Meet the 12 Winners of YouTube’s NextUp Philippines 2021

The search for the next local content creators has come to a close as YouTube and leading mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) officially announced the 12 finalists for NextUp Philippines 2021! NextUp is a contest that gives Filipino content creators a chance to realize their full potential and grow their YouTube career.

This year’s batch features an equally diverse pool of emerging talents from across the Philippines, which reflects YouTube’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The 2021 finalists include a dermatologist, an author, a transgender man, and a chicken farmer among others, who are ready to inspire people and create great content using their stories and unique perspectives. The 12 winners of NextUp Philippines 2021 are:

youtube nextup philippines 2021

  • Abbey Syan artist, bestselling author, and small business owner who helps Filipino creatives achieve their full potential with her aesthetic educational videos.


  • Mark Mendoza (Diskarte with Mendy)a “life hacker” who aims to help others find their way around what they want to pursue whether it’s a business, a profession, or a craft.
  • Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitasa dermatologist who seeks to help Filipinos by giving tried and tested beauty tips and skincare information.
  • Egypa Balindonga digital creator and filmmaker seizing the opportunity to represent the Maranao Muslim community in the Philippines through her short films.
  • Guji Lorenzanaa singer-songwriter, actor, recording artist, and DJ who wants to grow his music and share more of his life and family with his fans and other aspiring artists


  • Michelle Gacasan (Michelle G.)a lifestyle vlogger from Cagayan De Oro who unleashes her inner fashionista on her channel and gives her viewers a peek into her daily and student life.
  • Myra Caray (Mai Goodness)a food and lifestyle vlogger who aims to help others set up their own home baking or cooking business as well as serve restaurant-grade dishes from the comfort of their own home.
  • Meljean Solona ‘probinsyana’ lifestyle and travel vlogger who showcases the beauty of her province, Cebu. She aims to achieve one million subscribers in the next 12 months.
  • Keoni Tamayo (Reps to the Rhythm)a fitness instructor who wants to inspire everyone, whether they are newbies or pros, to stay fit through dancing.
  • Van Vincent Go (VandomVincent)a proud transgender man who seeks to represent and empower the transgender community in the Philippines through his content.
  • Aj Añavesa (Wandering Soul)a chicken farmer who looks to impart knowledge and information to his fellow and aspiring chicken raisers in the Philippines.
  • Arra Solis (Rookie Mommy PH)a work-from-home mom who wants to help others find fun and stable sources of income, especially during these trying times.

The NextUp winners will participate in an online Creator Camp where they will get a crash course on production techniques and receive in-depth training to further build their channels. Previous NextUp winners, YouTube stars, and industry experts will also mentor them as they create their dream content. They will also be getting guidance and strategic account management support from the Creator and Artist Development Team of YouTube. A series of online training workshops for the non-finalists and other creators will be organized as well.

Each of the 12 finalists will receive an equipment stipend worth PHP 100,000 and free data packs while three winners will be granted a 12-month endorsement contract with Smart.

“Filipino content creators are talented, passionate, and purposeful. Helping them realize their full potential is important to YouTube and we’re honored to collaborate with Smart to bring a bigger NextUp in the Philippines. Through NextUp, they will learn important knowledge and skills so they can thrive on the platform. When they succeed, not only they will inspire other content creators but they will be able to uplift the lives of people around them and use their channel to make a positive impact,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director of Google Philippines.

“Our support for Filipino content creators all these years stems from our commitment to bring amazing experiences to our subscribers through cutting-edge technology made simple by Smart. In the same way that we enable our subscribers to pursue their passions and share their craft powered by our world-class network, we’re glad to partner with YouTube to further hone and empower a promising breed of Pinoy content creators through the NextUp program,” said Lloyd R. Manaloto, First Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Strategy at Smart.

NextUp was first launched in the Philippines in 2017. To date, it has launched some of the country’s successful creators like Renee Dominique, Team Lyqa, Hype Streetball, Lesha, and more.

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