“Sayang ‘di ka sasama!”
“那麼晚了, 妳還要去那裡?”(It’s late, where are you going?)
These were the things my family and friends told me on the night of February 25, 2012. Normally, on Saturday nights, I’d usually hang out with my friends, or stay at home and chill with my family. However, that Saturday was different – it was busier than usual, if I may say. I initially planned to watch the A1, Blue, and Jeff Timmons concert – my childhood favorites. In addition to that, I’ve never been to a concert; it would’ve been my first! However, because this fieldtrip was required, I had no choice but to give it up. Guess my first concert had to wait!
That night, while having dinner with my family, I reminded my mom that the driver had to stay because of my field trip. Unaware of my plans, my grandparents stopped eating and looked up. What I said probably messed their minds up – were we having lunch at that time? It was funny, actually. Them being Taiwanese and more on the conservative side, they were shocked at the fact that for a school field trip, I had to go to bar, in Quezon Avenue, after dinner. It took some time for me to explain that it was a comedy bar, that it would be safe, and that the whole class plus my professor would be there. I also had to tell them that in this class, it is a must to observe people, and society – sort of an experiment. Effort, grabe!
Anyway, moving on, if you know me, you’d probably know that I love laughing, jokes, and adventure. Because of this, you could say that I was excited to go to this comedy bar in Quezon Avenue. Punchline’s the name of the place. Truth be told, I didn’t even know there were comedy bars in this country! Owing to the fact that I always see comedy bars in movies, I had the impression that a comedy bar was a dark place where you could drink; with the comedians up on stage, and with candles on the tables. (Yes, candles; in red candleholders.) Also, on mentioning to my other friends that I was going to Punchline, they told me that this particular comedy bar was well known for its homosexual comedians and green jokes! On top of all that, as mentioned earlier, it’s located in Quezon Avenue. Shady place, indeed! Adventure plus laughter? I was definitely game.
Since I didn’t know what to expect, and because I had my guesses as to what the place was like, I had this checklist inside my head. So upon entering..
Shady place. Check! ✓
Dark place. Check! ✓
People drinking. Check! ✓
Comedians and performers on stage. Check! ✓
Candles in red candleholders… 𐄂 (Too bad, the candles would’ve been a nice touch!)
I have to admit; it’s a pretty intimidating place. It was like entering a party – it was quite noisy, there were bouncer-like people, and well-dressed men and women welcoming you. Boy, was I glad that I didn’t enter alone. If I had gone alone, I’d probably be so lost. The sight of my classmates comforted me as well. More of us students. Yay! The next problem? Where to sit. Everyone knew that if one were to sit in front, there’s a huge chance that he/she would be called, and/or picked on. Therefore that choice was definitely out. Sit at the back? Well, I wanted to watch and listen, so that choice was out as well. In the end, we opted to sit near the stage, but at the side. We had a great view of the audience, and of the performers. ‘Twas the right choice!
My friends weren’t kidding when they told me that the comedians were homosexuals. It didn’t bother me at all, because I find gay people extra funny and amusing. And since it’s a comedy bar, it was just right. I also thought it’d be something like stand-up comedy, but boy, was I wrong! It was an interactive kind of show, and these comedians really interacted with the audience – constantly pointing out/choosing people to talk to and yes, pick on. Owing to the fact that these comedians were homosexuals, the males were usually the ones chosen. One of my classmates was called on stage, and it was really amusing to watch them “play” with him. I have to say, every time these comedians turned to the audience, looking for their next “target”, my heart would stop and in my head I’d go “oh my God, no, no, not me, please, no, look away”. I was really scared. I enjoyed watching them tease and play with certain people in the audience, but I wouldn’t want myself to be noticed, called, or teased. I wouldn’t know how to act, or say. As I looked at the audience, I realized that I wasn’t alone, a lot of people felt that way – you could see their faces freeze. Funny, really. However, there were also people who were “game” to go up on stage. I would never forget the woman in the short shorts who went up on stage, willing to sing a karaoke number, but instead, she became the victim of the comedians’ jokes. Insults and nasty comments were thrown at her. Honestly, I thought the comedians crossed the line. BUT, she didn’t get mad or pikon. It was amazing, actually. I had to give her a round of applause before she left. How many people would be able to keep his/her composure up there?
The jokes were really green, the comments were nasty, and the things they made some people in the audience do were just.. Wrong. (Like that married man who had to touch his wife.. There..) I was laughing at first, but then things got a bit nasty, so I stopped and looked around – I wanted to see if everyone was okay with what the comedians were doing. I noticed that some continued laughing (‘twas normal and okay for them, maybe they’re used to it), but some stopped as well. Those who stopped, and those whose faces “changed” were mostly from Ateneo; students. Ah, the ones from the more conservative families, and the ones who weren’t “exposed” that much. I admit, growing up in a conservative family; a family that isn’t fond of jokes (especially green ones), I didn’t know much about green jokes until I got to college. I was exposed more in college, but not enough, I guess, because I was really shocked at some points in the show. But that’s me. I still found it funny though, I was just shocked. Hihi. I thought that if my grandparents found out what I was watching that night; they’d probably ground me, and forbid me to go to any comedy bar. HAHA
Ah, I loved the part wherein the comedians started to banter about the other’s stupidity. They involved the universities in the country, as well. That was really, really funny. That part made my night. I laughed so hard that I couldn’t breathe anymore! I was doubled over, and I was slapping the classmate beside me. It was hilarious. I noticed that the older people in the audience preferred the green jokes, while the students enjoyed this part more. I’d honestly go back for this part of the show. I was actually thinking of bringing my other friends to see this part – I was also mentally listing down the jokes so I could share them. It was that funny. I loved it.
Oh, the comedians were really good singers, too. That part surprised me! Once again, I had to put my hands together and give these people a round of applause. Galing! Funny and talented. Wow. I have to say, Filipinos are really surprising people. These comedians were up on stage because that’s their job, but you can see that they gave it their all, and the audience loved it. I admire the audience, too, for being such good sports, and good supporters – they laughed, and they clapped. The place was jam-packed. It was a good night for both sides; the comedians and the audience.
All in all, I have to say that it was a really good experience. It was certainly a different way to spend a Saturday night, but I’m glad I went; no regrets! Despite having a hectic afternoon, and even if I had to miss the concert, it was all worth it. I had fun, and for a moment there, I wasn’t tired; the stress I felt earlier that day just disappeared. Adventure + laughter. Check! ✓
Veronica Lee, 102135