MANILA, Philippines – April 9 was a confusing day for the internet as Ethel Booba’s Twitter account – a pillar of woke Twitter – was taken down after being disowned by the comedian herself, leaving her 1.6 million followers baffled.
Considering that Ethel, whose real name is Ethyl Gabison, has been known for this Twitter account for years, this latest development is a real head-scratcher.
Twitter has a lot of theories on why Ethel suddenly turned around and washed her hands of the account, which has never been afraid to get political and call out public officials when needed. Until the comedian herself gives us an explanation, perhaps we’ll never know for sure.
But to help make some sense of it, here’s a timeline of how Ethel Booba – or whoever it was tweeting from her account – rose to Twitter stardom.
According to the bio of her now-deleted account, Ethel joined Twitter in January 2012. At the time, she was already a well-known comedian, and appeared on TV quite often. But social media brought her comedy to a wider audience.
Over the next few years, Ethel would tweet about everything under the sun, always adding her signature statement to the end of each tweet: “Charot! (Joke!)” Through a combination of relatable quips on the pitfalls of love, to unapologetic burns of public officials, to brazen commentary on touchy political issues such as the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and political dynasties, Ethel quickly became Twitter royalty.
By 2016, Ethel was already a Twitter mainstay – and in August of that year, she announced – without “charot” – that she would be releasing a book called #Charotism: The Wit and Wisdom of Ethel Booba.
In October of the same year, her account already had close to 300,000 followers. In an interview with Boy Abunda, she talked about being a Twitter star and confirmed that she was “of course” the person behind the viral tweets.
By July 2018, her Twitter had ammassed 1.3 million followers, according to a segment on ABS-CBN’s Pareng Partners. In an interview with the show’s host Anthony Taberna, she shared that she wanted to make people think with her tweets – and that she would even ask some of her friends to translate her tweets to English if she needed to.
“Bawat opinyon ko, pinag-iisipan atsaka bine-brainstorm (Each of my opinions are well thought-out and brainstormed),” she laughed. At the time, she teased that a second book based on her tweets would be coming out.
Ethel revealed in November 2019 that she had a social media consultant who edits most of her tweets before she posts.
“Sa panahon ngayon ‘di na basta-basta puwede magbitaw ng salita sa social media dahil matatalino ang mga tao dito, ako lang ang ‘di pa sure. Charot! (These days one cannot simply say whatever they want on social media because people are smart here. I’m the only one who isn’t sure. Joke!)” she said.
In another interview on It’s Showtime, she also said she had “admin” who helped man the account, and that they held meetings to discuss her tweets.
What in the world is happening? On April 9, Ethel disowned her Twitter, posting a screenshot of it on her Instagram account (which is linked on her vlog), saying “Beware of this FAKE! twitter!”
The internet is still scratching their heads, especially since she has spoken up about owning the Twitter account many times in various interviews, and even posted a photo of her first child on it in February, right after giving birth.
Recently, the account dished out commentary on the issue of Mocha Uson calling Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto “pabebe,” saying it was better to be “pabebe (cute)” than “pabobo (dumb).”
“Social media distancing talaga kailangan nila (They really need social media distancing),” the account tweeted.
Considering her latest post on Instagram, perhaps that’s what Ethel herself has decided to do. – Rappler.com
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