A few months ago, Facebook friends tagged me to a link on a video from a page named Ampalaya Monologues. The video featured a guy named Mark Ghosn doing what seemed like stand-up comedy. He had the audience laughing out loud over a five-minute sketch called “Trolling in the Deep.”
Ghosn acted out a scene like he was talking to the mother of his girlfriend. Here are excerpts:
“Tita, minahal ko po ang anak niyo… mahal ko pa rin naman po… Kaya lang hindi na po talaga puwede e….
“N’ung sumama po ako sa Luneta para mag-rally kasi may binaon silang magnanakaw sa Libingan ng mga Bayani… Hihiwalayan niya raw ako kasi ayaw niya ng boypren na dilawan. Tita, hindi po ako dilawan, ayoko nga po kay Kris Aquino e…
“Okey naman po kami bago mag-2016… ’Yung una nga pong nagustuhan ko sa kanya ’yung pagpo-post niya ng Bible verses, kasi inspiring. Kaya lang po, lately, ’yung mga kino-quote niya na Bible verses, galing na po kay Pacquiao…
“Isang araw po, paggising ko, andami kong notification mula sa mga kaibigan ko. Check ko raw po ’yung wall niya. Tita, pagtingin ko po sa wall niya, nag-share po siya ng fake news ni Mocha. Tita, fake news! Mocha! May lalala pa ba d’un?”
Turned out that Ampalaya Monologues is an episodic play that was first staged in 2015. “It’s a collection of stories about love, heartache and bitterness. I wanted to write something that will inspire people to own their stories and struggles and to not give up on love,” Ghosn tells Inquirer Lifestyle via e-mail.
He adds that, aside from the original Team Ampalaya collection, there are other versions. “We have a BitterSweet collection, which features a combination of happy and sad stories. We also have the Camp Ampalaya collection, a hippy theme show that features stories about love in relation to social issues.”
Recently I caught a show, “100 Monologo,” held at Green Sun hotel in Makati, part of Ampalaya Monologues’ third anniversary celebration dubbed “Bitt3rd.” It featured about 20 performers, including Ghosn, in short but touching scenes about the bittersweet nature of complicated relationships.
Ghosn, who heads Monologista Inc., says it was inspired by playwright Eric Bogosian’s “100 Monologues”: “He gave me permission to do my own version in the Philippines… I want to bring out the potentials of a monologue…”
The show has traveled to Baguio, Bicol, Iloilo and Cebu, and has also been restaged by schools including University of the Philippines Los Baños and Ateneo de Zamboanga.
There will be another “Bitt3rd: Amapalaya Monologues” show today, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. at Arts Above, 112 West Ave. Quezon City.
The art of enjoying whisky has been gaining ground in the Philippines, as the third edition of “Whisky Live Manila” was held Nov. 9 and 10 at the grand ballroom of Shangri-La at the Fort.
I had a good time last year. Last week, the challenge was how not to get too drunk, considering there were more than 100 types, blends and flavors of whisky available for tasting.
I played safe and focused on familiar brands like Hennessy and Chivas Regal.
Luis Gabriel San Juan, on premise executive of Pernod Ricard Philippines, distributor of Chivas Regal, asked me to try variants of Jameson Irish Whiskey, also from the Pernod Ricard line. While the Jameson 12, which I’ve tasted previously, is light and smooth, the Jameson 18 is bursting with rich flavors.
There was a long line of people at the Johnnie Walker booth, where I was eyeing the Blue Label. But a lady in front of me whispered that I should taste the White Walker Limited Edition, inspired by the characters from the HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
Served chilled, its sweet and fruity notes almost wiped out the alcohol kick of whisky.