By Kitty Elicay
Whether he’s staging his own Pinoy Big Brother eviction night (complete with spot-on impersonations of Toni Gonzaga and Bianca Gonzalez) on Snapchat, composing his facial features on Liza Soberano’s face and posting it on Instagram, or making up his own lyrics and singing along to Zayn Malik’s “Pillow Talk” on YouTube, Allan Soriano—or more popularly known by his moniker Ate Charon—obviously doesn’t mind poking fun at himself if he can get you to double over in laughter while he’s at it. The social media star who first became popular stanning Green Archer basketball player Jeron Teng on Instagram has slowly evolved through the years and, to date, has amassed a steady following of over 100,000 on Instagram and 36,000 on Twitter clamoring for his over-the-top daily Snaps. He’s also an artist under ABS-CBN’s multi-channel network on YouTube, Chicken Pork Adobo.
Apart from being an internet darling, though, did you know that Ate Charon is also a model student (he’s taking up Digital Filmmaking at the De La Salle College of St. Benilde) and an influencer in his own right? A consistent Dean’s Lister, he’s very vocal about his opinions on politics, social issues, and current events, uncaring if his views irk some of his followers. He also proved an entertaining host at the Chalk Campus Tours in 2015! With such a vibrant, unapologetic personality, how does he keep his popularity soaring? Ate Charon breaks it down for you.
1. Be authentic. Ate Charon may be piling on the laughs for his audience, but his goal is to always show his true self. “There was a time na naging pretentious ako. Na-conscious ako sa viewers, and I was competing with other people for views. In the end, hindi na siya naging maganda,” he says. After learning his lesson, he now abides by his role model Boy Abunda’s words: “Honesty is the best brand you can offer to the viewers,” and in his advice, “Pak! Ganoin!”
2. Revel in the fame, but don’t let it go to your head. The 21-year-old isn’t afraid to admit that he feels flattered every time he gets recognized on the streets, but “I’d rather not brag about it. ’Pag napansin mo ako, thank you, pero kung hindi mo ako napapansin, okay lang din, friends pa rin tayo.”
3. Everybody’s a critic—so don’t take negative comments to heart. The self-proclaimed “social media royalty” is no stranger to social media backlash. Thankfully, he doesn’t like living in the past, so he easily lets go of the negative comments and strives to prove his bashers wrong. “Hindi mo kailangan makinig sa opinion ng society. You just have to be you,” he says. “The best comeback is your achievements. Remember that you’re just as human as everyone else, so make mistakes, learn from them, and just do better in the future.”
4. Prioritize school over social media. There are times when Ate Charon will suddenly go on a social media hiatus, particularly during important exams or while finishing big projects. “I’m very transparent to my followers—alam nila kung ano talaga ang priorities ko—at ’yun ’yung maging proud ang mother ko sa akin. That will always be first.” In his own words, “Meynteyn!”
5. Being famous ain’t all that. While the social media influencer is extremely popular now, he’s aware that everything could disappear in a blink. “I pity teenagers who think success in social media is equivalent to actual success,” he says. Instead, he urges kids to “stay in school and make your parents proud.”
Our Favorite AC Moments
If you don’t know Ate Charon yet, these videos are a good way to acquaint yourself with a good dose of happy pills.
Ate Charon meets Angel Locsin: Not just anyone gets a chance to interview their fave actress of all time, so watch what happens to AC when he meets his “twin sister”!
Nora Aunor (Ate Charon) covers Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”: When this Purpose single was playing on just about every station and Spotify playlist, Ate Charon served up a hilarious rendition. It’s only a few seconds, but it’s golden.
Ate Charon dances to Juan Miguel Severo’s spoken word poem In this twerking-meets-interpretative dancing video, you’ll see just how much AC appreciates all kinds of art! Pak!
Ate Charon transforms into Darna: In this musical.ly clip, he shows off his flawless one-take skills!
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Image by Rxandy Capinpin. Grooming Hannah Pechon of Shu Uemura. Special thanks to Karen Tumbali of Chicken Pork Adobo.