Travel Foodie

The Chui Show

How Taking It Slowly But Surely Made A Momentous Turn In My Profession.

Travel Foodie
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March 1, 2022

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

I’m Carl Chuidian a.k.a Paps Chui, a host of an online food and travel show on Facebook and Youtube in the Philippines. The word “Chui” obviously is an acronym of my surname, which almost sounds like the word “chew” that is often associated with food.   I seek different food spots in my country,from street style skewers on the side of a road, to exotic foods like crickets, frogs or woodworms in Palawan or even expensive dishes in a high end restaurant. I am also into promoting and helping small and medium enterprises and visiting provinces to showcase their local food and culture.

Basically, my content consists of me eating different kinds of food in front of the camera.  My show premiered last 2018 and has been officially streaming since 2019 on Youtube and Facebook. I have been a one-man team from 2018 to early 2021, not until I met my loving girlfriend Audrey, who helps and accompanies me during my travels and exploring different kinds of food in the Philippines .  

I don’t have any culinary background nor am I a food expert. I just love to eat, travel and meet different kinds of people. The show’s mission is to educate the people, most especially the tourists, to guide them on where to find the best and the legendary street food spots in the Philippines. 

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory!

I’ve been thinking about starting my food vlog way back 2017 but I got busy with my first job at a Japanese clothing store as a management trainee. Since I was a little kid, I really love watching food and travel shows like No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain, Man vs. Food, Bizarre Foods by Andrew Zimmerns and locally Biyahe ni Drew by Drew Arellano, to name a few. I’m always driven with the content of the show, and get fascinated with how they introduce a food that they’re about to feature.

 It was in the same year when I happened to watch Mark Wiens’ food and travel video on Youtube. I got inspired with him of how simple the guy was and thought of it as my dream job. It was through that incident that I began filming my own vlog in January 2018 and went to the oldest Chinatown in Binondo, Manila using only my Iphone 6 and a cheap gorilla tripod. The experience of making the video was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time, but I felt genuinely happy and fulfilled, hence it inspired me to do more videos relating to food. My main platforms are Facebook and Youtube due to their wide reach in the market, as well as on Tiktok and Instagram.

 I watched it and said to myself, wow! It’s ugly haha, I’m nervous, my camera is shakey, I’m running out of words to say but one thing is for sure. I’m genuinely happy, 

 While I continued making food vlogs out of fun, I happened to land my 2nd job in 2018 at one of the country’s leading multimedia companies as a marketing and events officer. Despite having a good working environment, I felt that I had too much workload and I experienced frequent burnouts. The salary was also a factor because it was not enough considering that I am the breadwinner of the family, and experienced a financial crisis during that time. With a leap of faith, I decided to quit my job and gave myself 6 months to focus on my food vlogging with a little money in my pocket. My only goal back then was to get better every day and make a sustainable living for me and my mother.

I believe it was God’s perfect timing that everything seemed to slowly fall into place when I did full time on my food vlogging. My motivation and goals changed a bit because I saw how my platform has greatly become a tool to promote food businesses, may it a big or small establishment. The number of views on my videos has increased gradually in time and has been recognized by many as time passed.  I can proudly say that I am now earning enough to support me and my mother’s daily needs.

I lived by the quote “You’ll never win a lottery until you bet on it,” which basically means to try. If things don’t happen that way you wanted it, just do better the next time and be consistent about your goals.

(Early days of vlogging, 2018)

(The Chui Show’s first logo 2018)

My main platforms were Facebook and Youtube because they are the leading video content platforms. Now, I’m also uploading on Tiktok and Instagram because there is also a niche market on those platforms. I lived by the quote of “You’ll never win a lottery until you bet on it”. Basically it just means to “try”. I just tried it, if shit happens then shit happens but the most important thing is you TRIED. Just always be better and be consistent all the time.

I went to my 2nd job in 2018 at one of the country’s leading multimedia companies as a marketing and events officer and am still vlogging for fun. My job has so many responsibilities and the workload is up to the roof. I’m experiencing burnout but I really learned a lot with my loving superior and colleagues. But it doesn't feel right, I’m not the type of person that will work in an office from 10am-6pm and my salary is really not enough because I’m the breadwinner of my family and we have a financial problem during that time. I don’t know but one day I just decided to do this full time, with a little amount of money in my bank. I’m giving myself 6 months trial to full time my vlogging career and if it doesn't work out, I’ll apply again for a corporate job. My only goal is to get better everyday to make this a sustainable living for myself and my mother. Then eventually my motivation and goals changed a bit because I saw my platform as a helping tool to promote food businesses. As I did it full time, I believe it was on God’s grace that everything fell into place. The more I upload videos, the more the views are getting higher and I’m being recognized as years passed by. Now, I’m happy to say that this is my full time job and fortunately I’m earning enough to support my job, myself and my family.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

I do a lot of basic research on the field and not rely too much on the internet. I  also watch different food vlogs from Mark Wiens, Best Ever Food Review Show, food Ranger and Strictly Dumpling. I read different websites on food review such as Trip Advisor , join different food groups/communities on Facebook like Let’s Eat Pare, and  I’m open for any suggestions from my viewers and subscribers if they want to recommend something new and good. I can also make an on the spot food vlog if I happen to see a new food stall which is highly recommended by the people who were able to try it.

If you happen to have a certain template or specific guide to follow in filming a video, it won’t take much time in creating one. Make your imaginations flow  freely and don’t settle for less. Take risks if you must and don’t be afraid to try something new that will help improve your craft.

Most importantly, know your market. Always be on guard with every viewer’s reactions and comments on your previous videos, these will guide you on what contents they would most likely to watch on your Facebook and Youtube channel. 

Try not to overly summarise the paragraphs. Include the creator’s words in the paragraph, this makes it a raw interview, i.e. questions that they ask about analytics.

Another thing is always know your target audience and viewers. Facebook and Youtube gives you an easy comprehension for analytics. Check the views of your videos, which videos are trending and gaining substantial views?  Which type of videos are not performing well?  Who are your viewers? Why do they watch you? Why are they subscribing and following you? Always think about what the viewers want and what they will enjoy. Part of brainstorming is reviewing your analytics.

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

It was definitely a leap of faith for me, given that I quit my job with only a handful of money in my pocket.  Likewise, I only had 8,000 subscribers on Youtube and 5,000 on my Faceboook page, it was a big risk for me because my income as a full time vlogger may not suffice with my daily needs.   Luckily though, I somehow succeeded because of my patience and perseverance  

I have always loved seeing myself in the camera, yet I still have this fear that I might not say and do the right things that will make my viewers like the video that I am creating.

But in this kind of business, I always have to have an open mind that not everyone will like you and appreciate what you do. Even big celebrities like Michael Jordan, no matter how good he is, was still disliked by many.  Do not let negative comments affect your profession.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

When I started my vlog in 2018, I consistently posted a video once a week. When I went full time, posting videos went from twice a week to 3-4 times a week, specifically every 8pm. I have this mindset that the more videos I post, the more chances that it will become viral, it doesn’t happen that way all the time though.  Videos should be of good quality at all times, and that includes good video editing skills, as well as hosting skills.  Never stop looking for ways to improve your craft, even if the videos you posted will only get fewer views. 

As I have mentioned earlier, my growth as a video content creator started really slow from 2018 to early 2020. It was only then that show took a 360 degree turn when I posted  my “Street Style Pares videos (Filipino Beef Stew paired with rice). The first one was the Extreme Level Jacuzzi Pares in Las Pinas which has currently 8M views and counting on Facebook, and the other one is the Legendary Beef Pares in Manila which has gained 6.6M views as of today. It was a huge head start for me, because from then on I have known who is my market and active viewers and what kind of content they want to watch on my future vlogs.

(Legendary Manila Pares Since 1999)

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

Don’t be afraid to try something new and do not be complacent. No matter how good you are, leave some space to improve your craft and expand your skills. It is best to find your purpose in your chosen work, and do not focus solely on the money that you can earn out of it.  With regards to mine,I realized that I can use my show to help different food businesses in gaining new customers as well as their market branding, it is truly satisfying. Moreover, my videos would serve as an ultimate food guide to my viewers and subscribers.

Most importantly, be a humble and responsible content creator, and make sure that your videos contain positivity and spread only good vibes to the viewers.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

My first memorable milestone was when I got invited to talk both at Social Media Week in Manila and in Cambodia. Having only 10,000 followers during that time,it was significant for me because I was recognized highly for my craft .

The second milestone for me is hitting 100,000 followers on Facebook, as well as having my first million views. The Pares (Filipino Beef Stew partnered with rice) videos helped my show to reach thousands of followers and subscribers, and has also opened doors of opportunities for me nationwide. One of the videos that I made wich also gained millions of views was when I filmed an episode on the Muslim Food in Manila. It was so humbling to have a positive feedback from the Muslim community because we all know that Muslim food is not well recognized in the Philippines as it should b

(Muslim Town Food Tour)

The fact that I pursued my dream job and has been earning enough to help me to cover my day to day finances is already a milestone for me.

Adding to that, street food stalls and restaurants thanking the show because their businesses expanded after they got featured on the show is considered a milestone. Some of them got new franchisees, new branches and some establishments luckily tripled their sales a week or two after they have been featured on my show. These testimonials and gratitude from the businesses will always be part of my milestone, the fact that this small show can help people and change lives is such a wonderful feeling.

Another milestone for me is when I can inspire other people to do video content creation. Receiving random messages from my subscribers telling me that they were inspired to pursue their dream of doing food vlogging is a huge compliment.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

Nothing specific but I think it is to primarily build your own brand identity. You have to have uniqueness in everything, that includes logo and catchphrase.  With regards to me, I always make sure to put a sticker with my own logo on it in every food establishment that I have featured on my vlogs.

I also encourage everyone to join different Facebook groups or communities to build a network and gain insights. More so, be visible and stay relevant in all leading social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok. Timing in posting is also essential in posting videos. Be consistent with the scheduled post so your viewers know when exactly is the time for new video uploads, adding to that, posts should be made at peak hours.

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