Esnyr Ranollo has made a name for himself as one of TikTok’s breakout stars thanks to his extremely relatable skits depicting mundane Pinoy school life.
As the self-described “happy go lucky” and “mood booster” of his friend group, Esnyr Ranollo has a natural talent to make people happy. But he couldn’t have imagined how many people he would be entertaining thanks to his hilarious yet oh so relatable skits about high school life on TikTok. If you have been on the app in the past few months, then you may have come across at least one of Esnyr Ranollo’s popular videos on your For You page—and that’s for a good reason.
His skits about high school life have struck a cultural nerve among hundreds of thousands of Filipinos for its all too real content. Whether it be school field trips, crushes, lining up for flag ceremony, or getting called out by your teacher, Esnyr has covered it all. And in a time of online classes, his highly relatable viral videos have brought back happy memories of what it’s like going to school. NYLON Manila recently caught up with the 19-year-old content creator to talk about his videos, his virality, and where he gets his inspiration from.
HOW ESNYR RANOLLO FOUND HIS TALENT
Bilad na bilad talaga sa araw basta ganto?♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
Esnyr says that his talent for being funny was not something he learned, but was more natural for him. “Back then, I had this feeling na parang ang saya makapag pasaya ng iba. Siguro being funny as a person comes innately.” He credits his confidence and communication skills to his time in school as a student leader. “Kasi in school, active ako sa mga extracurricular activities, especially being a student leader for almost my entire high school journey. Getting to talk to a lot of students during campaigns really helped me on how to entertain different types of people.”
If you watch any of Esnyr’s videos, you’d be amazed how well he embodies every character. But believe it or not, he doesn’t have any previous acting experience. “Hindi ako informed na magaling talaga ako. I’m still shocked getting a lot of compliments about my acting skills, but I really don’t believe it…For as long as alam ko na nagpo-portray lang talaga ako sa characters ko.”
BEGINNINGS ON TIKTOK
Tapos may soundtrip pa kayong lahat habang nasa byahe?✋?♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
In less than a year, Esnyr Ranollo has become one of TikTok’s fastest rising stars. But he admits that he actually used to bash the video-sharing app. “Dati kasi, I really thought of TikTok as a platform para magpa-cute lang or something like that,” he says. But that changed thanks to the pandemic after he got on the app and started uploading videos. It made him realize that there is more to TikTok than just being superficial. “I started TikTok and na-overwhelm ako sa mga compliments ng strangers commenting on myTikTok, kaya doon ko na-realize na parang may ibang side pala ngTikTok na naayon ako, and that’s on the entertainment side.”
He posted his first TikTok back in the first week of February, a video of him and his friends dancing together. And as if it was destined for Esnyr to be a TikTok content creator, that went viral with over a million views. The subsequent encouragement of his friends helped push him to start making more content.
Esnyr initially didn’t start posting about school content though. After experimenting with a few different video ideas, Esnyr did school-related videos. And once those clicked, that was when he realized that he found his niche. “I felt like this whole school thing is my branding and I have finally found as to where I can possibly fit in this platform.”
Sino ba kasi nagscreenshot??♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
You could say Esnyr’s TikTok videos are a recipe for success. You have the extremely relatable content, the natural talent of Esnyr, and the characters who won’t feel out of place in a real high school. Add to that the fact we are currently in the middle of a pandemic and for some, face-to-face classes are just about to start, these are videos that have the potential to go viral. And that is what happened and then some.
As of this writing, Esnyr has over 2.1 million followers and 67 million likes on TikTok. Most of his videos routinely surpass one million views and even more than a million likes. Esnyr makes that feel-good content that people need right now and the people are eating it up. His star has risen so fast that he’s even been featured on TV like It’s Showtime and TV Patrol.
He expressed that the success he’s currently experiencing feels surreal. “I’m still in the clouds thinking about the people I get to make smile every single day. All these are what keeps me going. I am forever and beyond grateful to Him for giving me this opportunity to spread optimism and to paint smiles on everyone’s faces.” When asked what he thinks makes his videos so popular, he says, “The uniqueness, effort that I put in terms of costume, props, and editing, and how natural and how accurate my scenes are.”
THE INSPIRATION FOR HIS VIDEOS
Why naman biglang namemersonal??♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
Unlike any other social media platform, TikTok has built itself to be a place where you can go viral and become internet famous by just doing about anything. So, out of all the things Esnyr could have posted on TikTok, why did he decide to focus on skits about Pinoy high school life? For him, it has to do with seeing people enjoy his videos. “Living under these darkest times recently, I want my other co-students to take a break and reminisce the happiest moments of face-to-face classes. Kasi ‘di ba, this whole online class is stressful. I want them to have hope and keep the excitement on the upcoming face-to-face soon.”
He adds that he likes doing the content that he does because of relatability. “I’m also glad seeing a lot of people, not just in my age, but older than me, na napapasaya ko sila and at the same time, napapa-miss sila sa mga memories nila dati nung highschool pa sila while seeing my videos.”
A lot of Esnyr’s videos hit close to home thanks to the fact that most of them are based on his own personal experiences. “I came from both public and private school, so I got to compare the experiences I had in the different environment.” While we sometimes assume that we have our own unique experiences in school that others can’t relate to, his videos have shown that a lot of us have in fact went through the same experiences, which is something that Esnyr wasn’t expecting. “I’m amazed na parang we all live the same life, kasi akala ko, ako lang nakaka-experience nito pero halos lahat pala tayo. I’m happy to share my story with the public and I can’t believe madami din palang same stories like mine.”
HOW ESNYR’S VIDEOS COME TO LIFE
Every may school program talaga?✋?♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
A lot of hard work goes into making Esnyr’s videos, all of which he does by himself. He explains, “The whole process usually takes three to five hours, depending on how many characters will be used and the storyline. I usually shoot it per character at a time. For example, Ashley, tapos mag-change outfit ako, then Bogart na naman and so on.” He also doesn’t write a script for his videos. “‘Yung ginagawa ko is gumagawa ako ng character na basis para sa lahat ng dialogues para alam ko where to insert this scene and that scene,” he details. Finally, he moves on to the editing process, which will take “at least one to two hours, this includes the visual effects, background music, and other technicalities.” But all that effort is worth it given how popular his videos have become.
One reason why his videos are so popular is because of the recurring characters he features in the videos. His diverse cast of characters, from Andrei, Precious, Bogart, and more, can all be easily imagined in a real-life school setting. His characters have become so popular that they even have their own cinematic universe, the Esnyr Cinematic Universe (ECU). According to Esnyr, he made his characters as the sum of his observations in school. “The panyo boy, Andrei, was my seat mate in senior high school. The love team, Ashley and Bogart, were my classmates in junior high, which is mag ex talaga. Precious, also known as the teacher’s pet daw, is also part of my experience.”
So, out of all the characters he has played, who is Esnyr’s favorite? “Andrei, kasi feeling ko ang universal niya. ‘Yung tipong sambayanang classmate talaga.” As of now though, there isn’t a character he fully relates to since he has yet to play a class clown. “Pero if magkakaroon man, I’ll be that person.” His favorite video he’s done so far, meanwhile, is the one where he plays a boy group dancing in front of the entire school. “Shooting that video was fun lang talaga. Hindi ako nakaramdam ng pagod mag change ng characters kasi nae-excite ako while sumasayaw and nag-a-act.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ESNYR RANOLLO
Baka nangangailangan lang talaga?♬ original sound – Esnyr Ranollo
Continuing to make videos, Esnyr is grateful for his recent success. Aside from continuing to make content, he says that he would like to work with fellow creator, Sassa Gurl. “People always ask for ‘Sassa x Esnyr’ collaboration, and personally, I really am looking forward to it also. I think na mag-click kami ni Mima kasi parang in-line din ‘yung contents namin. Sassa is also one of the main reasons why I’m inspired and motivated to shoot content.”
But Esnyr doesn’t see himself pursuing content creation as a full-time career. The 19-year-old engineering student has other plans in mind, and that’s school. “I have my priorities in life, and that’s my academics. I am an engineering student and I can see myself being an engineer someday, as well as making other people happy.” But he adds, “Siguro grab lang ng opportunities hangga’t sa makakaya, and as long as may time management. Honestly, I don’t know what doors may open sa daan ko sa buhay, pero go with the flow lang and continue to sail where the sea of life may take me.”
Finally, for all those aspiring content creators hoping to make it big, Esnyr wants them to know that what brings you success is what makes you happy. “If it’s your passion, you must work hard for it. Please do know that everyone has their own time, and you will find yours in the future. Stay pure and authentic as you can be. As long as you are not problematic, and you keep doing you, everything will pay off and everyone will start to love you, one step at a time. Padayon, aspiring content creator!”
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