Jon & his alter egos pa more!

CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2015 - 10:00am

Jon Santos is at it again — rather, his alter egos.

On Sept. 25 and 26, and Oct. 2 and 3 at Teatrino (Greenhills, San Juan City), Jon will present WTF (Wala Talagang Forever…sa Malacañang!), a new political comedy starring President Pi-nYoy, Senator  Meeryam da Defensive Defender, Governor Vee, Mayor Syerrap Espada, Ms. Korona Sanches, Senator Grey’s Mano Poh and MaJonnDa.

So you want to know who our next president would be? Let Jon give you his comic insight: Who’s the favorite, who’s the funniest or even who’s the fairest among the presidentiables?

For the affordable admission prices of P2,000 and P1,500, you will leave Teatrino with a good idea WHO.

It’s not your first “politically-motivated” show, is it?

“No. I was always a part of the all-star-cast franchise Rock Da Vote which was usually staged every time there was an election. It was only six years ago that I did my first solo show.”

How has your show evolved? How have the candidates’ promises and the issues they pretend to tackle changed through every election?

“Once in a while, there’s an addition to the repertoire. You know, someone old, someone new and someone recycled. May mga taong for all seasons, ‘yung mga parating laman ng headlines ng mga dyaryo. Among the new ones are Senator Grey’s Mano Poh and MaJonnDa na maagang darating kasi ayaw niyang maipit sa trapik. You don’t have to pay P57,000. For only P1,500, mami-meet n’yo na si MaJonnDa, hahahaha!”

I love your show because it’s not only funny, it also takes subtle potshots at your subjects.

“It’s like holding up the mirror ng kaunti. Palagi silang laman ng mga balita, mga sikat sila so their quotable-quotes will be there. Andyan ‘yung huling beses niya sigurong sasabihin na ‘Kayo ang boss ko!’ habang ilang daang araw na lang ang natitira kay Pi-nYoy. Maybe he will explore new things and contemplate a new life, kung saan siya pupunta at saan siya kakain. He might finally tell the whole story.”

And reveal his love life…get married?

“Who knows? Sana may ma-meet siya sa Teatrino if he goes to the bar and tries a pick-up line. Baka he might open his heart about being an ordinary citizen after May 2016.”

Who are the politicians hard and easy to impersonate?

“Sen. Miriam Santiago is at once easy and hard to impersonate. Easy mainly because you’ve heard so much of her inside and out. Physically, there is the velvet robe; inside naman, there are her quotable-quotes. Madali and mahirap because she can out-funny any comedian. I had a similar experience noon with Sen. Juan Flavier. It was hard to take him to the next level. ‘Yung very visible may maraming quotable-quotes are easy to impersonate. But those somewhat under the radar, or erratic ang exposure sa TV news, ang hirap dumukot. If it’s hard to copy their wardrobe and their make-up, ‘yon ang mahirap i-impersonate. Si Duterte, mahirap gayahin sa make-up.”

You’ve been doing it for many years, how long does it take you to study your subject?

“With the social media, it becomes a little easier. But the downside is that netizens can be ahead of you because they are also exposed to the same newscast and they are quite familiar with all kinds of celebrities. If they think hindi okey ang impersonation mo, they post their comments and, ‘Hindi carry, ano ba? Kilala ko rin sila.’ You know, things like that.”

Has any of your alter egos ever been offended?

“Wala naman, I hope! I am just an insect compared to everything else that they have to deal with every day. Pero there’s a warning from Governor Vee, ‘Huwag lang daw iuuwi ni Ralph by mistake.’ Otherwise daw, I will lose her friendship, so ingat na ingat ako. Same with Korona. Pag naiuwi ako ni Mar by mistake, lagot! I will be rated-K, hindi na niya ako magiging ‘K’aibigan, hahahaha!”

You really are a Vilmanian, very obviously!

“Forever! Mayroon din naman palang forever — Vilmanian Forever!”

Good thing your political preference doesn’t manifest on the show.

“Campaigning for politicians has never been a part of my life because during the last four elections, I’ve always been in Manila busy with shows. And I really don’t mind because it’s nice to see an empty canvas na walang kulay, walang agenda. I keep my preferred politicians to myself. On the show, I stay neutral, with no political persona.”

If a celebrity you’re impersonating happens to be in the audience, doesn’t it cramp your style?

“I confess that I get starstruck and a bit nervous. And excited and flattered at the same time. I’ve seen the Marcos children in the audience. Tita Midz (Armida Siguion-Reyna) and her children have watched the show. If they’re around, I adlib and insert their names into my lines.”

So far, how many celebrities have you impersonated?

“Let me see, it has been, no, not yet 30 years but only 29 because I started doing this during EDSA 1. I think I have impersonated more than a hundred since I started with Tessie Tomas and Willie Nepomuceno.”

And who do you consider the three most memorable?

“My eternal favorites: Tita Midz, Mommy Dionisia and Ate Vi. Three generations. O, di ba?”

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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