60 y/o TikTok sensation @raymondl88 on dancing to 'manyao' & being moved by S'porean fans

Dancing his way through Singapore.

Alfie Kwa | June 09, 2022, 02:48 PM

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You may know of Raymond, the TikToker who dances energetically in public to a manyao cover of Faye Wong's "Hundred Years of Solitude (百年孤寂)"

Since posting his quirky dance earlier this year, Raymond has quickly become a local viral sensation.

"Uncle Raymond", as many of his fans call him, dances at several locations in Singapore, from Ang Mo Kio MRT station to Pasir Ris, to Universal Studios Singapore, to Merlion Park and more.

And he's having a blast.

Now, at 60, he believes it's important to just do what you want to do and "be happy".

Raymond the TikToker

He started posting content on TikTok in March 2020.

He heads out with his good friend, Lily or @lilys455 on TikTok, and performs an array of skits and dances in public spaces which he later posts on his TikTok account.

@raymondl88 Thanks for meeting. Be happy. #The bus stop. @lilys455 ♬ 原声 - user818798560312

@raymondl88 What's her name? Do you remember? @lilys455 ♬ 原声 - Raymond

In February this year, he started dancing to a 15-second audio clip of "Hundred Years of Solitude". And it went viral, with one of his videos hitting over 700, 000 views.

He now also has over 46,000 followers on the platform.

Filming oneself in open and crowded locations (which are where Raymond typically films his TikTok videos) can be very daunting.

Often in his videos, strangers would walk by in the background. Some ignore him, others give weird stares. But he doesn't seem to care one bit.

One commenter said: "I admire your courage."

We spoke to Raymond himself to find out more about him.

His TikTok videos

Q: Why do you film yourself dancing on TikTok?

"TikTok is a hobby and dancing is a form of physical workout for me."

"My friend Lily filmed this dance before. I thought it was very good, so I too film this type of dance videos, but my dance moves are different from hers.

Q: Why do you always use the same song 百年孤寂 (One Hundred Years of Solitude)?

"The meaning behind the song resonates with me because it talks about loneliness and helplessness, but I deliver the song in a cheerful manner."

For those who aren't familiar with Faye Wong's hit song, here are the lyrics to the portion of the song that Raymond features in his videos:





This translates to:

"A hundred years ago

You were not you

I was not me

The sorrow was real, but the tears were fake"

Who knew that a song with such sombre lyrics could be turned into something so lively and entertaining.

Raymond's fans

Perhaps it's Raymond's tenacity, or his quirky dance moves, or even the simple joy that exudes from his videos, but people have been taking note -- and joining him in his videos.

Often, he lets his followers know where he's going to be next and what time he would be there.

For example, on May 24, he informed his followers that he would be at Pasir Ris MRT station at 2:30pm and Tampines Mall at 3:30pm, the next day.

Resulting in these wholesome videos:

Some influencers have become fans of his work, and joined in the fun on TikTok, dancing along to the song while emulating Raymond's dance moves.

@kelkeltanWhere to meet that uncle?♬ 百年孤寂 - 183😜

Even 98.7FM deejay Joakim Gomez joined Raymond for a dance session once.

@987fm Was chilling at the 50 steps and of all people to suddenly show up, the legend himself, @Raymond! Be Happy!! cc: @averyaloysius @Germaine Leonora 🦋 @Sonia Chew @Joakim Gomez #FYP #TikTokSG #FYPsg ♬ 百年孤寂 - 183😜

Q: Do you recall the first time someone followed your dance moves? How did you feel about it?

My first video with the dance moves was taken at the Ang Mo Kio MRT station, and after it was posted, it exploded. So many people wanted to dance with me. I was so happy and started dancing with the fans.

At first, I was surprised and embarrassed, but then I realised that everyone was just happy that we could all dance together.

Q: Do people often come up to you when they see you in public?

When I'm out walking, on the bus, or in the train, at least seven or eight people will come up to me and ask me for a picture.

Most of them were students, but as of two weeks ago, even adults recognise me in public.

Q: How do you feel when people recognise you in public?

Haha, I was surprised at first, but now I think it is normal. It's like running into a friend, saying hello, and taking a picture.

Q: What were some of your favourite moments with your fans?

I have been moved by my fans so many times. I want to say thank you to them.

They bring me water to drink, although I never accepted it once, and often told me to rest because it's a hot day.

I remember once in Punggol, there were too many people dancing, signing autographs and taking pictures. Several fans said: "Uncle, you're very tired today, I'll dance with you next time."

That almost made me tear up.

What more can we expect?

Q: Will you continue posting your TikTok dances?

Yes. Dance is a form of exercise, it enriches my life, and makes me happy. At the same time, it brings happiness to others.

Q: Will you be doing different types of videos in the future?

I will update the dance slowly. I can't change it yet because this dance is so popular right now.

I know from the comments section that there are more people who want to do this dance with me. It's hard for fans to change too quickly. Because my style is to meet and interact with my fans, not to shoot my own work and then let the fans see it from their phones. It is a great pleasure to meet and dance together with my fans.

If you're a fan of Uncle Raymond, he'd like to say this to you: "Thanks for meeting. Be happy."

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Top images via raymondl88/TikTok. Quotes were edited for clarity.