Sunday, February 10, 2008

HappySlip mobbed by bloggers, fans

The Inquirer reported on the latest YouTube star vlogger Christine Gambito's meet and greet with fans at Mag:Net cafe on her Department of Tourism initiated tour of the Philippines. DOT Secretary Ace Durano invited Christine, known in YouTube as HappySlip, to be Philippine tourism ambassador to attract visitors from other countries to visit the Philippines. Christine is from New York City. Here is the report:

FILIPINO bloggers and fans mobbed Filipino-American video blogger Christine “HappySlip” Gambito during a “meet and greet” event with local bloggers and fans.

More than 100 Filipino bloggers and fans came to the event held at the Mag:net Cafe on Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. The event was organized by the Department of Tourism and Internet portal Yehey!

Local bloggers and fans were initially given a chance to ask several questions, which Gambito answered readily with a tinge of humor. She then gave each fan a chance to meet her up close. Among the fans who came were children.

“I feel so great meeting Christine. This is a one in a million chance to meet someone like her. That’s the beauty of the Internet. Unfocused offline audiences can trample you at a meet and greet. Online audiences are more targeted, valuable and easier to handle” said Mike Abundo who has been blogging for three years.

Manuel Viloria, also a blogger who creates how-to videos online, said he was surprised by the popularity of Gambito. “I didn’t know she was this popular here,” said Viloria, who was among the local bloggers who came to the event.

Gambito is a Filipino-American video blogger who has become a celebrity online, as she created video clips based on family-inspired characters. She plays all the characters in her videos.

Talking about her trip to the Philippines, Gambito said she felt “humbled” by the attention she was getting from local bloggers and fans. She again turned emotional as she shared her reasons for doing her video blogs.

“It all comes from the heart,” she said, answering one question from a blogger.

Carrying her photos, a poster and other merchandise Gambito was selling during the event, the bloggers and fans lined up to have her sign them.

During her talk, fans and bloggers openly declared their admiration.

One blogger asked her if she was interested in doing video blogs about the political situation in the country. To this, she replied: “Let’s enjoy the country.”

Gambito admitted she’s now getting offers to do shows on television and film, but declined to give details.

Josh Verdes, cousin of Gambito, also gave his own set of fans a treat, singing original compositions.

By Erwin Oliva