Mikey Bustos is no stranger to the typical Internet savvy Filipino. From tutorials to song parodies incorporating the humorous side of Filipino culture, Bustos has undoubtedly captured the attention of fellow kababayans around the world.
With his latest hit video, I Wear Speedos, garnering more than 9 million views, the Filipino-Canadian comedian is also attracting an international following of non-Filipinos as part of his “Mabuhay Squad.” This was very much evident in his first show in Singapore on the 10th of September that drew laughter and cheers from every side of the Kallang Theatre.
Contrary to the typical stand-up comedy format, Bustos brought his Youtube videos to life as he delivered a unique show that’s almost synonymous to that of a noontime variety program – a plethora of performances, which included singing, dancing, punch lines, and several costume changes. Most of which, of course, involved audience interaction such as during a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud where Bustos serenaded females in the room while giving out roses.
But Bustos sure knows how to work his way around blending humor and entertainment with topics of concern that most Filipinos have to deal with both in the Philippines and overseas. Singing about the discrimination he experienced because of his skin color and his inability to speak straight Tagalog, he performed his version of Miley Cyrus’ Twerk It Like Miley with a complete Filipino accent, much like the rest of his parodies.
Reminding us that he was first brought into the entertainment scene as a singer, Bustos also performed his audition song on Canadian Idol, Hello. This later ensued a roaring applause from the crowd, proving the comedian’s undying vocal prowess.
A segment in the show also involved Bustos inviting eager audience members to dance with him on stage, which surprisingly comprised of mostly of Singaporeans, leaving the rest of the reserved Filipinos on their seats.
The show concluded with the much-awaited I Wear Speedos performance, which according to the Singaporean couple behind me was the main reason why they wanted to see Bustos perform. Hence, it was almost not as shocking to find Singaporeans waiting in line for Bustos at the meet and greet following the concert.
Witty, kind-hearted, and downright hilarious are just a few words to describe the multi-talented singer and comedian. Bustos was able to introduce the Filipino culture to people of different ethnic backgrounds and remind OFWs of the habits they’ve developed growing up in the Philippines, invoking a sense of home – whether it’s the usual chismisan, receiving balikbayan boxes, or even the dreadful traffic. With that, Bustos has definitely carved a name for himself not only as a Filipino entertainer, but an important pop culture icon that brings laughter to OFWs regardless of location.
text TEEJAY VERGARA