Influencer marketing has become the most popular form of online marketing. For a while now, it’s been a buzz term, and it’s frequently mentioned in the mainstream media.
Over time, the role of trendsetter has transitioned to more relatable “influencers” as people have moved away from traditional media and spent more time on social media. Celebrities are no longer the only ones who have an impact on society’s tastes; social media stars are taking on a larger role as well. These modern influencers are social media personalities who have built a loyal following through regular, direct communication with their followers.
There are many influencers in the Philippines, and it is difficult to find a true friend in this industry–a friend who will cheer you on in all of your social media campaigns, live streaming, and celebrating you for you. But it is possible.
The unexpected friendship that these Chinese-Filipino Influencers formed in the midst of the pandemic will inspire you.
“When life gets tough or no matter what happens, keep going”
Claire Carrillo, a 21-year-old Fil-Chi Influencer from San Pedro, Laguna, prefers to be addressed as @Clairecxph, the username she uses across all of her social media accounts.
It took her a month or two to think of that username, and she appreciates it when people refer to her by that name.
She began as a fangirl before becoming an Influencer. Claire used to watch Alisha Marie and Bethany Mota on YouTube and decided to buy their merchandise so she could do a haul video like they do.
Claire began to see herself as an Influencer when she was 12-13 years old. She had no idea how to navigate the world of social media. She began exploring the YouTube platform while still in her fangirling stage. She admits that it was a difficult start for her. “It was extremely difficult knowing that not everyone at the time showed tutorials, hacks, or things to know when starting a YouTube channel or what the basics of being a YouTuber are.
Claire, like other YouTubers, was subjected to criticism and hate comments, and she was forced to remove videos. Claire would spend a day or two editing a 10-15 minute video that would only receive 10-15 views, and the worst part was that she was cyberbullied.
But that didn’t stop her from going after her dream. in the middle of her 6-7 month break before Senior Highschool, Claire told herself, “I want to go back on YouTube.” This time though, she did her research first on how to navigate the platform properly before she finally got the guts to go back on the saddle.
Claire decided to have one specific name that everyone can call her before she uploaded her first video because Claire’s name is frequently misspelled, which is why she always tells people to call her CLAIRECXPH. Now, Claire has 36.5K followers on Instagram and 3.49K subscribers on YouTube.
Claire shared her realization as a Chinoy content creator, “I would say it’s 50% fulfilling because I can make my parents, my family and my friends proud, and 50% challenging. With the new mindset that I have right now I don’t think of these challenges as something to be called difficulties because for me, difficulties are actually coined as a term in my head that it’s something you cannot overcome and you don’t have any motivation or drive to overcome it anymore. But the challenges that I experience along the way makes me think that if I overcome them, I’ll be learning something and I will be improving myself for the better.”
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Sophia Ann Marie G. Dayalo, also known as “Pia Dayalo ” on social media, is another Fil-Chi Influencer from Lucena City. She is a 21-year-old Dentistry student at Centro Escolar University Manila as well as an Influencer.
There are many student Influencers nowadays who juggle their career while still studying. However, Pia prioritizes her studies first. Whenever she has an exam week, she focuses on her studies and puts her career on hold. One of the struggles that most influencers face is uploading a promotional post within a given deadline. Dentistry is a difficult course that requires focus if you want to graduate on time. But, how did Pia get her start in this Industry?
There are people who do stuff just for fun. They put on make-up, take photos, and post them on their social media accounts. Not everyone sets out to be an influencer, and not everyone toils to get to where they are. Some are fortunate to be given the opportunity to be one.
“I just took photos for fun and really didn’t think of it as a career until I started getting offers from brands. I’ve loved makeup and taking photos ever since.”
Brands saw a lot of potential in Pia, not just because of her pretty face, but also because of her creativity in coming up with content and the photos she posts whenever she promotes a non-sponsored item. People in Quezon Province recognize Pia as a powerful influencer. Pia Dayalo has 23.6K followers on Instagram and 1.79K followers on YouTube.
Pia tried vlogging as well, but she has decided to take a break from it. Pia, like Claire, had doubts about her abilities as a vlogger. She took a break from YouTube to focus on creating content for Instagram and Tiktok, where she has a large following due to the make-up and fashion content she posts. As of this writing, Pia has a total of 16K TikTok followers.
Pia shared her realization as a Chinoy content creator, “It was difficult especially when I started learning makeup. There weren’t a lot of beauty gurus who were Chinoys and of course the beauty standard was different then but now the industry is becoming more open to all types of races like Janeena Chan, Ry Velasco, Toni Sia, Raiza Contawi etc.”
How did Claire and Pia meet?
During the pandemic, these two Fil-Chi Influencers developed a strong friendship. Claire hosted a collaborative live event just before her birthday and she wouldn’t have met Pia if it weren’t for that. Claire posted a story on her Instagram account asking her followers who should be the next guest for her upcoming live stream. Surprisingly, many people asked Pia to appear on her Instagram livestream.
How did the two become such good friends?
Pia shared her thoughts on making friends in the industry, saying that she makes sure she meets the type of friend who will help her grow and not just make friends who like each other’s photos and tell each other how beautiful they are in their posts, but someone who is genuine and will support each other in life and career. “ It was difficult to make true friends in this industry, and I always had my guard up, so it took a while, but we eventually got close after responding to each other’s stories.”
Claire was the one who initiated the friendship with Pia. They became much closer and talked almost every other day after Claire suggested Pia enter an online competition.
Claire would message Pia to give her pointers, and if she had any questions about the competition, Pia would message Claire. Eventually they were talking every single day, and Claire noticed that they had so many shared interests. While Pia was competing, Claire did her best to guide her on her journey.
Pia and Claire talked for more than six hours straight via FaceTime for the first time on May 16, 2021. It was completely unexpected. “It’s funny because we used to talk almost every day, but just a quick chat on Instagram. But eventually this time it’s different. Six to seven hours straight in FaceTime call. And that’s where I knew, Pia’s for keeps.”
Pia and Claire’s friendship is unique in that they can go three days or a week with no calls or messages and still feel the same vibe as if no time has passed. A friendship that feels more like family than a friendship, a support system in which they can rely on each other. They are sisters and they are connected to each other; no matter what happens, they will be there for one another.
Their friendship could be described as low-maintenance. “Having a low-maintenance friendship does not imply that we do not prioritize each other; rather, we simply allow each other to grow and live our lives at our own pace. It’s the feeling of not having to respond or talk to that person as soon as possible because if you don’t, you’ll lose them or they’ll get angry. It’s nice to have someone that fully understands what situation you are in. because not everyone can form this type of connection.”
As the world of social media becomes more competitive, it’s difficult to find someone who is genuinely rooting for you.Their friendship is admittedly rare but they get along well because they are both goal getters and they work hard for everything. Claire and Pia both know how difficult it is to thrive in this industry and that’s why they support each other no matter what.