Pinoy fights cancer through comedy tour

By Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

TORONTO – After traveling to 14 cities across North America, the Filipino Comedy Tour is back in Toronto with Big Norm, Ernie Vicente, Rembrandt Sabelis, Keith Pedro and headliner Joey Guila.

“What I want to try and do is to go international,” said Sabelis. “I want to go and bridge that gap between the comedy that’s going in the Philippines right now and the comedy here.  Our goal is to end up in the Philippines.”

For Sabelis, his life changed dramatically when he was diagnosed with cancer last November and lost his arm to it. The journey changed his outlook on comedy.

“Spread word and inspire people,” said Sabelis. “Now I’ve got a mission. It’s automatic to me now, with the situation that I am in, that I have a purpose, and my purpose is to make people laugh.”

San Francisco native Joey Guila says that laughter is also about healing and helping out.

“This fundraiser is all for me…no, no, actually we are trying to spread it out,” joked Guila. “We are helping out Rembrandt, who’s going through cancer right now so he’s such a soldier, they just amputated his arm, and he’s still doing comedy, so just see him get on stage inspires me”.

Whether the comedians made cultural references, or poked fun of themselves, the packed audience laughed out loud from start to finish.

Joe Caballan said, “It was my first time experiencing this and it was absolutely amazing. I was blown away by the talents that we have in our community.”

Orin King added, “Actually you know what? It was pretty funny. I don’t know a lot of Filipino comedians, I watch comedy but I didn’t know a lot of Filipino comedians but I was impressed by what I saw tonight.”

Rembrandt Sabelis and Joey Guila will be going on their “I am Brave Tour” starting May in Los Angeles.

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