In an industry filled with the most mesmerizing temptations, he is the most beautiful of them all – a vice like no other.
Armed by a notoriously unique sense of humor, there are no proven metrics to count how many times he has left the nation in pure ecstasy one joke at a time. People can’t seem to get enough of his daily dose of crazy antics, and they are begging for more. Now, and perhaps, the years to come.
He is the drug, a remedy for sadness, known by many forms – a stand-up comedian, ace television show host, credible endorser, award-winning actor, and a platinum-selling recording artist, among many others.
But for his regular patrons, it’s just Vice Ganda.
Before the world-renowned name, he was simply Tutoy.
The youngest of five siblings, Tutoy was raised in an eclectic neighborhood on the outskirts of Sta. Cruz, Manila. At first glance, he was as typical as the other boys along their street, playing basketball and gabbing about girls. However for Tutoy, it occurred to him from the very beginning that his heart was truly not in such things.
He was masking his real identity – an identity mirroring his two older brothers who are openly gay. For the longest time, Tutoy feared coming out would bring more tension to the family that would drive them further away from each other. Hence, he continued to be his daddy’s little boy, hoping to keep the most important people in his life together.
Much to his dismay, Tutoy’s childhood dream of a complete, happy family slowly dissolved into thin air. His eldest brother Lito eventually migrated to the United States after a string of heavy disagreements with their parents. In 1991 – one week before his birthday – Tutoy witnessed the tragic murder of his father right in front of their house, which soon prompted his mother to work abroad to start providing for their family.
Through this ordeal, he sought refuge in his grandfather and friends who shared his colorful personality.
By the time he was in college, his closest friends had called him Vice – a sweeter version of his surname Viceral, matching his undeniable flair fit for a queen.
Vice took up a course in Political Science at Far Eastern University, a safe haven where he discovered the freedom from any pretention. He strutted the school hallways like a runway model, dressed like a supreme diva, and yet still managed to play basketball like a champion rock star. Vice slowly made a name for himself in the university, not for novelty’s sake, but through his exceptional sportsmanship and dedication.
Back at home, it was also in these very moments where he finally mustered the courage to reveal his lifelong secret to the family, plus an unbreakable vow to make them proud for what he will strive to become.
In 1999, Vice unexpectedly entered the world of stand-up comedy.
During a night out with friends at a local comedy bar, the comics singled him out and asked him to join them on stage. They mocked him with insult jokes, but Vice surprised everyone when he retorted with sharper one-liners that made everyone laugh harder.
He was immediately offered a job, joining the ranks of Metro Manila’s most beloved singer-comedians working for Punchline and The Library, among others. Comedy bar owner Mr. Ricardo Castañeda gave him the stage name Vice Ganda (Beautiful Vice) – a name that eventually grew synonymous to a headliner, top ticket seller, and ultimate crowd drawer.
Through the years, Vice Ganda developed his own brand of humor, with stand-up routines banking on situational irony, sarcasm pertaining to culture and sexuality, plus insult comedy.
“The Unkabogable Vice Ganda”
With a newfound love for the limelight, he soon ventured into television – a seemingly rite of passage for many stand-up comedians in the business.
Vice Ganda appeared as a guest and bit player in several teleseryes (Kokey, Maging Sino Ka Man: Ang Pagbabalik, and Ligaw na Bulaklak ), sitcoms (Comedy Central Market), and variety shows (Wowowee) in various networks. Every appearance was a superb hit, as more and more people suddenly took notice of his incomparable comic timing and refreshing wit.
His biggest break in television was in 2009, when he officially became a part of ABS-CBN’s top-rating noontime variety show Showtime. While Vice Ganda’s original post was a guest judge on the brink of getting replaced week per week, fans succeeded in rallying for him to be a show regular; hence, the precedent title “unkabogable”, a creatively concocted word that means unbeatable.
From then on, he was known as The Unkabogable Vice Ganda, an unstoppable force dominating the local entertainment scene. After which more opportunities began opening its doors, allowing him to extend his reach to a multitude of Filipino fans nationwide and all over the globe across different platforms.
In television, he is currently the host of his own Sunday comedy chat show Gandang Gabi Vice, featuring a wide array of guests from celebrities, athletes, online sensations, and even political figures. The show and its hilarious content also regularly appear on the worldwide Top 10 trending list of the social networking site Twitter, sometimes occupying more than half of the items on the list.
“The Phenomenal Box-Office Star”
In film, Vice Ganda started to act in supporting roles in movies such as In My Life and Hating Kapatid, opposite Filipino superstars Vilma Santos, Judy Ann Santos, and Sarah Geronimo. He landed his first leading role in the 2010 remake of the 1988 classic cult favorite Petrang Kabayo, which became a certified blockbuster. This spawned a series of other box-office winners such as The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin, This Guy’s In Love With You Mare, Sisterakas, Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy and The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin – the highest grossing Filipino movie of all time, with a record-breaking revenue of more than 450-million pesos. Vice Ganda was also awarded Movie Actor of the Year by the Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards for Movies for his outstanding portrayal of four different characters in the picture.
In music, he has unceasingly proven his knack in coming up with smash radio hits. With chart-topping singles like “Karakaraka,” “Whoops Kiri,” and the anthemic “Boom Panes,” Vice Ganda moved the nation to groove, as he whipped each song with whimsical choreography that are considered iconic dance crazes. No wonder his albums reached gold and platinum status, in which his third offering #Trending created another career milestone. It had been immediately sold out two hours after its release, turning the album into a gold record in less than a week’s time. And true to his early beginnings as a singer-comedian, Vice Ganda began penetrating the live concert scene in 2010 with his first major show May Nag-text… ‘Yung Totoo! Vice Ganda sa Araneta at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to a sold-out crowd. This was followed by two more successful concerts in the same venue: Eto Na… Vice Ganda Todong Sample sa Araneta and I-Vice Ganda Mo ‘Ko sa Araneta – the highest-earning concert staged by a local artist for 2013.
“The First Openly Gay Superstar in Asia”
All this and more make him truly unbeatable. Addictive. Beautiful. Truly one of a kind.
Indeed, he’s the one and only Unkabogable and Phenomenal Star Vice Ganda.