Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 44 - UP and a Drag/Comedy Show

Benny decided to take me to his alma mater today – The University of the Philippines. We took the light rail there. Of course, the surroundings reminded me of my college days at UCLA.

Benny told me that when he was there, there was a physical education requirement at the school, and he took “brisk walking” as a course, and cheated his way through it my cutting across campus. He also said that bridge class was also a P.E. Course. Nowadays, they have gotten rid of this requirement.

Activism is strong and the environment on campus is anti-American. There is speculation that the government may have abducted some of the students, who they assume have ties to terrorist organizations in more of the provincial towns. So when they leave campus, back to their towns, they are abducted. We walked by a couple of pictures of two of those students, who have been missing for a long time.

I saw a couple international students and asked Benny how student felt about them. Students don't like when people overseas come to their campus to study, only to leave after they get their degree. They think that these students come to get a cheaper education without really giving back to the school or country.

The campus is facing budget cuts as well, with more wealthy students only being able to attend, and you can notice by the rise in purchase of parking passes in the lots, from people who can afford cars.

Afterwards, we headed to Quezon City, specifically Timog, to meet up with my CS host from Boracay. He wanted to take us to a comedy show in the area. Benny explained that the comedy shows in the Philippines consist of both a comedy routine and karaoke. Basically, you have to be able to sing to be a legitimate comedian here. He also said that the comedians were known to pick on foreigners and continuously crack jokes at them in hopes of you paying them to stop.

The comedy show we saw had a couple of male hosts, along with a bunch of drag queens who performed their renditions of Celine Dion, Leona Lewis, and Rihanna songs. Most of the jokes were said in Tagalog, so I didn't understand much of it, but I enjoyed listening to the songs. Just as I was dozing off from not understanding the dialogue on stage, one of the drag queens (Anton Diva) asked me a question in Tagalog, and of course I didn't say anything. According to Benny, she targeted me not because I looked like a foreigner (she thought I was Filipino), but because I looked like one of the past Filipino leaders of the country – Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

Once she found out that I was a foreigner, she brought me up to the stage to ask me some general questions about myself in English, while semi-violating me in a comedic way. I was a good sport about it, and she gave me a peck on the cheek at the end. I felt flattered since she was the hottest drag queen of them all! Such a compliment...

University of the Philippines

Two Student Activists thought to be Abducted by the Government

Anti-Government and Anti-American

State Budget Cuts

I love that everywhere I go, there is a live cover band performing. Ziggy couldn't get over her outdated 90s outfit, but I told him she was only trying to revive the early 90s "Selena" look.

Comedic Performance

Song Performance

Miss Anton Diva

Interrogation on Stage

...and My Peck on the Cheek!

Closing Performance

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