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‘We’re just trying to lift everyone’s spirits‘: The #MahalAngMagmahal and #RosasSaDilim founders on why they started the parody Twitter Spaces

By Hannah Mallorca Published May 18, 2022 9:37 pm

Imagine President Rodrigo Duterte singing the campaign jingle of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan in the elections—sounds impossible, right? Or the outgoing VP herself giving love advice to brokenhearted souls—quite a stretch of the imagination, don’t you think?

A group of voice actors has been hosting back-to-back Twitter Spaces to help netizens cope with post-election stress. Titled #MahalAngMagmahal and #RosasSaDilim, these hope to bring joy to those who are grieving over the results of the May 9 polls. 

Both Twitter Spaces are hosted by Mark Angelo Roma, @AltStarMagic, and @KiyoOnate, along with impersonators of President Rodrigo Duterte, VP Leni Robredo, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, and presumptive Senator Robin Padilla.

The Spaces also includes impersonators of Kris Aquino, Ariana Grande, Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, Jessica Soho, Kuya from Pinoy Big Brother, Ogie Diaz, and Tricia Robredo, among others.

The #MahalAngMagmahal and #RosasSaDilim Twitter Spaces don’t have a specific set of topics. Instead, they open up about everything under the sun while the impersonators are free to share their thoughts—but in character. The topics range from love advice, pop culture references, coming-of-age, political discussions, and more. 

‘Pampa-good vibes lang’

Prior to launching the Spaces, Roma told PhilSTAR L!fe that the speakers “previously hosted programs” on Twitter. “We decided to come up with a program geared towards entertaining everyone by inviting our friends who impersonate several political figures.”

Roma said the topics discussed happen “simultaneously,” meaning they’re decided based on what’s trending on social media. Listeners are also free to send questions to the hosts.

“Everything we say on the air is not scripted. We strictly don’t follow a program… so apart from being crowdsourced, we depend really on the flow of the discussion from our audience and speakers,” the host added.

True enough, the speakers effortlessly alternate from hugot lines to song numbers. Roma admitted that “things happen so fast that sometimes we don’t get to control them,” adding the Spaces are meant for “pampa-good vibes lang.”

Roma also shared that the impersonators have no background in voice acting. “We noticed they sound like certain political figures so we came up with a setup where opposing political names can talk about things they don’t normally talk about in one space.”

Skywalker, Robredo’s impersonator who requested to withhold his real name for privacy, told PhilSTAR L!fe that he gets “conscious every time I speak” because he “wanted to give justice” to VP Leni.

‘We’ll continue to create content’ 

The #MahalAngMagmahal and #RosasSaDilim Spaces were originally meant to be a one-day virtual event for netizens. Eventually, the team decided to extend its duration to make listeners happy.

“We decided to give [the listeners] what they want since the purpose of that space is to uplift the spirits of listeners,” Skywalker said.

Roma also believes that Spaces, podcasts, and other digital content became popular because “people are looking for safe spaces” online.

“It's because people are sad, people are looking for safe spaces probably to distract themselves from the sad realities of life. More than that, I think people want to entertain themselves because most of us feel alone,” he said.

And it shows—the Spaces caught the attention of netizens as its May 12 episode garnered over 63,000 views.

Since the Spaces feature parodies of politicians and celebrities, Roma is aware that “not everyone will appreciate” the show. Even so, they want to produce more content to cheer people up.

“As long as we’re able to make people happy, we will continue. We mean no harm, we’re just trying to lift everyone’s spirits regardless of their political stance,” Roma said.

In case you didn't know, the #MahalAngMagmahal team also started their own podcast to bring more good vibes. Check it out here.