How a content creator is born

Because television networks used to broadcast a number of anime shows with Tagalog dubbing, especially during the 1990s, interest in the genre grew into passion for some people that we now see a vibrant community of anime lovers huddling in comic cons, cosplay conventions, and countless interest group meetups. Now, a thriving group of content creators are making significant contributions to cultivating the anime culture in the Philippines.

“Since I was a kid, around five to six years old, I have always been exposed to watching anime like Dragonball Z on TV. Whenever my siblings watched, I would also join them even if I didn’t really understand the shows yet at that time,” Mark Andrei Quemado shares. “Over the years, I became addicted to anime, tuning in to updates and new releases. Now I love watching anime regularly.”
Quemado is one of many Filipinos today creating content based on this love for anime. Stories about big content creators are aplenty, but it’s rare to hear from up-and-coming creators like Quemado. Here’s his journey.

Photographs courtesy of Bilibili
Mark Andrei outside the world of content creation.

Trial and error

In July this year, the number of active social media users in the country grew to 82 percent, with 55.7 percent of internet users watching vlogs at least every week. The opportunities and possibilities for budding content creators couldn’t be more obvious.

“At first, I tried creating my own channel where I eventually tried uploading gaming videos. There weren’t a lot of viewers but at least there were a few subscribers. After two years, I tried vlogs and reaction videos, but they didn’t work out. My only viewers were locals who know me,” he says.

In 2020, Quemado decided to use his passion for anime by creating a channel to post videos of Tagalog anime reviews and analyses. In two years, he was able to rake in over 200,000 subscribers. Later, he decided to bring his content to Bilibili, the largest video platform in Southeast Asia for all things ACG (Anime, Comics and Games), where he now has nearly 10,000 followers.

As an otaku himself, Quemado uses the username WeabOtaku PH, which is a combination of two words: weaboo and otaku. Weeaboo means a non-Japanese who has an intense interest in Japanese pop culture, while otaku usually refers to a hardcore anime fan or geek.

Supportive community

Content creators today are fortunate to be a part of an industry where different stakeholders such as agencies, platforms, and communities work together to empower creators. For Quemado, being officially part of Bilibili’s creator community gives him both perks and rewards and opportunities to grow.

“There is a workshop that gives you an opportunity to grow your channel. Aside from that, there are a lot of activities and events where you can win different prizes like cellphones or cash. Bilibili has a lot of activities for creators. It is definitely rewarding because even if the creators have not really grown their channels yet, they’re eligible for rewards,” he says.

He added the platform allows him to meet like-minded people or fellow otakus thanks to Bilibili’s laser focus on ACG content.

“The platform is great and not toxic; even the people in the group chats are interactive and nice. The staff are also accommodating, and truly want the community to grow. They are also trying a lot of new things, consistently seeking suggestions on what can be done to improve the platform. Overall, the future of Bilibili is bright, really bright.”

With support all around, it’s not impossible to see the ACG culture in the Philippines flourish more, with passionate content creators at the center of such evolution.

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