Wednesday, October 04, 2006

what's the frequency kenneth?

kenneth, the mustached host of the amateur singing contest held every sunday in bonifacio park took a deep breath before taking the mike. he made sure that his smile is in place and tried to internalize his star role for tonight.

there was a brief rain before it turned dark, as people were milling out of san pedro church from the last mass of the day. he grunted with his crew as they readied the musical instruments and the speakers that would be used for tonight's big event. in all the years he has faced the sunday crowd, he has always found the rain a big disappointment. rain spells, less attendance, more empty spaces and no one to see his antics, majority of which he either renews from previous performances or come up with something new week in and week out.

he was glad when people, mostly men start to make their way towards the front of the stage. it wouldn't be a lonely night after all. the buzz started to mount into a soft blanket of noise that permeated the readying to sleep san pedro. the plates in make shift carenderias sing with the fork and spoon as patrons were happily welcomed back. there was some feedback when the bass amplifier was turned on, illiciting a snicker and an applause from the crowd, here for their weekly dose of entertainment.

kenneth read along the number of performances for tonight. he counted less than the fingers of his hand. he remembered and contestants used to flock to his show a few years back. he bathed in the warm glow of appreciation and awe from his audience. he knows how to strut his stuff and before long can recognize the regulars.

as the years wore on, so did the people came less and less. his creativity is often pushed to the limit, observing and watching the likes of classics to the new comers. from tito, vic and joey, to willie revillame, boy abunda, richard gomez and butch francisco to lucky manzano and toni gonzaga. he made it an effort to stay ahead of his game. people can get tired and might not come back if you do the same joke two weeks in a row.

half way through the performers, his legs up to his waist begin to hurt. it must be tough getting old. but there is no room to show his pain. he must be funny, top of his form and in tip top control of the situation. he cannot even just a sign of pain escape his eyes. for he knows, the people are watching his every move.

after some more sordid performances from davao's dreamers, he ended the night with more jokes. he announced the winners and made it seem that they have won such a big deal. he waved goodbye to the audience and asked them to come back next sunday, same time, same place.

he actually wished very hard for them to come back. as he pocketed his keep for the night from the organizer of the show, he took another deep breath to loosen up. instantly, his shoulders drooped, his hands automatically massaged his hips and suddenly he felt hungry.

but that would have to wait, for he must take his wife and two kids home. a drizzle is brewing and their make-shift kart might not be able to bring them home safe and dry.

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