During our discussion about Vice Ganda in Fil14, our professor, Sir Atienza, best put the essence and importance of laughter:
“Ang pagtatawa, isa rin siyang takas sa realidad ng buhay. Dahil ang mundo, gusto kang maging seryoso, tinitigil mo ito sa pagtawa.”
And this night, we threw away our morals, we threw away those tabooed words, heck we even threw (figure of speech) money just to make this world stop for a moment. And laugh. And darn, we laughed our ass off. Never did I see such a place loose, with no care in the world. Not in the sense of being irresponsible. No, this was for the recreation of man, a way to make us remember that in life, we also have to enjoy it.
I didn’t care whether my classmates were telling me to tone down with my laughter. It’s just that I found the wit, the puns, the downright stupidity and, yes, the sheer brilliance too much to handle. It was remarkable how they would continuously (instead of continually) just rack up puns and jokes and taunts (to themselves and the audience) that you would laugh hard most of the time. You wouldn’t find a 30-second span wherein the audience wouldn’t give out a high-decibel laugh or a simple smile of appreciation. These guys were just too good.
But then again, these people were just like most of us. I loved how their stage was built in such a way that it wasn’t totally separating the audience from them. The front-most seats were just a few steps away from them, and they would go down occasionally to interview the Koreans or some couples. In fact, evident from the numerous mocks they threw at the guy right in front of the stage, they showed us that we were part of the show as much as they were. This wasn’t anything like the plays we see, or movies we watch. The show wouldn’t go on without the cooperation and rapport of the audience (they would repeatedly warn those new to the scene not to get insulted or throw violent reactions to the jokes). If they were a clock, we were the gears that made them work. The only difference was that the people on that stage had the gift of being able to bring the people sitting down to their knees from constant laughter. (To our complete suprise, they were damn good singers too! They olreydi.)
From OFWs visiting their homeland once again, to lovers just wanting to break out of a funk, to single ladies in a group having a time of their lives (even though the hosts vehemently made it clear that they were the “salot ng mundo” [scum of the earth]), and up until the old men and women of a HS batch ‘76 from Pangasinan- no one was spared the loss of time. If time was gold, here we were wasting every precious molecular grams of it. To the credit of those fortunate ones to be called on-stage, they showed appreciation, on behalf of the audience, by playing along the comedians’ jokes or taunts. (There was the Kuwait-based Pinay mocked for her ageless body, yet she would take the bait and let herself be used by the comedians.)
I didn’t mind that all the comedians that stepped into the stage were homosexuals. I respected how they used themselves, how they acted, and their preferences as their comedic reliefs (most of the guys cringed from their jokes, believe me). They knew that people found it funny, but as long as they knew their foundations well, making fun of themselves wouldn’t hurt them in any way at all. Never mind, too, the explicit words they used. It was for the art, if one is to use the cliche again. The word “underground” would come in play, because you wouldn’t expect these comedians to show up in TV shows (some of the hosts actually do, in TV5) and use such expletives. But when all is bare, when just the art of comedy is needed, there are no limits. I never knew when I would stop laughing. I never knew if the fun would ever finish. If laughter really is the best medicine, here we were, drugging ourselves to death.
I have to thank these Americans for bringing comedy to the Philippines. I know how before, we were just so Religion-centered, we made this the be-all and end-all of our lives. Which is not to say that this is totally wrong. But even today, in the midst of the Lenten season, though we need to focus more on preparing ourselves to suffer with Christ…
Do we need to be serious all the time? We had fun. We had the time of our lives. Indeed, we made the world stop.
Gabby Layugan, 102097