This Ilocano Farmer’s YouTube Channel Showcases the Beauty of Buhay Probinsya, and It’s Amazing
Feb 12, 2021   •   Kyzia Maramara
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Feb 12, 2021   •   Kyzia Maramara
If you thought you’ve seen it all from following YouTube creators who are makeup gurus, musicians, travelers, gamers, and the like, we’re here to say you’re still missing out on a lot of interesting channels. Switch up your usual YouTube video lineup and check out Gayyem Ben. His simple introduction video had him recounting his days spent catching fireflies, swimming by the river, and climbing trees — frankly, activities city dwellers like us would call “luxury” on vacation days. But it doesn’t stop there. Check out why you should smash that subscribe button for this guy:
Gayyem BenBen (real name Ruben B. Baguio Jr.) only uploaded his first video in April 2020. The 22-year-old is a “simple Ilocano vlogger” from Nueva Vizcaya who seeks to show everyone on the internet a glimpse of his simple life in the province. Before you write him off as a typical YouTuber, you have to consider his reasons for starting a vlog in the first place.
His channel (161k subscribers as of writing) aims “to bring happiness to the people all over the world especially to the Overseas Filipino Workers” who miss the province life. He also has a mission to preserve and promote the unique Ilocano culture (he speaks Iloco in all videos). But don’t worry, all his videos have English subtitles because he’s inclusive and considerate like that.
It isn’t just because he insists on speaking in Iloco, it’s seen in all his uploads. Gayyem’s sincere love for Ilocano and Filipino culture resonates through the screen. He takes us on trips to the bukid, shows us how to cook traditional Filipino dishes, and gives us a glimpse of the life of a farmer’s son. For his first vlog, he showed viewers how to do laundry in the province. As he said, this is a priceless experience you can never find in the city.
His videos are like raw, daily journals of his life. Gayyem Ben shared that when he started his channel he did everything by himself including improvising a tripod and monopod using bamboo culms. And if you’re wondering where he got his seemingly high-end equipment from, he shares that the initial videos were filmed using his beloved Oppo A5S, a gift from his sister-in-law. Eventually, from his earnings, he bought a Canon EOS 1500D.
Some of Gayyem Ben’s videos have Baybayin subtitles. He says it’s because he wants to show everyone, especially the Filipino youth, how beautiful Baybayin is. He also adds that he hopes Baybayin will be taught to Filipinos as a national writing system one day so we have a “better cultural identity.”
What’s next for a rising vlogger like him? Saving up for a grand mansion and moving to the city, perhaps? Gayyem Ben says that’s not in the books yet. All his earnings go to his family for buying food and necessities. Since he doesn’t have a family of his own yet, his priorities are his parents and siblings. In fact, for his first earning from YouTube, he bought ingredients for adobo and cooked for his family. As for living in the city, he plans on trying that out soon but maybe only for a year at the most.
Watch him cook pork adobo and prep the tools and ingredients the probinsya way. That means chopping up firewood and digging potatoes himself. He doesn’t treat the entire thing as an episode from a cooking channel, it’s literally a glimpse of his life in the province sans voice over.
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Whether it’s hanging out beside rice fields or climbing mountains, Gayyem Ben strives to show his viewers what he experiences on a daily basis. His vlogs are a breath of fresh air. If you want more content, he’s on Instagram too.
Gayyem Ben knows his priorities. This mature 22-year-old is holding off on relationships for now. He says he believes relationships are sacred and at this point in life, he isn’t ready to be part of one yet.
If you haven’t subscribed to Gayyem Ben yet, why haven’t you? This young YouTube creator has an infectious passion for Filipino culture and an easygoing personality to boot. Watch the wonders of Nueva Vizcaya unfold through his eyes. You just might find yourself wanting to move to the countryside pretty soon.
What do you think of Gayyem Ben’s videos?
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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