Frozen in viral fame: the creative bubble of Frances Cabatuando

The creative genius behind “G ka ba to build a snowman?” (Camille Banzon/Pacifiqa)

“Sometimes, when you have an idea, it’s there. No matter how vague it is, it still exists,” said 20-year-old Frances Cabatuando.

“You don’t know what will happen if you don’t act on it. Just like this one, who knew it would go viral?”

Frances, the creator of “G Ka Ba To Build A Snowman?” — a parody of Frozen’s “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” sung in conyo speak — has tickled the fancy of over 100,000 amused viewers.


Why conyo

Frances decided to play around conyo speak, a hybrid of Taglish and slang terms commonly used by the young crowd who can’t express their thoughts in straight English or Tagalog. It became the tone and spine of the original lyrics she wrote for her parody. According to Frances, Taglish is something that’s unconsciously used to further understand a train of thought for many people — for those living in the city, especially.

“It’s the language I’m most familiar with. So when I was writing it, it came naturally to me. I feel like I’m immersed in the language. I went to a college where a lot of conyo people go to and I thought, ‘is this something that they would say?’” said Frances, when asked about how she decided to use conyo speak for the lyrics of the parody.

Two Sunday evenings ago, Frances did some freelance work outside her current job as a copywriter for McCann Worldgroup Philippines. She felt like she needed to do anything—just anything— so boredom wouldn’t terrorize her creativity. Thinking about the other Frozen parodies that came out, Frances started scribbling the first stanzas of her song. She recalls that during the time she was writing it, she would check her Facebook feed from time to time, go back to her freelance work, and then continue writing the lyrics of what will soon become one of the most-viewed Frozen parodies to date. It didn’t take more than hour for her to complete the lyrics she initially posted on her Tumblr blog — a post she then linked to her Facebook account.

It wasn’t long until people wrote comments like “someone should make an audio version of this.” Hours later, high school classmates, Razel and Lenina Guerra, sent her a message offering to sing her version. Agreeing and being floored with how the sisters sang it, Frances edited and synced the lyrics to the original clip from Frozen. On Tuesday night, Frances uploaded the video on Vimeo. Two days later, it had over 70,000 views.


Second time’s a charm

This wasn’t Frances’ first attempt at going viral. When the swarm of Thor memes came out, the imaginative copywriter inserted Thor’s face at the end of a favorite local snack called turon and called it “thoron.” Despite being liked over 1,000 times in Facebook, thoron’s reception now pales in comparison “G Ka Ba To Build A Snowman?” On Friday afternoon, Rico Robles played “G Ka Ba To Build A Snowman?” while closing his show in RX 93.1, one of Manila’s most tuned-in stations. “He just kept laughing when he played it,” said Frances.

Statistics of “G ka ba to build a snowman?” (Courtesy Frances Cabatuando)

“Thank you for validating my humor! It makes me feel human!” posted Frances on Facebook, after finding out that her creation had reached thousands of views.

Frances is the kind of friend that tirelessly tells jokes, funny or otherwise. She’s also the kind that will ask questions non-stop; her curious mind is eager to learn. Her daily playlist includes Phoenix, Fall Out Boy, and Zedd, while her daily routine has been infused with a newfound love for skateboarding. Having her attention constantly gravitating towards everything she finds creative, Frances never stops trying new things.

“Maybe because it had to do with the kind of work I do. I work in advertising and I’m a copywriter, so it’s my job to write stuff and sync it to everything,” said Frances, who’s used to writing things people usually find least compelling. Just days after her Snowman video, Frances created another Frozen parody called “Kembot Na”, a bekinese or gay slang version of “Let It Go” that reached over 1,000 views overnight. She says her next project is a conyo speak translation of Mean Girls (We can only imagine how this one will turn out.)

“Is butter nakakataba?” (“Is butter a carb?” – a famous line from the movie’s queen bee, Regina George)

Normal for someone who thrives on creativity, Frances says she never lets any of her ideas escape or go to waste.

“I don’t think any idea is wrong. There can’t be a wrong idea. It may not be creative for some, but to other people, it could be. So just let it out. Let it go. Frozen, diba?”

G ka ba to build a snowman? from Frances Cabatuando on Vimeo.


You can follow Camille Banzon on Twitter @camillebanzon. You can also reach her at [email protected]

  • Heartlesz27

    What does “G” stand for? Just wondering.

    • Camille Banzon

      It means “game” in local slang. :)

  • Anders

    This parody of frozen is hilarious! Hahaha! I work at a small design studio and I’ve worked with a lot of copywriters and I’ve read different kinds of copy from a diverse range of clients and it’s so refreshing lang to encounter something like this. In the world of advertising where the stress levels are so grabe, this will definitely lighten up a stressful day at work. Kudos to Frances Cabatuando and what a great article. :)