November 23, 2023 – Chino Hernandez
The Power of the Post: Vince Golangco of When in Manila and Influencer Daniella Roi Talk About Their Careers, Journey, and Providing Positive Change in the Digital Landscape
Vince Golangco and Daniella Roi are not an odd pairing. In fact, the couple works in similar industries. Yet, they have found their own ways to flourish and grow on their own. He is the founder and CEO of popular online magazine When in Manila, as well as an impressive entrepreneur with a handful of businesses on his ever-growing resume. She is a budding social media superstar, whose relatable, high-quality content has touched the lives of millions of people. Together, they are one of Manila’s power couples, whose date nights happen to include making content for their thriving social media accounts.
A Tiktok Dance of Success
After graduating with a degree in Multimedia, Daniella worked as a freelance multimedia artist, videographer and social media manager. “I was actually behind the camera instead of in front of it,” she says looking back. “I thought I could do everything just because I went to a good school. But MMAs are really underpaid here. I started looking for jobs outside of the country, but it was very taxing.” In an effort to make extra funds, Daniella began a lucrative online business, selling Japanese surplus furniture for reasonable prices during the height of the pandemic. On her downtime at home, she would binge watch TikTok videos, which was truly booming in a time when most young people were stuck at home.
“TikTok was still very much just people dancing,” she says with a laugh. “I actually uninstalled the app for a while because it became a rabbit hole. During the pandemic, that was my every day thing. I’d just be watching and watching for hours.” However, Daniella realized that there was an opportunity there. “I grew this mindset that I should be the one being watched rather than the one watching. I already had a bit of experience with the online world due to my previous jobs. I’m also very madaldal and loved sharing recommendations to people. So why not start a career in that? It was a big risk when I quit my job, because nothing was guaranteed in content creation. But that was also my motivation to succeed.”
Daniella began her TikTok journey creating fun puns. One particular video, which poked fun at the name of a local bank, exploded across the platform. The young woman took advantage of the momentum, and continued to create hilarious “snackable” content that would grow her following. After a few months, Daniella was ready to transition to more substantial, thought-provoking videos. “I started with the comedy, but then I added beauty videos, tech reviews, travel, and recommendations,” she says. Because of her consistency and relatable personality, she was able to grow her channel in a rapid rate. Today, Daniella’s TikTok account @daniellaroi has almost 250k followers (as of print) and millions of views per video. Her Instagram boasts 108k followers. She is considered one of the country’s premiere lifestyle content creators. “I was in the right place in the right time. I also did it because I was so underpaid in my previous work,” she laughs.
When asked why she thinks her content reaches so many people, Daniella mentions that she tries to keep everything casual, light-hearted and never condescending. “Watching my videos is like talking to a friend,” she explains. “For example, my image as a beauty content creator is someone who isn’t trained or highly skilled on what they do. I’m really just learning as well. But I think that’s why people find me relatable.” Vince interjects: ““That’s why Daniella really stands out. The way she explains things and engages with her audience is so great. She is a storyteller and shares very insightful thoughts.”
Although her success came rather quickly, Daniella remains humble and level-headed. In fact, she is quick to thank Vince for all the support he has given her career. “My career wouldn’t be possible without him,” she mentions. “The simple tips and wisdom he gave me about the digital world is incredibly valuable. I was very willing to listen. He was really sort of a mentor for me during my growth period. Now that I’ve been in the industry for two years now, we’re able to share our insights. We learn from each other and that’s a good thing. Vince loves sharing his experiences and insights, even with our other content creator friends. He always has something good to say.”
The Mr. Manila Takeover
Daniella’s praise for Vince’s expertise doesn’t come from nowhere. In fact, the young man boasts a glowing resume built on hard work and dedication. He is the founder and publisher of When in Manila, the country’s largest online magazine and community blog. Even after a decade of extreme changes in the digital industry, When in Manila continues to be a strong voice in Philippine publishing. Funnily enough, Vince admits that the conception of the website was a combination of lucky accidents.
“It was around 2010, and I had just graduated from San Diego State University,” he begins. “It was during a recession and everyone was miserable, and I was just trying to figure what to do with my life. I decided to travel the world and find “my thing.” I’m part Filipino, so I moved back here for a month, while I travelled to other countries in the area. It was kind of my home base.” Eventually, Vince decided to settle in the Philippines, where he thought his experience as a vlogger and writer could be put into good use. “I started a new blog because there was no YELP in the Philippines. We started doing reviews. The content did surprisingly well because we had good SEO and decent writing. It didn’t take long before brands started coming and asked me to attend their events. That’s when I turned When in Manila into what it is today.”
For those who came of age in the early 2010s, When in Manila was their ultimate source for restaurant reviews, casual film criticism, and the hottest news on all the local happenings. They became a trusted companion for the Filipino youth looking to be updated on the city’s hottest topics. Today, they maintain that reputation, as Vince steers them into the future. “One of the reasons why we’re still around is because we adapt quickly,” he says. “There’s always something constantly changing in the digital world. When TikTok blew up, we knew we had to be on there. Before it was blogging, then it was Facebook, then we jumped onto Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. TikTok is the biggest right now, and I like it best. It’s very positive compared to other social media platforms. TikTok tries to push informative, in-depth content, and that’s what we want for our viewers.”
With When in Manila’s website and social media platforms being run by a trained editorial team, Vince was able to invest into numerous businesses that interested him. He has been involved with many lucrative enterprises, including the flagship Tipsy Pig in BGC, the highly-regarded Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, restaurant/art gallery concept Kondwi in Poblacion, American KBBQ chain GEN, board game importing store Gaming Library, and lifestyle and travel accessory shop Urban Traveler. Vince has come a long way. He began his career writing about the newest hot spots in Manila, now he owns many of them.
A Positive Change, One Post at a Time
While the couple has found fame and fortune in their respective careers, Vince and Daniella ultimately do what they do to help others. For Daniella, it’s all about leading a community of followers into a happier quality of life. “The content creation industry is so saturated,” she says. “But it’s not about the numbers anymore. It’s about the community, and I very much love the community I am with right now.” She mentions how wonderful it feels when someone approaches her in public places and tells her how her content has affected their lives. Whether it’s as small as recommending a beauty product that they now love, or as a big as lifting them up with humor during darker times, Daniella is grateful for all the people she has touched.
Similarly, Vince says his greatest career achievement is when he’s able to help others. “When we do stories about animals in need, or animals who need donations for surgeries, or needs to be adopted, I just love it,” he exclaims. “I also love helping people with anything. When someone approaches me and tells me that they were able to raise funds for their dad’s surgery because When in Manila wrote an article about it, I couldn’t be happier. I also love giving career advice, because when I was young, I was lost and didn’t have a mentor. I stumbled into everything with equal parts of luck and hard work. Helping people is truly rewarding. That’s what I love the most about my job.”
Together, Vince and Daniella are unstoppable, as they work hand-in-hand to create a more positive social media landscape in the Philippines. Daniella will continue to spread joyful content that lifts and inspires her millions of viewers, while Vince builds an empire online and on the actual ground.
Real stories. Real people.
We believe that life isn’t about a binary of ones and zeros - but about the sum of our hopes and dreams, our struggles and heartaches, our tragedies and triumphs.
The things that unite us are far stronger than the things that divide us.
And those stories are why we are alike.