It is undeniable that people are always in constant seek for entertainment, whether it may be in the form of violence, games, jokes, alcohol or others; Humans, always feel the need to find something that amuses and satisfies this hunger for entertainment—a perfection distraction from our dull routine lives.
A popular medium of entertainment that has proven to be quite the go–to-place of working people (or anyone stressed) during a Saturday night out is comedy bars. And in our country, we are blessed to have an abundance of these. Some famous comedy bars in the country are Zirkoh, Punchline, Klownz and Laffline to name a few. For our class field trip, we decided to go to Laffline.
Before stepping foot in Laffline, I already had a rough idea of what to expect. I’ve always been under the impression of comedy bars being a no-holds-barred, rowdy, and malicious place that only caters to adults. Since this was new territory for me, I was extremely excited and curious at the same time. Before leaving for Laffline, I even remember my mother warning me “Wag ka uupo sa harapan ah, lalaitin ka nila”. Of course, this added to my excitement, would they really insult people from the audience? If so, to what extent? This curiosity all the more made me want to sit nearest the stage.
Upon arriving, I originally thought we could sit anywhere but the waiter specifically assigned us our seats. I wasn’t seated at the front row as I originally wanted but after a few minutes inside the bar, I mentally thanked the waiter for not doing so. I was still settling down my seat when a gay performer on stage approached a woman seated at the front row saying “Kung makuha ko mukha mo, mas gugustuhin ko paring maging lalaki”. I remember giving out a scared and hesitant laugh, which was quickly replaced with a genuine laugh when I saw the girl brushing off the insult and laughing it off. We ordered drinks and French-fries which are by far the most expensive Coke and Fries of my life. Our bill reached 400 pesos for 2 soft drinks and a plate of fries. I even developed a theory that the performers of Laffline must be earning a lot considering the full packed venue and almost all customers ordering food despite its sky-high prices.
30 minutes on the show, the word ‘shocking’ became an understatement. Now I wasn’t laughing with hesitation, I enjoyed the moment and absorbed the stories I have never imagined to hear from anyone—from a gay performers’ sex habits and experiences to another’s sex change operation in Thailand, the show really lived up to my expectation of being a stress remover.
I loved how open the performers were. They showed no regard for social status or gender and really said what they wanted to say all in hopes of generating laughs from the audience. They kept repeating the phrase “Lahat tayo dito pantay pantay ah, walang mas mataas o mas mababa” probably because they wanted to put people at ease, that for tonight they can forget their problems and obligations and just have fun. And fun they did have. I observed the audience reactions and almost 100 percent of the time, people responded positively to the performers’ jokes. Sometimes I even find myself laughing more because of the audience’ reactions than that of the joke. As I was observing, I saw a little boy aged 9 listening attentively to the performers’ skits which made me wonder if comedy bars have age limits or not. Personally, I wish they had age limits because it wouldn’t be nice for a kid to hear about sex, dicks and vaginas at an early age.
Overall, I developed a new outlook towards comedy bars—it may be too much at first but it will definitely put you in a good mood. This experience is something I’d definitely want to do again with my friends. Hopefully, I’d be able to finish the entire show next time. I am really grateful for this field trip because it gave me the opportunity to experience something I wouldn’t have ever planned to do in my life. Lastly, this experience definitely proved to be worth every single penny spent on the expensive entrance ticket and menu.
Gay bars — the first thought that came into mind were people in a bar doing funny things like Allan K. would or tell jokes like how Vice Ganda tells them in t.v. which i don’t really like or I’m not so enthusiastic about. A good night for me is a night that is full of laughter, smiles and jokes which Laffline did not fail to do. This was my first time to go into a gay bar and the first vibe you would get from the place was the typical bar-like atmosphere, dark, smokey, smell of alcohol, guards frisking you, entrance fee, and the music of course, but the moment that I reached the stage, I already had the idea that this is going to be a fun assignment.
I remember my friend telling me not to sit in front of the stage because that’s where they get their “victims” which began after a few minutes of sitting down, the judgemental comments and funny teasing had already started. That was how they started their rapport with the audience, by teasing and making fun of them which the audience took into consideration that it was expected for them to take part in their act. Although their humour was more appropriate for adults or mature people (thus explaining the majority of their audience being above 30 or 40 years of age), it was still funny because every age group and generation can somehow relate to the problems and people that they were making fun of. I even saw my fellow SA student covering her ears because of the content and the words that were used by the comedians. It was funny because I couldn’t imagine myself being in her place, sitting beside my parents and my sister. Oh the awkwardness, oh the humiliation knowing that my parents would get the joke and so would I.
Anyhow, the comedians were all homosexual men except for one which kind of made me curious as to why they got her because she wasn’t that funny for me but her two companions were. A big chunk of their jokes was about the stereotypes that we have in our culture. For example, they made fun of the typical bisaya for their interesting yet funny accent when they speak English (pronounce “eight” as “it”); another thing is the ugliness of one of his co-comedians, and lastly, the one that never made me stopped laughing, was the sexual jokes about the Japanese, the Filipinos and etc. There was one thing the comedian pointed out that was so true yet was funny; It was “Ano ba tong mga babae dito, kala mo kung sinong inosente pero pagkauwi naman sa bahay akala mo naman kung sino maka….” Let’s just say that the word is about sucking. Basically, those were the only topics that I had the chance to enjoy together with my fellow SA students before I left the venue.
Overall, we both enjoyed this fun and new experience. Though we have conflicting ideas and opinions sometimes, we were both on the same page about this comedy bar experience: it was one of a kind and something worth trying again! Laffline is definitely a go to place if you want a night filled with fun and laughter.
-Patricia Braganza and Allen Hizon
SA 21 – A