comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Istambay sa Looban: A Poor Man’s ‘Boy Pick-Up’

For the past few years, the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ segment served as a highlight of the gag show ‘Bubble Gang‘. But when Ogie Alcasid left GMA for rival TV5, the writers sought a new sketch that will serve as a worthy replacement. Thus came a new musical sketch called ‘Istambay sa Looban’.

The segment basically centered on a song ‘Istambay sa Looban’, with the lyrics modified by Michael V to fit in with a particular sketch. The song itself is performed by Michael V, with instrumental backing from Antonio Aquitania, Sef Cadayona and Roadfill Obeso. The title card was inspired from the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch, featuring the same ‘spray paint on the wall’ sequence. In between the four choruses, a sketch related to the reworked song is performed by the cast, with the theme usually revolving on relationships and incidents revolving around the barangay.

In contrast to the hip-hop inspired gear worn in the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch, the characters on ‘Istambay sa Looban’ wear stereotypical urban poor attire, with sleeveless shirts, denims and slippers. And from time to time, extras will also get involved in the skit.

‘Istambay sa Looban’ is a fresh and exciting concept worth watching. Here is the latest segment from last Friday, which centers on Paolo Contis as the father, Boy 2 Quizon as the alleged snatcher, and Carla Abellana (in her first televised appearance since the conclusion of ‘My Husband’s Lover’) as the snatcher’s girlfriend.

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comedy, entertainment, music, Philippines

Ogie Alcasid Moves On

Kapuso No More: Ogie Alcasid moves from GMA to TV5.

Ogie Alcasid had been a Kapuso for nearly two decades, and during his lengthy tenure with GMA he has played the role of actor, comedian and concert performer every week. This past week Alcasid confirmed that he is returning to TV5 after an 18-year absence, and as seen on last night’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang‘, Alcasid is no longer seen in any of the sketches.

One of the signs that Alcasid is indeed out of the long-running gag show is on the shortened opening billboard, which did not show the names of the regular cast members and special guests. While Alcasid’s image still appears on the commercial bumpers, he was not seen in any of the sketches last night, furthering the fact that Alcasid is no longer a regular player on Bubble Gang.

Alcasid also ceased to appear on Sunday All Stars. Originally a judge on the variety show, he was replaced by comedian, Startalk host and Eat Bulaga mainstay Joey de Leon, who also appears on TV5 every Saturday on ‘Hayop sa Galing’.

Alcasid’s 18-year tenure with GMA has been one of the most productive. Most of his 18 years as a Kapuso was spent as a regular player on Bubble Gang and as a performer on SOP and Party Pilipinas. Alcasid also dabbled as an actor, particularly in the teleserye Daddy Dearest. He also played major roles in Bubble Gang spinoff movies such as Yaya and Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie and Boy Pick-Up: The Movie. He was also a host on several other GMA programs, such as Hole in the Wall. But perhaps the most fruitful result of his GMA tenure was his relationship with fellow performer Regine Velasquez, whom he married two years ago and bore a son Nathan.

With the impending move of Ogie Alcasid to TV5, we wish him the best of luck in his endeavors as a new member of the Kapatid Network.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

Boy Basag Takes Over

For nearly two years, Bubble Gang‘s ‘King of Pick-Up’ was Boy Pick-Up. The Ogie Alcasid-portrayed character wore baseball caps, football jerseys, t-shirts, baggy shorts and rubber shoes as part of his character, and he uttered pick-up lines that only a few people can understand. His confidant was Boy Back-Up, portrayed by Eri Neeman, who always gives Boy Pick-Up a round of approval that was supported by audience appreciation, thus giving Boy Pick-Up that aura of invincibility. However, his days of living in the moment were numbered after Neeman left Bubble Gang last May.

May 17’s ‘Pick-Up Lines’ segment introduced viewers to a new character: Boy Basag. Also portrayed by Ogie Alcasid, Boy Basag was a sharp contrast to Boy Pick-Up, sporting skull caps, dreadlocks, sleeveless shirts and baggy shorts. In addition, Boy Basag walks barefoot, was not accompanied by a confidant, and utters his pick-up lines in short bursts. It was Boy Basag who finally shattered Boy Pick-Up’s unbeaten record, helped by the fact that Boy Back-Up (Neeman) was not around to support him and that Neneng B (Sam Pinto) was absent. Two weeks later, Boy Pick-Up decided to leave the segment altogether upon realizing he had no more pick-up lines to offer. It was also at this point that Honey B (Jackie Rice) took over as the moderator while Neneng B moved out of the spotlight.

Which leads us to last night’s ‘Pick-Up Lines’ segment. I anticipated that the sketch would finally get the boot after Boy Pick-Up’s departure, but instead, according to MC Bits (Michael V), a new year and a fresh start beckons. As it has been in most sketches, Dahon (Antonio Aquitania) would make the finals to face the undefeated opponent, which is now Boy Basag. Dahon would bring in his ‘trusted’ back-up Kasuy in an attempt to win the audience’s trust, but in the end, it was Boy Basag who got the victory.

It was a new beginning indeed. a change for the better. Boy Basag is now the ‘King of Pick-Up’, and the viewers need to get used to him. Click on the video below for the entire sketch, which included a spoof for ‘Rescafe’ (Nescafe).

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