5 Pinays Get *Very Real* About Being Content Creators

You can watch all of them on KUMU!
PHOTO: istockphoto

It takes *a lot* to be a content creator these days, especially when it involves livestreaming! Finding your niche, establishing your voice, and entertaining your audience are just some of the many, many things content creators do—often balancing this gig with several other jobs. Cosmopolitan spoke to five Pinay content creators/livestreamers on KUMU to find out what it's *really* like. 

Dani Mortel, 22

KUMU handle: daniellemortel

Ria Regino/MYX Philippines
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When did you start creating content?
I started creating content, specifically livestreaming, a little over a year ago after quitting my day job. I've always wanted to work at my own pace, in a space that I'm most comfortable in, and never just waiting for the clock to strike 6:00 p.m. so I can leave. Livestreaming really started the possibility of living my dream work-life balance that I've been trying to manifest since I graduated.

Are you a full-time content creator?
I'd say I'm a full-time artist, always pursuing my passions and prioritizing what makes me feel holistically fulfilled. Right now, I'm focusing on hosting, since I recently became a MYX VJ (my dream job).

I'm very lucky that I get to tell stories as myself or as a character that I could only dream of becoming. 

But I am also a TV commercial model and events script writer. I'm basically a woman who likes playing with words and stories, in many different ways. And I'm very lucky that I get to tell stories as myself or as a character that I could only dream of becoming.

What are the perks and challenges of content creation?
Creating has always been engraved in my blood. I've always enjoyed thinking out of the box and producing content that matters. While it's incredibly liberating to be able to decide what you want your audience to receive, there's also a sense of pressure in terms of keeping things interesting and purposeful. As a lifestyle livestreamer, the only way to be effective is to be myself. So I have to decide whether or not I'm going to share my whole life with my viewers. We all have bad days, and for me, keeping those bad days to myself while making my viewers happy is still challenging.

Who are the content creators you look up to?
I follow content creators who produce content that inspires me in many different ways. On YouTube, I admire Jinti Fell, Sorelle Amore, Nate Punzalan, Ayn Bernos, Mica Pineda, and many more. I also listen to podcasts like "The Ground Up Show," "Camp Confidence," "Adulting with Joyce Pring," "Mom and Son Podcast," etc. In the livestreaming community, I enjoy watching Arya Herrera, Inna Morata, and K.A. Antonio, to name a few. I really believe that supporting co-artists is integral in feeling fulfilled with what you're passionate about.

What made you decide to join KUMU?
What made me join Kumu is the fact that it's run by Filipinos for the Filipinos. The Kumunity is a very welcoming space where you can really be yourself. Everything about it reminds me to love my roots and keep my heart close to my kapwa Pilipino.

What's your favorite game on KUMU?
My favorite is Quiz Mo Ko, even if I've only ever won once. It's very entertaining and you get to learn things while watching!

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Shanna Guanzon, 23

KUMU handle: shannamayy

Courtesy of Shanna Guanzon

When did you start creating content? 
I've been inconsistently creating content on YouTube during the first few months of 2018, then I started getting interested in streaming last June, not just because it's a lot easier but also because I feel like it's more geniune. I feel more connected with my viewers.

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Creating content has slowly made its way into my everyday life. Sharing a part of my life with my viewers and teaching them my ways and also learning from them mean a lot to me.

Are you a full-time content creator?
I am full-time [creator] in a way that when I do something funny or interesting, I instantly think about sharing it with my viewers. But I'm also a commercial and runway model.

What are the perks and challenges of content creation?
There are a lot [of perks] but one is that I'm basically hitting a thousand birds with one stone in content creating. I am my own boss. I actually enjoy what I'm doing, and I have instant friends!

What's challenging is that there are days when I just can't think of any good content and I end up with the worst ideas. It always has to be organic or the viewers will know it but what I like about that is I can instantly make up for it the next day.

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Who are the content creators you look up to?
Bretman Rock is my favorite!!! But since I'm a gamer at heart, I also like Alodia.

What made you decide to join KUMU?
I saw it in an ad, and I got super interested because I really wanted to try streaming even before I started YouTube. My first stream made me love KUMU so much because everyone is super welcoming, friendly, and engaging. I can be myself.

What's your favorite game on KUMU?
Sing Tanong and Beki Quiz!!

Kia del Rosario, 26

KUMU handle: chefpreneurkia

Courtesy of Kia Del Rosario
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When did you start creating content?
I started making content as a vlogger three years ago. I was a part of a group called Vlog Rangers and YouTube Vloggers PH. I didn't get to continue vlogging because of my lack of time to edit videos. Luckily, around October 2017, KUMU asked if I was willing to be a "storyteller" for the livestreaming app they were planning to start, and I said yes!

Are you a full-time content creator? 
I am currently one of the pioneer premium livestreamers of KUMU. This is something I do full-time alongside my primetime gameshow hostings for them. On the side, I am a food stylist and an internationally licensed personality development and business trainer. Being a freelance actress has been an accidental career for me as well. I have done a number of digital ads and short films, which have also trended on different social media platforms. I have always been very business-minded, which is why I am working towards my goal of having my own food business soon.

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Some may say that being a full-time livestreamer and influencer is not a "real" job but in this generation, we are fortunate that social media-related careers have gained respect and importance.

What are the perks and challenges of content creation?
Being a content creator is undeniably challenging but it is also in the many times that I was challenged when I found the greatest perks of this field. I have grown in so many ways, and I have exercised my love for creativity. The vast influence that this career entails is something that people have once questioned. Some may say that being a full-time livestreamer and influencer is not a "real" job but in this generation, we are fortunate that social media-related careers have gained respect and importance.

If there is one thing that I love most about what I do, it is not really the spotlight and the freebies that we get from brands but the partnerships we gain everytime we have projects. For me, being able to connect with people and learn from them has been one of the unmatched benefits of being a content creator. 

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Who are the content creators you look up to?
Bani Logrono, Heart Evangelista, Joyce Pring, Casey Neistat, Garyvee, Zach King, TheTekkiDerma, Alex Gonzaga, Vincentiments, Erwan Heussaff

What made you decide to join KUMU?
KUMU is an answered prayer for me. Whenever people ask me what it is and why I'm a part of it, I always tell them that the Kumunity is my family. When the founders of KUMU were just planning on making the app, I already fell in love with their vision. Just like any startup, it wasn't easy. As one of their legit pioneers, I experienced the growth of the app.

There is a culture of "belonging" without discrimination. It is where the real you is accepted. No need for edits or second takes. 

Tell us about your game shows on KUMU. 
I currently host two game shows on KUMU: Munch Time and Quiz Mo Ko. Though I enjoy hosting any show on KUMU, I must admit that Munch Time is my favorite. It is where I can express my love for food while interacting with my viewers as they play. Food is something people are interested in, which is why in between the questions, I am always excited to do mini mukbang scenes to keep the viewers hungry and entertained. 

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Clara Prima, 21

KUMU handle: primaclara

Courtesy of Clara Prima

When did you start creating content? 
I started when I was in high school. Joining the Ateneo Radio & Television network at my university was one of my biggest training grounds. I learned how to put my content together, to create scripts for film, television, talk shows, and radio. My content-making journey became more exciting when livestreaming apps were introduced to me. This is when I decided to join KUMU.

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For me, sharing my content is also sharing who I am, what I am, what I want to be, and what I want to tell people, the world. 

For me, sharing my content is also sharing who I am, what I am, what I want to be, and what I want to tell people, the world. It's sharing the pieces of me wholeheartedly. It also allows me to establish my own voice and what I stand for. It's a venue where I can both teach and learn, an opportunity to share my talent, skills, and values. Knowing that I can inspire people through my own little way makes my heart happy and fulfilled with my passion and purpose.

Are you a full-time content creator?
No. I am involved in both the corporate and non-corporate worlds. I am a full-time Advocacy Head, currently heading two organizations focused on anti-human trafficking and transforming lives through innovative education. Sometimes, I get to experience facilitating events and assisting in our training seminars as well as with our talents in media. I also do some freelance work in the fields of arts and music; I'm now exploring the world of entrepreneurship with my family and hopefully, with my current company.

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What are the perks and challenges of content creation?
It makes me grow as an effective communicator. It allows me to meet and build a strong connection with other communicators. Of course, on KUMU, our viewers are from all over the world, so it makes me feel like I am communicating and making an impact. I will not deny the fact that I'm feeling over the moon whenever I livestream, especially when viewers like what I am doing and saying. There's always a kilig factor, knowing that I made them happy! 

Content creation is both art and science. It's a challenge to be holistic!

Because I am sharing different stuff during my streams, it is important that I verify them. For me, research is the most vital part! What's the point of imparting information if it's fake? Of course, we have our own experiences, perspectives, and beliefs in life, but I always remind myself that it should not feed my bias.

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As a livestreamer on KUMU, I challenge myself to become more responsible and accountable in everything I do. When I have something to say I make sure there is a disclaimer; if someone is hurt by what I have said, I say sorry; if someone disagrees with me, I don't start a war just to prove my point. Instead, I show respect. A lot of my viewers know how I prepare my content. Because for me, being "live" is a bit harder than recording; you can't just delete what you have said or done! 

Who are the content creators you look up to?
Gary Vee, Anthony Pangilinan, Hannah Pangilinan, Bianca Gonzales, Bo Sanchez, and Laureen Uy. They are content creators with a purpose!

What you decide to join KUMU?
First, it makes me so proud that it's made by Filipinos, patronizing Filipino culture! The main goal is to share the gifts of life to other people, may it be talents, skills, or values. I want to inspire people and make them appreciate what they have.

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KUMU is like a home to me. Everyone is a part of my familyeven those who hate me, haha!

What's your favorite game on KUMU?
It's Beki Quiz! Aside from the excellent production standards (necessary equipment, thematic games/episodes), the hosts are super entertaining and engaging! That's why I am no longer surprised that they have the record for the most viewed game on KUMU. These games let people earn in the most exciting way! I also like Quiz Mo Ko & Munch Time.

Shae Vela, 22

KUMU handle: shaeshae

Courtesy of Shae Vela
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When did you start creating content? 
I started creating content for streams not so long ago! It was introduced to me by a friend in 2018. She told me that it's something that she sees me doing because it fits my personality and background considering I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

After hearing more about content creation, specifically livestreaming, I got excited to try to create my own because I felt like it's an expression of who you are, sharing your knowledge and interests to people who could might have the same interests. For me, creating content is finding a way to introduce the things that I love to others the best way I can. When I think about my content, knowing my audience is just as important to me as being clear about the information I want to share.

Are you a full-time content creator?
Right now, I do content for my streams full-time! I have been doing livestreams regularly for the past several months. I enjoy it a lot because I get to develop a wonderful relationship with my viewers on KUMU. While I'm still deciding what job I want to do in the near future, streaming has helped me survive every day. Not only do I earn from it, but I also get to communicate with my viewers all the time! It has also helped me improved my communicating skills. 

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I also do one more thing that I'm passionate about: performing! I have a band with two other known streamers from KUMU and a close friend from Naga. Our band is called Fourkeeps. I play acoustic pop/OPM songs with my bandmates: Tiara Shaye Cinco, Kristelle Louise Laquindanum, and Clara Prima. We've been playing since 2016. Every now and then, we get booked for gigs at private events such as weddings, birthdays, front acts for  famous bands/artists, and other engagements! 

What are the perks and challenges of content creation?
Creating your own content can be both fun and challenging. There are times when your mind gets filled with ideas with what you want to do, who you want to work with, or a lot of new things you never tried writing or doing content about. The thing is, there is actually no limit to it! I like how people can choose how they present their messages through content. It maximizes someone's knowledge and imagination.

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However, it's not every day that a content creator gets wonderful ideas! Sometimes, it feels like I'm running out of creativity. There are times when I personally think and feel that my content is getting boring or that because someone did their version of it, mine won't be as interesting anymore. This usually hinders me from actually pushing for whatever content I'm planning on.

When it comes to livestreaming, when you rest and stop showing up, people tend to forget about you. It is important that you stay visible to people in this kind of platform. 

Who are the content creators you look up to?
I look up to Hannah Pangilinan, Anthony Pangilinan, Bo Sanchez, Clara Prima. They inspire a lot of people, and their faith inspires me. Oh, let me include Jokoy in the list because I watch his videos when I get sad sometimes, too.

What made you decide to join KUMU?
KUMU gives me the chance to share my talents, knowledge, and passion. People in the Kumunity relate to what I share, and they always remind me how they appreciate my presence there. I feel blessed to be part of a community of talented people from all around the world. People learn from each other, make each other feel like they're not alone, and help each other out. KUMU made that possible.

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What's your favorite game in KUMU?
All KUMU games are fun to play! They have their own styles and fun twists but my favorite would have to be Beki Quiz. It is fun, and the hosts are very creative! It's not that difficult to win at Beki Quiz, and there's always a good laugh with hosts PrettyAshlii and McPol.

*Answers have been edited for clarity.

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