Web wellness: Mikey Bustos on life as an online celebrity

When social media personality Mikey Bustos’ career began taking off—thanks to his relatable content that captured the hearts of many and endeared him to Filipinos—he found it both rewarding and challenging. 

“It’s been such a learning curve,” said Bustos about his career, despite years of creating countless viral videos such as “Adobo,” a parody of the song “Let It Go” from Frozen, and “Balikbayan Box,” a parody of the Miley Cyrus hit “Wrecking Ball.” 

“You just have to navigate through,” he added.  

Mikey Bustos incorporates reading and running into his daily routine to help combat stress. 
While having to constantly think of new ideas is already a challenge in itself, having an audience that can directly interact with you via a comments section is another. He has to deal with insecurities, second guessing himself, and managing his schedule. 

His online job had taken a huge chunk of his waking hours that there was even a time when Bustos was juggling multiple YouTube channels while traveling, performing, and managing his ant business. While it was a challenge for him to do all these simultaneously, all these “trades” brought plenty of opportunities. 

With these opportunities, however, came crucial choices he needed to make. 

“For me, to be successful, you need to take calculated risks,” said Bustos who mentioned that one of the biggest risks he made in his life was moving to the Philippines from Canada. 

“Signing contracts, teaming up with brands, expanding a team, collaborating with other content creators—these are all risks and choices you have to calculate and think about. You can’t just throw all your chips in and wish for the best,” he stressed. 

With all these decisions and challenges, not to mention having to sustain his career and business, stress and risk of burnout frequent Bustos’ life. 

To combat stress, he turns to exercise and meditation. “I always try to incorporate exercise into my routine. I go to the gym a few times a week, and now I’ve taken a love for running—making sure I go 10 kilometers every day. In terms of mentally staying in shape, I do a lot of meditation and prayer.” 

What’s in Mikey’s bag? Phone, face mask, face shield, rubbing alcohol, and antidiarrheal medicine. 
To lessen the risk of burnout, the 39-year-old online celebrity also makes sure to explore his hobbies, which is sometimes integrated in his work. He explores his hobbies without feeling the need to bring a camera with him. 

Another way Bustos reduces the stress is working with people he trusts. 

In the time of the pandemic, he shared that bringing “trusty” items with him wherever he goes is key to having an extra “peace of mind.” 

“Lately, I always bring all sorts of protective gear—masks, alcohol, face shields, and the like. I also make sure to bring a lip balm because ‘you never know when you’ll be on camera,’” he shared. 

He continued, “I also make sure that I bring Diatabs (Unilab’s anti-diarrheal brand) with me wherever I go, especially when I’m running. It helps because I’ve been having ‘banyo-phobia’—when I’m far from the house and I really have to go, it’s hard for me to use the public toilet because of the fear of acquiring the coronavirus. That’s why it’s always good to have Diatabs around.”

Topics: Mikey Bustos , social media , online celebrity
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