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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entertainment, Philippines, television

Boy Pick-Up Finally Defeated

If you missed last night’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang‘ on GMA 7, you wouldn’t believe how shocking the result was during the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch.

The sketch begins with the usual introduction by the host MC Bits (Michael V). He then introduces the first pick-up challenger Dahon (Antonio Aquitania). But instead of another challenger, he immediately called out the undefeated champion Boy Pick-Up (Ogie Alcasid). He then introduced the moderator Neneng B (Sam Pinto). As always, there were two rounds of pick-up lines, with Dahon going first and Boy Pick-Up second. And as it has been throughout every segment, Boy Pick-Up wins the challenge on audience impact. However, instead of immediately proclaiming Boy Pick-Up the champion, MC Bits introduced another challenger.

That challenger turned out to be Boy Basag (Ogie Alcasid), who brought along his own backups. Uncharacteristically, Boy Pick-Up chose to go first, and as a result the audience turned on him and cheered Boy Basag instead. Ultimately MC Bits made the hardest decision, proclaiming Boy Basag as the new champion and ‘shattering’ Boy Pick-Up’s undefeated mark.

I think the end of Boy Pick-Up’s ‘undefeated’ streak also brought a conclusion to the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch. The sketch had run its course; two-plus years, a movie (Boy Pick-Up: The Movie), and several guest challengers and pick-up lines along the way. However, like every long-running popular sketch on Bubble Gang, all things must come to an end. At first it was enjoyable, but in the last few months it seems repetitive, predictable and boring to watch. Plus the absence of Boy Back-Up (Eri Neeman) also put Boy Pick-Up in a vulnerable spot leading to the final sketch, where Back-Up’s spot was replaced by the character of Diego Llorico.

Nevertheless, the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch on Bubble Gang will always be remembered for introducing pick-up lines to the lexicon of Filipino pop culture. Many more people practice and improvise these pick-up lines for both enjoyment and pleasure, thanks to this sketch that began as a rap battle. While its time has come, it will always be remembered as one of the best, if not the most well-acclaimed, of all the sketches done on Bubble Gang.

The video of the said sketch can be viewed below.

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