Family & Lifestyle

Reekay Fazio Pop65z Vandever Battaglia Thanks for the Memories!

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What do Reekay Velez of Life Beyond The Sea, Michael Fazio of Hoodwinked by an angel, Pop65z, Peter Vandever and Frank Battaglia have in common……………….? Well, they are an eclectic group, but when I married my Filipina in 2015 in the Philippines, I don’t recall knowing any YouTube channels of guys who were in the Philippines, yet. Please comment about your favorites or your sentimental favorite Philippines YouTube vloggers.

I hope I’m not leaving anyone out, but those are the five big names that I latched onto after I got back to America in May of 2015. My wife and I got married in only 54 days and she was the first Filipina I was serious with so I really didn’t have any time for YouTube and probably didn’t even know much about it. I am sure back then I looked at just a few videos to see what Davao City was like but that’s about it.

We were moving fast and I needed to get to the Philippines to get married! Starting a new year, I am waxing sentimental and nostalgic and wanted to make a video about the fab five Philippines vloggers I began to watch as I had just gotten married. This might even be in the order I discovered their channels.

Reekay-I know Reekay had a channel that captivated me back then because I liked his introspection and he was in the place I had just been-the Philippines-and I felt like I was able to learn a lot about the area from his videos. Even though I was now married, married to a woman I hadn’t met when I got on the first of four flights to the Philippines, I still wanted to listen to him talk about his relationship situation out there.

I have my own channel now and find it difficult to watch other YouTube channels these days, but Reekay was the first one. He has 1072 videos, almost 17 million views and 56,100 subscribers. As I recall, the videos I liked best were the ones where he was talking about wanting to get a relationship but nothing had worked out yet. I liked that he seemed serious and wasn’t trying to be entertaining like the second vlogger on my list.

Michael Fazio-I don’t remember exactly how I came across his channel, but somehow I did. Obviously, I was in a little shock after watching Reekay, but Fazio was I think sometimes in the Philippines and sometimes not. He was amusing and eccentric, and did a lot of videos walking from place to place in the Philippines. I had never seen anything like this man.

If I had to recall one particular video that he made that would be one where he was around a tree somewhere and there were a bunch of Filipino children playing and I thought it was a very nice video. There is also one you may have seen where he was hanging on the back of a jeepney with a ton of other Filipinos and it was shocking how many were inside, hanging on like he was and even sitting on top.

Fazio amazed me with his knowledge of certain thing and I found him an intriguing character. He lost me though when he was talking about the mysteries of the dollar bill. Those were the good old days. Back at work after finally getting married, working on a spousal visa, webcamming with my wife, and watching YouTube videos of Philippines vloggers.

It was all very exciting. I have been back to the Philippines three times since the initial time and we hope to go again in 2021 so I have a better idea of what it is actually like there now. Hoodwinked by an Angel has 2530 videos, almost 9 million views, and 19,200 subscribers. I haven’t been watching lately but I think the lockdowns in the Philippines has for the time being, changed some vloggers usual video scheme and there have been more livestreams than normal. I hope to do them myself again someday, but back in 2015 I don’t recall there even being any live streams. Would like to get to 1000 subscribers first.

Pop65z-Ted is his name and back in 2015 he may have been hitting his stride. As far as I know, he was kind of a big name. You know, everybody is different, unique, and I liked his videos even though there wasn’t much pizzazz. I could never remember his channel name. Was it Pop65z or Popz65 or something else? I was amazed at how slow he talked, actually, but I don’t know, he had a certain charm to him. I couldn’t understand how someone could speak so slowly but for some odd reason I liked his channel. He was there in the ‘glory days’ of Philippines vloggers. I enjoyed listening to him.

He kind of fell off the map for a while as I had trouble connecting with his channel for a long time. Pop65z shows 716 videos, 6 million-250 thousand views and 10,500 subscribers but I think that channel is shut down, by himself I assume. Recently I was snooping around and I saw a video with him in it but it was a channel with a different name. The Philippine Connection is what it was called. So, I had tracked down Pop65z. But sad to say, it shows 899 subscribers with little else to know about it. No videos show up. Does anyone know what Pop65z means? When I sit back and think about what I was doing five years ago, Ted’s channel was on my list of ones I watched from time to time. The next one on my list is a very polarizing figure-none other than…Peter Vandever!

Peter Vandever-What can you say about Peter V.? I guess you either loved him or hated him. He was one of those guys whose channel showed up and people talked about. I did watch his videos for a while. I remember him being very opinionated and that many people were at odds with him. He didn’t mince words and who could ever forget his parting words ‘see ya’?

Ahh the good old days of Philippines YouTube vloggers. Even if I wasn’t particularly interested, I would still watch his videos. Look at these characters-Reekay, Fazio, Ted, Vandever…those were interesting times for sure. Vandever was tarred and feathered and run out of the Philippines it seems a few years ago.

He can be found in a handful of places on YouTube but the channel he had back then is no longer around. There is a channel called Peter Vandever but it only has 21 videos, 9200 views and 166 subscribers. It’s averaging -83 subs a month with -20,000 views a month. What’s up with that? Sounds like Dominion is tallying his views and subs.

You’ll find some older videos of his on that channel. I am not saying I agreed with everything he said, just that after I got married and started watching these channels, his seemed to be getting some action at that time; that is to say, his channel was getting watched.

Frank Battaglia-Another channel that like the others, has been around awhile was Frank Battaglia’s My Philippines Interest is his channel but the stats are different, I don’t know what’s happened to his channel. Expat Forum Philippines is another channel that features Frank and I assume it is him, but these days with so many trolls and troll channels, who really knows?

As I write this, I am listening to Frank in a live stream called ‘Hawaii Bound’ where he just said he isn’t married to Gilda. He has been adamant that he was married to her and, he just said he wasn’t. Who are you going to believe anymore? He was the first person I knew who would do videos with a sock over the camera.

I followed Frank from when he was still in Hawaii. I remember the infamous ‘tree’ video. One of the best videos he did in my opinion was one where he interviewed some women in Hawaii about their opinions on dating an older man. I thought that was a nice change. Frank is also very opinionated and I guess if you weren’t then you wouldn’t be very interesting on YouTube.

Frank has the reputation of being the Terminator; ousting other vloggers who try to do him wrong. The ‘Frankfather’. I liked his videos before he got overrun by trolls. He’s still at it though. I am not sure it brings him the pleasure he’d like it to.

These five guys made learning about the Philippines interesting. Do I have any others that I watched around that time? I can think of some. There was Steve Montelli, The Real Deal, there was Mike Cason of My Philippine Journey, A Foreigner in the Philippines and Blind Owl Outdoors. I didn’t watch these channels a lot but I was aware of them.

That is my trip down memory lane. These days I have my own channel called Love Beyond The Sea and I can tell you there isn’t another one like it. I don’t have the personality of a lot of others. I am serious-minded and all about marriage. You might think after finally getting married after 30 years of the prime of my life gone by, that I would stop being concerned about singleness, but I can’t. I want to help others know they don’t have to be alone. If you are, maybe you haven’t gone where you’re wanted. I know you can find a wife in the Philippines; I want to help you stay together. That’s essentially what the majority of my channel is about.

I don’t expect to be a ‘rock star’ like these men were or are, but I do want to help men find Love Beyond the Sea.

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