Pokwang new Kapamilya Comedy Queen?
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – After topbilling in drama projects for the big and small screens, with the recently-concluded series Nathaniel as her last, Pokwang is back to doing comedy via the ABS-CBN gag show Banana Sundae (the new title of Banana Split Extra Scoop) that will air Sundays beginning Nov. 15.

At the presscon held last Thursday, Pokwang put everyone in stitches when she appeared on stage while doing a rap number with other members of the cast. That laugh-out-loud performance led one member of the press to tag her as the new comedy queen.

“Wow, Comedy Queen talaga,” the visibly surprised Pokwang said. “’Di naman po ako ‘yun. We all know who the Comedy Queen is.”

It can be recalled that when Ai-Ai delas Alas transferred to the rival network, the Kapamilya network was left without an ‘heir to the throne’ of Comedy Queen for a long time. Still, Pokwang neither showed eagerness nor excitement about claiming the title.

“Ah, talaga po ba? For me, it’s a joy to be with them (the cast) again and we will join forces in bringing happiness to televiewers every Sunday.”

Pokwang added she has her own way of making people laugh without the pressure of living up to any title that others love to bestow on artists. “I’m here to work so bahala sila, gusto ko lang magpasaya.”

With co-stars (from left) Jayson Gainza, Badjie Mortiz, Jobert Austria, Pooh, JC de Vera, Ryan Bang, Angelica Panganiban, Aiko Climaco, Sunshine Garcia, John Prats and Jessy Mendiola. – PHOTOS BY ALLAN SANCON

According to Pokwang, her entry to Banana Sundae is more like a reunion with her ‘mga anak-anakan,’ referring to cast members Angelica Panganiban, John Prats, Pooh, Badjie Mortiz, Jason Gainza, Aiko Climaco, Sunshine Garcia, Ryan Bang and Jobert Austria because she was part of the gag show Banana Split from 2009 to 2011.

It was executive-in-charge of production Linggit Tan-Marasigan who met with Pokwang and invited her to join in the show again. “During the anniversary presentation of Banana Split, they invited to perform those who became part of the cast and I was among them. Tita Linggit must have missed my perfomance that’s why she asked me if I can go back to the show as one of its regulars.

“So I said, ‘Of course, why not?’ because honestly, I’m starting to miss doing comedy shows na rin.”

Besides, Pokwang treats everyone in the cast as her family. “It’s like going back to your family. Ganun naman di ba, parang you leave the house but still, your family is there waiting for you. And even if we don’t see one another often, we normally exchange text (messages), kamustahan. Or sometimes, I bring them food on the set.”

According to director Bobot Mortiz, Pokwang was not intentionally dropped out from Banana Split. “It was her schedule that didn’t permit her to do tapings for the show and we understood her situation because she became very busy with other projects. Ganun naman kami, we allow our actors to attend to other commitments without them thinking na inaalis na namin sila. Like si Zanjoe (Marudo) ngayon, he’s busy taping for his other shows kaya di natin s’ya makakasama ngayon.”

The bonding of the cast is solid, direk Bobot added. In the seven years that the show has been airing, never did anyone feel offended or humiliated whenever the punchline does not work effectively.

“We know what to do. If the joke is delivered in a way na parang waley, sasaluhin ng isa para maging havey,” Pokwang said. “We work as a team.”

Meanwhile, Jessy Mendiola is the latest addition to the barkada of Banana Sundae. JC de Vera came in a few weeks ahead of Jessy. Both star in the segment My Baby Love with Pooh portraying the lead role of Baby Girl. Other must-see segments are Kantaranta and Make Me Rap.

(Banana Sundae is executive produced by Rocky Ubana with Willy Cuevas and Roderick Victoria as creative manager and head writer, respectively.)

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