Lost in Representation: A Narrative Analysis on Travel-Related User-Generated Videos of the Philippines

Poblete, E.G. (2018). Lost in Representation: A Narrative Analysis on Travel-Related User-Generated Videos of the Philippines, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.


This study investigates how tourists present themselves in their self-made travel videos, specifically those set in the Philippines. The portrayals of a hero and the ideologies of Orientalism were the criteria of examination for this research. The videos were analyzed by viewing them as narratives of the travelers to discover how they chose to construct their experiences through visual representations.

The research has three main objectives, namely to (1) identify the different stages of The Hero's Journey in their videos, (2) determine the interrelations of the narrative elements presented by the creator of the video, and to (3) analyze these representations for Orientalist ideals among the tourists. Situated in the context of the Philippines, this study determines the role of the ideologies of Orientalism by Edward Said in the traveler's representations as well as examines whether this dynamic between tourists and Filipinos has an effect on their tourist experience.

With the use of Christopher Vogler's archetype of The Hero's Journey as its framework, this research examines travel-related user-generated videos through a narrative analysis. The sample chosen is 21 travel videos of the Philippines by self-identified tourists uploaded on YouTube. It delves into the production aspects, characters, setting, plot, and dialogues of the video to see how they interplay with one another. The study concludes that travel experiences in the Philippines do not exhibit transformation, thus produces no hero in the journey. However, some instances show travelers portraying themselves as a savior to the locals.

Keywords: The Hero's Journey, user-generated videos, travel, Orientalism

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