What you missed during YouTube Fanfest Philippines 2018
Last Friday, May 11, fans gathered at the World Trade Center to watch homegrown YouTube talents Janina Vela, Mikey Bustos, Wil Dasovich, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Michelle Dy, Renee Dominique, Pamela Swing, AC Bonifacio, Ranz Kyle, and Niana Guerrero perform onstage alongside international creators, Matt Steffanina, Sungha Jung, D-trix, and the Merrell Twins.
It was a treat to see these Internet personalities reach out to their fanbase from beyond that familiar tiny screen. There were daytime activities, a pre-game show, and meet-and-greets to keep the audience pumped up and the festival culminated in an epic concert.
There were moments that you couldn’t even hear what’s happening over the thunderous applause of the audience. This must be what Chris Schremp, the director of YouTube’s Global Creator and Artist Development meant when he said the streaming site had “8 million strong” followers from the Philippines alone.
Read on to find out what went down at WTC amidst the Friday payday traffic:
As soon as the lights dimmed and a video played, showcasing the 14 YouTube creators on the screen, the background music was immediately drowned out by the deafening cries of fans.
Then, a bursts of light filled the stage as this year’s YouTube Fanfest host, Janina Vela opened the show with a bang. She sang a motivational song she wrote just for the YouTube Fanfest show called “Unstoppable” dedicated to her viewers, which encourages them to be “brave and strong" in order to fight the haters.
During the press conference earlier in the day, when asked how Janina dealt with detractors, she answered, “I think with everything that you go through, you use those experiences to push you to be better. [Whenever I see hate comments] I take from that and improve myself and get to Janina 2.0.”
The next performance, by singer Renee Dominique, complemented the previous set and gave us enough time to catch our breaths.
Renee’s soothing voice as she sang her hit, “Figure It Out” had the audience swaying while using their cellphone flashlights. She even encouraged the crowd to sing along with her. Renee, who began uploading videos on YouTube when she was only 13, teared up mid-performance, overwhelmed by the reception of her fans. (Rappler Live Jam: Renee Dominique)
Speaking to media earlier in the day, Renee said that someone once said her voice made them sleepy. The 19-year-old said she doesn't dwell on these comments too much. "Since I make music videos on my channel [and it’s a form of art], I let the audience [interpret my content] however they want [and respect their opinion.]”
To which, Janina interjected: “I just realized that [since they tell me that] my voice is so loud, we should combine and make a video!"
We’re definitely looking forward to a future collaboration between these talented ladies.
Wil Dasovich hyped up the crowd and brought a lucky winner named Mica up on stage to take a selfie with her and gift her with a phone. Alodia Gosiengfiao came bouncing in moments later in a unicorn onesie and proposed a dance challenge.
This time, the couple was joined by their respective mothers who teamed up against them (also in unicorn onesies) in honor of Mother’s Day. Jako De Leon joined in as a guest judge and asked the crowd who won the contest. While most people shouted "Team Mom," in the end, everyone won.
Wilodia said that YouTube was the reason they met and that since they’re both content creators, they have a better understanding of each other’s schedules. Mikey Bustos said he’s never seen the pair fight ever.
When asked what kind of vlog topic has she grown accustomed to doing, Alodia said: “I usually post canned content like gaming and cosplay. And it’s only recently that I shared my life through Wil [since I’m usually] such a shy person. But I think people want to know what’s behind and want to know what’s real.”
Wil added: “As a lifestyle daily type of vlogger, the important thing is sharing the perspective of your audience [which includes] how you grow and face challenges. It’s continuing to do things that make you uncomfortable or not used to. Unfortunately for her, she’s a very shy person so if you’re dating a daily vlogger who’s an extrovert on steroids then your life’s gonna be exposed.”
Makeup vlogger Michelle Dy brought the house down and sent the crowd into fits of laughter as she did an 80s-inspired glittery gold dance number. Never one to be behind in keeping up with fresh content she said: “I always make sure that my videos are up-to-date by checking out social media so I know what’s on trend and what’s happening.”
And any Michelle Dy presentation wouldn’t be complete without a makeup tutorial video, as requested by the crowd. Michelle rushed offstage and later came out with a portable table around her waist, which had makeup products littered on top.
The backup dancers even came out waving giant makeup props like lipstick and eyeshadow as they moved and grooved to the music – an oddly satisfying setup all in all. It goes to show that even the ultra glam Michelle is not conscious about looking a bit silly onstage.
Dominic made a whole dance routine surrounding his morning ritual. A video showed his Filipino mother trying to wake him up for his performance and he woke up in a bed placed in the middle of the stage. Every step he made is a carefully choreographed move, from waking up, changing clothes, and even using the tabo.
On being less conscious about the content he churns out, D-trix said: "I just realized after being in entertainment for 11 years, at this point I just wanna make stuff that I love. I’m just lucky enough to make some stuff with my friends. So now I just wanna put out stuff that I only love."
The sensational siblings Donny and Hannah Pangilinan made a special cameo to announce that McDonald's was giving away free French fries (GCs, at least) to everyone who attended.
Mikey started his performance by belting out a rousing rendition of Martin Nievera’s “Kahit Isang Saglit.” And while we’re used to his crazy antics, we also have to remember that aside from his comedic chops, he’s got one heck of a powerhouse voice.
But true to his zany nature, he immediately followed this up with a performance dressed like an alien.
It’s both the serious and fun side that make him such an interesting content creator.
When asked about a dream collab with anyone living or dead, he answered: “I would love to collab with the crocodile hunter [Steve Irwin] and David Attenborough. [And for the fun channel,] I would love to work with Peewee Herman. Because I just discovered that my Pinoy boy character is just a Pinoy version of [him.]”
Pamela Swing did her own twist to the usual unboxing video. All decked out in bathrobes, Pam and her friends held up boxes to reveal random objects inside…which end up becoming punny punchlines. The kooky creator also rapped about not taking a shower (which we sure was just in jest.) #NoLigo
AC totally slayed the choreography as she gave major props to Mr. Pure Energy himself, Gary V, by dancing along to some of his hits. Fun fact: AC said that she actually attended fellow YouTube content creator Matt Steffanina’s dance class.
To which Matt exclaimed, “She killed it!” No wonder AC was a two-time guest at the Ellen show.
Janina Vela returned onstage and brings a fan from the Velafam named Trish along for the performance.
Together, they sing “Hesitate,” but there’s a catch: each gal has to place her hand inside a mystery box to guess the object inside. And true to the song, they both learn to let go and be brave enough to take a chance.
The self-taught guitar prodigy Sungha Jung returned to the Philippines to wow the crowd at YTFF. He even plays an Eraserheads song dedicated for his Pinoy fans.
When asked which artist he’d want to work with in the future, he immediately knows his answer: “I would like to collaborate with John Mayer because he’s a great guitarist. I really love his songs and I listen to them everyday. We could play “Neon,” “Gravity,” but there’s so many songs that I like so it’s really hard to choose. [It’s definitely going to be fun.]"
Sungha Jung’s style has a lot of jazz influence as he strummed and tapped on the fly. When asked how he’s able to pull if off he explained: “[In order to] improvise, you need to learn how to tell a story and the feelings you want to express. That’s important if you’re playing jazz [since it has a lot of soul].”
The brother-sister duo of Ranz and Niana busted out some color-blocked fashion realness as they did a song-and-dance number of their new single, “Great Day.” And did we mention the overgrown Smiley face mascot dancing alongside them?
Vanessa and Veronica Merrell played the cute online ditty, “Internet Crush” to an admiring crowd who can surely #relate to the plight stated in the lyrics. At one point, the Merrell twins asked the audience to shout out their Internet crush’s name and several people mentioned the content creators’ names—much to their delight.
Matt Steffanina had one epic production number which started interestingly enough, with a Matrix-inspired video which showed that someone else (Matt in costume, natch) was hacking into his account.
Funnily enough, the hacking montage showed Matt in a series of random videos such as a makeup feature with Bethany and a challenge with Alex Wassabi. While the whole narrative was quite different from his usual routine, he still included a dance tutorial in between.
While Matt is a hardcore dancer, he also welcomes viral dance trends due to its universal appeal, “Sometimes if you’re a non-dancer and you’re watching a intricate dance routine, you’re not quite sure what you’re watching. But if you dab, everyone in the world knows what you’re doing. [Viral dance moves] are like having a catchy line in a song.”
For the final performance, Sungha Jung returned on stage to show off his finger tapping guitar skills with both D-trix and Matt Stefanina doing a interpretative dance accompaniment.
The show ended with an explosion of confetti as the rest of the content creators went onstage to have an epic selfie with the crowd. – Rappler.com
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