The stage is now set for the new show that comedian Ate Gay is putting on for a new audience.
With his regular source of livelihood, the comedy bars, going out of business because of the pandemic, Ate Gay has thought of a new gimmick.
His new stage is a food stall in Tondo, Manila, called Ate Gays Siomai, which is a small business he has invested in to—one, make ends meet; and two, showcase his talent for cooking.
The food stall sells siomai, fried rice, pancit, and noodle soup that Ate Gay himself cooks.
A known performer and impersonator for 25 years—his real name is Gil Morales—Ate Gay goes about selling these popular dishes with the flourish of a true showman.
He provides his customers with a bit of entertainment too, and they like it.
Ate Gay's Siomai opened for business only last Monday, July 20, and sales have so far been good.
His first customers asked the comedian for a selfie, which they then posted on their social media accounts.
That kind of unsolicited promotion is, of course, good for his business.
Ate Gay happily posted this on the opening day: “Sold out naman po ang siomai ko kaya lang masakit sa balakang kakapagod .. siguro bagong mundo kaya sana kayanin ko araw-araw ... maraming salamat po sa inyo... bukas uli...”
Ate Gay has made a name for himself in showbiz as the impersonator of Nora Aunor, famously known as Ate Guy.
This explains his showbiz monicker Ate Gay, and why the tagline of his food business is “Siomai Himala.”
Every movie fan knows that Nora Aunor starred in the 1982 Ishmael Bernal movie Himala, now considered a classic of Philippine cinema.
Ate Gay used to perform regularly at Klownz and Zirkoh, both in Quezon City, which are owned by Ate Gay’s good friend and Eat Bulaga mainstay, Allan K.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Allan K decided to close these establishments on June 29, 2020.
It was a major blow for Ate Gay because it meant losing his bread and butter as a live performer in comedy bars.
The 48-year-old stand-up comedian said in his interview on GMA-7's news program 24 Oras, July 23, “Sobrang lungkot ko kasi gabi-gabi akong nagtatrabaho.
"Wala akong day-off. Minsan nga gabi-gabi, dalawa, tatlong performance ko.
“Minsan galing pa ako sa isang raket, 'tapos magpe-perform pa ko ng 12 m.n. to 1:00 a.m. sa Zirkoh.
"‘Tapos 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. sa Klownz. Minsan every day iyon, biruin mo. Kaya ang hirap."
Ever a source of laughter, Ate Gay promptly changed to a happier tune.
He said, “Ang hirap-hirap ng buhay ngayon, pero ang mga Pinoy ang hilig-hilig sa pagkain.
“Ang mapapayo ko lang sa kanila ay aliwin natin ang ating sarili, aliwin natin sa pamamagitan ng kung anumang talento meron tayo.
“Kagaya niyan, ang talento ko ay ang pagluluto sa ngayon.
“Malay niyo po, e, mas magaling po kayong magluto.”
And while saying that times are tough, Ate Gay is not one to complain, not only because his food business shows promise but because he is one tough cookie.
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