The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is set to give recognition to some of the most iconic Filipino comedians in the country, in line with the celebration of the 3rd Philippine Film Industry Month this September with the theme, “Tuloy pa rin ang Tawanan.”
With their contributions not just to the local film industry but also to the country’s popular culture, the FDCP will bring into the forefront the significance of Philippine comedy over and beyond the entertainment value it serves to the public by honoring Filipino personalities whose names have become synonymous with what Pinoy comedy is.
In his more than three decades in the industry, Beethoven Bunagan, most popularly known as “Bitoy” or Michael V., has been widely regarded as one of the most prolific comedians in the country.
As one of the brains behind “Bubble Gang,” the longest-running comedy show in the Philippines, Bitoy, with his genius in creating characters such as “Yaya Angelina,” “Bonggang Bonggang Bongbong,” “Mr. Assimo,” and “Doña Yna Moran” among others, has skillfully pulled off and made his brand of comedy, mixed with satire and social commentary, a phenomenon in itself.
Known in the industry as “Uge,” Eugene Domingo started out as a theater stalwart who has worked with theater icons and National Artists Tony Mabesa and Ishmael Bernal before she became the film and tv actress that she is now.
Among the films she starred in include her titular role in the “Kimmy Dora” franchise and in Marlon Rivera’s award-winning film “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” which was also the country’s official entry to the Academy Awards in 2011.
Uge has managed to bring the discipline and nuances shaped by theater to television and screen to create intelligent characters and to raise the level of comedy to more than just a popular art.
Ai-Ai Delas Alas
Martina Eileen Hernandez, also known as Ai-Ai Delas Alas, is widely regarded as the country’s Queen of Comedy. Her comedic talent has earned her some box office hits like the “Ang Tanging Ina” franchise directed by the late Wenn Deramas.
Aside from doing comedy shows and films, Ai-Ai Delas Alas also excels in dramatic roles which earned her accolades in numerous award-giving bodies here and abroad. Among the recognitions she received were the Best Actress Award from the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival in the USA for the drama titled “Area” and the PMPC Star Awards for TV Best Single Performance for her role in the drama-anthology series “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
Ai-Ai’s more than three decades in showbiz has allowed her to craft the style of acting that can range from slapstick to dramatic, while personifying the faces of entertainment in her iconic roles on both the small and big screen.
From doing standup comedy at comedy bars to becoming one of the most sought-after comedians in the country, Jose Marie Viceral popularly known as “Vice Ganda,” has truly become an icon in her own rights.
Blockbuster hits, high-rating television shows, advertisements, and sold out concerts here and abroad are proof of the influence she holds in the industry. Vice Ganda has established a distinction in the industry never before achieved by a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Tito, Vic, and Joey
Continuously standing the test of time is the trio of Tito and Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon, collectively known as the TVJ. For more than five decades, TVJ has been able to transcend the changes brought by time and has since become everyone’s “dabarkads” through the longest-running television show in GMA Network.
TVJ is also able to embody authentic Filipino humor, proving their ability to build and establish rapport with the evolving audience in a highly-competitive market of the industry.
The late Comedy King, Dolphy
The undisputed and irreplaceable King of Comedy, the late Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, is the highlight of this year’s PFIM as the industry pays tribute to his contributions to the entertainment industry.
Dolphy was the ultimate personification of the Filipino Everyman, representing the fusion of the two faces of entertainment—both tears and laughter. His brand of comedy was able to transcend beyond different generations and eras of entertainment that include bodabil, television, and films.
The late King of Comedy will be conferred with the FDCP’s Highest Honors for being the multimedia artist who represents the brightest of Filipino comedy.
The Awarding Ceremony will be held on September 29 at Acacia Hotel Manila during the Closing Ceremony of PFIM 2023. A grand tribute for the late King of Comedy will also happen as the tradition of humor and laughter continues and be carried by the younger generation of comedians.
Through the celebration of the PFIM 2023, the FDCP aims to celebrate Philippine Comedy—what it meant to us before and how important it is to us now.
For more updates on PFIM 2023, follow FDCP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.