MANILA, APRIL 2020 — Richo Bautista was always known among his peers as a funny guy, but he never imagined that his upbeat personality and creativity would make him TikTok Famous. “Ako po ay simpleng tao lang. Makulit, palabiro sa mga co-teachers ko,” Richo says, when asked to share a little bit about himself. “Teacher ako sa high school, sa public school. Jolly ako. Provider sa family.”
His claim to fame is his Kapitbahay Serye (Neighborhood Stories), which he developed together with his niece. The series features three original characters – Nanay (Mother), her daughter, Felisa, and their two-faced neighbor, Aling Nena.
“So, itong pamangkin ko nakita nya na may TikTok ako. Sabi ko, “ TikTok tayo.” Sabi nya, “Sige.”
Kaya noong February, pati ng March, gumawa kami ng video, yung Kapitbahay Serye. Nagulat kami na pumatok naman. Yung kauna-unahang ginawa namin yung nanghiram ng tabla saka palanggana, tapos dun ginamit niyang phrase, “kung sino pa yung nanghiram, siya pa yung medyo maldita. Natuwa kami kasi pumatok siya.”
[It all started when my nephew noticed that I have TikTok and I asked him to film me, and he said, okay. Back in February and March, we are already doing the Neighbourhood Series. I was surprised that it went viral. Our first video is about the neighbour who doesn’t know how to return the things she borrowed. Many can relate and it was an instant hit.]
After the successful response to his first Kapitbahay Serye post, Richo was encouraged to create more videos, this time featuring his characters in funny situations around the house. He also came up with a Quarantine Series and a Nanay vs. Anak (Mother vs. Daughter) Series.
Check out his newest video here:
What makes Richo’s TikTok videos even more entertaining and humorous is the fact that he portrays every character himself. With just a wig and a change of clothing, Richo effortlessly transforms into the different personas onscreen. His experience in theater during his college days helped him develop these characters, as well as play them.
Check another one of Richo’s funny mom and daughter scenes here:
Netizens have definitely enjoyed Richo’s one-man productions, and you can see this in how quickly his following and engagement have grown. As of April 2020, he already has 333.8K followers on TikTok. He was also recently featured on two popular TV programs, which came as a surprise to the comedy creator. He says, “Nakakatuwa. Nakakataba ng puso kasi hindi nga ako sure sa ginagawa ko eh. Parang wala lang. Nagulat nalang ako nakita ako sa Rated K pati sa [Kapuso Mo] Jessica Soho.”
[Translation: It is indeed heartwarming that I get recognized and appreciated because to be honest ,at first, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I only made these videos for fun. Then one day, I’m on Rated K and Jessica Soho.]
In these uncertain times, Richo Bautista has been able to spread joy through TikTok. He continues to receive encouraging feedback from many of his followers, including his students. “Sabi nila, nag-quarantine lang, artista ka na. Nakakasama ka lang namin sa school, nag-le-lesson tapos nakita ka na namin sa TV. Yung iba naiiyak, natutuwa, nagchachat sa akin. Sabi ko, tyaga lang talaga. Niloloko ko sila, sinasabi ko, hayaan nyo pag sumikat ako, kukunin ko kayong P.A.”
[Translation: My students said, over the quarantine, I already became famous. Before, we could only see you in the classroom, now we’re actually watching you on TV. Some are emotional and happy. I told them, it is patience and hard work. It has become an inside joke between me and my students, if I make it big and become a celebrity, you’ll all be my personal assistant.”
When asked what he wants to be known for, Richo says he wants people to see him as a simple man who creates videos that are wholesome yet memorable. That, and for Aling Nena’s famous line, “Walang ganun, mars!”