The popular video-sharing app TikTok has uncovered the hidden talents of many of its countless users.
And over the past few months, during the pandemic, more stars have been discovered.
Among them is Ryniel "Nel" Pineda, a 33-year-old security guard from Butuan City.
Nel instantly achieved social media star status after doing several dance challenges on the app.
Nel created his TikTok account in April. The first video he uploaded wasn't even a dance video. He posted an acting challenge, and to his surprise it received several likes.
Now, Nel has more than 530,000 followers on the app and has received 4.4 million likes for his videos.
Nel recently went viral after a dance video he was filming was uploaded on October 6 by Facebook user Matet Gerona.
The video now has more than two million views.
Prior to the deluge of likes on social media, Nel had shown his dance moves on several GMA-7 show,s such as Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho and Unang Hirit. He was also interviewed by CNN Philippines.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via phone call last Wednesday, October 7, Nel said he never expected to have this many followers.
He said, "Sa mga nag-viral kong video ngayon, Sir, talagang hindi ko inaakala dahil yun po, na marami na pala akong napasayang tao dun sa video na yun."
Good non po gys.. Medyo napasabak sa bakbakan po. ##foryoupage.? LAFFY TAFFY COLIN HENNERZ REMIX - ????COLIN HENRY????
Nel said he made a TikTok account to stay awake while on duty as a security guard at a clinic in Butuan City.
He recalled, "Naisipan ko gumawa ng account sa TikTok kasi nami-miss ko po yung pagsasayaw.
"Maski sa TikTok, at least man lang makapagsayaw ako, makapag-exercise, at maka-share po talent ko po sa pagsasayaw."
Napasabak na nman sa bakbakan ata????????????? Se Acabó la Cuarentena - Jowell & Randy & Kiko El Crazy
To be sure, Nel clarified he does his videos only during his break and after work.
He said, "Yun yung gingawa ko sir, pag break time ko or pagpa-off duty ako.
"Pampawala ng antok, pampawala ng problema.
Lahat ng problema nawawala kapag nagti-TikTok ako, dahil marami pong nasisiyahan kasi."
TALENT FOR DANCING
Nel was a dancer and chorographer for 10 years in his hometown in Cebu before he became a security guard.
He shared, "Dati kasi kinahiligan ko talaga yung pagsasayaw.
"At saka sa amin sa Cebu po, meron po talaga akong grupo, at saka isa po akong choreographer din sa isang restobar. Sumasali din po kami ng mga dance contest.
"Yung pagko-choreographer ko, bali yun yung ginagawa kong sideline na mga nagpapaturo ng cheerdance, mga modern. Puwede ako mag-D.I."
He continued to relate that work prompted him and his wife, Juvilyn Pineda, to move to Butuan City.
"Dito muna kami naninirahan sa Butuan dahil ang asawa ko kasi taga-Surigao. Nangungupahan kami dito sa Butuan.
"At saka sa hirap ng buhay, walang ibang mapasukang trabaho, nag-security guard muna ako. At ngayon, patuloy sa pagse-security guard."
At the end of the interview, Nel thanked his followers for their continued support over the past few months.
He said, "Keep safe po kayo palagi, lalung-lalo na po kasi pandemic. Maraming salamat po sa suporta na hanggang ngayon po, hindi po kayo nagsasawa.
"Sana tuluy-tuloy lang po ang pagsusuporta at saka taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa inyo.
"Siguro kung wala kayo, hindi rin po ako nakarating sa ganito na nakikilala ako sa karamihan."