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Comedy bar The Library closes its doors after 32 years

John Lapus, Philip Lazaro nagbigay pugay sa sikat na comedy bar sa Malate.

BY
Jeff Fernando

Twitter: @showbizjeff

FRESH SCOOPS

06/26/2017 04:56 AM
Comedy bar The Library closes its doors after 32 years
Thirty-two years na ang The Library, ang sikat na sing along at comedy bar sa Malate area. Gaya ng inaasahan isang bongga, masaya at maingay na celebration ang naganap sa venue noong June 21, kung saan nagsilbi rin na reunion ng mga sing along masters at comedians from past to present.

Pero marami ang nagulat at nalungkot sa speech ni "Mamu" Andrew de Real, ang nagsimula ng The Library.

“Thirty-two years ago katulad din ako ng ibang mga fresh graduate na nangangarap at nag-uumpisang mag-build ng career sa corporate world.

“But I feel like I am in the wrong path at maling mundo, so I decided to open a small and cozy place named The Library in Adriatico St., Malate na ang tanging puhunan ay maliit na kapital, lakas ng loob, paniniwala at karunungan na nagmula sa aking mga mentor.


“Sa suporta ng family at ilang kaibigan, naitayo ang lugar na ang unang konsepto ay restaurant/coffee shop where you can read old and rare to find books while waiting for your orders. But my passion to write and background in theater back in college changed everything.

“Nagkaroon ng stage na isa at kalahating metro kuwadrado lang ang laki at dun nagkaroon ng maliliit na comedy show, poetry reading, monologue, kantahan at iba pa. It was a perfect formula and it became a venue where anyone can belt a song, deliver a punchline or just simply express your emotion through spoken words.

“Just like a good book , it became a hit, a best seller! Tinangkilik ng marami at marami ring pangalang nakilala at napansin ang husay pero hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga unang performers ng The Library. Arnell Arevalo Ignacio, Susan Reyes, Michael Cuneta, Bona, Ronnie Bertubin, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Bien Paraiso at Ron Riano.

“Lumaki ang lugar, nalipat ng lokasyon, dumami ang kaibigan , nadagdagan ang mga performer at naging tahanan ng mga bagong talento na nangangarap ding mahubog, gumaling at mapansin. After all, napaka haba na ng listahan ng mga name na sumikat at nahubog ng The Library.

“And today sa eksaktong araw na ito, Wednesday June 21, 2017, 32 years na ang The Library at muli magsasama-sama ang lahat na naging bahagi at naging kapamilya, kapuso at kapatid upang magbigay pugay at pasasalamat in a place they called “home, The Library!”

Ang property kung saan nakatayo ang The Library sa ngayon sa Maria Orosa Street sa Malate ay naipagbili na at ang bagong owners ng property ay asking ng double ng kanilang present monthly rental. Kaya nag-decide muna ang management ng The Library na isara muna ang comedy bar.

Nag-iwan din ang madamdaming statement si Philip Lazaro, isa sa veterans ng The Library, na ngayon ay TV director na.

"Mawawala sandali ang The Library, pero hindi siya mawawala sa puso ng bawat isa sa atin. This is the only job I know and I have, but with all that we’ve learned from the four walls of The Library, kahit saan nito tayo dalhin, we will be forever the Librarians that Mamu molded for all the world to see.”

Si John 'Sweet' Lapus naman, binalikan ang kanyang pagsisimula sa showbiz kung saan naging malaking bahagi ang "The Library."

"20 years ago I was a newbie on TV. I was a chuwariwap of then Cristy Per Minute and Showbiz Lingo. I frequented The Library with my friends from ABS-CBN every Tuesday night after praying at Baclaran Church. Tuwang-tuwa kami kay Roberto Mijares ang husay mag-Madonna medley. Sing and dance ang bakla. It was then that Mamu, Andrew de Real approached me, and asked me to have a special show at The Library. 'Naku Mamu, hindi po ako magaling kumanta.' He quipped, "Diyos ko si Phillip Lazaro hindi kumakanta!".

"It took months. The theater person in me kicked in. I'm afraid to perform in front of people drinking beer and eating sisig. Then Mamu had an idea. "Guest ka muna. May bago akong grupo. Tres Flores. Si Martin, Hans Mortel at Vivorah Vivorah". The deal was, if I liked it, then I will have a solo show at The Library. Tres Flores became one of The Library's most repeated shows. Parang every month yata may repeat. Then came Louie Santos & Orlando Occ who approached me during our yearly Puerto Galera Holy Week Vacay. They said, 'Gusto ni Mamu mag-produce kami ng show sa Library. Papayag kami pero ikaw sana gusto namin.' My God! How can I say no to these two strangers I just met? Paano ka tatanggi sa mga taong hindi mo kilala pero naniniwala sa kakayahan mo?

"Then came 'Korek Ka John!.' My first solo stand-up comedy show at The Library. After 4 repeats, me and Mamu had more shows together. At lahat may repeat, may bumibili e. Might as well. The rest is history. Kaya naman when I accepted my two Aliw Awards for Best Stand-up Comic, si Andrew De Real ang una lagi sa listahan ng papasalamatan. Mamu, gave me another face. Another feather in my cap ika nga. A more adventurous me. Mas matapang, mas kayang harapin ang mas matinding hamon. Now, kahit ilang beer pa at sisig ang kainin ng guest, kayo ko silang harapin! I will be forever grateful Mamu....I am John Lapus. I am a Librarian."

Malungkot man sa ngayon, inaasahan na muling babalik ang The Library sa mas malaking venue kung saan ay mas marami pa ang mapapasaya nito