Comedienne Pokwang on living, laughing, and loving
- Rhia de Pablo () - March 15, 2008 - 12:00am

"Pokwang” may connote laughter but this comedienne who is Marietta Subong in real life actually has gone from several downturns proving that life can’t be as funny or easy as we wanted it to be. However, these bitter experiences turned her into a better person worthy of everyone’s admiration. She is now considered an icon of inspiration to mothers, daughters and those aspiring comedians out there.

In an interview, The FREEMAN Entertainment was able to share some valuable time with the actress, TV host, and comedienne Pokwang who was honest enough to share her valuable learning from her past and amusing experiences in the world of show business.

Unlike new talents, fame did not come easy to Pokwang and nor was it part of her immediate goals since all she ever cared for was to survive life’s challenges.

Coming from a poor family in Antipolo, Pokwang had traveled a rough road in life and experienced several tough and testing times. As she recalled, “Mas maganda na ang buhay ko ngayon napakalayo sa mga kahirapang pinagdaanan ko noon. Masalimoot yung naging buhay ko na di mo aakalaing nakasurvive ako ng ganun pero ni minsan ‘di ko kinuwestyon si God at ginamit ko lahat ng mga pinagdaanan ko para patuloy na lumaban.”

Growing up with a drunkard father, Pokwang witnessed how her mother struggled to raise 12 children with very limited resources. So as she was determined to help her family, Pokwang decided to leave for Japan when she was 17 to become a dancer. She also went to Abu Dhabi and worked there as a domestic helper for a year.

Yes Yes Show’s “Clown in a Million” contest was Pokwang’s biggest break into showbiz, as after winning it she got an exclusive artist contract from the ABS-CBN Kapamilya Network. Now, traces of Pokwang’s tough past have slowly erased as as more marks of contentment and happiness are imprinted on her face.

“Ngayaon, araw-araw dinadaan ko nalang sa comedy ang naging hirap ng buhay ko dati,” recounted Pokwang.

For someone who has been through a lot, Pokwang knows for a fact that not everything in life is permanent, especially show business. So, she makes it a point to save for herself and her family’s future. Slowly, she has invested in a house and lot and a farm in Antipolo and Tagaytay and now she is also able to buy herself cars and everything that her daughter needs.

“Priority talaga ang pamilya. Hindi basta-basta ang trabaho at ang gastos pero iniisip ko ang kinabukasan namin parati dahil wala naman talagang tumatagal sa showbiz,” she added.

But owing a lot to her craft, Pokwang sees to it that all her performances will be remarkable so that her avid viewers and fans will not feel shortchanged and that they, especially the kids, will always patronize her shows and projects.

“Kahit minsan masakit ang katawan kayod lang ng kayaod. Hindi pwedeng mawala sa mood lalo na’t nasa harap ng mga tao na nagmamhal at sumusuporta sa’yo,” she added.

And very much aware of her responsibilities to her audience, Pokwang is very careful when it comes to the antics and punch lines that she unleashes. She’d rather make fun of herself than at other people’s expense. She consciously throws in clean jokes, and not green and malicious ones that don’t fit young audiences.

“Masarap maging komedyante na pati bata nanonood sa’yo kasi mas marami kang taong mapapasaya,” she said.

And just like any mother, Pokwang is very protective of her daughter Riemae. After her son died some years ago, she makes it a point to always spend some quality time with her 11-year-old daughter with her Japanese ex-husband. But after her misfortunes on love, Pokwang is now very careful in choosing a lifetime partner as she does not want men to cause herself and her daughter anymore pains.

Pokwang is fond of gardening and tending to her pet fishes at home as a way to unwind instead of going out shopping for branded items like other celebrities.

After four years in the entertainment world, Pokwang has had shared limelight and billing with famous local celebrities such as her idol comedy king Dolphy, comedy concert queen Ai-Ai de las Alas, Willie Rivellame and heartthrobs Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby as well as award-winning actresses such as Claudine Barretto, Judy Ann Santos, Sharon Cuneta, and Kris Aquino.

Aside from her concert stints here and abroad, as well as noon-time show and sitcom, Pokwang is also dreaming to someday do a movie with Piolo Pascual that will create a paradigm shift in the country’s film industry.

Para maiba naman yung partner niya at hindi na puro magaganda at sa ganun mabalik yung dating mga movies na pangit ang bida,” Pokwang joked.

As for her advice to people who are experiencing tough times in their lives; the comedienne said, “Kung ano binigay ni God, ingatan mo. Kaya ka niya pinapahirapan ngayon dahil meron siyang magandang plano para sa iyo. Hindi solusyon ang alak o droga. Hangga’t humihinga ka, may pag-asa at habang gumagapang ka pa, ipakita mo na kaya mo bumangon ulit.”

Aside from her various endorsements such as the Sun Life Lakbay Pro Text campaign which she is busy promoting in Cebu, Pokwang can also be seen daily on noontime show “Wowowee” with her trademark grand costumes and characterization, and as a regular cast member in Aga Muhlach’s “That’s My Doc” on weekends as the hilarious “Sita.” Pokwang will also star in the upcoming summer movie with Vhong Navarro entitled “Superpapalicious” produced by Star Cinema.

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