“One Saturday night live at Laffline”

09 May

We all have different notions about comedy bars. What makes us more distinct from each other is how our imaginations have taken us into such a bar before even entering one. All we can say is, it was a privilege and a great experience to being in one.

It was our first time,  really, to be in a bar. We can say that it was a great life-changing experience for the three of us. From just seeing the bars along Quezon and Timog avenue, We have the  privilege of entering one recently after finishing this blog. From being mesmerized by how the buildings looked like along the said avenues at night, we have the chance of seeing what’s inside.

It was only an enjoyable moment for our classmates and us  in that bar. Just by entering the bar we can sense that it wasn’t entirely “comedy” going inside. It wasn’t usual for us that able-bodied waiters and guards were looking around for suspicious activity. The people in the counter were also the same, checking out how we moved around and stuff as we paid them the 300 pesos fee. Rudolf told us his mom’s advice which is about staying at the back part of the bar, but we didn’t mind asking why. We just told our other classmates to sit at the back too.

The show already started when we sat down, and to our surprise, the performers were all gay, but their getup makes it harder to tell the difference between them and girls when you first see them. We were watching at how they performed, and definitely, they were just joking and messing the place with their gay wit and confidence. For almost the whole night, We were laughing really hard and we almost totally forgot that we have to observe the activity inside the bar. Good thing , Alvin and Justin,  reminded me us to what we were supposed to do that time.

As in all theaters, you can already see that the bar has a stage for the performers and tables for the audience. But there are two different things for a certain bar and a legitimate theater. For one, the tables are arranged in random without disrupting the path for the people to walk around, just like in a restaurant. Besides, it is a bar, not a theater. Lastly, We think the bar is arranged in a certain manner that the stage are really “on top” of the place where the audience sits. It is not much of a theater wherein the chairs for the audience are arranged in an ascending manner. In the bar, the stage is definitely higher than the place where the audience is. It is in this sort of construction that the performers are the center of attention, and the audience are just there to watch the center.

Not really.

You see, the role of the bar’s design is useless. At some points in time when we were in the bar, the center of attention shifts from the performers to the audience themselves and back from time to time in a very dynamic manner. The performers point out the audience at certain periods, and when they do this, they point out the ones in front. When we were in the bar, they usually joke around an old man sitting very close to the stage, and we pity him because whenever the performers make a joke, he’s usually the victim of their jokes. From what I saw, he’s just enjoying his time, but with a little hesitation when he becomes the center of attention. we weren’t surprised as well that some Atenean students who were sitting in close proximity to my area were also the center of attention after a while since the performers roamed around from time to time, trying to look for their next target. One unlucky victim was a shy student who actually sang well on-stage. we were both impressed by his hidden talent but pitied him as well since the jokes really hit him hard. we were glad that the “targets” the performers picked weren’t “pikon” and had a great time in the bar, but we saw the pressure in them when they were the center of attention, as if they were hard-pressed by the performers, audience and themselves. Nevertheless, laughter filled the bar, and we think that was the best remedy for those unlucky ones, and the drug for those who weren’t. As the night passed on, more and more came in to see the wonders of the other kind of people called “gays”, who are really excellent in this kind of comedy stuff.

From the bar’s setting, we can already see a dynamic interaction between the performers and the audience. The performers didn’t just stand on-stage and showcased their witty jokes and outrageous getup, but they also walked around the bar picking one or two in the audience as their topic of interest. They instantly change the center of attention of the audience from time to time. We can see that the performers make a stand in this dynamic interplay, and they aren’t afraid to pull up the fishes who are waiting to be caught. It has never been a bad thing since not only it is their job to do so, but they are confident that they can keep the balance between respect and insult without diminishing the comedy, which is the whole point in being in a comedy bar in the first place. And I hate to admit, they have executed this perfectly.

Gays are perceived with different but disrespectful notions from society, but we also see that they are also a rising gender. It is evident that gays are usually the owners or the employees of fashion outlets and beauty parlors, which is a good thing since it makes the atmosphere of such places very “colorful” of some sort, but most of them still end up with the same insult of being called gay. It is indeed painful to be called gay, said one performer on-stage, but it is in being gay that makes them different, as to what we interpreted from his joke, which we really laughed hard at. To be honest with you, gays are really powerful people. They can help and provide for themselves without much fuss since they like what they’re doing while gaining from it. The performers onstage showed a direct message to the world that yes, they are different and people are mostly disgusted with who they are, but you can’t just do that to them because we work hard for ourselves by providing you with our most special entertainment. we hope I’m not going overboard but after realizing their work, in my opinion, I found that their picking their audience as their next joke is their way of getting revenge from the scorn insult of being gay, and they execute it without even showing a hint of disrespect to the audience and their subject, in general.  If you have a keen ear, you would know what we mean, and if it’s true that they do it because of the said reasons, we cannot blame them. They even stated their conditions beforehand, anyway.

In the end, isn’t it ironic that despite the insults we get everyday, we still find a way to get revenge from the emotional hardships that we experience? The feeling of getting insulted truly makes us weak, but it is a wonder that we can still fight for everything we are in spite of the insults we take, such as the performers in the comedy bar who work hard everyday to make a living. It is with fighting for being who they are that makes these performers stand out while being proud of themselves, despite what people think of them. And we believe it is worth fighting for.

Indeed, it was worth laughing at Laffline.

Alvin Ian Chan

Justin Cheng

Rudolph Tumbaga

SA 21 I Mr. Labastilla


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