The Anti-Apocalypse Show: Be Different, Be High

13 May

The Anti-Apocalyptic Show in Cubao Expo was pretty much of a Leftist themed event. The event tries to differentiate itself from the usual comedy bar shows. It was comprised of a band that sings heavy metal/progressive rock songs and a comedy segment; however, the jokes are not the common comedy bar jokes because it did not utilize toilet humor but rather satirical humor. The last part is the comedy short films, we were not able to understand the short films because of the bad quality of the audio system.

Our group came to the Cubao Expo one hour early. It was awkward, as we were expecting a closed venue and we did not know the youth rebel atmosphere of the place. Having a lot of time before the show starts, we first sat at Fred’s, a Cuban Communism themed bar. With graffiti adorning some of the shops and designs that pay homage to rock, this place obviously caters to the rather rebellious youngsters. We ordered French fries and three of us also drank a bottle of beer. From the table, we were able the see the various people hanging out and waiting for the event. The people in the Cubao Expo that night were the typical urban people who live in Manila. Based on what they were wearing, we can conclude that there were three categories of people during that night. The first included the people that wear jeans, skater shoes or snickers and for the top, a checkered polo or a v-neck shirt. They are usually the ones who stay in bars and chat in booths instead of watching the show. They were usually drinking not so hard drinks such as Cerveza Negra or Coors. We think the reason was that these were the people that still have work or school tomorrow. Most probably their purpose here was just to chill-out and unwind and the reason for them not to drink hard drinks was that tomorrow was another day to work. The second included the people who have elaborate hairstyles such as Mohawks and skinhead with designs and people who sport a lot of skin arts. We think that these were the people who really came for the event that was why they just sat everywhere even on the road and its sidewalk and ever if they become thirsty, they just took a quick sip from their Red Horse. Because they are in support of the Leftist-themed show, the reason for their supposed to be “socially unacceptable “ looks is that they want to defy what is normal and they highly value individualism. The third variant includes the “hip-hop” people. They were the ones wearing jeans or shorts along with an oversized t-shirt and a cap. Most probably they are also in support of show since the show tackles social issues such as poverty and the phenomenon in which the Philippines is slowly being owned by Henry Sy. These people also drank hard drinks and smoked cigarettes. We think that the reason for seemingly “rapper” people to support the show was that the famous rap icons such as Francis M. and Gloc 9 composed songs that are satire and political in nature.

When the event looked like it is going to start, we left the bar and sat by the sidewalk. The set was two outdoor tents placed along the parking lot. There was a screen were videos were projected and a platform where the comedians would do their act. Half of the tent was reserved for the bands that will play. An intro video, one showing various tragedies in history, was shown. It was the Anti-Apocalypse Show, a comedy festival to prevent the Apocalypse. After the intro video, two trailers of the show Weeds featuring the history of marijuana were shown. The pro-marijuana stance of the event was obvious. This caused some of our groupmates to be on the lookout for possible government agents. After the two aforementioned videos, a video featuring a flower that can cure illnesses and make people happy was played. In that video, the flower was banned by the government, causing a rise in the use of legal drugs like cigarettes and alcohol, loss of a good medicine with artificial drugs causing side-effects, and the start of a bloody war for that flower. It was an obvious ode to marijuana, and it didn’t need to show some text saying that marijuana should be legalized for one to get its meaning. After that, an announcer came to the stage to introduce the show to the audience. He garnered applause from the UP people in the event when he made it clear that the show supports marijuana legalization. He made it clear that the show was different from the usual stand-up comedy as it will use music and videos together with its stand-up comedians.

The first band to play was Wilderness, a heavy-metal/progressive metal band that uses regular instruments with traditional Filipino instruments. They feature very few vocals, of which most are screeches, screams and ramblings. There was also an arnis exhibitionist who displayed his arnis wielding skills by showing moves and hitting the platform and tent poles to the flow of Wilderness’ music. The man also has a red Alibata scripture written on his back. His exhibition, along with his appearance, was fitting to the rather nationalistic and rebellious atmosphere that the event had in its veins.

The comedians themselves were very interesting. One is unemployed, while another is also a doctor in St. Luke’s. All of them are either in their 20’s or 30’s. Their clothes were nothing out of the ordinary; one can easily mistake them as part of the audience. Their jokes center on pop culture, from old cartoons to the popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones to the very much recent Tulfo-Raymart-Claudine controversy. They rarely touched toilet humor, as it was the objective of the show to be different from the usual stand-up comedy routine. They managed to bring the audience to laughter, though most of the laughs only came during the middle part of their routine and not much came during their intros.

Since this was a comedy fest, videos were also played. After the third comedian, a short film titled “Honey” was shown. The comedian said that the film is always shown to film students. It seemed like a telenovela, only to have a funny surprise twist by the end. When the twist was revealed, some exclaimed “sabi na nga ba,” while others just laughed.

Being already quite late and the fact that our friend’s sundo was already there, we decided to leave. Upon leaving, we were surprised that a guard was checking the entrance of spectators. There was no guard when we entered, and the gate was wide open. It seems to be some sort of mechanic to hide the pro-marijuana event inside.

Overall, the event was fun, albeit rebellious treat. We ended up going home with the aroma of an obviously secondhand cigarette smoke. However, this experience opened our eyes to the pro-marijuana legalization community populated by those who want to be different and show that they are different. It was a great time to be with that culture.

Adrian Viktor Perez

Jonathan R. Sescon

SA 21 A


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