Special on Pinoy Political Humor
Ate Glow in Hot Water

The mockery of mimicry

Rene Boy Facunla, one of the best-known impersonators of President Arroyo, finds himself in deep water. [photo by Lilen Uy; special thanks to Mandy Navasero]

THIS is a country where there’s always someone spoofing a president — dead or alive — on TV, during concerts, Halloween parties, and from time to time, at people power marches on Edsa.

There are a few who stand out, who have endured a revolution or two, and became icons. Willie Nepomuceno, Tessie Tomas, and Jon Santos have been around longer than some of the presidents and presidential wannabes (Cory, FVR, Erap, FPJ, GMA, Roco, Ping, Bro. Eddie, and Eddie Gil) they’ve emulated.

Michael V’s GMA in the top-rated TV show “Bubble Gang” was more cartoon than impersonation. He wore a bad wig, buck teeth, a mole as big as a bug, and to approximate the president’s size, stayed close to the ground with legs bent. He was hilarious but the presidential task force on politically correct humor didn’t think so and it’s been a year since Bitoy morphed into Gloria.

Rene Boy Facunla is the real person behind Ate Glow. He is the latest addition to this band of Excellencies. The remarkable thing about Ate Glow is he looks and sounds like GMA, even when he is not performing.

“But I’m taller,” he says.

But then, so is almost everyone else.

In this issue: