Translating Humor on to Paper

Dear Mr. Michael V.,

I was surprised that you have your own book now.

Last November, I was looking for a book when I spotted yours. And while I haven’t been watching “Bubble Gang”, I have vague memories of you when you were still with ABS-CBN and were one of the hosts of the Sunday morning game show, “Ready, Get Set, Go”. The skits at the end had riddles that would be answered the following Sunday. But my best memories of you were during your “Tropang Trumpo” days. From the chicken and Caronia dances to the unforgettable classic “Battle of the Brainless” segment, that was a golden hour with the family laughing at you and your company’s jokes. And I would relive them come Monday morning with classmates and friends.

That is why I did not hesitate to buy your book, The Bubble Bible by Bitoy.

Despite never watching “Bubble Gang”, I know of the show and your many characters, hugely because of friends and officemates who are big fans of yours and the show’s. That is why the character guide was, in a way, helpful—like there’s something in the book for almost every kind of reader. And the wardrobe guide was a fun guessing game.

Never knew you’re an artist, as well. I realized that when I flipped through the chapters dedicated to the characters you play. You make good caricatures!

Most of the time, I found myself powering through the pages. The charm is practically palpable. There is wit for days. But, for me, the hilarity is missing. I know that Cecilio has a speech impediment so, when I watch him recite poems and passages, I couldn’t help but laugh. But translating the same impediment on paper failed. Reading how lisps are pronounced just comes off as strange and awkward. Then there’s Yaya Rosalinda who doesn’t have as much oomph; though her advice does produce giggles, it’s not the laughter that she got when she was with Angelina. She doesn’t sound solid as a solo act. Unlike Yna Moran, who still has a semblance of a partner via her daughter Selphie in their – or her – chapter.

Just to be clear, I still believe in your humor as a TV personality and composer and singer of weird songs. There has to be a better way to translate your humor on to paper.



Mati Serraño


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