• Ros Delos Reyes

How YouTube Star Dwaine Woolley Fell in Love With the Philippines

Updated: Mar 9


You may have seen Dwaine Woolley in the viral "English Only Prank" videos in Siargao, Divisoria, and Cebu. In the videos, the Australian-born YouTube star surprises netizens with his impressive Tagalog and Bisaya after starting off the conversation in English.

Before moving to the Philippines, Dwaine was in a pop/reggae band called Mayan Fox, and performed at concerts in Australia and New Zealand. He was also working hard to save up money to serve a mission. His first-ever visit to the Philippines was in 2011, an assignment given to him by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dwaine only knew a few things about the Southeast Asian nation before embarking on his mission.


During his stay, he fell in love with the country and the Filipino culture of being grateful for everything, even the smallest blessings. The Filipino culture of gratitude completely changed Dwaine's view on life. The more he immersed himself in the country's traditions and interacted with the locals, the more he felt that his destiny was in the Philippines. Eventually, he found a career as a creative there and even met the love of his life.


"My YouTube journey starts way back in 2011 when I first came to the Philippines as a missionary," Dwaine told Samahan Filipino. "During my time on the island of Leyte, I learned to speak 3 Filipino languages, namely Tagalog, Cebuano, and Waray! I developed a love for the culture and the people of the Philippines so deep that I decided to stay."


Dwaine explained that, after deciding to move to the Philippines, he got a job in a call center while starting work on his YouTube channel. "After one year, I made the decision to leave full-time work and be a content creator full-time, which was a risk, but it was one I was willing to take," said Dwaine. "If you don't take risks, you don't get anywhere. I knew that I could not succeed in either social media or my full-time job because my focus was split. Like Confucius said, 'The person that hunts two rabbits catches neither one.'"


Dwaine later revamped his channel to include his wife, Shanta. The duo, known as "Dwanta," are now a popular YouTube couple, and are especially beloved by Filipinos around the globe. "The video that really helped us take off was our proposal video!" said Dwaine. "When I left full-time work, we had 120,000 subscribers on YouTube.'' Becoming a YouTube star is a time-consuming task, but one that proved to be worthwhile for Dwaine. The YouTube star offered up some words of advice for those looking to achieve the level of fame he and Shanta now enjoy. 'We chose what our niche would be, which was very important," said Dwaine. "You can't be a jack-of-all-trades on YouTube; you must have a niche market and accept that you can't please everybody. We decided that our niche would be love life, Filipino culture, and pranks. Our videos are for Filipinos and people who are interested in the Philippines.''


Dwaine and Shanta receiving their silver play button (Image courtesy of Dwaine Woolley)

Dwaine and Shanta's hard work has definitely paid off! Today, they are not far from hitting one million subscribers and that golden play button.

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© 2019 by Samahan: A Global Filipino Community