Vice Ganda: People just want to have a good laugh
Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis in The Mall The Merrier. The comedian knows his audience and is comfortable with it.
Vice Ganda: People just want to have a good laugh
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - December 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The last seven years of Vice Ganda’s life is a consistent success story.

He remains the sought-after, live-wire host of TV programs from It’s Showtime to Gandang Gabi Vice and without his presence, those shows would be exercises in boredom.

With Christmas just a few days away, Vice reasserts his presence in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) with an entry called The Mall, The Merrier.

By now, he is sure about his audience.

“My movie is not really for those who enjoy shopping at the mall,” he says. “I am thinking of the small people who have no means to live it up and are basically content with watching teleseryes after a hard day’s work. When they go to the cinemas on Christmas Day, I like them to enjoy that break with a movie that will make them laugh and forget how life can become so unfair at times. I believe I was able to connect with this audience and you’d be surprised they are the ones who contributed to my films landing on the super blockbuster list.”

In the past, he admitted, his offering is the kind of entertainment that small people ask of him. “They don’t want profundities and life’s cruel turns on Christmas Day. They just want to have a good laugh before going back to the hard grind. This is what they want and why change it? After all, I do this only once a year.”

To be clear about it, Vice no longer likes being addressed as “Sir.”

Used to be known as the Political Science undergraduate of FEU by the name of Jose Marie Borja Viceral who used to live in the periphery of Jose Abad Santos St. in Manuguit, Tondo, Vice has evolved with a gender Vice is more comfortable with. It is the gender of choice although not born as such.

Now, Vice is a person of means (no single quote there) who is also in love.

Joining a presscon for his latest MMFF entry, Vice opens up about what he enjoyed in his latest movie brainchild and how it is loving and living within the periphery of the man he loves.

“Doing a film is like bonding with new and old friends alike,” he said. “You are all tied to a new journey together and surprise of surprise, you discover you are not in this project just for the money but for the camaraderie that develops on the way to conceptualizing and wrapping up the project. You discover a need to reconnect and from what you find out, you enjoy the human factor that binds you to each other. You can say we were sad when it was time to go back to our private lives after giving everything to this movie.”

The other members of the cast are unanimous about Vice as the ideal “ate” figure you can run to for your urgent concerns.

Dimples “Daniela” Romana has known all along Vice is friend to all. “He likes talking about his project and making every one of us understand that we have a different audience and a different take for coming up with this movie. He likes sharing tips, likes comparing commitments not just to people but also with your work. Where Vice is now with the success he is reaping, his advice becomes indispensable to all of us. A good ‘ate’ or ‘kuya’ to everyone.”

Like it or not, you see the prime of Vice Ganda in this presscon and the mellowing of the TV host when some controversial topics crop up.

Vice refuses to be dragged once more into L’Affaire Quiboloy with whom the comedian had a catty exchange online. He invokes the spirit of Christmas when he says he prefers to be at peace with everyone in this important month of Christendom.

He looks lovingly at his love, Ion Perez, who is in the movie as well.

How does being in love affect him as he barges through his hectic showbiz schedule?

“It works in many ways,” he says. “It is nice to begin your day with a smile knowing someone really cares for you. That’s the reason I no longer want to hide him somewhere outside of my showbiz life. He is as much a part of me as he is part of my work. I love him and I like to believe the feeling is mutual.”

Vice is literally on top of the world and enjoying every minute of it.

The Mall The Merrier directed by Barry Gonzalez opens in cinemas Dec. 25. It also stars Anne Curtis, Tony Labrusca, Jameson Blake and Elisse Joson, among others.

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