WATCH: This Filipino countryside YouTuber is the future of influencers

Published March 3, 2021, 8:10 PM

by John Legaspi

Sometimes, all we need is a quick escape to the countryside

Much like EDSA, the online world can be, in our humble opinion, a little congested and overbearing. Yes, kitten online videos are cute. Beauty vloggers discussing crime and cosmetics are pretty interesting. Trolling, bashing, and fake news—stress-inducing. 

After all those unnecessary traffic jams, we always look forward to the rewarding scenery, the fresh air, the change we want to see, from skyscrapers to tall evergreen trees. We may find it hard to believe at times, but there are some areas of the internet where we can find the same refuge, to be able to get inspired, and see a world for its natural and simple beauty. 

One of those is the channel of 22-year-old Youtuber Ruben B. Baguio Jr., digitally known as Gayyem Benben. The simple Ilocano documents his humble countryside living in Nueva Vizcaya and proudly showcases it in his channel.

Ruben B. Baguio Jr.

“The mandate of this Youtube channel is for me to showcase my province life as an Ilocano and to bring happiness to the people all over the world especially to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and to show and preserve our culture as Ilocano and to inspire others to do this also,” he writes. 

Preserving local culture virtually is what he did with his videos showcasing the art of baybayin and the local language as well. “I want to put baybayin in my videos because I want to show the Filipino youth like me and to all people how beautiful our baybayin is,” he says in one of his vlogs. “I want you to appreciate it. I’m still hoping that soon it will be our national writing system once again.”

After creating his channel in June 2019, he now has over 182,000 subscribers with more than seven million views. But before reaching that digital milestone, he admitted that it’s hard putting together contents for his channel, especially being a “one man job” at first, from filming to editing. In the early days of his video creations, he used a makeshift tripod out of bamboo to effectively capture scenes. Now, he employs the help of his brothers and sister for his content. 

Apart from seeing his “probinsiya” adventures like doing the laundry in the river or climbing the mountains, his cooking videos are a definite must-watch, where he uses his own fresh harvest—a real farm to table experience if we may say so. Much like everyone else during the quarantine period, he honed his kitchen skills with the help of the internet.

From making pansit buko made of young coconut noodles and ginataang santol with newly picked cotton fruit to cooking fresh water clam and turning kakawate flowers into merienda, seeing him work his way in the kitchen with his fire stove and cook local produce prove to be not just a food viewing experience but also an educational one. 

Pansit buko
Ginataang santol

“My edge to other vloggers is my love for our culture. That is one of my inspirations to make this kind of video,” he says. 

Get to know more about Gayyem on the video below see more of his countryside lifestyle on his channel:

Images from @gayyem_ben_17