Kwentong Kumu: Growing Your Creative Career & Community Online
All the world’s a stage, and Filipinos are taking front and center. Whether it’s dancing, making music, or doing arts & crafts, there’s no shortage of ways Filipinos choose to express their creativity online. That’s why Kumu has risen in popularity over the years as the perfect outlet for rising creators to share their talent with the world and find a community.
Curious to see what you can do on Kumu? Check out how three of our rising creators were able to explore creative opportunities and grow their community.
Maica Bermejo (@maicabermejo)
If you’ve heard the “Kumu all day and Kumu all night” song on the app, it was written by none other than Maica Bermejo, also known as Kumu’s Moonbabe. Maica describes herself as a Jill of all trades. On her streams, you’ll find her either playing her ukulele, bullet journaling, or doing a new arts & crafts project. She strives to make sure her streams are a safe space for people to discover themselves.
Through sharing personal stories and hobbies, Maica has formed a very close-knit community she lovingly calls her Moon Beams. When asked what inspires her song writing she mentioned it’s the people she’s met and the support she’s felt from them. “What inspired me to do the song are the people who supported me. The song is all about how Kumu is just full of positivity, [it’s] a safe space, a home for everybody.”
After all, the app is a great way to share just about anything– something Maica encourages budding creators to do. “Grabe talaga yung support dito sa Kumu. If people see that you love what you’re doing and you’re really passionate, they’ll support you in any way they can.” The support she’s received has allowed her to help support her family (like raising funds for her father’s surgery), and of course, continue to grow as a creative.
Just last year, Maica achieved one of her most memorable Kumu milestones winning a Billboard Campaign which featured her on a Kumu Billboard in the NAIA Terminal 3 arrival area. A full-circle experience for Maica, who began her career in the Tourism industry where she found her love for customer service and connecting with people.
Her passion for streaming and gratitude towards her supporters has led her to achieve great milestones with Kumu, and she’s excited for even more exciting opportunities ahead. Maica teased that she’s working on a new song inspired by a love story between a streamer and a gifter– a perfect release for Valentine’s!
Jerolle Valencia (@jerollevalencia)
If you’re looking for a humorous stream with a mix of music and kwentuhan, Jerolle Valencia’s streams might just be for you. Expect full production value– bright lights, sound effects, upbeat songs, and Jerolle’s infectious energy, as if you’re watching a live concert!
Jerolle started streaming on Kumu two years ago. He and his siblings saw Kumu ads online, and decided to give it a go during the pandemic days when they had no gigs lined up. What started as a pastime turned into something bigger when Jerolle started getting loyal gifters and started earning from his streams.
“Dancers po kaming magkakapatid, [kaso] nung nag-pandemic, nagsara lahat. Nawalan din po kami ng mga show, kaya nawala rin ang income. Nakita namin ang kumu online. Hindi namin [ito] sineryoso noong una, parang laro-laro lang. ‘Di ko inexpect na darating ako sa punto na matutustusan ko na rin ang pangangailangan ng pamilya ko, ng ibang kamag-anak ko, [dahil sa kumu].”
Jerolle adds it was a different feeling when he realized he could entertain people and help his family financially at the same time. He was teary-eyed recalling how Kumu has impacted his life.
“Patuloy pa rin po yung pagmamahal ng mga taong sumusuporta’t naniniwala sa’kin, sa kakayanan ko,” says Jerolle. “Hindi lang sa’kin, pati sa mga kapatid ko at sa pamilya ko.”
Thanks to Kumu, Jerolle says he’s learned to love himself more deeply. He’s become more confident in his craft as a dancer and overall creative. His advice for aspiring creators? Be yourself! Authenticity goes a long way on Kumu.
CJ Canoy (@ceejayc)
From simply observing streams and joining bulsahans (a unique to Kumu activity where multiple users go up as co-hosts, taking turns to receive and share diamonds from virtual gifts dropped during the stream), CJ has grown into one of Kumu’s power streamers with over 9,000 followers and counting. Just this month, she did an inspiring self-help series called #fordaself where she shared tips on how to speak up, build a self-reliant mindset, and inspire acts of kindness.
Eventually, CJ built her confidence to stream, join, and even win Kumu Campaigns with the help of her supporters. “In my first campaign, I wasn’t expecting na yung support ng friends ko ganun ka-tindi. Yung mga person na feeling ko dati, na feeling ko sobrang taas nila, pumasok sa campaign stream ko at nagstay. Sinabi pa nila, ‘CJ, tutulungan ka namin sa campaign finale mo! Mag-iinvite kami ng mga performers para mas maraming magbabagsak.’ So ang daming hindi ko kilala na nagsesend ng gifts. Ayun, maraming maraming salamat na nanalo ako.” CJ was also part of the lucky winners who graced the Kumu Billboards along EDSA adding “di ko inakalang aabot dito ang Kumu journey ko!”
Apart from being a way to earn, CJ cites Kumu as a great way to help others. One of CJ’s motivations for joining campaigns is donating to charity. According to her, “Kindness is the best thing to make hawa” (spread).
“Lahat ng campaign [prizes], hindi lahat napupunta samin. Majority of it ay napupunta sa donation ng charity. We are actually supporting DJ Ocean Warriors kasi their charity is about helping children with hydrocephalus and their parents. Yung mga panalo namin, pinambibili ng diapers, ng gatas.”
Her wish for up-and-coming Kumu streamers? Growth! “[Sana] mas marami pang tao dito sa Kumu ang mas mare-recognize at maa-acknowledge kasi I do believe lahat ay nag-eeffort at nagt-try.” She encourages streamers to keep giving their best in their streams because their hard work and bravery will eventually pay off– just like hers did.
Kumu Is for Everybody!
Ready to start your Kumu journey? Download the app now on the App Store or Google Play. Your community awaits you, so get ready to show what you got and start your livestream soon!
Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.