“Ma-digiskarteng” Pinays (digitally savvy Filipinas) are using YouTube to bounce back from the pandemic. A recent Google Philippines event highlighted four female YouTube content creators who have created livelihood opportunities through the video-sharing platform.
Judy Ann S. Agoncillo, an actress with more than 1.5 million subscribers, started her channel as an outlet to share what she enjoys doing. Judy Ann’s Kitchen has now also paved a way for women to learn new skills that create entrepreneurial opportunities.
“With the situation now, what else do you have to lose?,” said Ms. Agoncillo. “You want to evolve and do something and, of course, you also want to earn. You can do this for free. The only limit is your imagination.” She added that the pandemic is a good time to take a risk. “Life’s too short to box yourself. What’s important is you’re able to do something for yourself.”
Tinmay A. Arcenas, for her part, pivoted from maarte (artsy) to madiskarte (resourceful) content when she realized that a lot of people lost their jobs over the pandemic. The lifestyle-turned-business vlogger, who has 40,000 subscribers, shares scenes from her family’s poultry farm business, together with tips on how to be more productive.
Also featured at the same event were Dielian E. Certeza and Juliette B. Piquero, who both turned to YouTube to start their own businesses when the pandemic struck.
Ms. Certeza had to look for alternative sources of income last year when she lost her part-time job. “I was scared that I’d stop schooling, scared that I’d be a burden,” she told the audience. Having no prior background in culinary arts, she began to develop her concept for a food business by mining the information found on such channels as The Sauce and Gravy Channel, Gneth’s Life, Kuya Fern’s Cooking, Lian Lim, Friend-Cheap Menu, Fixitsamo, Epoy’s Kitchen, Panlasang Pinoy, and Ninong Ry.
Hot Chicks, the restaurant born from all these efforts, is now able to meet all her family’s needs. “I am proud that I am able to help others though my business,” Ms. Certeza said. “Trust the process, calm your mind and heart, find what you are passionate about, and trust the Lord.”
Ms. Piquero also began conceptualizing her idea of an online business after picking up tips from local channels like Madiskarteng Nanay, Chef RV Manabat, and Lutong Tinapay, the result of which became Nenita’s CAKES and Pastries.
“I ventured into other businesses first, such as succulents, but that didn’t pick up,” she said. “It was my fondness for cooking that led me to baking cakes as a hobby, and which eventually turned into a business,” she said, adding that she uses YouTube as a reference for recipes and baking trends. “[My sales] definitely helps me and my family during these challenging times,” she added.
Aspiring content creators were advised to start small as well as be authentic and willing to learn.
“I don’t advise you to give advice on something you haven’t done yet,” Ms. Agoncillo told the audience. “It’s okay to be honest and say, ‘Let me try it first, then I’ll share my experience with you,’ so you build that relationship [with your subscribers].” — Patricia B. Mirasol