MANILA — Viral sensation Dante Gulapa, popularly known for what’s now dubbed the “eagle dance,” could not hold his tears during his guest appearance in ABS-CBN’s afternoon game show “Minute to Win It.”
Gulapa was introduced on Monday as one of the week-long contestants of the program’s “Last Man Standing” edition. A profile reel revealed his humble background, as well as challenges that beset him prior to becoming a social media star.
Gulapa was 17 when he started dancing in bars. While it earned him a living, he recalled turning to vices, and being buried in debt. His life took a worse turn when the bar he worked in was raided by police.
That incident, he recounted, was his wake-up call to straighten his life and aspirations. Now, he is a father of three, with his wife of 13 years.
“Simula noong nagbagong buhay ako, diri-diretso na ‘yung blessing na dumarating sa amin. Sobra-sobra po talaga akong nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon at mga umiidolo sa akin,” he said.
Addressing his fans who have dubbed themselves “Gulapanatics,” he went on: “Umasa po kayo na si Big Papa Dante hindi po magbabago kahit ano pong mangyari.”
Watching his own introduction reel, Gulapa appeared emotional and was seen wiping tears. Asked by host Luis Manzano to share his sentiments, Gulapa said he is grateful and overflowing with joy over the second chance he has afforded to fix his life.
“Sobrang saya lang po, dahil dininig ng Panginoon ‘yung mga gusto kong mangyari sa buhay ko – ang pangalawang pagkakataon na maayos ko ang pamilya ko,” he said.