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Help! Ayaw na ni Ramon Bautista sa syota niya!

Comedian, professor, filmmaker, radio DJ and best-selling author Ramon Bautista: “Oo, naiisip ko din kung nakakainsulto na ba ako. ‘Okay ba ako? Wala ba akong kakwenta kwenta?’ Sobrang yabang mo na kung hindi ka dumadaan sa ganun.”
 

One of the Millennial generation’s favorite funny men was first an independent filmmaker, then a teacher, then a host and radio DJ, then a best-selling author. His undeniable wit has landed him everywhere from huge endorsements to hot controversies. Here are 10 things you should know about Ramon Bautista.

1. On getting into trouble because of his jokes: “Gusto kong maging matapang na sabihin na walang magbabago, pero syempre, parang hindi na natuto yun. Hindi ko pa rin alam what is next.”

“Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa iniisip kasi medyo mabigat pa siya,” Ramon says about the next steps after his public apology and statement, saying he respects the decision of the city of Davao declaring him persona non grata following a recent event. “There are other people who tell me to just continue what I do. I’m happy that there are people like my manager (director Erik Matti), who are usually the first to tell me if I’m doing something wrong, that still believe in me.”

A favorite host and guest speaker of corporate and school events, Ramon says, “I’m usually told about the topic beforehand and I prepare for it. Minsan yung mga talk parang iniimbento lang nila, parang gusto lang nila ako makita. Hindi sa pagmamayabang, pero parang ganun,” he laughs shyly. “I’m often invited when the topic is about love, and usually for that, I speak more spontaneously.”

2. He wasn’t the class clown at school. “Seryoso lang ako nun. Isa akong wallflower.”

“Napakaboring kong bata noon!” Ramon declares. He admits to being an above-average student (“Out of 30, siguro pang-12 ako”) who just loved drawing doodles in class. “I would read Time, Newsweek, or National Geographic because that’s what I would find at home. I would read pictures and captions ng lahat ng mga kagulugan sa mundo. Yung comics wala masyado,” Ramon reveals. “Nung bata ako, hindi ako masyadong lumalabas, hindi ako masyadong nagsasalita, tahimik ako sobra. I was so shy that whenever I would speak in front of a lot of people, I’d pat myself on the back kasi kinaya ko. I never imagined I would be a teacher because I’m afraid of public speaking. Pero dahil kailangan ng okasyon, gagawin ko.”

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3. On their first YouTube video that mattered: “Dan Michael Master Magician.”

“Fresh out of college, my friend R.A. Rivera and I worked for a show on UHF channel UNTV called Strangebrew. I was the editor for the videos and motion graphics, and I’d also help write the skits for our hosts Tado Jimenez and Angel Rivera. Since the show really didn’t have any budget, whenever they would need an extra to play a doctor, or taong grasa, o sirena, kami yun. Syempre di ka makaangal kasi kung umangal ka, tatagal ang shoot at made-delay ang production. Eh biglang okay ang feedback, so nilagay na nila ako,” Ramon recalls. “When Strangebrew was dissolved, I worked as a producer in TV5, made music videos for Radioactive Sago Project, and when YouTube came out in 2006, isa kami sa mga unang nag-upload. That’s where it really all started.

“We were at that gas station outside UP talking. You know David Blaine? Ano kaya kung sablay siya no? Yung hinuhulaan niya, mali? We kept on laughing about that. So that’s what we did,” Ramon says. “Those videos were commissioned by MTV for an event, and they asked us to do more. After some time, we decided to pitch a new idea, The Ramon Bautista Show. I interviewed Raimund Marasigan, Kean Cipriano when he was starting, and other big rock stars. Tapos dun na dumating yung mga commercials.”

4. On how he started as a filmmaker: “Alam mo yung ‘reverse inspiration’? Yung na-inspire ka sa pangit?”

“When I was in high school, idol ko si Pol Medina, Jr., yung gumagawa ng Pugad Baboy. He was an architect. Gusto ko maging architect para makagawa ako ng comics, hindi bahay. Para makagawa ako ng parang Pugad Baboy,” Ramon shares. “First sem, I slowly realized architecture had nothing to do with comics, pinakasilbi lang nito gumawa ng boxes gamit ang T-Square. At that time, R.A. and I were invited to watch a film festival in UP. Eh ang pangit ng mga pelikulang pinalabas. Sabi namin, kaya namin gumawa ng ganito. So that’s when we shifted to film.”
His thesis film titled Makina made it to international film festivals (“VHS tape pa na ipapadala, wala pang burn burn ng CD noon”) and even won in Gawad CCP. Aside from being a filmmaker, Ramon once applied at Cinema One (“Nung nagpass ako ng résumé, nakipagkwentuhan ako sa ilang batchmates, naisip ko parang di ko kaya ginagawa nila,”) and applied at an ad agency (“Taga-isip ng commercial, eh habang hinihintay ko ang resulta, nag-text na si R.A. tungkol sa UNTV.”)

5. On where he got his funny side: “Hindi ko alam, buong pamilya ko boring, walang nagsasalita sa amin!” he says laughing.

“Yung tatay ko, si Ernesto, clerk, at yung nanay ko, si Leonida, teacher at admin staff, pareho sila dito sa UP. Dito lang ako since birth, anything sa labas ng campus, outer space na yan sa akin,” Ramon says. “We are three siblings, my older sister is in the States, my younger sister is a preschool teacher. Gitna ako. Sabi sa akin, yung middle child syndrome, pang-babae lang daw yan. Pero nafe-feel ko all the time. I always want to be alone, I feel like I have to prove something and I have to work hard to prove it. Pero, sinasabi sa akin ng magulang ko na ako ang paborito nila. Pero, sinasabi naman nila sa lahat, nahuhuli ko eh,” he laughs.

6. Ramon Bautista in numbers:

100,000-plus: Number of Bakit Di Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo books sold nationwide. The movie adaptation starring Kim Chiu and Xian Lim earned P124 million.

1.76: Ramon’s college grade point average at U.P. “Konting konti na lang, pasok na ako cum laude! Isang frustrating na point.”

200: Number of pesos he used to charge per hour when he did side projects as an editor for other students in UP, while in college.

7: Number of episodes of Tales From The Friendzone, their hit online show, with a total of over 3.5 million views.

1,130,000: Number of followers on his Twitter account, @ramonbautista

7. On the best lesson he’s learned as a professor: “It’s that feeling that you can be happy with the simplest things. I’m reminded na, eto yun. Eto lang dapat tayo.”

His career as a teacher at the UP Film Institute started as just something he wanted to try.

“The teacher for Animation class left, and there was no one else who specialized in animation at the time. So they asked me to teach. The next sem, they added to my units. So I taught Film Sound. Hanggang ngayon, tuloy pa rin ako.

 I teach the general education course on Philippine Cinema and World Cinema.”
On giving grades: “I think I’m fair. I usually give a 1.75. Pag di pumapasok, 5 talaga yun.”

On getting mad: “Oo naman, pero hindi ako sumisigaw. If they fall asleep in class, I tell them to sleep in the library and I mark them absent. Ganun lang.”

On being taken seriously as a teacher: “First day of class, I lay out the guidelines. Teacher ako, estudyante kayo. Alam naman nila iba yung sa TV.”

On having a female student try to charm him: “Wala! Sana nga may ganun,” he says jokingly. “Hindi, yung mga estudyante ko para silang naglalakad na class card sa mata ko. Sagrado ito. Ayoko mag-screw up sa kahit ano dito sa UP.”

8. He admits that the very first time he cried over a heartbreak was when he was 29 years old.

“Tanda na ako, mga 2007 yun. Dati, wala akong pakialam, hayaan mo sila kung ayaw nila. Eh, eto, gusto ko talaga,” Ramon admits. “That is how the book Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo and the show Tales From The Friendzone came to be. Sabay yun lumabas nung 2012. Oo, yun ang hugot nun, dala ko all that time, ganun katindi yun,” he laughs. Their story: “Naging kami. Brineak niya ako kasi meron na siyang iba. Wala naman kaming problema nun. Diba, maiiyak ka talaga.” He admits he and the girl-who-first-made-him-cry are okay now, and when he told her she was the inspiration for the book, she quipped, “Dapat may cut ako sa kinita mo.”

On how many times he has been in love: “Marami akong mga One True Love. Diba dapat isa lang? It’s a continuous process eh,” he says, laughing.

“Dati napanood ko si Aga Muhlach, ang galing o, nag-sorry tapos wala nang problema. Puppy-dog eyes. Ako, pag-nagsorry at nag-puppy dog eyes, lalo ako masarap i-break eh! Etong problema sa mukha ko, yung charisma ko may problema,” he explains. “Mukha akong walang credibility, mukha akong hindi sincere, pero sincere talaga ako. May problema lang sa mukha ko. Kaya nasa business ako ng katatawanan.”
He admits he does want to settle down in the future. “Oo syempre, masarap din na may bata kang hinihintay lumaki. Parang Tamagochi.”

9. On remembering Tado: “Kaibigan, inspirasyon, mentor, kung ano ako ngayon, ginagaya ko lang siya talaga.”

“Tino-tone down ko, kanya kasi sobrang tapang. Kung baga sa Milo, yung ka-Milo-han niya hanggang dito (points to the middle of a glass), ako lalagyan ko ng tubig hanggang dun (points to the top of the glass), para hindi masyadong wild.

“We were brainstorming for the show Science of Stupid on Nat Geo. I got a text, ‘Totoo ba yung kay Tado?’ I thought, ‘Sino nanaman inaway nito?’ Isa pang text. ‘Ano nangyari kay Tado?’ Tapos 3rd, 4th. Mukhang hindi gumawa si Tado ng trouble para sa sarili niya,” Ramon recalls Arvin “Tado” Jimenez’s untimely death earlier this year. “Nakakatawa na parang joke. Yung tipong si Tado lang makaka-pull off. Tapos yung tipong anytime, o Tado! Pakita ka na, tama na yan.” Ramon says. “Yung energy niya, paano niya tignan ang mga bagay, nakaka-inspire. Yung pagkawala niya isang super sad na bagay.”

10. Ramon is known to give amazing love advice to young Pinoys and Pinays. The most popular of which is: “There is more to life than love.”

The most common questions he is asked, and what advice he gives:

Q: Anong gagawin kapag hindi maka-move on?

A: Wag mag-move on at gamitin ang energy na yun to be a better version of yourself.

Q: Hindi pa raw siya ready for love, anong gagawin ko?

 A: Siguruhin mo kung hindi lang siya ready, o kung hindi lang siya ready sa IYO. Either way, wag mo nang ipilit. There are many fish in the sea, in cans, and at the grocery.

Q: Tama lang ba na umamin ng feelings sa best friend?

 A: Tama lang, kung kaya mo i-risk guluhin ang napakaganda ninyong samahan.

“Based on personal experience, stories of friends, and common sense,” he says about where he gets his knowledge on love. “Oo, naiisip ko din kung nakakainsulto na ba ako o annoying na ba ko para sa tao. Sa lahat ng umaakyat ng stage o nagsasalita sa mga tao, naiisip mo, ‘Okay ba ako? Wala ba akong kakwenta kwenta?’ Sobrang yabang mo na kung hindi ka dumadaan sa ganun.”

* * *

A comedian’s life is tough. You’re expected to make people happy, and people are quick to judge when they don’t see you happy. “Minsan pag mag-isa ako sa bahay naiisip ko, wag na lang kaya? Hindi na lang ako magpo-post, hindi ko na kayo pasasayahin lahat. Pero natutuwa ako na marami pa ring naniniwala sa akin,” Ramon says. However, life does go on, and following his best-selling book, Ramon is soon releasing Help! Ayoko Na Sa Syota Ko. “A lot of people are obsessed with having a love life, this book explores a lot of other angles. Okay lang na walang syota! Relax,” he smiles. 

* * *

Email me at askiamsuperbianca@yahoo.com or message me on Twitter and Instagram @iamsuperbianca.

 

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