What started as a hobby to pass the time became a full-time job that brought Jhanzen “Bulldog” Latorre and his family newfound blessings.
While some still think that video games are a waste of time or bad for your brain, gaming continues to prove its cultural and economic worth. This holds especially true with video games serving as a steady source of income for many. Despite what some may say, gaming is not a roadblock to success, but an actual career that can bring positive change into your life. Childhood sermons begone. Just look at how 22-year-old gamer and streamer Jhanzen Latorre is living.
Jhanzen, who popularly goes by Bulldog online, began his gaming journey as an information technology student who played video games to pass the time, with Mobile Legends being a personal favorite. But soon, he realized that there was more to gaming than just a pastime. After going live as his online gaming personality Bulldog, the young content creator became a viral sensation and found himself with a steady income that helped him buy their family’s own house after years of renting as well as other amenities. Now who says gaming is a waste of time?
FREE TIME TO FULL-TIME
Like with many gamers, Bulldog was attracted to the allure of video games because of the fun he had with friends and as a much-needed destresser from the real world. “Na-inlove ako sa paglalaro kase dito ko nakikita or nararanasan yung totoong saya lalo na pag kasama ko din mga kaibigan ko. Bukod doon, paglalaro din nagtatanggal ng stress ko at pampalipas oras.”
Soon enough, livestreaming called his name, with his outgoing personality, commentary, and active energy making him right at home on the platform. “During a time na nag-stream ako, may biglang nag-comment sa page ko na papadalhan nila ‘ko ng gift,” he recalls. “Doon ko narealize na why not mag try ako sa Facebook.” The rest, as they say, is history as Bulldog got accepted to become a Facebook Partner, his streams attracted millions of viewers, and soon, opportunities, such as brand deals, came his way. “Dito ko narealize na pwede kang kumita habang ginagawa yung passion mo.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF TIER ONE ENTERTAINMENT
As of this writing, the 22-year-old streamer’s Facebook page has a massive 3.8 million followers. And the best part is that his online moniker that he’s known for came from what was once a source of bullying. “Back when I was in high school, lagi akong binubully ng mga kaibigan ko, sinasabihan na mukang bulldog. Kaya naisip ko na mas okay siguro kung tatawagin nila ko sa pang-asar nila sakin para ‘pag tinawag na nila ko next time hindi na pang-aasar yung mararamdaman ko kundi isang ‘Bulldog’ na streamer.”
Watch any of Bulldog’s streams, you’ll see why he’s become a popular streamer. He’s entertaining, playful, and funny with boring being nowhere near his vocabulary and the skills to back his big personality. He streams for 10 hours every day, not an easy feat for someone who gives that kind of energy every stream. But he makes do, especially with the people who support him in his endeavors. “Of course sa family, friends, and girlfriend ko,” says Bulldog on where he gets his inspiration. “Sila yung laging nag-iinspire sakin para magstream and para ituloy yung nasimulan ko. Next is yung mga positive na tao nakapaligid sakin na nagpapalakas ng loob ko. Sila dahilan kung bakit patuloy kong ginagawa to.”
A GAMER’S SUCCESS
What started as him streaming Mobile Legends from his home quickly became a livelihood that supported not just himself, but his entire family. The doors that gaming has opened for Bulldog allowed him to give his family a better life. As the family breadwinner, he bought his family a new home, bought his car, and even started a business.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing as Bulldog had to make some sacrifices, most notably dropping out of school. Reflecting on the moment, he says, “Isa sa pinakamahirap na desisyon para sa akin ay yung mag-stop ako ng pag-aaral. Second year lang ang natapos ko dahil nag-decide akong subukan ang pagiging streamer. Sinubukan kong balansehin ang oras ko sa school at sa streaming, pero nakakadrain kaya’t inip ko kung ano ang dapat kong gawin.”
Luckily, his parents supported his decision, and, more importantly, he and his family have been able to take in the success gaming has brought them. “Masasabi ko na pwede na din, lalo na sa sitwasyon namin ngayon na may sarili na akong bahay, sasakyan, lupain, at negosyo. Dun ko masasabi na sobrang laki ng naitulong sa akin ng gaming at pagiging streamer.”
ON THE GRIND
As society collectively moves away from the stereotypical idea that a gamer is someone who lives in his parent’s basement into adulthood and is constantly on the computer, more and more are we seeing the good that gaming can bring about. Livestreaming video games introduced Bulldog to a large audience and a whole new world of opportunities. His career is still on the rise, as seen with how he recently signed with Tier One Entertainment. “Sobrang saya ko kasi ang tagal ko inantay para lang maging parte ng Tier One,” he gushes. “Parang isa nanamang achievement ang nakuha ko. Bukod doon, dito ko rin nakilala ang iba’t-ibang tao, kaya sobrang thankful ako sa Tier One.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF TIER ONE ENTERTAINMENT
Video games was, is, and will continue to be a viable livelihood that is possible to achieve. Take it from Bulldog and don’t let the naysayers get to you. Gaming is not a waste of time. “Una sa lahat, huwag natin lahatin ang uri ng mga gamer kasi hindi naman tayo pare-pareho ng pinagdadaanan sa buhay. May iba na gumagamit ng gaming bilang paraan para mawala ang stress o boredom, habang ang iba naman ay itinuturing itong hobby at pamatay-oras. Kaya’t nakadepende pa rin ito sa tao. Minsan, ang mindset ng iba ay dahil lang sa ganito, wala ng mararating. Iba-iba ang takbo ng pag-iisip ng bawat isa, kaya’t always think positive lang.”
As for his advice to other young gamers who also see themselves as future livestreamers, Bulldog stresses the importance of managing your time. “Wag kayong tumigil sa pangarap niyo, pero alalahanin niyo rin, huwag ding masyadong ma-overwhelm ng mga laro. Dapat marunong din tayo mag-balance ng oras sa pamilya, kaibigan, at sa ibang hilig bukod sa gaming. Keep dreaming and grinding!”
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