Brod Pete, the Busy Bee of Comedy
Nenet Galang-Pereña (The Philippine Star) - May 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - He posted this rebuke in his Facebook account (that banners him as Pilipino, Manunulat and IT Expert  should have been ET as he comes with the appellation “Alien,” but there was a typo that he did not want to correct anymore), together with the photo of a tarsier with saucer eyes in a mock-up Time magazine over: Sa mga kandidatong mananalo ngayong halalan, sana tulad ko, hindi kayo Ko-CORRUPT.

With the election fever of 2010, he revived his wacky persona as Prof Pete, with the innuendo that the political circus is really a numbers game, i.e. profit. Now that the country has survived another election, with showbiz headliners reinventing themselves in government posts, his favorite apocrypha becomes a prophecy: Wherever you are, you are there.

It’s now part of Philippine urban legend that he almost ran in the 2013 Party List elections. However, his group, the Bagong Silang Party or Birthday Party, was not accredited by the COMELEC because he failed to produce a birth certificate. Of course, he reasoned that he doesn’t have one since he is an “Alien.”

After hibernating for a while, the comedy genius is busy as a bee again.

Ever since he gave his epic eulogy on Dolphy (which became a YouTube hit and went viral on social media), work has become a rigmarole once more. The forlorn country remembers that for a full 10 minutes, he gave his idol’s grieving family and fans a respite from their loss, by dishing out surreal revelations like: “Vandolph, itinago namin ang sekretong ito sa mahabang panahon, pero ang tunay na tatay mo ay si Panchito.” And the outrageous take on the humungous late comedian’s son, Dino: “Naghirap talaga ang nanay mo nung pinanganak ka, ang caesarian niya, biniyak mula ulo hindi lang sa tiyan, parang daing na bangus!”

Ang Dating Doon has been revived and enjoying its second wind in Bubble Gang as Ang Bagong Dating Doon. He has also gone back to writing gags for the GMA long-running program.

Then, he was invited to likewise pen comedy sketches for It’s Showtime, the daily noontime show on ABS-CBN.

He even did a weekly radio program, The Saturday 3PM Habit with Brod Pete, in a newly-opened station where he gave zany answers to phoned-in queries from Aparri to Jolo, and even in Japan and Saudi Arabia (as it has live audio and video-streaming in the Internet).

He held a solo concert early this year in his hometown in Marikina where he disproved the admonition: Walang propeta sa sariling bayan.

From time to time, he accepts personal appearances in as far as Isabela in the north and Davao in the south to get a feel of the people’s pulse nationwide.

He also personally maintains his Facebook fanpage, which now counts almost 400,000 likers, as well as a Twitter account. In these social-networking sites, we get treats of the newest jokes and one-liners from the icon of Pinoy comedy. Memorable posts are photos of his “make-believe” hometown (CalumPete in Bulacan) and his imaginary businesses (PeteZA Hut and PeteRon gas station).

Whatever he is reaping now, Brod Pete, Herman Salvador in real life, who finished AB Communication Arts in UST’s Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1980, owes it to his idol, the inimitable Dolphy. “I am grateful to him for sharing with me his comic genius.”

The two were always together in Pidol’s sitcoms (from John and Marsha, Plaza 1899, Home Along Da Riles, John En Shirley and finally, at Pidol’s Wonderland). Also to the late Ading Fernando, who gave him his break as a comedy writer and to Apollo Arellano who inserted his Isko character in Dolphy and Nida Blanca’s legendary program on RPN.

His gospel is simple: Not to take one’s self too seriously, as life is too short for aggravations. He welcomes the good with the bad sans bitterness and laughs away his problems. Not even the unrelenting deluge of Ondoy could dim his sunny disposition, though it swallowed his house and car in Marikina. Currently, he is in the finishing stage of a sturdy dream house that will withstand the ravages of nature, as a testament to his fortitude.

And as his popularity reached a new high, advertisers kept knocking at his door. There were several offers, but he chose only two that he really believed in. One was an agri-based product of Jardine Distribution, Inc. and the other Pollen-B. Last March, Isko joined a powerhouse cast of Pollen-B endorsers as he was chosen by Nutri-Health, Inc., the natural food supplement local distributor, to be its latest celebrity endorser.

His endorsement of the health supplement came with a funny poster created by a fan featuring Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg in casual jeans (both were born in the merry month of May), speaking before an audience on the foreground and him holding a box of Pollen-B in the tarpaulin background, which has become a favorite, based on the number of tags and shares by FB habitués.

In the past, singers Pilita Corrales and Joey Albert, television host/actor Jojo Alejar and Tour of Luzon champion Marc Guevarra appeared in Pollen-B ads.

“Isko Salvador personifies the classic adage, a sound mind in a sound body, which Pollen-B upholds,” says Grace Ang of Nutri-Health, Inc. She adds that Pollen-B from England can provide the extra energy and alertness for a showbiz dynamo like Isko since it contains 16 vitamins, 16 minerals, 18 enzymes, 18 amino acids and 28 nutrients.

Brod Pete, for his part, is elated to be the newest face of Pollen-B’s advocacy for better health and claims, “Jolly aliens and people like me can raise the level of total wellness through regular exercise, balanced diet and daily dose of Pollen-B.”

“With my hectic and toxic schedule, I never fail to take Pollen-B for that added zest and vitality needed in my work,” says Salvador. “May nakita na ba kayong bubuyog na lulugo-lugo eh kaya nga busy as a bee ang expression, laging hyper,” he winks behind his thick eyeglasses, the bee of a mole in his chin dancing with laughter.

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