By Tante de Ramos
In his last trivia piece, Mr. Tante de Ramos wrote about the comedians of yesteryears who had gone ahead of us. In the following write-up, he enumerates the one who are still up and about (thank God they are still numerous), entertaining each and every one of us during these uncertain and turbulent times. The clowns among us, listed down alphabetically, include:
Bayani Agbayani—A mainstay of ABS-CBN network, he started playing the back-up man of film stars Sen. Ramon Bong Reviila and Cesar Montano. His first big break was to share top billing with Vhong Navarro in Cass and Cary where they co-starred with Gloria Romero, Carmina Villaroel, Long Mejia and Gladys Reyes.
Boy Alano—In the film Roberta (made in 1951), he was introduced and chosen from so many aspirants to play the role of Tessie Agana’s best friend. He made the movie Kiko (1953), palying the title role. His other hits included Musikong Bumbong (1954), Kaming mga Talyada (1964) and Fighting Waray sa Ilocos.
Ai-Ai de las Alas—One of the top comediennes today, she reached her peak as a box-office comedy actress in the film Tanging Ina which really chalked huge grosses nationwide. She is busy with emceeing and starring in sitcoms in ABS-CBN programs.
Herbert Bautista – He played the lead role in the film Kumander Bawang. He was one of the original members of the Bagets which also included Aga Muhlach, Raymond Lauchencgo and William Martinez. He appeared as Tengteng in a remake of Captain Barbell with Edu Manzano in the title role. He is still the Vice-Mayor of Quezon City.
Wally Bayola – He developed into a comedian in the noontime TV show Eat Bulaga with Tito, Vic and Joey. He was seen in Espiritista which starred Vic Sotto, Cindy Kurleto, BJ “Tolits” Forbes and Wally’s partner Jose Manalo.
Dolphy – The quintessential Philippine Comedy King, he started his rise as the country’s top comedian playing Jill in the original Jack and Jill with Rogelio de la Rosa and Lolita Rodriguez. During his Sampaguita heydays, he made unforgettable films like Mambo-Jumbo, Kalabog en Bosyo and many others with his partner, the late Panchito. His later films include Markova: Comfort Gay with his sons Eric Quizon and Jeffrey Quizon and the Home Along Da Riles series for his own RVQ Productions. He was given a lifetime achievement award by the Directors Guild of the Philippines late last year.
George Javier – He became a comedy star in comic spoofs. Some of the films he starred in were Tolongges, a cowboy slapstick comedy, the local version of Zorro, and Abogado de Kampanilya. He also appeared in a TV sitcom, Kaya ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis with Cesar Montano and Maricel Soriano. He is now into singing and composing, having came up with hits like Ang Galing ng Pilipino and Ukay-Ukay Condom, the number one novelty song of Baguio for six months now.
Allan K – Now a mainstay in Eat Bulaga, Allan K ventured into movies with Regal Films’ Bahay ni Lola where he appeared with Gloria Romero, Manilyn Reynes, Aiza Seguerra and other young stars. He was cast also in Espiritista. Allan K is the proprietor of Klownz Bar & Restaurant, a comedy establishment in Quezon City.
Joey de Leon—One of the triumvirates of the most successful trio of comedians, Tito, Vic and Joey, he did solo films like Starzan for Regal Films. He is busy with emceeing jobs in two TV studios in the country: Mel & Joey for GMA and Wow Mali for ABC Five. He also appears in Startalk, Nuts Entertainment and the long-running Eat Bulaga.
Jose Manalo – Another mainstay who made it in Eat Bulaga, he also appeared in the movie Espiritista under his benefactor Vic Sotto in the lead role. He was a surprised winner as best supporting in the last Metro Manila Film Festival for his role in Enteng Kabisote 2, produced by Octoarts Film and M-Zet Productions.
Joey Marquez—Just like Eddie Garcia, he was successful in portraying roles in sex comedies. A former basketball player, he married and was separated from Alma Moreno. A former three-term mayor of Paranaque, he appears in TV program of GMA, including S Files and Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita.
Leo G. Martinez—Just like Joey Marquez, he excelled in sex comedies like the controversial Batangueño Caviteño, Dr. X (On the Air) and Indecent Professor, all produced by Viva and directed by Felix Dalay. He is the director of the Film Academy of the Philippines since 2003. He also appears in GMA sitcoms and tele-novelas, like Hokus-Pokus (after Idol Ko si Kap) starring Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla and the Richard Gutierrez starrer Sugo.
Rosalio ‘Yoyong’ Martirez – He was one of several star basketball players who were paired with popular actresses of the day in the film Basketball Star. He became a mainstay of Okay Ka Fairy Ko. The long-running TV series starring Vic Sotto, Alice Dixon, Madel de Leon, Charito Solis, Aiza Segurra and Larry Silva. The series spinned off into sdeveal movies. He was also cast in some flicks made by M-Zet Production of Vic Sotto.
Bearwin Meily – He appeared in the movie Yamashita Treasures, a Metro Film Festival entry of Regal films several years back. The film starred Armando Goyena, Cogie Domingo and Mia Prats. He also appeared in Lastikman with Mark Bautista and Sarah Geronimo directed by Mac C. Alejandre for Viva Films. His first lead role was in Hari ng Sablay with Rica Peralejo. He is the brother of film director Mark Meily.
Rudy Meyer—A director who was a close associate of the departed King of Philippines Movies, Fernando Poe Jr., he is still cast today in comedy films like the Vic Sotto-starrer Espiritista. A board member of the Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc., he was a member of the board of directors of Pagcor during the term of President Joseph Estrada.
Vhong Navarro – He was the title roler in the film Mr. Suave together with a bevy of sexy actresses as co-stars. His first big break was the film Cass and Cary for Violette Films where he shared top billing with funnyman Bayani Agbayani. He and his co-dancers in the Streetboys dance group appeared in Spirit Warriors, a MMFF entry. Another film festival entry, Gagamboy, featured him as a super hero who fights for the oppressed against evil antagonists who wreak havoc on his squatter area mates.
Oscar Obligacion – The LVN comedian who was ribbed for his being a komang, he appeared in many comedy flicks. But an interesting revelation is that he was included in the cast of a historical picture, Lapu-Lapu, which starred Mario Montenegro, Delia Razon, Priscilla Cellona and directed by National Artist Lamberto Avellana.
Teri Onor – He appeared in the GMA sitcom Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita and the noontime show. He was also in the cast of Espiritista.
Dennis Padilla—The son of Dencio Padilla, the eternal sidekick of FPJ, he made his mark playing the sidekick of Robin Padilla then graduated into lead roles in Viva Films comedies. He is now a councilor of Caloocan City and married to Marjorie Barretto.
Candy Pangilinan—A favorite sidekick of lead actresses, she appeared in both serious dramatic films, as well as youth-oriented comedy flicks.
Benjie Paras—One of the more successful ex-basketball players, he made a smooth transition from hardcourt to movie or television screen. He was the lead role in the film Dunking Donato. He is also a mainstay in Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita.
Roderick Paulate – Now in the TV sitcom Ang Tanging Ina with Ai-Ai de las Alas and 12 kids as supporting cast. A former chiuld star who excelle in both comedy and dramatic films, he was the lead role in Petrang Kabayo for Regal Films.
Pekto—Another GMA TV sitcom mainstay, he lately appeared as the sidekick barkada of Bearwin Meily in Hari ng Sablay for Regal Films. He also appears in Nuts Entertainment, usually playing a mujer in the show’s skits. He co-hosts with Carmina Villaroel a new weekly at Quality 11.
Danny Penzalin – He was cast in Pedro Penduko with Janno Gibbs in the title role. He is the sidekick of Leo Martinez in some of the sex comedies directed by Felix Dalay for Viva Films.
Don Pepot—The other half of a comedy duo with Penggot, he first became popular in stage shows. He also appeared in several movies.
Ruby Rodriguez—A regular fixture in Eat Bulaga, Ruby appeared in several movies under Regal Films. She is the lovable maid in Da De Di Do Du, the Sunday sitcom that stars Vic Sotto, Redford White, Jose Manalo, Jonee Gamboa, Maxine Magalona and Danica Sotto.
Randy Santiago—He appeared in several comedy flicks, one of which starred him with Maricel Soriano. He still appears in ABS-CBN sitcoms and runs Ratsky, a popular night spot in Morato avenue. He is the son of the late director Pablo Santiago and brother of action star Raymart Santiago.
Jimmy Santos – He starred in Bondying as the title role popularized by Fred Montilla. He was the sidekick of Fernando Poe, Jr. in Ayos Na Ang Kasunod which also starred Ara Mina and Maritoni Fernandez. He is also a mainstay of and is popular in the Bulagaan portion where he plays the scorekeeper.
Vic Sotto—Regarded as the heir apparent to Dolphy, he also started as a member of the Tito, Vic and Joey triumvirate. For several December filmfests now, he had been the topnotcher in terms of gross. The series of films from Lastikman to Fantastic Man to Enteng Kabisote was a long run of box-ofice hits. He was with Eat Bulaga from the start.
Tito Sotto—The member of the successful Tito, Vic and Joey trio who was able to parlay their popularity into a political career, Sen Tito achieved an outstanding public service career. But even when he was still a senator, he was still able to grace Eat Bulaga with his presence during weekends.
Jograd dela Torre – Some years past, this funnyman had appeared in some movie productions. He has funny artics that brings laughter in every scene.
Lou Veloso – He was a funnyman as a househelp in some movies which cast him in that role. He also played a villain as a nutty scientist who aspires to rule the universe. He is still a councilor of Manila. He is a stage performer who handles a group of children with special talents.
Redford White – He was among the first emcees of Eat Bulaga with Tito, Vic and Joey. He was the funny half of the TV sitcom Buddy and Sol where he co-starred with Eric Quizon. He made several films, usually spoofs, that included, among others, Tolongges, Wrong Ranger, Soldyer, Ranger in the Wrong War, and Bonnie and Klyde with Pia Moran, Cachupoy and Tatlong Itlog. He last appeared in Espiritista.