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DailyPIPOL: Dora de Zamboanga goes from teacher to local TikTok star

She started with a cover of a Jessie J; now she’s now known across Zamboanga—and was recently seen on the Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho Facebook page.

Dora de Zamboanga is one of those content creators that you should be following.

She’s best known for impersonations—particularly that of GMA broadcast journalist Jessica Soho.

And yes, Dora is this lady recognized by Jessica Soho herself in her weekly magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.

But who is Dennis Ras Gaspar or Dora de Zamboanga? We asked her, and here’s what she said:

“Online, Dora de Zamboanga is someone who is deeply in love with her hometown of Zamboanga City. Offline, Dennis Ras Gaspar used to teach in Ateneo and for the Department of Education, along with being a comedian, entertainer, songwriter, and a dialysis patient.”

According to her, it was during a blackout (or most likely after) that she got her start in creating videos on social media.

“Back then, I was the coordinator of young people dito sa church namin sa Tetuan. One night, nagtuturo ako ng sayaw sa mga members kasi may performance, tapos bigla nag blackout for 2 hours. Eh walang magawa, so naisipan kong gumawa ng Chavacano version ng Flashlight, yung song ni Jessie J.”

One of her friends took a video of her doing the cover, which she then uploaded to her Facebook account, the only social media platform she was in at the time. The rest, as they say, is history.

To date, this video has almost 43,000 views with over 1,300 shares on Facebook.

Since then, she has been making video after video that is showcased on all of her social media platforms—Facebook, YouTube, and, more recently, TikTok.

Dora has taken a liking to TikTok because, as she describes it, TikTok doesn’t require long-form content.

“Mas madali at mas bongga yung Tiktok kasi 1 minute lang, ok na. Ang dali din ng network, lalo na kapag magaling ka,” she said, though she also has a soft spot for YouTube, which offers both monetization and a deeper focus on content.

Speaking of content, Dora doesn’t consider herself as an influencer, unlike other TikTok stars. She looks at herself more as a content creator.

“Kapag influencer kasi, walang basis kung nakakainfluence ka ba ng tao. I also don’t like the word influence; siguro mas gusto ko pag nai-inspire ko sila over being influenced kasi hindi ako perfect.”

For her, content creators have more freedom in what they post because the focus is more on satisfaction. “Gumagawa ka ng videos for your happiness, pero syempre you are still sensitive to others.”

Dora’s biggest achievement

Outside of probably being recognized by Jessica Soho, Dora’s biggest achievement is quite close to home.

“Siguro yung medyo nakilala na ako dito sa lugar namin. Yung tipong kahit san ka pumunta, may mga taong kilala ka!”

With the fame came the critics and the bashers. How does she handle it?

“Actually, hindi ko talaga inaaway ang mga ganun. Minsan nirereplyan ko, but I just want to let them realize na mali po ang ginagawa nila,” said Dora.

She added that she still respects them because they make content creators like her “stronger and bolder”.  “Mas ginagalingan ko pa ang paggawa ng content—iyan ang pag kakaiba ko sa iba.”

This approach really showcases itself on TikTok, where Dora now has over 1 million followers and over 6.1 million likes on all of her videos.

What’s next for Dora, you ask? “A YouTube Silver Play button. Iyon talaga ang pangarap ko. Pero baka hindi talaga. I’ll wait for my time. Haha!”

It’s this kind of attitude that endears her to all of her followers, be it on Facebook (, YouTube, or TikTok (@doradezamboanga).

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