youtuber jessica lee content creator big bold brave awards winner food content travel

With Her Next Level Platform, YouTuber Jessica Lee Wants Everyone To Embrace Diversity And Remain Curious

Queen of trying new things.

Hear it from this year’s Big Bold Brave Awards winner for Favorite YouTuber Jessica Lee about her passion to bridge cultures and create joyful and meaningful content.

Related: Here Are The BIG Winners For NYLON Manila’s Big Bold Brave Awards: Next Level

Known for her Filipino food, culture, and lifestyle videos, Jessica Lee creates interesting content filled with heart. She always keeps it real, making sure she represents people and culture authentically and with depth. Her unique background allows her to move in the world as a multicultural, bright-eyed explorer that not only entertains, but educates.

youtuber jessica lee content creator big bold brave awards winner food content travel

Born in Seoul and raised in South Korea and the Philippines, YouTuber Jessica Lee has kept a foot in both worlds all her life. Having started a career in the idol industry as a member of HIGHTEEN before they debuted, and a contestant in survival show Idol School (2017), Jessica moved back to the Philippines and started her own YouTube channel, which now has well over a million subscribers.

Jessica’s content focuses on food and lifestyle, and she takes her viewers with her as she finds, tries, reviews, and mukbangs all kinds of food, from street food to restaurant-level meals. She also has a popular series called TRABAHO, where she tries out the different occupations in the Philippines, from call center agent to taho vendor. Her eagerness to showcase the food and lifestyle of Filipinos, openness to explore and learn more about us and the culture, and appreciative, warm personality make for an instant connection with her audience.

The 23-year old creator has also proven herself not like other creators who simply go to a certain place and make content just for the clout and the views. “I aim for depth and sincerity in all my content, always striving to offer a genuine portrayal,” she says. And she stays true to her words—watch a single Jessica Lee video and you’ll get it. For instance, in November 2020, Jessica donated that month’s YouTube revenue to causes that help the victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

With a genuine love for the culture and the people, while acknowledging the multitude of influences that has shaped her, Jessica Lee has made a home in the Philippines, and has proven that her roots run as deep as far and wide as they spread. No wonder she’s a winner!

As the most-voted creator in the Favorite YouTuber category of the 2024 NYLON Manila Big Bold Brave Awards: Next Level, Jessica Lee lets us in on how she feels about the support she’s earned, building connections, taking her content and platform to the next level, and inspiring others to embrace culture and diversity.

youtuber jessica lee content creator big bold brave awards winner food content travel

How does it feel to win Favorite YouTuber at our NYLON Manila Big Bold Brave Awards: Next Level?

Winning this award feels absolutely incredible! It’s a huge honor to be recognized by such a renowned platform, and it shows that all the contemplation I put into my channel was truly worth it. Most importantly, I’m grateful to my subscribers and supporters who made this possible. This award isn’t just for me—it’s for everyone who has been part of this amazing journey. 

How do you take your work and platform to the next level?

I constantly strive to innovate and adapt. Remaining informed about the latest trends and news helps ensure my content stays relevant and engaging. My guiding principle in content creation is to foster connection and evoke empathy—what I call a sense of humanity. Collaborating with other creators—which includes my team members—exploring new content formats, and listening to my audience’s feedback are pivotal strategies. I also invest in continuous learning and self-improvement to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to my channel. 

What do you want people to always take away from your platform and content?

I wish for my viewers to experience a sense of connection in a world where we increasingly feel disconnected. As an aspiring idealist, I believe that positivity can overpower negativity. My goal is to let positivity be the driving force behind an inclusive community where people celebrate the beauty of Filipino and Korean cultures and, more broadly, the beauty of life. I hope my platform encourages viewers to embrace diversity, pursue their passions, and remain curious about the world around them.

What are some things that you love about Philippine culture and why?

Philippine culture is incredibly rich and vibrant. It’s the culture that has shaped me into who I am today. I love the way the titas always make sure that I have eaten something. I love the unspoken rule where passengers in jeepneys pass the fare from one person to the next until it reaches the driver. And I love the colorful murals you can find at the most unexpected spots within the Philippines. It’s the warmth and hospitality of the people, the strong sense of bayanihan spirit, and the diverse traditions and heritage of the Philippines that I fell in love with.

youtuber jessica lee content creator big bold brave awards winner food content travel

Filipino food is another favorite—it’s a delightful blend of flavors that tells a story of history and culture. Not only that, it just tastes amazing. The resilience and positivity of Filipinos, even in challenging times, is truly inspiring. It’s a trait I admire deeply and strive to embody in my own life.  

How do you navigate making content about the Philippines without falling into the trap of sensationalism that usually comes whenever a foreigner talks about the Philippines? 

I approach my content with respect and authenticity. It’s crucial to genuinely understand and appreciate the culture I’m showcasing. I engage with locals, listen to their stories, and ensure that my content reflects their perspectives accurately, neither beautifying nor denigrating it.

Avoiding stereotypes and focusing on meaningful and respectful representation helps me stay true to the essence of the culture. Sensationalism doesn’t align with my values—I aim for depth and sincerity in all my content, always striving to offer a genuine portrayal.

How do you make sure your content improves and that you’re always keeping things fun, fresh, and exciting for your audience while still keeping the essence of your content?

I regularly analyze feedback from my audience to understand what resonates with them and what can be improved. Staying curious and open to new ideas ensures that my content evolves while maintaining its core essence. One of my core values is to present something that has never been seen before in the Philippine content creation industry, pushing boundaries while staying true to my roots.

What’s the best thing about being someone that has a platform and can influence other people?

It’s the sense of connection I get to feel with my audience, and hopefully vice versa. It’s humbling to be able to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. Whether it’s inspiring someone to learn something new, motivating them to pursue their dreams, or simply bringing joy through my content, the influence I have is both a privilege and a responsibility. It’s truly fulfilling to know that I can contribute to meaningful conversations and create a sense of community among my viewers!

youtuber jessica lee content creator big bold brave awards winner food content travel

What do you want to say to all the fans that have voted you as their Favorite YouTuber?

To all my subscribers who voted for me as their Favorite YouTuber, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Words cannot express how grateful I am. Your support means the world to me, and I wouldn’t be here without you. This award is a testament to our shared journey and the bond we’ve built over the years! I’m committed to continuing to create content that matters. Thank you for believing in me and for being an incredible part of this adventure!

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. Images courtesy of Jessica Lee.

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