Never in his wildest dreams did locally acclaimed and proud Chinoy podcaster Stan Sy think that he’d be taking part in the local radio industry when he grows up. Eventually, by following his dream, he has turned out to be a huge success in the radio and podcast industry in the Philippines.
His first podcast, The Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast, which started back in 2014,a gained both local and international acclaim, bringing in wrestling fans from around the world together. His second podcast, On Deck, has become a platform for him to introduce and feature significant people in the radio industry in a different light.
Aside from being a famous podcaster, he also works as an events host, a voice talent, a voiceover for commercials. He also works for a TV station in ETC and as a content editor for his day job for Newsweek Amplify.
But there’s more to Sy than what meets the eye. Having gone through years in the industry, he has gathered enough wisdom to share tips inspired by his collection of experiences.
Shaping his own destiny
It is a norm in Chinese or Chinoy communities that kids are raised and brought up to take on “prestigious” careers, likebusiness or medicine. Sy can attest that it was like having a “blueprint laid out before you.” But he knew from a young age that this norm wasn’t something that appealed to him, having figured out that his passions lay somewhere else.
Having attended career talks back when he was a junior in high school, it was enough to change his life forever. On that particular day, he attended a law career talk and realized that taking up law wouldn’t be his best fit if he were to make it a career. An hour after, he attended another career talk–this one hosted by Campus Radio DJs.
“When I heard that talk from them about how much fun they were having in radio, getting to play music, getting to interview the artists that they themselves enjoy listening to, I was like, ‘Wow! ‘Eto ang gusto ko talagang career path!’ So that really pushed me towards radio and away from corporate.”
Each decision he has made after that has since brought him to his destiny. Sy later then took up and graduated from Broadcast Communication in the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2012. In that same year, his dad went on full supportive mode, encouraging his son to make his own podcast.
Making a name for himself
“If you’re trying to start a podcast in 2021, I wouldn’t say that you’re behind na in the game, but what I will say is that everybody and their mother has a podcast,” he expressed. “So how are you going to make yours stand out? I think that’s where it has to start. How do you stay true to yourself?”
Sy would agree that a lot of people would consider themselves as a “content creator” these days with numerous produced content on the internet today. Because of this, Sy emphasizes the importance of making one’s content stand out.
“I started the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast in 2014,” Sy stated, reminiscing on a topic that he has been passionate about since he was 14. “And from that podcast, I was able to create a branding as the “Wrestling Guy” like when it comes to hosting events, or just being a host in general on TV, or in radio, or wherever. People associate me with pro-wrestling already.”
Sy shared how he was able to use his podcast as not just a platform of expression but to build his brand. Considering that wrestling isn’t a mainstream interest in the Philippines, there’s a specific niche market that it speaks to in the country, and this has given Sy an advantage. When someone from the Philippines wants to host a wrestling event, their first option would be to contact him with his wide knowledge and passion.
However, this isn’t a story of overnight success. Upon starting the podcast in 2014, he knew that he would be risking a lot, showcasing niche content on a platform that isn’t very well known.
“When my co-host, Ro Moran and I started the podcast in 2014, we didn’t know how many people we could reach, kasi nung time na yun, wala pang podcast na market dito sa Pilipinas,” he shared. “Back then, sobrang liit ng market for podcast listeners, tapos of that pie, napakaliit pa yung mga nanonood pa ng wrestling. So how can you create a brand from there? But we were able to make noise because we got affiliated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution, which is a company that produces wrestling shows. Our involvement with PWR led to us getting publicity on Magic 89.9.”
Of course, one opportunity led to another as Sy was given the chance to expand its brand. He later met the executive of Fox Philippines who was the broadcaster of WWE at the time, and it eventually led to their podcast becoming a television show that was able to air two seasons.
“From there, I became the go-to guy for events of WWE,” Sy shared. “Three years in a row, they would get me to host events and to interact with fans as a representative of the Filipino wrestling fam. The fact na naging branding ko na siya, people recognize me for it, I would say that’s the greatest achievement, really.”
No filter, being authentic
“What’s nice about podcasting, most especially American podcasts, they tend to be very unfiltered with their stories,” Sy said. “Here in the Philippines, I noticed na may filter parin tayo eh, lalo na when you know that what you say is going to be on the record. And I think that’s a cultural thing since we’re very passive-aggressive people. It’s something that I really dislike but what can you do? Sometimes you’re at the mercy of your guests and how ma-kwento they’re willing to be.”
But Sy stated that through the years of interviewing and hosting, having been blessed with invited guests who are very open and expressive from both of his podcasts, he was able to capture each of his guest’s stories and their authentic selves. Because of this, he was able to learn more about them and the topics being discussed. If his guests were to hide a piece of the story or hold back, or if Sy preferred cutting off a piece of the interview, then the audience would not be able to grasp the full truth.
Want to know more Chinoy podcasters in the local industry? Check out this article here.