Today I Learned: How Foodpanda Riders Went Viral on TikTok

Where's the magic?
Photo/s: Courtesy of SPC Dancing Riders

Jomak Peladra has been dancing professionally before he embraced TikTok as a foodpanda rider and filled his feed with dance challenges for months. It was not until his "Ever After" dance with fellow riders and a McDonald's manager did he become a viral star, with five million views and counting for that single clip in less than a week.

At five million views, the 30-second clip has run on FYP feeds for a cumulative total of 150 million seconds or 2.5 million minutes. That's like playing the three-hour "Avengers: Endgame" nearly 14,000 times. Or you can play it on loop non-stop for 1,736 days (there's 1,440 minutes in a day).

The magic is in the chroreography that makes viewers want to dance, throwback music and that Gen flair, said top food influencer MasarapBa. "Umabot ako sa point na inaral ko yung steps kasi parang gusto ko rin sumali," the incognito critic told reportr.

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"Nakakaaliw yung fact na kahit nasa crisis tayo, they still manage to have fun and express creativity. To think na ang hirap ng work nila ah. Tas game na game pa si madam manager. NakakaaliwThirty seconds of much needed escape from reality," MasarapBa said.

The SPC Dancing Riders (named after their base, San Pablo City) was lucky the McDonald's branch manager, Roselle Ann Cosico, is a dancer too and needed just two practice rounds before filming on her way out from work.

"Masasabi lang po namin is saludo po kami sa lahat ng delivery riders na katulad namin na nagsasakripisyo at handang magbigay serbisyo sa gitna ng pandemyang ito," Peladra told reportr.

In the comments section, it's confirmed: the happy dance was an escape. Laguna, where the SPC Dancing Riders is based, is part of a quarantine bubble that restricts the movement of 24 million people.

People miss eating out, grabbing a snack with friends, dancing with friends, basically just being out of the house.

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Just like other quarantined Filipinos, Peladra and fellow deliver riders Vincent Atienza (former theme park performer in Hong Kong), Phoker Caravana (ex-account officer), Jim Latade (ex-barista and dancer), Andro Trinidad (ex-barista), and Angelito Mañores (former freelance dancer) found an outlet for their creativity on TikTok during dead hours for foodpanda orders.

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The SPC Dancing Riders' TikTok got their breakthrough in March, 2.5 million views for their dance outside a KFC branch in San Pablo. Their followers noticed the group's knack for choreography and blocking.

Since then, followers regularly send their collab requests, until the McDonald's video with close to five million views over the weekend.

"Bale nag-request po sila na mag-collab kami and napasali namin po si Ma'am dahil out na din po siya sa work that time," Peladra said.

"Wala po sa isip namin na magvi-viral siya, sobrang gulat po ako pag-upload ko po nung video, two minutes pa lang po, 10,000 views na siya agad."

When netizens called for an encore, they made another video at the same branch: this time, with the crew members.

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