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TEXT BY BAM V.

ABELLON
INTERVIEWS BY ANNA PINGOL & BAM V. ABELLON
PHOTOS BY DAKILA ANGELES

W
hat used to be a three-door
apartment in a quiet Quezon
City neighborhood is now the
Vicerals’ own home. This house, Vice
Ganda is happy to say, has been fully
paid. He explains: “Hindi ako
nangutang. Ayoko kasi talaga ng
utang. Kung hindi kopa kaya, huwag
nalang muna, ‘tsaka nalang.”
Guests entering the house are
likely to notice the letter “V” carved on
the main door. The “V” stands for
Viceral. The door handle, which is a
Baldwin, was easily worth P50,000.
Parked in the garage is a Mitsubishi
Montero Sport.
Vice Ganda’s three-story house has a
360-square-meter floor area and stands
on a 138-square-meter lot. Modern Zen
is its design concept, manifested in its
clean lines and muted colors. Zen in ABOVE
architecture is usually associated with
minimalism, a design that is said to calm The House was designed by
the mind and sharpen one’s focus. Architect Alvin Mendoza, with
The house took just eight months to Trade Specs as the contractor.
build, and was Vice’s surprise gift to his Because Vice was quite busy at
mom, Rosario Viceral. “Walang the time that the house was
pwedeng pumunta diti no’ng ginagawa being constructed, design
pa ito,” Vice consultant Avelle Francisco took
recalls “Hindi ko din sila binigyan ng care of purchasing and choosing
picture .” most of the furniture and
fixtures.
Although the Vicerals still up comedian, tittle-roler in the hit movie
maintain their house in the Rizal Avenue Petrang Kabayo, and currently resident
area, judge, or Unevictable Hurado, on the
Manila, They now consider this ABS – CBN talent search Showtime. His
new one their main house . “Vice says. Mommy Rosario’s tears were triggered,
“Sarap kasi no’ng bagong taon tapos not only by the physical beauty of the
sama- sama na kaming lahat.”
house, but also by the memories that
came rushing back when she and her
family moved in. For mother and son,
the new home is a symbol of both
tragedy and triumph.
When the padre de familia,
Reynaldo Viceral, passed away, he had
left behind a jobless wife and their five
children: Emmanuel, Babot, Tina,
Marivic, and Vice. At that time, the
family was living in the area of Rizal
Avenue in Manila. Vice, who was born
on march 31, 1976, was 12 going on 13
when his father died. “On my 13th
birthday, nakaburol ang tatay ko,” he
ABOVE
would later say in an interview with the
Philippine Star (May 9,2010). Soon, the
Part of the reason why the
house was built in such a hurry nanay left the family nest as well.
was Vice’s ailing grandmother Around a year and a half after the
Rosita. Vice explains: Napabilis Vicerals lost the head of the family
yung paggawa ng bahay kasi Mommy Rosario decided to leave the
kailangan na ng lola ko. Gusto ko, country to secure the future of her
pag uwi nila ng nanay ko healthy children.
yung environment saka yong
In an Interview with YES!
maganda sa mata.
Magazine on the day of the photo shoot,
Mommy Rosario explains: “No’ng

N apaiyak ako no’ng dumating ako


because I cannot believe it. And
in-expect ko lang, ‘yong maliit
lang That’s how Rosario Borja Viceral
nabalo ako, I wanted to make it on my
own. Kasi, as an only child, very
protective sa akin ang pamilya ko. I’ve
never worked before. Kahit na may
describes the emotion that overwhelmed
her when she first laid eyes on the asawa na ako, wala akong alam. It takes
modern house that she received as a gift a lot of courage and prayers to make it
from her youngest son. own. I prayed all the time na bigyan ako
We know her son , Jose Mari ng talent para maitaguyod ko ang mga
Viceral, as Vice Ganda ,actor and stand- anak ko sa sarili kong sikap.”
Mommy Rosario says she was a masakit pa din, kasi nagkahiwa-
second year nursing intern when she got hiwalay kami.”
married. Although she failed to finish The hardships and the trials that
her nursing course, what she learned subsequently came his way Did not stop
from it helped her in her current Vice from becoming an achiever. “As a
profession as a caregiver, a profession child, talagang carefree ‘yan,” Marivic
she has been passionate about for the says “kasi nga,bunso,diba? Tapos,
past 19 years. It is the same line of work mabarkada. Pero kahit mabarkada, nag-
engaged in by her mother, Rosita, with e-excel talaga siya sa school from, from
whom Mommy Rosario stayed in San elementary to college.”
Francisco, California, for several years. Mommy Rosario also proudly
During the YES! Photo shoot, states: “No’ng nag aaral ‘yan,
Vices sister, Marivic, is hanging out on accelerated yan. Magaling sa debate
the third floor of the house,relishing the ‘yan.”
fresh air of the roof-deck-like area. In a Vice studied at Far Eastern
separate interview, she recalls how the University (FEU) from high School to
children struggled to survive after their College. He took up political science as a
mother’s departure: No’ng Namatay pre-law course, but in his senior high,
‘yong Tatay naming, at nang lumipad with only one semester left, He dropped
ang nanay naming papuntang states out.
hindi ganon kadalas kami magsama- It was at FEU that Vice became
sama. Hindi na ganon kami kumain ng part of the debating team. His
sabay. Kumbaga kanya-kanyang involvement with the team, according to
sikap.” Vice, trained him to think fast and come
up with witty and funny remarks minute
Vice Ganda, Whom YES! Interviews last after minute, both on TV and onstage.
among the tree family members present, At home, Vice preserved in being
talks to us on the second-floor veranda. the best version of himself even when
He grabs a chair, sits down, leans back, life was not so easy on him. “ako ’ yung
crosses his legs , and speaks in his usual least na nagbigay ng mga problema sa
candid manner. mga magulang ko,” he says with
Asked how he felt when his obvious pride. “Hindi naman sa
mother left, he confenses: “May nabuo pinakamabait, kasi lahat kami, may
akong sama ng loob. Nagalit ako. Hindi kanya-kanyang katok, may kanya-
niya din sinabi sa akin na aalis sya, e. kanyang toyo. Pero ‘yong mga
Naiintindihan ko, nauunawaan ko magulang ko, nakamenos sila sa akin,
talaga, na hindi din madali sa kanya. kasi iskolar ako no’ng nag aaral ako.”
Kung hindi siya umalis, mamatay kami Vice takes paints to point out that
kagutom, diba? Yon na ang best choice. he and his siblings, even after their
Pero kahit anong ganda ng dahilan , mother left for the states, were not in an
exteremely pitible condition: “Hindi
kami masagana, pero hidi din kami nanay ko at naulila ako ng
hirap na hirap. Maraming pangalawang beses. kaya, sana
pagkakataon na meron akong gustong kalimutan na natin ang baril at ang
bilin sa eskwelahan, tapos hindi ko tunog nito.”
mabili. Hindi abundant, gano’n. Sakto Despite their painful past, The
lang .Minsan, kulang nang kaunti. Vicerals have succeded in building their
Wala kaming kotse, ‘yong kuryente own dignified lives. Except for Vice, the
namin nakajumper. Pangkaraniwang siblings have all been able to get college
pamilya kami sa isang depressed area. degree. Emmanuel not works for the
Siguro, nakaangat kami nang kaunti High end fasion house MaxMara in New
doon sa mga kapitbahay namin, kasi’ York. Babot lives with Vice, helping Vice
yong lola ko, nasa America. Pero kung with his projects. Tina is now a doctor.
wala siguro lebel-lebel.” Marivic works for a bank in Dubai,
When Mommy Rosario left for although she is also a registered nurse.
the States, it was not entirely because of As a college dropout Vice Ganda,
the family’s financial status, either. A big who turned 35 last March, he’s now one
part of the reason why she left was to of the hottest names in showbiz, with
heal the wounds caused by her more than three million fans on the
husband’s tragic end: Reynaldo, who social-networking site Facebook.
was deeply involved in politics as a
barangay kagawad, was shot to death.

B esides providing that bit


information, Vice and the rest of
the family prefer not to talk any
further about the incident. Who shot
Reynaldo, how he was shot and why, the
circumstances of the shooting – these
are things they apparently would rather
forget. The trauma,however remains.
That was apparent on December
18, 2010, during the grand finals of
showtime: Season 2, when Vice Ganda
found himself lecturing to a group of ABOVE
dancers who performed to music that
used the sound of guns being fired. In a Mommy Rosario (left) still
report posted on December 19, the calls her son Vice by his old
website PEP.ph quoted Vice as saying: nickname, Tutoy. “Tutoy pa
“Batang-Bata nang mawalan ako ng din ang tawag ko sa kanya,”
tatay.” Nabaril ang tatay ko at naulila
ako. Kinailangang mag-abroad ng
THE QUIET ONE

M
ommy Rosario says her
bunso’s entry into showbiz
came as a surprise to her,
because he didn’t seem to be the loud
showbizzy type when he was growing
up: “Hindi ko in-expect na mag sho-
showbiz. Alam kong kumakanta sya
kasi kumakanta siya no’ng nag-aaral.
Pero tahimik yan ,e. Tahimik lang.”
Vice confirm this : “Oo. Tahimik
ako. Sa Tatay ko, nakuha ko ‘yong
takbo ng isip ng delikuwenteng radikal.
Kay Mama, nakuha ko ’yong
pagkatahimik. ‘Yong mga taong
nakakasama ko, nagugulat sila kasi
tahimik ako.”
Despite his quiet demeanor, Vice
knew that he could sing, and that he
could show this talent of his to the
world. He showed it one night in a sing-
along bar, anf that turned out to be the
Start of what would become a very
lucrative career.
“Dinala ako ng mga kaibigan sa
singalong bar, sa Malate, sa Manibi
Street,” Vice recalls. “To be exact, sa
Raymond’s Bar, kasi may kantahan.
Doon, Pwede kang mag-request, ‘tapos
kakanta ka. Pagdating namin doon,
“pinasa ng mga kaibigan ko ‘yong
pangalan ko nang hindi ko alam.
“Tapos pinakanta ako. Di, sige,
nagkasubukan.” After this number, The
bar’s gay stand up comedians, who
doubled as program emcess, made fun
of his performance.