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The art of the Davao ‘conyo’

/ 05:04 AM January 14, 2018

Phillip Te Hernandez —Jesse Pizarro Boga

Phillip Te Hernandez has a distinct sense of humor that easily catches fire online—his comedic takes on life and its unnoticed quirks are random yet relatable. (“Pak, ganda ng bahay—daming tiles!”)

“Siguro what sets my videos apart from everything else is I’m not afraid to make fun of myself. Kaya siguro mas swabe yung dating ng videos hindi pilit,” the 26-year-old virtual assistant from Davao said.

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Phillip is behind the dubbed video clips that made rounds in social media lately. He did scenes from “Four Sisters and a Wedding,” “Wildflower,” “Labs Kita, Okay ka lang?,” an MTRCB Ad Campaign, and very recently, the kidnapping scene from Liam Neeson’s “Taken.”

Wit and creativity

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Each is gaining traction thanks to his impeccable wit and creativity. His kind of fun is rooted in common realities experienced across households and barkadas.

“Like ’yung diet na laging naca-cancel, ’yung ’di pagsunod sa wishlist, ’yung mga Pyrex at Tupperware ng nanay natin na dapat alagaan. Mga ganon,” he said.

As a result, the kind of local content that he produces also tickles those who are not from Davao.

“Siguro sa start, lucky lang talaga siguro ako kasi I have tons of friends from Facebook na nakaka-relate sa Davao conyo,” he said.

He uses Davao conyo in most of his videos for added hilarity—it is fuel for instant LOLs and social media engagement. He describes this type of code switching to be comprised by 80 percent Tagalog and 20 percent Bisaya. Non-Bisaya speakers understand his videos, too! At least to an extent.

“There are also people asking me to translate certain dialogues in the comments section. If I bump into these comments, sinasagot ko naman. Pero mostly, they get it naman,” he said.

Aside from the videos, Phillip’s Facebook is filled with a bunch of other stuff that crack up his followers: from witty status updates, to shareable memes, and, ultimately, more random thoughts on the things around him.

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In this interview, Phillip talks about his early days with social media, how he feels about going viral, why he loves his mom, and why people should never forget to laugh every so often.

Philip’s “Taken” dubs screenshot

How did you get into making videos?

I’ve always been a fan of Ryan Higa and he was one of the YouTubers that inspired me to start a channel/release content. Amazing ’yung kaya niyang magpatawa without making funny faces or doing funny things? He relies on playing with a person’s train of thought lang talaga and ayun nga, he’s very unpredictable and smart. Instagram gave me easy access to uploading content via 15-second clips, too.

When was your earliest encounter with a camera? What did you film?

The first legit video content that I was a part of was back in 2013. My partner and I had a YouTube channel (The XD Channel) and we shot our first episode, “Types of Friends.” We had a few more episodes after the first one: “Social Climbing 101,” “Sibling Rivalry” and “Job Interview Fail.” Sadly, we broke up and decided to take down the channel. Forward to 2017, I started a vlog again but then sharing my activities via YT did not really tickle my fancy so I tried doing short parodies again in Facebook and I’m really happy that it gained traction. Since then, I’ve been uploading content through my Facebook.

Have you always been “that funny guy”?

Naiinis akong ma-stereotype ng ganyan but yes, being funny comes naturally to me—so tuloy nafi-feel ko na responsibility ko na. Kasi even if I’m alone minsan, natatawa ako sa sarili kong thoughts. Creepy ba?

How did you first go viral in Facebook?

My first Facebook video wasn’t a dubbed film. It was a video of me translating a viral video of this Visayan woman being interviewed. Throughout the parody I spoke using Davao conyo. It was really just for fun and I never expected that a lot of people could relate to the language. The video had 2,000 shares.

After that, I attempted to film myself again copying a scene from “Four Sisters and A Wedding” but I realized I can’t do justice in portraying it. So I decided to screen record the scene na lang and dub it with Davao conyo. That was my first video to hit one million views; people said they want more, so it just went on from there.

Viral videos

How do you feel about your videos going viral and gaining a million views?

Parang nakukulangang ako. Charot. Kinikilig ako talaga! I mean, I’ve always surrounded myself with people who are funny because it’s always a good feeling to laugh with friends. (I also meet earn a lot of new friends from the comment section. LOL)

What are your creative prompts? What are you usually doing when ideas hit you?

Usually when I talk to friends talaga or when I’m alone. When I talk to my friends kasi I’m naturally madaldal and I always (unconsciously) come up with funny things to say. When I’m alone naman, I like to amuse myself by thinking of random things that often surprise people.

Like one time pauwi ako then dumaan ang taxi sa isang bahay na may mga manok (’yung buhay ha!) tapos naisip ko bigla, “Hala ang mga manok kahit kinakain natin sila ginigising pa rin nila tayo sa umaga.”

I believe that creativity should not be rushed. I make sure na I’m satisfied with what I upload. A two-minute video dub, for instance, usually takes me a week to finish.

Have you ever been reprimanded for some of the content that you produced? How did you deal with it?

I took down a “Taga sa’n ka?” parody kasi may na offend. I put a twist in the video where nagalit ’yung nagtanong kasi seryoso pala siya: I portrayed him as someone from this famous local food delivery in Davao. After the video was uploaded, one person messaged me na parang attack daw ’yun sa  business nila. So, ayun lesson learned for me tapos ti-nake down ko na lang.

Tell us more about your soft spot for moms. Why do moms rock?

I have a soft spot for moms kasi mommy’s boy talaga ako. Iba talaga ’yung feeling ’pag galing sa isang mom ’yung comment/compliment on my video—like minsan nagiging emotional ako. Siguro factor na rin ’yung generation gap between me and my mom na parang minsan mahirap makuha yung kiliti nila.

Share a funny moment with your mom.

Minsan napapataas ng kilay si mommy ’pag may inu-upload ako sa Facebook tapos makikita niya. She’d ask, “Bakit ganito?” or “Bakit mo ’to sinabi?” to the point na I blocked her sa Facebook. Haha!

When my videos went viral, tuwang tuwa ’yung mga kasama niya sa work tapos siguro d’un niya na realize na talented ako and may kwenta naman talaga. Charot! Pero seryoso, d’un nag start yung dahan dahan niya na akong nage-gets. So ayun friends na kami ulit sa Facebook. Critic and consultant ko na din sya.

What’s your dream video? And whom do you wish to collaborate with to make it happen?

Tough one! To be honest kasi I’d rather stay behind cam than being in front. Hindi ako super comfortable na nagpapatawa sa video kasi naco-conscious ako talaga. I really want to try scriptwriting though! I am more of creative kasi than entertaining so ayun. I also have this dream na maging part ng morning show! Haha! Peg ko talaga si Atom Araullo and Robbie Domingo. Dream collab? With Miss Kris Aquino, of course!

Which video blogger do you look up to?

I’m currently addicted to Alex Gonzaga’s vlog! I wish I could be more like her, fast and witty!

What’s a funny gift that you received last Christmas? Did your Santa follow your wishlist?

OMG, parang ’di ko kaya i-reveal baka ma-hurt siya! Pero one thing’s for sure, walang saksakan na naganap. Subtle hatred lang. Charot!

What are your Shopee habits?

’Yung ’pag wala kang pera or ’pag wala ka naman talagang plano bumili pero gusto mo lang mag-mall? Ganon rin ako sa Shopee minsan! Nag-o-online window shopping! Most of the time, puros phone casing lang naman binibili ko or accessories tapos I love the cash on delivery part! Iwas traffic, iwas stress!

Why is laughter important?

Laughter is important kasi it makes you feel alive. Ang tawa kasi is libre tapos alam mong walang kapalit. Tumawa ka lang, naging happy ka. ’Yun na ’yun. Hindi complicated.

Visit www.facebook.com/ phillipthernandez/videos.

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TAGS: Davao ‘conyo’, Phillip Te Hernandez, Super
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