EXCLUSIVE: British Vloggers Lucy D'Agostino And George Warrington Of The Juicy Vlog On Why They Fell In Love With The Philippines
It's easy to feel patriotic when June 12 aka Philippine Independence Day comes around. It's another story to be head over heels in love with your country all throughout the year. While Filipinos are known to be some of the most resilient people in the world, we can't deny the fact that life gets to us sometimes, and we end up, well, tired of the daily grind and oblivious to the beauty that surrounds us.
I'm pretty new to the YouTube vlog bandwagon, and by saying that I mean it's only lately that I've started to watch rather regular people and their travel vlogs. It's usually when I'm about to jet off somewhere that I randomly search for travel videos, but recently, I've been finding myself checking out what foreign vloggers are up to in our country much more often.
Is it because of their awesome camera skills? Their amusing banter on-cam? Their quirky personalities? Or is it just plain awesome seeing our very own country through the eyes of non-Filipinos? Maybe it's a mixture of all of these things, but one thing's for sure: watching these people gives us some sort of a sweet escape in our very own country.
We know our country is beautiful, but we need to be reminded of it most of the time. Meet Lucy D'Agostino and George Warrington of The Juicy Vlog, two Brighton-born British YouTube vloggers who have traveled far and wide, but have fallen in love with our country and continue to come back again and again. Curious why? Read on to find out:
Metro.Style: Tell us a little something about yourselves and how you got started with vlogging.
George Warrington: We were both born in the same town actually, but we only met probably seven years ago. I went to the usual school, college, university thing, studied media, so I did student radio and that kind of thing. I never thought I'd be vlogging. Never really knew about vloggers, didn't get involved in the YouTube thing until much later, really.
Lucy D'Agostino: Well I didn't really have a media job at all, for me I studied college, and studied in university, went straight to work. I worked in car sales at BMW, so it was completely different obviously. YouTube was just a hobby then, just on the side.
GW: We made it in the last year, its become our full-time job. We never knew if we could properly do it, but we've kind of somehow made it work. We've been doing YouTube for like four or five years. It's almost difficult on YouTube getting our first 1,000 (subscribers), than the rest, and that was such an exciting moment when we hit a thousand.
LD: We celebrated every thousand—it was such an amazing feeling getting your first couple of thousands!
MS: How did you guys meet?
GW: Oooh good question! So we met at a party, kind of a friend of a friend thing.
LD: We were both plus ones at the party!
GW: We were very young when we met, we were friends for a long time before we started seeing each other. We did a video on the channel about how we met! We got together in the end of 2013, by that time we already knew each other well, it was a very natural thing.
MS: How did you discover the Philippines?
LD: There's quite a funny story about our first trip here. It was last year, October or November.
GW: Why don't you start first by saying it was just one on our list of a lot of different countries?
LD: It was on our list, we wanted to travel around Asia, and the Philippines was one of the places that looked amazing but we had no idea what to expect. We've seen a couple of photos of Palawan, and were like "wow it looks great there!" But we were in Hong Kong at the time, and we forgot to book a flight out of the Philippines, and we only had one in. The guy at the gate was like "how long are you going to be in the Philippines for?" And I was like "oh, not sure yet, haven't decided." And he was like "you're not boarding this flight until you have decided. Get to the back of the line and book a flight." And I think we said like three weeks initially.
GW: When we started traveling it was about "what's the cheapest way to get around and see as many places as possible." So we looked at like cheapest flights out, and there was one in two weeks' time to Taiwan, so we booked that, and by the time we got back to the front of the queue, we had to have the flight confirmation e-mails.
We were only ever supposed to stay in the Philippines for two weeks initially, 'cause we had seen other countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, we spent two or three weeks in these countries just traveling around. When we got here, we got a taste of it, we were like wow! We didn't realize how varied it was (Lucy: "and how big!")
LD: I don't think people quite realize how big the Philippines is, and how many islands there are, and the diversity that is here. You could spend forever just seeing it all! It's amazing.
MS: What was your first destination in the Philippines?
LD: So we flew to Manila for one night, and then flew to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, did the swimming with whale sharks, that was amazing, and then went to El Nido, and then Port Barton. That was the first trip.
GW: That was our first experience of the beaches, the clear water, the sand, all that kind of stuff. And that was in October last year.
MS: What made you fall in love with the Philippines?
GW: Honestly, we always say first is the people. A hundred percent. Not saying that 'cause you guys are here. Honestly the people are so warm and welcoming, so friendly, the hospitality is crazy.
LD: And they'll go out of their way to do anything for you compared to anywhere else we've been. Like in a supermarket, and there's one thing you're looking for, you just ask another person to know where that is, instead of this person point "down there" or say "I don't know", they will literally walk with you around the whole shop until you find it.
The other day we walked through a very small local town and just started chatting to the people. They were so welcoming, asked us where we were from, gave us recommendations for the area and had the biggest smiles on their faces. It got me thinking even more that this country has some of the best people I’ve ever met ???? so genuine and kind, non-judgemental and happy - I LOVE IT ?? • • Edit like us ?? @juicyvlogpresets • • #makingitjuicyontheroad???? @lucydagostino_ @makingithappenvlog @nellyslife__ @thejuicyvlog
GW: We were surfing in Camarines Norte, and we lost our GoPro. Gone, after the first wave. And suddenly there were all these people trying to help us look for it. There were fishermen getting their nets, like huge nets spanning the whole beach, around 5 or 6 people trying to find it in the ocean. We were so grateful for that. 100% the people are just so friendly.
LD: And secondly I'd say nature—the diversity, the landscapes, the beaches, the cities, the mountains, it's so varied.
GW: You could be in Manila then you could drive a couple of hours and you see mountains, waterfalls, the island are amazing. The clear water, sand, there's just so much!
MS: Speaking of the amazing places you've been to in the Philippines, what would you say are your top three favorites?
LW: Number one I think we both agree on. It's Batanes. We were driving around the island on a scooter, seeing every corner you turn there's something amazing. We were just speechless.
GW: It was like Jurassic Park. I also like Siargao, it was really cool.
LW: It was just a really nice, sort of chill experience.
GW: We didn't actually surf there. Obviously it's great for surfing, but we just love riding the motorbikes around the island. Mike [of Making It Happen Vlog] taught me how to ride the manual bike which was a great experience for me. It was my first time, so the four of us were just crusing around in these vintage motorbikes stopping for coffee, stopping for food, taking photos. It was just a great time!
Siargao, you’ve been amazing ???? thanks to @loosekeysmotoculture for lending us these incredible bikes, check them out if you’re visiting ???? • • Edit like us ?? @juicyvlogpresets • • #makingitjuicyontheroad???? @lucydagostino_ @makingithappenvlog @nellyslife__ @thejuicyvlog
LD: And third, the rice terraces, Banaue! Like those winding roads near Sagada with like the clouds rolling over
GW: The slightly northern area, we did a huge road trip into the mountains, just those roads, the scenery is incredible! Baguio City itself is really cool, it's like houses on top of the mountain, it's crazy! Yeah, probably those three!
LD: When we got to Baguio, it was pitch black at night, we've been driving for hours, and we didn't know where we were going. We were looking for our accommodation, and we kind of had no idea what was around us 'cause it was dark, and then we woke up in the morning and opened the curtain, we were like "why are there so many people here? It's crazy! There's like houses all over the side of the mountain."
GW: Coming from the UK, we do have some really nice scenery in Scotland and Wales, but nothing quite like that. It was completely new to us.
Met a very friendly guy at Banaue rice terraces who lives in the local village ?? I was amazed by his colourful clothing and he even let me try on his hat (swipe to see ??) It was full of feathers and had a monkey skull on the front ???? • • @georgewarringtonuk and I are travelling with @nellyslife__ and @makingithappenvlog for this whole trip #MakingItJuicyOnTheRoad???? so make sure you give them a follow! ??: @nellyslife__ • • Daily Juice ?? every day on @thejuicyvlog 7pm!
MS: Now that you've given your favorites, what places in the Philippines are still part of your bucket list?
LD: We want to go to Camiguin, we've never been there. I'd like to spend more time in the north, we kind of went through Sagada but didn't get to explore it much, and there's a few other places nearby we'd like to go and visit.
GW: We haven't been to Coron! We tried before but our ferry was canceled. We got up at 5 AM, went to the ferry, but it was canceled.
LD: Oh, we want to do more of Bicol, we want to see more of Legaspi.
GW: Mayon Volcano, we want to see that. Loads, loads!
Check out some of The Juicy Vlog's Philippine travels in the gallery below:
Photos via @thejuicyvlog, @lucydagostino_, and @georgewarringtonuk
MS: What's one of the most memorable adventures you've been to here in the Philippines?
GW: Pinatubo. That was the 4X4 ride. So we went to Mt. Pinatubo, which obviously has a lot of history attached to it, but the ride there on this like huge open plain felt like you were in Mars or something. There were these mountains called "Toblerone", it was just great. There were hardly anyone else about, it was just our car going through. It felt just so raw, a real adventure, and then we climbed up to the mountain which was awesome.
LD: For me it was the whale sharks in Puerto Princesa. It's not like in Oslob where you're guaranteed to see them and it's like a tourist thing. In Puerto Princesa we had to sign things that say you understand might not see one, because it's so rare and it's the end of the season. So we had our fingers crossed that we get to see them. There was no guarantee. I remember we were looking all day, we were spending hours and hours, we already had our lunch, we were ready to come back around, they let us swim in the water so we kind of seen the water closer. And then suddenly the guy goes "everyone, in the water now now now!" We literally had our flippers on and our masks on, jumped into the water and when I opened my eyes I just see this whale shark just like right in front of me.
GW: I jumped on top of it. I didn't touch it luckily. Everyone was like get in the water—you know these big flippers they give you, I was trying to walk but I couldn't, I was tripping over the boat and flopped into the sea. So I get into the water, open my eyes, and then it's there. It felt like an achievement.
MS: Are there any plans of settling down here in Manila?
GW: We were just speaking about it the other day! We've been living in hotels, out of a suitcase for nearly a year, so we said we would love to have some kind of base. As of when we do it, we've already decided it's going to be in Manila, here in the Philippines. We're not sure when yet, but if you watch the videos you'll be the first to find out! So yeah, 100% plans in the works. It's just a matter of timing and finding the right place, and all that kind of stuff.
LD: We spend a lot of time in Manila, it only makes sense to have a base here. It's a great place to go anywhere else in the Philippines or Asia, it's a nice sort of central hub.
GW: The people have been showing us a lot of love and support, especially on YouTube, in the comments, watching our videos. We genuinely love it here, and we want to spend more time here.
Produced by Kate Paras-Santiago and Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography Pat Buenaobra
Additional photos courtesy of @thejuicyvlog, @lucydagostino_, and @georgewarringtonuk. To see more of their videos, click here.