Starweek Magazine

YouTube famous

Ida Anita Q. del Mundo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — In a virtual world of millions of voices, faces and names, 12 Filipinos have been recognized as YouTube NextUp winners – content creators who YouTube itself believes are the next big channels on the global platform.

These up-and-coming creators have YouTube channels with between 10,000 to 99,000 subscribers… and counting.

The NextUp program is held by YouTube all over the world, including in Korea, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, the US and the UK.

Now on its third edition in the Philippines, winners are hoping to reach the tipping point to take their channels to the next level.

As NextUp Class of 2019, winners received some P100,000 worth of gear – including laptops, lights and sound equipment, cameras and more – to help improve their production value; the chance to use sets at the YouTube Pop-up Space with a full camera crew at their disposal; and personalized guidance from YouTube representatives as well as mentorship from industry professionals. The head mentor was filmmaker Blake Sarion of Sarion Films, together with Lou Gokian, William Capistrano and me, who worked closely with the winners during a five-day creator camp.

Diversity was the buzzword throughout the creator camp as the 12 winners represented very unique individuals who show their different perspectives through their YouTube channels.

Some of the more well-known winners include showbiz personality Nadia Montenegro, who hosts her own YouTube cooking show Cucina ni Nadia. On the last day of the camp, she related how difficult it was to reinvent herself at her age, but being part of YouTube NextUp affirmed that she was in the right place.

Anyone who is familiar with the local indie music scene knows Reese Lansangan, but she is now looking to grow her YouTube channel which showcases her highly imaginative music videos. Being part of YouTube NextUp is extra special for Reese since she applied for the first edition of the program, but did not get in.

Joining Reese is fellow musician Caleb Santos. Though he has already had his taste of fame as part of the boyband XLR8, which was active from 2010-2012, just like Nadia, he has recast himself through his YouTube channel as a singer-songwriter.

Bursting with Gen Z energy, Raya Maurelle hosts her own lifestyle channel where she gives advice on how to survive college. Also giving school advice, Lex in Motion, whose channel is fully animated, shares tips for surviving law school – with deadpan humor.

Lifestlye bloggers include the entertaining and bubbly Charlotte F.; Rea Ninja, a Cebuana who focuses on call center agent life; and flight attendant Aileene who has become known for her healthy lifestyle and Keto diet tips. Aileene was particularly excited – and anxious – to be part of the NextUp camp since she was already a subscriber of many of her fellow winners and never considered herself to be at par with them. The creator camp gave her more confidence and affirmation.

Interestingly, there was a good range of niche content represented in the NextUp winner’s line up. Millennial poultry farmer from Bicol Dwight Tamayo’s channel aims to encourage young people like him to go into farming, which can be a lucrative – and even cool – business.

Cycling enthusiast Mark More brings viewers along on his adventures on the trail. Kuys Kiko is a unique beauty guru who wants men to realize that they too can gain confidence from being well groomed or even putting on a bit of make-up.

The creator with the highest number of subscribers is Chief MAKOi, who breached 100,000 right before the NextUp camp. Chief MAKOi is a maritime chief engineer who takes viewers aboard his ship to experience the pleasures and perils of life at sea.

“Every year, we see more and more creators joining the contest from outside Manila representing various languages, topics and passion points. This proves that anyone can make it on YouTube,” said YouTube APAC creator and artist development head Marc Lefkowitz at the launch of the NextUp camp.

“YouTube’s growth in the Philippines has been exciting and we are committed to sustaining this momentum through initiatives like NextUp,” said YouTube Southeast Asia director of content partnerships Vishal Sarin.

“We strive to help current and aspiring Filipino creators to hone their talents and skills, and enable them to create meaningful content on YouTube.”

Lefkowitz agreed, “We hope that this trend will continue to further signify that YouTube is truly a home for every creator.”

With their arsenal of new skills and gear, the YouTube NextUp winners are sure to continue delivering unique content that represents diverse stories across the country. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

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