SANTIAGO CITY – Out of boredom, lawyer Lucky Damasen joined the months-long Online Tiktok Dance Challenge promoted in a social media group for lawyers in the country.
What started as a way of passing time turned out to be an extraordinary achievement for him.
After breezing through the preliminaries and making it into the quarterfinals and semifinals, Damasen won the final round of the competition after earning the nods of judges led by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Facebook viewers in December last year.
Damasen, an Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Isabela chapter president and a law practitioner for 28 years, told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has made lives “abnormal” for everyone, including lawyers.
As a socially immersed lawyer who has dedicated his life fulfilling his advocacy to help less fortunate people who require legal assistance, Damasen said he suddenly felt extremely bored when the pandemic struck in March last year.
“I even spent more than what I won in the competition,” he said, adding that the prize was just the icing on the cake as he really enjoyed the competition.
Dalmasen is a member of the “Musta Atty!” Facebook page, which has about 20,000 members consisting mostly of lawyers, law graduates, and law students.
Organizers put up a PHP120,000 cash prize for the Tiktok dance video challenge, pooled from contributions of lawyer-members and some law firms.
“At first, I was not serious in joining the Tiktok Dance Challenge and even endorsed my lady lawyer-friend. I did not care less if it will not be noticed since I was not serious about it anyway,” he said.
He then campaigned for his friend-lawyer and tagged the names of his friends to vote for her. He got more likes instead, placing fourth among the top 15 while his friend placed ninth. They both advanced to the quarterfinals. Ten slots and two wildcard entries, totaling 12, eventually were picked for the semifinals.
To gain following, Damasen said he developed a branding “where I made it a point that I am this kind of lawyer who has the penchant of wearing luxury branded clothes, shoe bags and what have you, like ala-Heart Evangelista peg.”
He also hired back-up dancers, a director, producer, and trolls to drumbeat his dances.
"Intense campaigning had ensued. Before the finals, I organized my trolls department whose main goal was to invite attention to my entries. The glam department who took care of my costumes, make up and what have you. The director and choreography department enhanced my dancing skills and sequencing of the entry while the videography team took care of the technicalities and transitioning of the entries," he said.
The competition was tough as young lawyers who are good dancers capitalized on their dancing skills and sexy looks and bodies, Damasen noted.
“At the same time, I nurtured the “good vibe” lawyer branding too. The classy good vibe lawyer evolving before their eyes,” he added. "For me, I have to support my entry with posts that enhanced my branding as a classy lawyer who espouses good vibes that would endear to all members in a comprehensive manner.”
His close competitor, lawyer Daniel Carpina, was widely expected to win because of the votes he garnered from the members and was a consistent number one from the start--from top 15, to top 12, and to top 5.
However, Damasen became a game-changer as he got the nod of the judges and the viewers.
Carpina placed second while lawyer Katherine Sarte from Bohol came in third. (PNA)