You’d have thought going viral entailed a lot of work—creating a vid or shooting a photo that would tickle the fancy of the legions on social media to get the staggering number of engagements. But in the case of one Senyor Arturo Teodoro Villareal, all it took was a single comment on the Philippine Star’s Facebook post about the P65.7 million Lotto winner from Isabela to spark viral madness:
From the get-go, it seemed like the guy knew the winner—who else but Ma’am Isabela Bettor! Eagle-eyed netizens latched onto the comment and shared the screenshot to virality, with the general theme of, “what a nutcase! He actually thought Isabela bettor was a person!”
Us? We were trained to verify facts.
So first thing we did was ask ourselves the obvious…is Isabela Bettor on Facebook? Maybe we could ask her how it feels like to win P65 million, and how she might plan to spend it. And there she was, Isabela Bettor:
Granted, it could be a fake account. But she does have real friends, so she can’t be a bot. Last post was still in 2019, so if she suddenly shares a new house and several new cars, we know what happened.
Second thing we did was message Senyor Arturo Teodoro Villareal, not being sure if he was a real person or a bot as well. We just asked him, did you really think Isabela was a real person? We were certain we would get a nutcase answer, if at all.
We were wrong.
Senyor Villareal’s reply verbatim:
Akala niyo sabaw si Senyor Arturo Teodoro Villareal? Very wrong! As they say these days, huwag judgmental! First off, how many of those who laughed him off are, ehem, Software Test Engineers in an international IT company? And read how he explained himself eloquently. So it turns out he knew the joke but the joke somehow backfired on him. But that is not what is important. The key thing here is he achieved virality with just one comment. That is an achievement in itself!
He also did some fact-checking like us and sought Isabela Bettor out. We both added her as friends. Ms. Bettor, bekenemen !