If there’s anything Filipinos love, it’s a good story—funny, drama-riddled, or romantic, we’re quick to sniff out a saga and follow it to its conclusion. Whether fact or fiction, there’s nothing quite like having oneself immersed in the twists and turns of finding out who said what, did what where, and who were they with?
Plots and characters have come to life on any number of platforms throughout the years, but one relatively recent emergence is quickly finding its legs: TypeKita is a newly launched app that aims to empower young Filipino storytellers by rewarding their creativity with accessible and self-determined monetization, while gifting readers with an interactive and visually stimulating reading experience. While the rest of the world criticizes Millennial and especially Gen Z readers for choosing shorter, digital formats, TypeKita promises to inspire and encourage the diversity already present in reading material available today.
At TypeKita’s official launch on August 16, Head of Growth Ysabel Yuzon, Vice President of Strategic Management Dana de la Vega, and Creator Manager Erich Valdevioso took questions from attending members of the press and detailed the ins and outs of the app, as well as its growing potential to “open doors even for those who may not have considered writing before,” according to Yuzon. Live readings of current TypeKita favorites Babalik Sa’yo (Rej Martinez), The Day I Said Goodbye (Miyuki Jeishi), and Hush Lucas (Arki Aaron) were then performed by rising stars Nour Hooshmand, Ian Pangilinan, and Benedix Ramos, bringing to life all the ups and downs of romance in fiction. Finally, singing champion and Silver Badger Featured Live Kumu Streamer Kathleen Anne wrapped up the program with some contemporary classic love songs, as well as her own single, Nagkulang.
The app is a localized version offrom the Thai original Joylada, and is further powered by homegrown social entertainment platform Kumu—a partnership that speaks to the growing online fiction community. “We have always been on the lookout for talent of all kinds, and TypeKita is the space we’re dedicating to the written word,” says Rexy Dorado, Kumu President and Co-founder. “We believe creative people always find their way to each other, but this is where we can also help people find the creativity within themselves, bolstered by a safe community. Both Kumu and TypeKita share a similar moderator system to keep things appropriate and any hate out of the picture.”
But that safety doesn’t mean stifled storytelling; if anything, the shorter bursts of creativity that TypeKita champions through the chat-fiction format effectively refashion the digital novel experience, making both