992,673 million page views and 1,932,778 unique users each month.
Five years after creating PEP, we realize our task is not as simple as we first thought.
Hindi biro ang showbiz...at hindi ito tsismis!