Vice Ganda first made a living as a stand-up performer in well-known comedy bars, such as Punchline and Laffline, both in Quezon City. Then he found work as an actor in TV series and movies.
When he sat down with StarStudio Magazine for its August 2015 issue, Vice was already a household name, being one of the regular hosts in the noontime show It’s Showtime and having starred in the highest-grossing films, such as Sisterakas; The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin; and Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy.
Yet, after long, tedious days of putting on make-up in taping sessions, movie shoots, and live performances, the comedian known as Jose Marie Borja Viceral in real life comes home just like any regular person who’s not free from imperfections.
Vice gave as a prime example the May 28, 2015 edition of It’s Showtime, specifically his own “adVice Ganda” segment, in which he took on the role of Madam Bertud, a person who gives hilarious yet sound and practical words of wisdom. On that particular episode, Madam Bertud gave advice to Pamela Reyes, a woman who felt insecure because of public judgements about her looks, specifically her dark skin tone.
Vice, who took a stand against bullying after hearing Pamela’s story, surprised everyone by removing his make-up, false eyelashes, and hair extensions. This way, he revealed himself as the “real” Vice Ganda with all his imperfections but with his confidence remaining intact.
“Ito ang mukha ko. Ito si Vice Ganda,” he said, his face stripped of glam and glamor. “Hindi makinis ang mukha ko sa paningin ng iba. Mataas ang hairline ko. Ngayon, picture-an niyo akong lahat. Ikalat n’yo sa Internet. Pagtawanan n’yo ako, laitin n’yo ako, sabihin n’yo lahat ng gusto ninyong sabihin. Wala akong pakialam.”
The audience cheered him on, and the comedian went on saying: “Kahit magaspang ang mukha ko, mataas ang hairline ko, maganda ako. Wala na akong itinatago, hindi na ako natatakot. At kahit ano’ng sabihin n’yo sa akin, hindi na ako mabibigla. Sabihin ninyong pangit ang buhok ko, alam ko. Pangit ang kutis ko, alam ko. Pero ’yang lahat ay sa paningin n’yo. Para sa akin, maganda ako. Maganda ako...” Going back to Pamela, he ended his spiels by proclaiming, “At maganda ka.”
Vice’s statement made waves in social media, especially after posting his no make-up look with the hashtag #ProudToBeMe that trended on Twitter. It was a powerful moment not just for It’s Showtime viewers, but for people like Pamela who became targets of insults and criticism based on how they look.
From that moment on, the #ProudToBeMe campaign flourished with Vice Ganda as its spokesperson.
Now, let’s look back on the time Vice Ganda showed his natural looks, and also welcomed StarStudio Magazine at both his current home in Quezon City and his former home in Sta. Cruz, Manila. See how he evolved from a rising stand-up comedian to the Unkabogable Box-Office Star we all know and love, while maintaining his humility and confidence. Scroll down for the exclusive house tour!
Original text: Michelle Angela Orosa Carag
Photography: Rxandy Capinpin
Old House Photography: Renato Lu
Special thanks: Peter Dizon and Reily Santiago
Make-up: Archie Valencia
Hair: Buern Rodriguez
Style: Aaron Mangsat
Style Assistant: Mona Santuele