Latest Stories

How to avoid being ‘friend-zoned’

Self-proclaimed ‘Internet action star’ Ramon Bautista dishes hilarious advice for the lovelorn on new YouTube show

By ,


“There’s more to life than love.”

These words would probably be the most refreshing insight to the brokenhearted, coming from the YouTube show “Tales from the Friend Zone” (TFTFZ), which stars all-around funny guy Ramon Bautista.

The TV host, radio DJ, and self-proclaimed “Internet action star,” has been making waves on the relationship advice scene—aside from answering questions on love and lovelorn on his Formspring (the Most Smiled account of 2011), TFTFZ has become popular for its tips on how to avoid being “friend-zoned.”

Of course, being the comic that he is, Ramon dishes out equally hilarious (although somewhat effective) advice. On Formspring, one person asked, “Sir Ramon, dapat ko po bang sabihin sa BFF ko na in-love ako sa kanya kaysa itago ko na lang?” (Sir Ramon, should I tell my BFF that I am in love with him, or just keep it to myself?)

Ramon’s reply: “Itago mo at maging malandi ka sa kanya para siya unang magsabi ng ‘I love you’ <3” (Just keep it to yourself but flirt with him so he will be the first one to say ‘I love you.’)

TFTFZ focuses more on how people can avoid the friend zone (a relationship in which one person is in love with the other, but the other isn’t and just considers him/her as a friend). Actors reenact real-life stories of “friend-zonees,” and at the end, Ramon analyzes the situation and gives his tips, sometimes through a diagram or “methods” like “preemptive supalpal” and “counter preemptive supalpal.” (See sidebar.)

Inquirer Super got the chance to ask Ramon our own questions on love, the friend zone, and what keeps this “next boyfriend material” (another self-proclaimed title) busy:

Apart from being a self-proclaimed “Internet action star,” what else do you do?

I teach at UP. I join “Boys Night Out” once a week on Manyak Mondays (on FM radio station Magic 89.9), and I’m writing the follow-up to “Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo.”


Are you strict with your students?

I’m not really sure if I’m strict or not with my students. You should ask them.


You seem to have a natural flair for comedy. Are you really humorous in person? Are there any comedians you look up to?

Thank you. A lot of people tell me that. I think I’m a pretty serious person. Maybe I’m just funny-looking or they find the way I say things humorous. I think Rowan Atkinson is very funny. My local comedic heroes are Tito, Vic and Joey, Rene Requiestas and Michael V. Also Babalu and Panchito and, of course, the king of comedy, Dolphy.

What do you think of the “friend-zone”? Is it just a recent phenomenon? Is it so bad that people must get out of it?

It’s a fairly new term but people have been friend-zoned for generations. I think it’s better than being outright rejected without having the privilege of staying within communicating distance. It’s just embarrassing because, oftentimes, there’s a certain consolation involved—people getting too nice to completely kick out of their lives the others they rejected.


How can we really avoid being friend-zoned?

Don’t declare your romantic feelings. Otherwise, you can’t really avoid it. The best you can do is to lessen your chances of getting friend-zoned. Just be an amazing person and make it hard for your crush to reject you.


What can you say about the dating scene nowadays?

“DON’T be a soldier of love. Just work and contribute to the Philippine economy.” PHOTO TAKEN FROM RAMON BAUTISTA’S FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM

There are more channels to express landian because of social media. I don’t think there were smileys being exchanged over Twitter during my Lola’s era.

You have given some tips or “methods” for “moving on” in your Formspring. Care to share one?

Umeerna sa rim method: Just imagine your crush with his/her feet on the rim of the toilet bowl while taking a number two. That’s an instant turnoff.

How did you come up with TFTFZ?

RA Rivera and I found that so many people obsessed with finding love end up in the friend zone. We decided to make a show dedicated to them. Instead of turning to bladed objects and jumping off tall buildings to cope with after-rejection depression, we give them the option of just laughing at themselves and learning in retrospect from what happened.

Where do you get your actors for TFTFZ? Do they get paid?

The actors for TFTFZ are our talents from the Pasisikatin Kita Hija Foundation. These are our friends who support us and believe in our cause. Some volunteer in a desperate attempt to gain popularity on the Internet. We pay them with love, friendship and a T-shirt.

How long does it take to shoot an episode of TFTFZ?

Shooting takes around a day on the average. It’s the editing that takes a lot of time. People don’t know how hard it is to make a TFTFZ [episode]. RA and I do it for fun and love.

Do all your material for TFTFZ come from your Formspring? Or do you have other sources?

INSTEAD of bluntly rejecting someone, Ramon advises tomake use of the “preemptive supalpal”method. PHOTO TAKEN FROM RAMON BAUTISTA’S FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM

Yes, but sometimes, friends personally e-mail their letters to be made into a TFTFZ [episode]. If we find them concise, interesting and unique, we select them.

You always end your show by saying, “There is more to life than love.” Can you give some tips for people who want a meaningful life, regardless if they are single or in a relationship?

That quote is self-explanatory. It’s a big world out there. You have to find yourself and grow, and becoming too obsessed about finding romantic fulfillment could be stagnating you. A meaningful life is relative, so you better find what that meaning is for yourself. We all have to keep looking and moving.


Do you consider yourself a love guru, now that people turn to you for relationship advice?

I’m not really an expert, but I’m accessible. They can reach me on Formspring, so I’m like a friend they can talk to and give them straight answers.

What are your best tips to guys who want to become “soldiers of love”?

Don’t be a soldier of love. You will get hurt. Just work and contribute to the Philippine economy.

Any message for those who aren’t looking forward to Valentine’s Day?

Okay ’yan. Isipin niyo na lang na sa hindi niyo pagbili ng flowers, chocolates at hindi pag check-in sa motel, nakatipid kayo.

Visit the Ramon Bautista “Internet Love Trapezoid”: formspring.me/ramonbautista, ramonbautista.tumblr.com, twitter.com/ramonbautista, instagram.com/ramonbautista

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Internet action star , Ramon Bautista , Social Networking

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  7. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  10. Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Saudi Arabia reports 3 more deaths from MERS virus
  • Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
  • Napoles to have surgery on Tuesday – report
  • Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy
  • Sports

  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months