Manila, the Philippines

July 13, 2021

Vlogging is a totally different animal. Many of the blogging contemporaries of TTT (my handle’s nickname) have adapted to the times and moved on to YouTube territory. Well-meaning friends have advised me to go the same road. But vlogging requires a unique skill set that I simply do not possess. I leave it to Ki, my partner in crime, to take on travel video recording. He has taken the name Rabu and you can find him at his YT channel:

Welcome to Rabu Avenue

Click the hyperlink, smash the subscribe button, and slap him some likes!

TTT and Ki @ Kapetolyo by SDG Coffee, Manila
Rabu Avenue YouTube Channel
TTT @ Lagusnilad Underpass, Manila

After more than a year of staying home, the time has come to stretch our legs by rediscovering Intramuros on foot. Being outdoors poses less risk of catching and spreading Covid-19. For this urban trek, I’m quite happy to merely make a cameo appearance in Rabu’s vlog and not bother with digital documentation duties.

A caveat though. Rabu is a newbie vlogger and his videos are endearingly raw. His content is more personal than pro – no over-editing with unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s a breath of fresh air, IMHO. There’s none of the genre-defining audio effects that sound like noontime variety shows or drone shots that look cinematic. Maybe he’ll grow into a more sophisticated content creator, maybe not. But for now, I’m loving his basic, unfiltered vlogging of his life, not livelihood (his channel is not yet monetized).

Ki @ Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros, Manila
TTT and Ki @ Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros, Manila
Rabu Avenue YouTube Channel

So how is vlogging different from blogging other than the obvious?

Being a Talking Head

Rabu’s videos are almost all talk, and that’s exactly where his strength lies. He can speak his mind and bare his soul on-cam without a tinge of self-consciousness. He responds to his environment in real time and digs up stock knowledge or memories on his toes. Nothing that captures his fancy escapes his running commentary. Dead air is not an issue. Neither is language; he code-switches Tagalog and English.

His brand of spontaneity is my kryptonite. I get lost in thought without at least an outline. I travel like I write – editing experiences in my head space mainly because I can retain only so much information. I lose many details if I don’t document them in photos. Note to self: Be like Rabu.

Paper + Cup Café @ Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros
Ki and TTT @ Paper + Cup Café, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros
Newsprint Stools @ Paper + Cup Café, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros
TTT @ Paper + Cup Café, Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Intramuros
Yellow Gumamela @ Intramuros, Manila

Serving a Consistent Energy Level

Rabu keeps up the energy he starts the day with up to the end. That goes with his unflagging enthusiasm and curiosity. He’s always been pumped-up even in pre-vlogging days.

That consistency demands considerable commitment on my part. My energy ebbs and flows throughout the day. It’s not far-fetched for me to tune out after periods of over-stimulation and I’m even known to take a nap in the middle of a tour or a DIY trek. Rabu has talent in public speaking, TTT in public sleeping.

Rabu Avenue YouTube Channel
Muralla St. @ Intramuros, Manila
Horse Labor @ Muralla St., Intramuros
Ki @ Sta. Lucia St., Intramuros
Ki @ Sta. Lucia St., Intramuros
Ki @ Sta. Lucia St., Intramuros
Museo de Intramuros @ Anda St., Intramuros

Handling Gadgets at All Times

As it is, I already feel enslaved by my mobile phone. I have the bad habit of editing photos and updating my soc med in real time. But I also feel the need to stash my phone into my pocket and give documentation a rest. It’s either that or the other for me.

On the other hand, Rabu feels no pressure in keeping his gadgets running the entire time except for a few pauses here and there. I can’t thrive on-cam indefinitely like that.

Manila Cathedral from Plaza Roma @ Intramuros
Street Art @ Gen. Luna St., Intramuros
The Book Stop Intramuros @ Plaza Roma, Intramuros
Mask Up! @ Plaza Roma, Intramuros
Horse Carriages @ Fort Santiago

Editing at the End of the Day

Video editing takes a huge amount of patience despite all the available apps. Raw as his videos are, they are not totally unedited. He has to cut, splice, and type in fact-checked corrections. That’s too much work for the lazy me. Photo editing is as much as I can muster, which I take my sweet time in doing.

The major area for improvement I can suggest to Rabu is to keep his phone juiced with a portable charger. By the time we get to our final stop, he runs out of battery. But I still have to go into Fort Santiago to take a selfie in front of the ancient gate mirrored by the illustration on my cloth heritage mask, care of Grupo Kalinangan. That’s so I can caption my soc med post with a bit of advocacy:

Protect your health. Protect your heritage.

TTT with Heritage Mask from Grupo Kalinangan @ Fort Santiago, Manila
Ki @ Rajah Sulayman Theater, Fort Santiago
Ki @ Memorial Cross, Fort Santiago
Pasig River from Fort Santiago @ Manila
TTT and Ki @ Falsabraga de Media Naranja, Fort Santiago
Plaza de Armas @ Fort Santiago

So Welcome to Rabu Avenue and take a stroll with him. Discover the unfamiliar and rediscover the familiar in his chill pace. Enjoy his unique insights and you might just learn a thing or two. I do too.

As I tip my blogging hat to Rabu, I might as well hang it up and be an occasional guest in his vlog.