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Pinoy Kid's K-Pop Dance Video Goes Viral After He Nails Momoland's Dance Moves
PHOTO BY courtesy of Sally Manuel
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Whether you’re familiar with the songs or if you’ve only heard it the first time, there’s no denying Korean pop (or “K-pop”) songs have catchy tempos. It doesn't matter if you can’t understand the lyrics — you can dance to it anyway because each song also has a signature dance move. And kids just love it.

    So, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of viral videos out there that showcase kids dancing along to popular K-pop tunes. But there’s one in particular that caught our eye: a video of Filipino preschool students dancing to “Boom Boom” by girl group Momoland — and one boy absolutely nailed all the moves and stole the show!

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    Llyam with his mom, Sally.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Sally Manuel

    The boy in the video is Llyam Augustine Manuel, a 4-year-old boy from Iloilo City. In an interview via our Facebook Messenger, Llyam’s mom, Sally Esmedio Manuel, tells us that her son had already loved dancing since he was over a year old. But they didn’t pay it much attention until they saw him dance in a fast food restaurant when he was 2 years old.

    “Tumutugtog ‘yung music sa loob ng store at ayun, sumayaw siya. Nakatapos siya ng dalawang songs at gumawa ng sarili niyang steps (there was music inside the restaurant and he ended up making up his own movesto two songs),” the mom of two shared.

    It turns out Llyam’s former yaya loved watching dance covers on YouTube, including that of actress Ella Cruz, who would often do dance covers of trending K-pop songs. Llyam would follow the moves and memorize them.

    Makarinig lang ng music, sasayaw na siya (he will dance when he hears music),” shares Sally who, like any proud mom these days, would upload the videos on her personal Facebook account.

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    A boy and his dance moves go viral

    People loved the videos, but it wasn’t until Llyam’s teacher, Joanna Sobremisana, uploaded the video above that Llyam became overnight sensation, so to speak, with the local news featuring him!

    The performance that went viral wasn’t even a school event, according to Sally. The kids were waiting for their sundo (hey, kids get bored easily).

    The video, which was uploaded last September 2018, has been viewed 29 million times, has gotten over 93,000 comments, 207 thousand reactions and has been shared over 528,000 times! Many of the commenters found Llyam “adorable” and marveled at his “extra” movements.

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    No to kid-shaming

    Despite the overall positive response, some people still had not-so-nice comments for the child with many pointing a finger on his “feminine movements.” 

    “Sasabihin nila, ‘Bata pa lang, alam na,’ at bakit raw tinuturo sa school ang kabadingan (they would comment about him being gay at a young age and why does the school teach it),” Sally shared. “’Yung iba very foul. Sabihin ba naman, sigurado paglaki ni Llyam, manikurista ng mga pulis (the others had very foul comments. They would even say that when Llyam grows up he will become a manicurist for the police).”

    What's with the police reference? Sally and her husband, Manny, are both police officers. Sally is a superintendent while her husband is a chief inspector.

    Sally admits seeing those negative comments hurt a lot at first, but later on she realized that she shouldn’t waste her energy on the naysayers. “Kami ang nakakakilala sa anak namin hindi sila (we know who our child is — they don't),” she shared.

    “Mabait, malambing, at matulungin sa gawaing bahay (kind, affectionate and helpful)” is how Sally describes her son.

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    Llyam with his mom Sally, dad Manny, and older brother Zeke.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Sally Manuel

    And Llyam has nothing to worry about because his number one fan and protector is none other than his dad. In one of the videos, Manny lovingly wipes Llyam’s sweat and encourages his son to continue dancing, proof that he supports Llyam’s passion all the way.

    “Love na love niya ang anak niya. Wala raw silang pakialam kung ano ang gusto at hilig ng anak namin,” Sally shared.

    “Siya ang nag-sabi sa akin na huwag akong pumatol sa mga nag-co-comment ng negative. Sabi niya, ‘hayaan mo lang sila kasi inupload mo ‘yan, tanggapin mo kung ano man ang comment nila.”

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    Llyam's smile is enough to cheer anyone up!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Sally Manuel

    Besides, Sally’s intent when she shared the video was to spread “good vibes” through her son’s boundless energy. And it’s true — just seeing him is enough to put a smile on your face!

    Sally won’t stop uploading videos, lthough she says it’s on pause for now because there are no new dance crazes. And Llyam is busy being an outstanding in nursery student. He wants to be a policeman just like his parents.

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