Coming from one of the worst weeks of the semester, I was reluctant to go simply because I was tired from all the hell that the academic week has thrown at me. The field trip for SA21, as well as the other things I did for school in the week that has passed, was another academic requirement that I am bound to deliver. I thought to myself that I am going to waste my Saturday night instead of being able to relax at home and spend time with my family. I WAS WRONG. Staying longer with my friends to see more of the jeering, teasing, or the genius of comedy was the only thing on my mind on my way home.
The experience I had was unexplainable….
Like tasting a flavor that I have not encountered before…
It was surreal. The smell of cigarette smoke, the sound of bottles clinging and lively pop music were the sensations that welcomed me on a busy Saturday night as I entered Punchline Comedy Bar along the controversial Quezon Avenue. I asked my friends if we could sit at the back and as we were looking for seats, a staff member of the bar insisted for us to occupy the 2nd row from the stage. As we settled down near the stage, I felt a mix of anxiety and excitement for I do not want to be a part of their act but at the same time, I want to see them mock somebody else from the audience.
“That did just not happen.”
I kept saying this to myself and to my friends that night. I can’t believe I was hearing such obscene and “detailed” interpretations of sexuality. The stage glimmered as the penetrating humor was processed as the crisp ice cold beer trickled down my throat. I was seeing one of the guys (or gays) touch that “Aged woman from Kuwait” in sensitive areas of her body. It was mind boggling how someone could take such public harassment. Well maybe because at the start they skillfully stressed that:
“Bawal po ang pikon dito, kung pikon ka umuwi ka nalang. CHOS”
We ordered beer and nachos. As I watch the gays mock both men and women from the audience, I realized that being able to create jokes that people can relate to is nothing short of a genius. Most of the hirits directed to women were very degrading and hurtful but this is the only place AND the only time I have heard such combination of words; even laughed at some of the words I didn’t even know the meaning of because they sounded funny and based on the night so far, most of it meant either female body parts or a description of it. I was surprised that no one was offended because in the place that I live in, TABOO is the word for such obscene conversations. These performers, who degrade themselves and make us, the audience, believe that they are uneducated or mere “mga tambay sa kanto,” are actually very talented people.
A Masked Personality
As I was observing the different performers come up and down the stage, I saw how different they interacted outside the spotlight. Putting together a hilarious show for everyone, the performers were tactless, at some point offensive, and they acted like they were living “diyan lang sa tabi-tabi, diyan lang sa kanto kanto” when in fact, off stage, they looked very well off and financially capable while strutting around in their “Armanis and Lacostes,” and talking sophisticatedly on their Iphone 4’s. I was able to appreciate their skill in acting to be someone that they are not.
Jumping into Realizations and Generalizations
I realized from the 120 minutes and 2 bottles of bear I spent inside Punchline that even though I had so much fun, I don’t fit in this place. Looking at the people around me, I never saw anyone, apart from our classmates, that was in the same age group as ours. Even though I did not feel the time pass while I was inside, I came to realize that I can learn a lot by trying things I have not tried before; taking that impossible leap of faith to go to somewhere new and taste something different. I learned that:
- Comedy Bars are not for the weak. Being able to step inside and enjoy the night as an individual, I can say to myself that I am growing up.
- Homosexuals, or any gender for that matter, have their own strengths and everyone should appreciate and acknowledge that.
- Opening your mind to new things can only do you good.
I went inside Punchline Comedy Bar dragging my feet and complaining how come I have to do something for school on a Saturday Night. I went out being dragged out by my friend because I didn’t want to leave but because of strict parents I had no choice.
I wish to go back and stay longer than I had before. It was a night of revelry.
Michael Gabriel D. Gacusan
SA21 Section P