YouTube launches in the Philippines

When YouTube chooses the Philippines to launch its first localized service in Asia, that is telling of what my country’s social media statistics must be like.

Media and citizens in the Philippines have taken to YouTube like fish to water. Watch segments of talk shows, entertainment, news on TV and most likely, portions of these can be found on YouTube. I’ve been to birthday parties where the celebrant is greeted via YouTube by relatives and friends from all over the world. My own son is glued to YouTube videos every day as he watches stuff from computer-related videos to videogaming videos. In Blog Watch, the citizen media group I am with, we already had a YouTube channel since late 2009 and we’ve used it extensively to document the interviews we did of the candidates running for office in the last 2010 elections.

YouTube has also brought several Pinoys to fame as their videos unexpectedly go viral. There was Christine Gambito, better known as Happy Slip, who regaled us with her funny video takes on the Pinoy characteristics and customs. This was followed by the Cebu inmates whose Michael Jackson-inspired dances went globally viral. Charise Pempengco and Arnel Pineda were discovered via YouTube. Charise is now a growing star in the music industry who counts David Foster, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and many other celebrities as friends. Arnel is now the lead singer of the band Journey. Maria Aragon of Lady Gaga fame (who I recently met at another event) has Filipino blood running through her veins and so is funny man, Mikey Bustos. Who can forget that even the video of Cebu Pacific flight attendants dancing while in flight would become viral? And those four who were caught jumping up and down on a bed after Venus Raj became a finalist?

Pinoys have really become so attached to documenting lives and posting these on YouTube that even PR campaigns and strategies include contests that are intertwined with YouTube.

Several blogger friends and I were invited to the YouTube launch party held at Whitespace. The whole night was a celebration of YouTube’s success globally, with focus on how Filipino YouTube videos turned viral. Whitespace was transformed into a fun, fun place where different YouTube activities were happening in different corners.

A karaoke booth let guests sing their hearts out while being livestreamed

Moymoy Palaboy

Greyhoundz

Rivermaya

With Hannah (flaircandy)

With blogger friends

With YouTube present now in the Philippines, we can expect easier access to Philippine-originating content. In fact, content from the government will be made available to the YouTube viewing public through two channels – RTVM and Official Gazette.

Jumpstarting this effort will be a Google-YouTube-World View interview on November 4, 2011 of none other than the Philippine President Aquino. World View is a show that features world leaders answering questions from YouTube users sent online. These past days, questions were being gathered from citizens, some of which will be answered personally by Pres. Aquino on the Nov. 4 show.

Exciting times are ahead for Philippine YouTube viewers.

Are you one of us? What do you think of this move to establish a firm YouTube presence in the country?

 

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A Second Chance to Meet Happy Slip

christine.jpg

There was an overwhelming clamor to have another meet-and-greet event with Happy Slip. The first meet-and-greet, which is tomorrow, Feb. 7, was limited to only 100 bloggers. I was just plain lucky I got into that magic 100.

But for all the fans of Happy Slip out there, fret no more. There will be a second chance to meet Christine. The venue will be the same (Mag:net Cafe, Bonifacio High Street, Fort Boni). This will be on Friday, Feb. 8, from 1-4 pm.

For details, go to Yehey.com’s site for this event. Click HERE.

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‘Happy Slip’ Comes to the Philippines!

The FilAm YouTuber, Christine Gambito, whose Happy Slip channel now has over a 100,000 subscribers and whose very humorous videos focus on the life of Pinoys trying to make it in a foreign land, is in town.

Never heard of her? Head off to her YouTube channel and get loads of laughs!

She was recently chosen by the DOT as the Philippine Ambassador of Tourism and her wide following on YouTube is expected to generate interest among Filipinos in the US, including Americans, to visit the Philippines.

I was curious about Christine’s choice of title for her YouTube channel until I read that ‘Happy Slip’ came from her Mom’s way of saying “half slip” (hap e-slip). Hehe, isn’t that so Pinoy?

Christine successfully mimics several “family members” all played by her (her Mom, her Dad, her aunt, a FilAm cousin, etc). She gives each of them a Pinoy accent, a way of speaking, Pinoy habits, Pinoy expressions, etc.

She has made over 40 videos to-date and many of them are really so hilarious. This lady is a looker and yet she does comedy with aplomb. No wonder she won second place for Best Comedy in March 2007 at the YouTube Video awards!!! Believe it or not, her comedy sketches have already been viewed over 30 million times!

See a sample of one of these videos aptly called “Morning Meest” (guess what the meest is!):

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