The national mouth of the Philippines, Michael Angelo Lobrin

Sometimes it's sweeter heard in our own native tongue: Ang Pambansang Bunganga ng Pilipinas - hahaha!

His own breathless description of himself goes like this: "Ako po si Michael Angelo Lobrin. Kung hindi niyo po ako kilala, okay lang po, hindi ko din naman po kayo kilala. Kwits kwits lang, hehehe. Nakakatuwa ang mga reactions ng mga tao 'pag nakikita nila ako sa personal. Nang minsang nanggaling ako sa sa isang trip sa Europe - grabe sobrang ganda sa Europe. Nung nagpunta ako dun, sobrang lamig, pagdating ko dun putok-putok ang labi ko. Nang umuwi ako ng Pilipinas putok putok ang kili-kili ko sa init, hehehe.

"At mga kaibigan 'pag kayo ay may putok, 'wag niyong ikahiya 'yan dahil pinagpawisan niyo 'yan. Parang eye bags 'yan, pinagpupuyatan, hehehe... Paglabas ko ng immigration nagkagulo 'yung mga tao, sabi nila, 'Ay si Michael Angelo, 'yung nakakatawang speaker na nakikita sa tv.' Biglang may sumigaw pa, 'Sir kayo po ba 'yung nakikita namin sa TV?' Sumagot naman ako, 'Opo, ako po... alangan naman makita niyo po ako sa radio!' Ang gulo ng mga tao, hehehe."

This monologue was done in just 50 seconds, with no pause for laughter! He's so funny that you can expect an asthma attack when he's on stage from all that laughing.

Michael is not the regular stand-up comedian in bars or on television. He says he is not an entertainer but an "in-tertainer" (no, he is not Bisaya), an inspirational speaker/entertainer whose monologues always come with a blessing in the end and teachings on how to live happy with God in your life.

When his book, "Laugh with God Today" came out, it sold more than 10,000 copies in two months! Michael is currently the most in-demand speaker in retreats, corporate workshops and charismatic gatherings because of his wit and sense of humor. He currently hosts "Hapikat (Haping Pilipinong Katoliko)" on Radio Veritas every Sunday, 12-1 p.m.

I met Michael last Saturday at a fund-raiser concert that was headed by Archbishop Soc Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan. As for the charismatic Father Soc, he has the knack for turning vision into reality. Last year he asked his "KapuSocs," his ever-loyal group of followers from Edsa Shrine, Diocese of Balanga and Archdiocese of Lingayan, Dagupan, to organize a fundraiser concert to build a seminary in Dagupan. With R4 million raised, the seminary is 90% complete, with 54 dormitories for the seminarians, four priest rooms, four classrooms, a dining room and a kitchen.

This year their goal is to build the Mary Help of Christians Chapel beside the seminary so they organized another fundraiser concert in Poveda with guests Jed Madela, Shirley Halili's ballet artists, the Opera, Mark Chua, the Sandalphon Choir, the Singing priests of Lingayen, the Poveda English Drama Club, Michael and myself. Each dinner plate costs R10,000 and, if my estimates serves me right, around five hundred attended the concert - an easy R5 million right there.

In Father Soc's inspiring speech, he said, "Don't ask me how much we raised tonight. It cannot be counted in pesos. Love has no cost. Friendship has no price... Your great outpouring of love humbles me. We, your priests, just promise you that we will always give you our best. We will always be Jesus for you, always."

For those willing to donate to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan Seminary Fund, here is the account number: BDO account 000980260574.


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