Meet 3 entertainers who stand up for their right to share happiness
By Patricia May P. Catan
Photographer: Ruel Rosello
HMUA: Karlo Sadaya Damolo & Jerwin Geonzon Bastatas
Locale: Crazy Amazon’s Comedy Restobar
ICYMI, today is April Fools’, and pranks and laughter are the order of the day. But for three stand-up comedians – Sam Menchavez, Ricadiva Rosales, and Nap Kin – laughter is a serious everyday commitment. Not that they’re not having fun. Far from it. On the contrary, stand-up comedy is the fulfillment of a dream they have in common.
Coming from different backgrounds and never forgetting their roots, Sam, Ricadiva and Nap share the same passion of performing in front of an audience and making them happy. Sam used to be a band vocalist, Ricadiva participated in choir, and Nap worked as a TV talent in Manila and as an event performer. With every performance, they transform on stage embodying their respective persona but still carrying a piece of them.
Now, their passion to entertain burns brighter as they channel all their talents and gifts in stand-up comedy at Crazy Amazon’s Comedy Restobar with the support of owner, Daffodil Cabe. Behind the scenes, SunStar Weekend gott to know Sam, Ricadiva and Nap up close and learn how their brand of entertainment touches lives through laughter.
Sam entered the entertainment industry at the young age of 17 as a band vocalist in the first three years of her career and eventually shifted to stand-up comedy with the help of her mentors Romy and Margie.
As a stand-up comedian, Sam goes on stage as Virginia V, a character inspired by Regine Velasquez. Sam said she has been a fan of the singer since she was a young: whenever she heard a song of Regine, she would always try and copy her singing voice. It also helps having a mother who understands and supports your passions. “One time my mother and I were on our way home. She knows that I’m a huge fan of Regine, so when she heard Regine’s song playing on the radio, she told me, ‘Let’s stop for a while so we can listen’,” Sam said in Cebuano.
From practicing then learning Regine’s singing voice, Sam was often told that she resembled the singer, and that’s when it all began. “I liked Regine because of her voice, the way she dressed and carried herself. I really studied her until I learned. Now, I don’t have to exert much effort because I have acquired her gestures,” Sam added.
As for her other plans, Sam wishes to build her business soon.
Ricadiva Rosales is a huge fan of Nicki Minaj. Since she loves singing, she started impersonating the American artist. She must have done something really eye-catching because Nicki Minaj noticed her four times on Instagram. Ricadiva considers it a great honor for a fan like her to draw her idol’s attention.
“Since I was young, I’ve always loved Barbie,” said Ricadiva, who dreamt of becoming an entertainer as a child. With her love for both the color pink and Barbie plus her mean impersonation skills, Ricadiva eventually got dubbed as the Nicki Minaj of Cebu. “I used to impersonate Mariah Carrey before, but it didn’t work out. I felt it really wasn’t for me, so I tried Nicki Minaj. Knowing her personality, I always thought that we resembled each other,” she said.
With the encouragement of friends and colleagues, Ricadiva further pursued her passion at Crazy Amazon’s Comedy Restobar where a friend of hers worked. “I stick to making this stage as one of my platforms for entertainment because I feel comfortable working around friends and meeting new people.”
To remind everyone of the value of their craft, Ricadiva quoted P.T. Barnum: “The noblest art is that of making others happy.”
As for Nap Kin, he started out as the Kalookalike winner of Vice Ganda where he gained nods of approval from the public for impressively impersonating the said celebrity.
Nap Kin’s inspirational beginnings, though, were as heartbreaking as it gets. Everything started when he joined an impersonating contest in his barangay, during which he began to embrace his potential as an entertainer. Hesitant at first, his local community urged him to take part in the contest because he resembled Vice Ganda. True enough, he won. But it was also during that time when his father got sick. Left with no choice, he gave all of his prize money to support his ill father. In the end, his father didn’t make it.
Amid the personal tragedy, Nap realized the value of being able to provide for his family whenever he won contests, so he pursued his craft. With a stronger comeback, Nap Kin is now regarded as The Latest Vice Ganda Kalookalike of Cebu by many.
Nap, though, hopes to work abroad, where he plans to save as much money as he can and provide his family with a stable business. He also dreams to start his own talent agency exclusive for Cebuanos.
wherever fate may take him, Nap finds meaning to know that laughter is the best medicine and the best form of therapy. “For times when you can’t personally make yourself happy, at least you’re making others happy,” Nap shared.