MANILA, Philippines - It was 2 hours before the polling precincts closed.
Yves Gonzalez was bored, and everyone was blaming the lifeless PCOS machine for breaking down and working slower than expected.
He felt sorry about the poor machine, who was taking all the blows without even having a chance to defend itself.
The next thing you know, @PCOSMachine was born.
|The man behind the machine. (Left) Gonzalez covers his face with a photo of the PCOS machine. (Right) Gonzalez introduces himself to the public as the creator of @PCOSMachine. Credit: ANC
"I was thinking, the machine didn't really have a voice, it was just a machine, so you can't really blame it. It's just like blaming other things that aren't really alive. So I thought, maybe we should have a voice for the PCOS machine," Gonzalez said in an interview at "Mornings @ ANC."
Gonzalez initially thought of creating @PCOSMachine as a joke, a prank, even.
Want proof? Here's @PCOSMachine's first tweet: "Can somebody please send me water? I'm overheating and I'm thirsty after eating all these ballots. ktnx."
The funny and witty tweets became a hit with Filipino Internet users. Just a few hours after @PCOSMachine came to life, the account had thousands of followers (as of posting time, it has 10,855 followers).
Even people from Smartmatic, the company where the PCOS machines used in the 2010 polls are sourced, began to follow the Twitter feeds.
Gonzalez was blown away. "At first it there was 100, then 200 [followers], then the next thing I know, my phone won't stop ringing...I didn't really think that it would become this big."
Because of the Twitter account he created, it's safe to say that Gonzalez has become an overnight Internet star.
It should be noted, however, that he is popular in his own right.
Abs-cbnNEWS.com discovered that Gonzalez was part of Candy Magazine's Candy Cuties in 2001. Here's a photo of him in his youth, as posted in Twitpic:
|A 'cute' machine? Gonzalez is one of the Candy Cuties way back in 2001. Credit: Twitpic
Before that, Gonzalez was part of popular youth-oriented show "T.G.I.S." and soap "Anna Karenina." He was even part of a boy band, called "Casanova." (View a video of one of the band's performances here)
On top of all these, the 27-year-old tech whiz finished 6th in the 2009 bar exams, as seen in this abs-cbnNEWS.com article.
Although he wasn't a registered voter, Gonzalez felt proud that he was able to do something for the country's first fully-automated polls. "At least I cooled some tensions, maybe."
But since the elections are over, @PCOSMachine may take a backseat in the next few days as the 27-year-old lawyer is planning to "get back to his real life."
"But it's still up to them, if people say I should maintain it [account], I'll try. That is, if they [still] want to follow," he assured.
Asked about the emergence of other Twitter accounts of the same nature, such as "Jejemon ballot box" and "signal jammer," Gonzalez said: "I don't really mind. I understand that they're just trying to see if they can accomplish the same thing that my account did."
Gonzalez has his personal Twitter account, called Doblezeta, so people can still follow his daily activities. He usually tweets about tech, gadgets and "something interesting I see on the street."
Unlike most users, he doesn't talk much about "what I ate for breakfast."
In his Twitter page, Gonzalez revealed that his childhood dream is to work for ABS-CBN, something that he confirmed during his TV guesting.
"ANC...hire me?" he jokingly said. -- By Karen Flores, abs-cbnNEWS.com. Interview by TJ Manotoc, ANC