Seven comedians, one cause, plenty of laughs

Air in last year's Laughs for Literacy

Imagine an evening dedicated to “roasting” Filipino mothers and the Filipino accent while riffing on race, politics and gender.

Seven comedians — Air Tabigue, Chris Turnage, Phil Peredo, Alek Bituin, Lorden Palamores, Rich Kiamco and headliner Vince Royale – will do just that when Laughs for Literacy opens September 21 at the Laugh Lounge on 151 Essex Street (between Stanton and Rivington). Laughs is billed as a special night of FilAm comedy to benefit children’s libraries in the Philippines. The show starts at 9 p.m., but be there 30 minutes prior.

“We have a huge variety of comedians: from half Filipinos to full Filipinos, from a beginner comedian to a seasoned veteran who has appeared on television, from Virginia Beach to California, from straight to gay. We have it all,” said Air Tabigue. “Most likely every comedian is going to touch on every subject out there.”

Rich: Thrilled

Rich Kiamco said he is “thrilled” to be part of Laughs’ second year. “It’s a fun lineup of comics. Previous events were sold out, and a great time was had by all.”

Beneficiary organization, Bagong Kulturang Pinoy New York, is a non-profit that seeks to develop a reading culture among Filipino children through book donations, literacy training, and the establishment of community libraries in the Philippines.

“Our goal is to help Filipino children acquire good reading skills and proficiency in English, which can give them the opportunity for better economic, social, and civic lives in the future,” said Frederick Quijano, BKPNY’s director of development and outreach.

He said further: “We’re a very small not-for-profit group that doesn’t have access to a big budget or grant money like other groups. However we seem to have the knack of pooling together our individual resources within the Filipino community and beyond, to make something out of nothing.”

Literacy is a big thing for Air Tabigue. He told last year’s Laughs how much he liked smart girls and that he used to date one, a Filipina. They were in California, and she was surprised to see so many Filipinos in the Golden State.

“Wouldn’t it be cool,” she wondered, “If there’s an island full of Filipinos?”

Tickets to Laughs for Literacy cost $15. But if you donate a children’s book at the gate, you pay only $10. RSVP is required. Email or call 212-614-2500 to leave your name and the number of guests in your party. There will be raffle prizes throughout the evening.

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