I had my local theater cherry busted last night, with a performance at The Kitchen by poet Regie Cabico. He was, as he said to us afterward when I got his autograph, cheaper than Margaret Cho, but he’s easily worth Margaret Cho prices.
He did this bit, but there was so much more to his show…
I was the only Filipino in the audience and I’ll tell you, all of his “growing up Filipino” bits hit very close to home. He even brought out the Barrel Man!
Even the differences between Cabico’s story and mine had the ring of familiarity, which is why I laughed harder than anyone. A Kitchen staff member was sitting next to me (could’ve been the Managing Director) who said to us, “I was laughing watching you guys laugh. I have a friend who’s Filipino and [Cabico’s impression of his own mother] was his mother!”
I told him, “Hell, that was my mother.”
More importantly, Cabico’s story had the ring of universal truth about how you find your way because of, as well as in spite of, the family you had growing up.
If you ever get the chance, go see him! I will, because I need more examples of how to tap into my own “growing up Filipino” stories in a way that doesn’t look anything like the film American Adobo *shudder*.