I had the privilege of interviewing two personalities who are both popular on the internet, during the Watsons Health and Wellness Expo, a four-day event held at the Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall.
Arshie Larga is a pharmacist who was named TikTok Creator of the Year 2023. On TikTok, he has 3.8 million followers. On Facebook, he has 1.7 million followers.
He is best known for talking about how medications work on his TikTok, thus his famous line: “Let me explain.”
So we asked Larga, whose content is mostly human interest, informative and educational, which he preferred more—being a pharmacist or a content creator.
“Both have their own pros and cons. Pero pinakamahirap maging pharmacist kasi ’yung araw-araw na struggles ng mga customers mo, nakikita mo talaga and nakikita mo na kailangan pa ng improvement in terms of our healthcare system [It’s more difficult being a pharmacist because you see the struggles of your customers and you realize so much improvement is needed in the country’s healthcare system].”
Larga said content creation is difficult and challenging. It is also not a stable occupation.
“Kaya kung papipiliin, pipiliin ko pa din maging isang pharmacist kesa maging isang content creator kasi po nakakapagod maging isang content creator [Content creation is challenging and tiring so I would still choose to be a pharmacist].”
Still, Larga said he continues to be grateful for all the opportunities that he has received since becoming a content creator.
“Hangga’t may mga tumatangkilik sa mga videos ko, I will keep on creating educational and entertaining videos [As long as people like my videos, I will continue to create educational and entertaining videos].”
One of the best things that Larga has showed as a content creator is that pharmacists aren’t just sales people but licensed professionals.
The second TikTok content creator I interviewed was Steven Bansil, who is best known for his Office Serye. Bansil is a writer whose videos are relatable and hilarious. He has 1.1 million followers on TikTok.
“Sa Office Serye, dun ko nakitang ang daming nakaka-relate kasi ang pinapakita ko dun happens on a daily basis. Ang daming nagmi-message sa akin na ‘may Georgette kami dito, may Sir Mike kami’ I saw how people related to the Office Serye and they would message me and tell me ‘we also have a Georgette, we also have a Sir Mike,’” said Bansil, who is the ambassador for beauty supplement Nuwhite.
Not surprisingly, Bansil is an introvert.
“Mahiyain po talaga ako. Hindi ako masungit but it drains me pag may lumalapit, may nagpapa-picture but I appreciate everything [I am shy and I feel drained when I am approached by strangers and they ask to take a picture with me],” said Bansil.
One thing that he has learned is that his content needs to be for general patronage.
“I am more careful now about my content kasi ang daming batang nanonood. I make sure ang content ko pwede sa lahat ng tao of all ages [So many kids are on Tiktok so I make sure my content is apt for all ages.]”
We asked Bansil for tips that he could share with aspiring content creators.
“‘Wag kang gumaya sa iba. ‘Wag kang gumaya sa kung anong trending. Focus on who you are as a person, kasi I feel like we are unique in our own ways so ’yung pagiging unique mo, ’yun ang magiging product mo. ’Yun ang ia-admire ng audience mo [Don’t imitate others. Don’t ride on trends. Be original and focus on who you are. Every person is unique. You are unique and people will see that. They will admire your authenticity and what you have to offer].”
Larga and Bansil were at Watsons Health and Wellness Expo 2024 as speakers. The expo highlighted the range of health and beauty products available at Watsons. Over 52 different brand booths had interactive activities. Aside from that, the expo also offered free health consultations, informative and educational talks, raffle draws and prizes, wellness sessions, and pharmacy services under “Click & Collect Express.”
Celebrity guests like Anne Curtis, Jessy Mendiola, Kristine Hermosa, Kuya Kim, Francine Diaz, Gabby Concepcion and other brand ambassadors were also there to share their health and wellness journeys, while health experts from top brands and medical associations talked about several health topics throughout the four-day event.
Image credits: Dinna Chan Vasquez