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‘Tutu,’ the Newest Spanish-Language Song That Makes Rounds on TikTok Philippines

Depending on who you ask, the video-sharing app TikTok is either a “cancer to humanity” or a “saving grace for billions of people” affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media users have mixed opinions on the said app; it has spurred dangerous “challenges” such as the viral Tide pod and Blackout challenges, but it has also helped small businesses to prosper.

In the entertainment business, the Chinese-owned app is also “changing the rules of the music industry” as is evidenced by Doja Cat and Bella Poarch’s rise to fame. In the same way, TikTok is also giving boost to Latin music. In fact, there’s a new Latin song that is currently making rounds on TikTok Philippines. It’s neither in English nor Korean. It’s in Spanish.

During the last few weeks, TikTok users created a new dance challenge set to “Tutu,” a cover song by Alma Zarza, a child singer from Córdoba, Argentina. Since then, many Filipinos have hopped on the trend — a Fly Emirates shirt-wearing man, actress Ivana Alawi, singer Ogie Alcasid, scantily clad men and women, and even children.

@oppajay15

#goingToGym lang sana e 😂😂😂

♬ Tutu dance challenge – 🍭mimi_meoww😽🇵🇭

Zarza’s cover of “Tutu” was released back in October 2019, but it has only attracted TikTok users’ attention in 2021. The song is originally by Colombian singer Camilo and Puerto Rican musician Pedro Capó, which was released in the same year. Aside from being a dance challenge on TikTok, it’s also popular on Instagram’s Reels and on YouTube’s TikTok-like video platform Shorts.

Though it sounds catchy to many TikTok users, the rhyme of the song’s chorus was forced; the spellings of some words were slightly changed to achieve a rhyming effect at the end of each line. As with other reggaeton songs, the lyrics are also slightly sexually explicit.

“Tú, tú, nadie como tú, tú, no hay un sustitutu [sustituto] / Pa’ ese cuerpo tuyo que a mí ya me tiene cucu [slang word for ‘culo’] / En un rato te buscu [busco], voy y te acurrucu [acurruco], yeah,” the lyrics of the chorus read.

“Tutu” has now become one among many Spanish-language songs that strangely became popular in the Philippines. As of the writing, the “Tutu dance challenge” page on TikTok has 4,945 videos.


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Arvyn Cerézo
Arvyn Cerézo is the editor of La Jornada Filipina, an English- and Spanish-language news magazine in the Philippines. His work has appeared in South China Morning Post, Publishers Weekly, AudioFile Magazine, PhilSTAR Life and Book Riot. You can find him on arvyncerezo.com.

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