Tell us this: Matinik ba talaga ang mga lalaking may bigote?
In the first place, pag may bigote ka, artistic ka. Noon, kailangan may bigote ka para iba dating mo. Bigotilyo ako kasi I've always wanted to look different. Naisip ko baka makaragdag sa appeal ko. One time I had my mustache shaved, pero nagwala mga fans ko. They found my look disgusting. Para raw kasi akong bungi.
But surely it isn't all about the mustache...
Of course, there's something more than the mustache, especially if you're talking to a girl. Tayong mga may bigote, meron tayong gustong palabasin na gusto nilang malaman. Baka it's for greater pleasure, if you know what I mean. It's a conversational piece! Let's put it that way.
So you kind of let that do the talking instead of delivering a lame pickup line?
Satisfy her curiosity about the mustache and while you are defending and explaining your point, she can see whether you're intelligent or not, whether you're witty or not, whether you can make your time together very lively. Ang mga babae mabilis ma-bore kung gwapo lang ang isang lalaki. Ayaw naman talaga nila ng mga ganun.
What, to you, are the advantages of not coming from the handsome side of the block?
Actually, mas marami kang pwedeng gawin kung di ka naman saksakan ng gwapo! Pwede kang magpa-underdog, among other things. You can talk about so many things. Your charm easily shines. Smile, biglang-bigla gumaganda ang mata mo. Yun ang appeal natin.
Do you still go out there to test the power of your appeal?
Di na ako tulad ng dati. If I do anything to any woman today, it means na talagang gusto ko siya. Sabi nga ni Hadji (Alejandro) alam daw niya ang gusto ko sa babae-yung may gusto lang sa akin! Pero kakaunti lang sila! (laughs)
What's changed since you settled down?
Well, I've learned to prioritize and focus. I even have, believe it or not, a to-do list. If tomorrow is a day for politics, dun lang naka-focus utak ko. That's the reason kaya rin ako nagtayo ng sarili kong bar. Para di ko na kailangang pumunta sa kung saan-saan.
Do you crack green jokes while you're on the rostrum deliberating on key political matters?
Alam mo yung green joke, it's a higher type of humor. If I say my vital stats' 38-31-9, depende na sa ‘yo kung ano ang ibig kong sabihin! Ang Pinoy kasi, mas madali mo silang mapapaintindi ng gusto mo with green humor.
Okay funny man, makes us laugh. Give us an example of your usual mischief.
Most of my fans, mga kasing-tarantado ko rin. Why is it every time I do a show, mas maraming lalaki kaysa babae? Usually dala pa nila mga asawa nila! I think that's because when I crack a joke, lalo na when the joke's on them, hindi sila madaling ma-offend. Feeling nila, nasasabi ko ang hindi nila masabi. When I tell a guy, "Misis mo yan? Para kayong mag-ama!" Yung babae feels flattered kasi I complimented her look. It's all spontaneous to me. I always say what's on my mind.
Seriously, we're surprised nobody's taken out a contract on your head.
People accept me for what I am and they know that I know what I'm talking about. Si Erap (deposed President Joseph Estrada), maraming mga jokes about him na negative, di ba? Sometimes, he would invite me just so he could hear me crack more jokes about him-dadagdagan pa niya yung alam ko minsan. Pero pag iba ang nagde-deliver ng jokes, ayaw niya!
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW, READ THE SEPTEMBER 2006 ISSUE OF FHM