European Traveler & V'loggers Ended up Moving to Philippines for Good

Secret beach El Nido
Finding a secret beach whilst island hopping in El Nido! 🌴 - image from The Juicy Vlog Twitter

A travelling foursome who made the Philippines home

With its rich biodiversity across 7,641 islands, the Philippines has always drawn visitors from around the world. Awed by the beaches and diving spots, mountains, rainforests and heritage towns, they always fall in love with its people too, what with politeness, kindness and graciousness ever intertwined with the Filipino culture.

Four adventurers in fact have traveling been back and forth to the country for many years and have come to call the world’s “Pearl of the Orient Seas” their second home.

They are British couple George Warrington and Lucy D’Agostino of “The Juicy Vlog,” and Austrians Mike Holaschke and Nelly Hrnic of “Making It Happen,” whose YouTube channels are both very popular around the world. From their respective platforms, they have all generously featured and praised the Philippines, almost as if they are tourism ambassadors of the country.

Warrington and D’Agostino started The Juicy Vlog back in 2014 as a way to store holiday memories from their adventures. Their channel quickly became a favorite travel vlog site among netizens with more than 344,000 subscribers to date. Meanwhile, Holaschke and Hrnic’s Making It Happen channel initially offered motivational videos before they transitioned into travel vloggers who have since drawn over 338,000 subscribers as of this writing.

Discovering PH

Very passionate when it comes to documenting their journeys around the world, the Europeans count traveling to more than 40 countries altogether but only met by chance when they discovered the Philippines. Out of what evolved in their shared love for the country and its culture, they eventually became friends and explored many provinces together.

In a separate email interviews with The Sunday Times Magazine, these foreign travelers agree that it is the people who make the Philippines so special compared to the many countries they have been.

“In the United Kingdom, the Philippines is known for beautiful beaches and scenery but there really is so much more than this that we found,” the couple behind The Juicy Vlog shared. “When we first arrived and went to the tourist spots, the beauty of the country was really something incredible to us. [But] it’s the people that really made it stand out and kept us coming back — the friendliness and kindness of strangers and how everyone is always smiling.”

“Having traveled a lot of the country to many different provinces, seen several festivals and traditions, a few things always stand out to us. Family, love and food!” they further enthused. “Something else we have noticed a lot of is Filipino resilience. From volcano eruptions to typhoons and earthquakes, no matter what happens here, the country still pulls [through] together to help one another. People see the good in every situation and always manage to stay smiling.”

In turn, Making It Happen’s duo shared, “We didn’t know much about the Philippines before we came here for the first time. We only knew it has a lot of islands and some amazing beaches but we learned from our first visit that the Philippines is actually a very special place with smiling and kind locals who are happy and proud to share parts of their culture with foreigners.”

They likewise declared, “Filipino hospitality and kindness is what makes the culture special. It’s safe to say that Filipinos are one of the friendliest people in the world. Filipinos make you feel welcomed and will go the extra mile to make sure you are having a good time.”

Planting roots

With ever growing fondness for the country, its culture and its people, it was in 2019 when both couples surprised the world wide web and announced on their respective channels their decision to move to the Philippines and make it their new home.

Besides enjoying living here, they have also made it their mission to get more foreign tourists to experience the country they so love.

“We want people to come and embrace Filipino culture and fully immerse themselves into the way of life,” Warrington and D’Agostino explained. [We] also [want them to know] how friendly and welcoming the people are plus the diversity of the nature. It isn’t just beautiful beaches but also mountains, forests, waterfalls, jungles, volcanoes, cities. It has it all!”

Holaschke and Hrnic for their part expressed, “We want to showcase that the Philippines is more than Palawan and Boracay. It’s a very diverse country with lots of history and culture. We want everybody to experience the kindness and positivity of the Filipino people and we also want to put Filipino food in the spotlight because there is so much more to explore in Filipino cuisine than the ‘tourist classics.’”

Taking pause

The country’s new residents, however, were forced to put their plans to explore every bit of the Philippines when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic grounded the entire world.

The Juicy Vlog had scheduled a good number of domestic through March, April and May — the Philippines summer and festival months — before flying back to UK to visit family. Making It Happen, on the other hand, was set to complete visiting all 81 provinces here this year.

Despite the challenging times, the couples did not find it hard to be quarantined in the Philippines, and in fact, found another reason to laud the Filipinos for their resilience amid the pandemic. They have also cherished the time to get to know more about each other as their adventures took pause.

“We have felt very safe in Manila and are grateful for having our apartment especially in these times,” the Brittons revealed. “Also, we have seen another display of the Filipino resilience [amid the pandemic]. The majority of people have been following the rules and so much positivity has been shared online. We have lived together for a number of years now so nothing really surprises us, but it has been amazing to have each other through quarantine. We admire anyone going through it alone.”

The Austrian vloggers likewise said, “We learned from Filipinos that resilience and staying positive can go a long way. This was very important for our mindset and helped us get through some difficult times. What we learned from each other is that for the first time in our life, we slowed down a little bit and started to appreciate this ‘downtime’ to get new perspectives on life.”

With the pandemic far from over, the pair of travel vloggers keep busy by documenting their quarantine experience over The Juicy Vlog’s “Juicy Reacts” and Making It Happen’s “What’s Up Philippines” supplementary channels. By doing so, they continue to believe people from around the world will be compelled to see the Philippines and its beauty with their own eyes albeit in the future.

As Making It Happen’s Holaschke and Hrnic advised, “Keep an open mind and embrace the adventure!”

The Juicy Vlog’s Warrington and D’Agostino meanwhile suggested, “Stay flexible. Whatever happens in a day, whether it goes to plan or not, you will have fun along the way. Really the best experiences are the ones you didn’t plan but the ones you stumble across by accident.” - Manila Times
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