Memo to the Dying 10
To: Vice Ganda’s Reign
Estimated Death: When Marcelito Pomoy Comes Out of the Closet
Final Act: Marry Jong Hilario
Because he is intelligent, Vice-Ganda knows his reign as Comedy Queen (King?) is peaking, will flatten, and will go downhill from there. With his brand of humor: observational comedy, irony and sarcasm with a flash of self-deprecating wit, Vice Ganda will not run of funny things to say; what he will run out of is something more mundane: motivation.
Creative comedians like Vice follow the patterns of Seinfeld, they want to take it to the next level where nobody gets their joke. Then someone’s comedic potential gets discovered and will be hosting Gandang Gabi Marcelito.
Frankly, I don’t like Vice. He is funny and intelligent. His quick humor and sarcasm are seamless. But his popular jokes destroy the foundations of Filipino cultural values: respect and discernment.
Vice: Ikaw, okay lang ba sayo hahalikan ka ni Jhong?
Vice: Hindi. Si Anne (audience laughter)
The Filipino psyche is discerning. We need time to think when the question is about us. But we don’t want to appear rude by being silent. So we offer an acknowledgement response, spend a few moments of valuable silence, then reply.
The “Ako…” is a respectful acknowledgment; it is the equivalent of “Wait a minute, let me think”. But Vice downgrades that into a stupid act; people think the acceptable way is to respond fast without thinking! That is stupid!
This is another type of his usual joke:
Guy: Vice, dumating ka na pala?
Vice: Malamang, kasi nakita mo na ako. (laughter)
That is not stupid at all. It evokes the richness of our linguistic heritage.That statement “Dumating ka na pala?” serves three things: a message of welcome; a reminder of respect; and a test for evil spirits.
a. a message of welcome. We don’t have the equivalent of welcome in our language. We ask questions. Our ancestors did not say Hello when they met a friend on the road. They inquire, “Saan ka pupunta?” “Saan ka galing” Ano iyang dala mo?” When someone arrives, we don’t say welcome, we ask a question.
Man: Uy, dumating ka na pala? (Mabuti naman!)
It is the courteous way of saying: Mabuti naman at nandito ka na. There is nothing stupid about that.
b. a reminder of respect. You see, courtesy requires that you announce your presence.
Nandito na po ako!
If you don’t do that, the elders will remind you —
Dumating ka na pala? (Hindi ka man lang nagsabi!)
c. But because you did not announce your arrival as tradition dictates, you might be an evil spirit pretending to be you. So, I have to say your name and ask, “Vice, dumating ka na pala?” because evil does not respond to a name. How rich is that? And how spiritual!
And now we are losing that because Vice Ganda thinks it is stupid on national TV and blockbuster movies.
I wouldn’t have minded if Vice does this in the limited ambiance of a comedy bar where only adults can hear. But in national television, Vice is influencing Filipino culture. And its bad.
So, I hope his reign ends, and he gets to marry Jong Hilario. Then the joke is on Vice.