Ever heard of Petra Mahalimuyak?
She’s a YouTube discovery whose account—at press time—already has 55,248 subscribers and 10,368,874 views.
“Hindi ko talaga in-expect, like I said, na magiging sikat or si Petra or whatever,” she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the Eastwood Citywalk 2 branch opening of Goodah.
She didn’t expect either that the Internet would be her ticket to fame.
Initially, she gave television a try as an “extra,” and went to a lot of “auditions.”
Petra continued, “I’ve been through all that… I really wanted to be in the industry.”
But all her efforts had been futile.
The lady whose name in real life is Ashley Rivera related, “Ayaw, e, parang kahit anong audition, parang pinipilit ko [ang] sarili ko, so, video lang ako…”
She made the decision to upload her videos in 2010.
Smiling, the how-to guru said, “Bibo kasi ako like, you know… Wala lang, para malagay ko sa YouTube… for everyone to see my talent.”
PETRA HAS ARRIVED. It didn’t take long before the Netizens began talking about her parodies and the many things she can do.
The good thing about her medium: “May variety siya… I also dance and sing a little bit there.
“So I show different kinds of characters— it can be a ghost, yung video ko, [‘tapos] iba naman, drama.
“Parang pinapakita ko na kaya kong lahat.”
But it was her knack for making the people laugh that stood out.
“Hindi ko rin inasahan yun na matatawa sila, na sa comedy pala ako sisikat at yung pag-spoof,” the Las Vegas-based Pinay remarked.
One of the people who got curious about her was Dra. Vicki Belo. Has she met her in person?
Her reply: “No, I want to see her talaga.
“Kasi, ah, no joke, may isa akong video, beauty queen tutorial…
“E, napansin ko sa kanya, laging ganito siya mag-smile…”
Petra did an “open mouth” smile.
She added, “Laging ganyan, kaya sabi ko, Vicky Belo na smile…
“So parang I think nakadating sa kanya yun, e.
“So sabi ko, ‘My god, gusto ko siyang ma-meet kasi… I don’t know, hindi naman sa bina-balewala ko, wala lang gusto ko lang sabihin… Wala, ganun talaga siya mag-smile, e.
“So, ayun lang, baka gusto niya ‘ko pagandahin or whatever, mga ganyan…”
Given that she officially joined VIVA’s roster of talents last month, she’s really bound to meet the beauty doctor.
But for now, she would like to focus on scoring endorsements, being part of the television scene, and, possibly producing a CD version of her YouTube videos.
“Sana ngayon, something drama naman,” she threw in.
Has she thought of inviting guests to her online shows?
She answered with a laugh, “Gusto ko si Xian Lim”—who happens to be her “crush.”
Then, suddenly remembering that the quality of her videos matter to her, she added, “Why not? O, pero puwede bang sample?”
What if she’ll be invited to star in the young actor’s movie?
Still laughing, she replied, “Ok lang, well, maghihintay ako.”
PETRA’S “HOW-TO-BE-A-STAR” ADVICE. It may seem easy to produce videos but Petra said it usually takes her “five to six hours” to finish a material.
And one important requirement before she uploads, it shouldn’t be “nakakasawa” or “nakakaumay.”
What advice can she give to whoever wants to become an Internet sensation?
“Just be yourself, ahm, 'wag kang mahiya, don’t think about people’s opinion, sa mga ano…
“Nasa sa ‘yo na ‘yan, e.
“Kung magpapaapekto ka sa mga negative comments, di mo kaya ‘yan…”
To go for what you want, she asserted, don’t be easily discouraged.
“Wala akong pinakinggan,” Ashley cut in before adding, “I’ve just been myself, so I’m here right now.”