Barrel of Laughs Essay

Gonzalez, Enrico Daniel R. 3Lit Topic: Exploring the Scope of Philippine Humor Thesis Statement: The humor of Bob Ong spans the various aspects of Philippine Society, most notably the Political, Academic and Cultural Aspects. *“A Barrel of Laughs: A study of Philippine Humor through the Works of Bob Ong*” Introduction The wonders of our country’s humor never cease to amuse even the most restless individual. It’s rather comical wit, often delivered by those who practice the art of comedy, has somehow managed to put a smile on our faces.

Whether it was poking fun at our culture, our politics, or our culture in particular, the laughter we bring about is a sign of a job well-done by our comedians and comediennes of our mother land. One such comedian, who took the path of writing to bring about his own brand of funny, is the rather infamous Bob Ong. Who Bob Ong really is actually quite an intriguing mystery, seeing as the short biography found at the end of all his books seems too mundane and surreal to be believable.

There is even a theory that Bob Ong is not a real person, but a group of people writing about different experiences in life from a humorous standpoint. It can be said that the amount of anonymity The man behind Bob Ong uses is part of his mystique as a writer. The only thing we know for sure is that “Bob Ong” is actually a pseudonym that the writer uses, a persona that masks the writer’s true identity. One thing that cannot be denied, however, is that his brand of comedy is quite witty and downright laughable.

He has produced great works such as “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!!! ” which talks about his experiences in school both as a student and as a teacher through a humorous perspective, “Ang Alamat ng Gubat” a fable that seems to reflect our politics in a comical fashion, “Paboritong Libro ni Hudas”, which follows a main plot not unlike “Dante’s Inferno”, and “Stainless Longganisa”, a pseudo-autobiography which covers the finer details of writing. Indeed, Bob Ong’s works are an amazing product of the Filipino Psyche as far as laughter is concerned.

His books have inspired many witty quotes that, in a way, make sense to many Filipinos all over the country. We are able to relate to his jokes because it reflects the circumstances we live in today, especially in the Political, Academic and Cultural realms of our society. He has somehow, in a comic sense, created a reflection of our society using his works, in the process giving us an appreciation of our homeland. The sad fact today is, however, many of our countrymen these days don’t fully appreciate the wit and comical antics of our Philippine comedians.

Instead, they turn to foreign acts that, though they are funny, do not have the same sense of connection we as a people share with our own comedians. This in turn causes those who are budding in the comedy business to feel discouraged and not pursue this road in life. This is not good for the new generation of Philippine comedy for there will leave only a few people to do comedy. Worse is, that as the generations pass on, fewer and fewer comedians will emerge, each generation becoming lesser than the last. This, in the end, may lead to the possible extinction of the Filipino Comedian.

This paper seeks to explore the facets of Philippine comedy through the works of Bob Ong because, in this student’s opinion, Bob Ong was a master at what he did and unbelievably witty when it came to the delivery of his jokes. He exemplified the brand of humor that only the Philippines can be seen for. And with that, we continue on with the paper with the hope of understanding our brand of humor a little better, effectively reviving our generation of comedians and, hopefully, help those outside our borders understand it as well.

Statement of the Problem The problem we encounter in this paper is basically why foreigners seem to find our humor a little too different for their tastes. Another problem would be the hardship that budding comedians and comediennes face in making it in their craft. Lastly, this paper seeks to help with the problem of helping our own countrymen appreciate our own brand of comedy in par with the comedic acts of foreign funny men/women. Significance of the Study

This study is also significant due to the knowledge of comedy and it’s various forms learned as we go along in the paper. Scope and Limitations Here is the list of books by Bob Ong used for this study: ABNKKBSNPLAko?!! Paboritong Libro ni Hudas Alamat ng Gubat Bakit Baliktad Nagbabasa ang Pilipino Stainless Longganisa As such the paper will not go beyond these books seeing that the sources and references of these papers will come from these books. Furthermore,