MANILA, Philippines – Unless you've been living under a rock or have thus far refused to succumb to the world of social media, you're likely already familiar with internet sensation Dante Gulapa.
He first became famous on social media after posting a video of himself dancing rather provocatively. The video, as expected, went viral. It's since been the stuff of memes, with users superimposing different songs to Dante's dance movies.
But beyond the virality and memes, who is Dante Gulapa?
1. He started as a macho dancer. In an interview on Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, Gulapa said financial woes ultimately pushed him to dance.
"Hindi po ako nahiya na ganun, kasi wala naman po akong ginagawa...nagsayaw lang naman ako at alam ko naman kung ano ang bawal at hindi," he said.
(I'm not ashamed of what I did because I didn't do anything wrong... I just danced and I always knew what I could and could not do.)
"Nabaon po kasi kami sa utang. Talagang na ano po kami...talaga wala po kami makuhanan ng pagkain, pati po pagbayad sa bahay at tubig, ilaw," he added as he tried to control his emotions.
(We were in debt. And we didn't know where to get money for food, to pay for the house, water, electricity.)
On top of dancing, he also took on different odd jobs – from selling longganisa and pawning cellphones and motorcycles, among other things.
2. His wife was against that viral video. In the same interview, Gulapa's wife Emilyn said that she wasn't exactly a fan of his dance movies.
"Yung mga ginagawa niya na iyan, against talaga ako. Number one, puro babae ang mga anak ko kasi," Emilyn said.
(I was against that dance. First of all, all our kids are girls.)
She said she was surprised by how popular Dante and the video became. She later relented and just told him to do what he wants.
3. He was once known as "Master Daigo." In an interview with YouTuber Senpai Kazu, Gulapa said that earned the monicker "Master Daigo" during his dancing days.
"Kasi nung nag-apply ako sa Timog, may nilalaro ako sa PlayStation na Daigo, tapos yung DJ namin...dahil malupit nga ako magsayaw eh...tapos hanggang sa nabansagan na nga ako Master Daigo dahil sobra akong erotic mag-show."
(I was applying for a job in Timog and I was playing this game on the PlayStation. And the DJ eventually called me Master Diago because I was so good at dancing and putting on an erotic show.)
4. He performed at Rakrakan Festival. Dante got to perform live with Tanya Markova during the Rakrakan Festival last March 1.
The organizers of the festival posted a video of him and the group.
He featured in a video with comedian Jun Sabayton.
View this post on Instagram Cultural Dance Lessons #NowShooting @gulapasantosdante #SabayLapa A post shared by jun sabayton (@sabaytones) on Feb 28, 2019 at 1:57am PST
5. Of course, he has a group of devoted fans – the Gulapanatics.
Some of them have paid tribute to the viral sensation through art.
During an appearance on News 5, Gulapa reminded fans – especially the younger ones – to finish school. "Okay lang po na idolin n'yo ako pero mas priority ninyo yung pag-aaral ninyo [dahil] para sa inyo iyan."
(You can look up to me but always make your studies a priority. That's for your own good.) –Rappler.com