Standing on stage to crack jokes for a living is no laughing matter — especially when you come from a family of lawyers and doctors.
But Victor Anastacio, the stand-up comedian in that funny insurance ad that has gone viral, has opted to make fun of his unique standing in the family.
Like in the commercial, Victor's parents are both doctors — his dad is a surgeon and his mom a pediatrician. His elder brother is also a surgeon, his younger brother is a lawyer, while his younger sister is pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology.
Victor, the second eldest in the brood of four, left his 9-to-5 corporate desk job in 2011 to pursue his passion in comedy.
"Our family is complete. You can have a doctor's appointment, a lawyer's appointment, and we also have a disappointment," has become one of Victor's trademark one-liners he jovially delivers during his comedy gigs.
But the 30-year-old comedian said he can make fun of the situation because he was fortunate that his entire family has always been supportive of his career as a funnyman.
"Supportive sila, nanonood silang buong pamilya kapag may big show," Victor told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
"Naging concerned iyong mom ko pero pareho silang (ni dad na) supportive. (Sa mga kapatid ko) wala namang bearing sa kanila iyon kasi may baon pa rin naman sila nun," he said in jest.
Victor's comedy gigs started as sideline jobs while he was still pursuing his management degree at Ateneo de Manila University in 2007.
"I started when I was in third-year college. I joined and won JackTV's comedy contest Laffapalooza. From there, tuloy-tuloy na iyong comedy shows," he said.
After four years learning stand-up comedy with Comedy Manila, Victor left his job at a local bank's treasury department to crack more jokes before a live audience.
"Tinry ko pa mag real estate. Basta hindi na lang sa office . . . Na-enjoy ko naman kaso fickle lang ako masyado siguro . . . Parang mas gusto kong mag-try ng iba-ibang bagay at saka flexi-time."
After three years living off his college savings and his salary as a stand-up comedian, as well as some free lodging from his parents, Victor landed a job as host of the late-night "O Shopping" program.
"Pina-audition ako. Sabi lang may shopping na show. Ang pinagawa, ibenta iyong pan . . . Ginawa kong parang comedy. Iyong mga Koreano na boss, hindi sila nakakaintindi ng Tagalog o English. So tawa ng tawa si sir Johnny (Delos Santos), so siguro sa utak nila, 'Oh, he must be funny,' " Victor said chuckling at the memory.
"Nung nagte-tape na iyong 'O Shopping,' hinahanap nila iyong ganung kalog. Ako naman, baka naman hindi naman bumili iyong mga tao kung masyado mong lokohin. So saktong balance lang."
The entertainer, who strongly resembles cager Kiefer Ravena, figured he'd draw more income-generating gigs with his talent, so he started taking jobs related to comedy.
Besides his work on TV and hosting events, Victor earns extra from writing on gag shows "Goin' Bulilit" and "Funny Ka Pare Ko."
Victor said he does not plan to stop working in the comedy industry anytime soon. He wants to land a role in sitcoms, and write his own comedy flick featuring colleagues from Comedy Manila. He also hopes to deliver his jokes before a full house.
" 'Pag puno na iyong shows ng Comedy Manila tapos ikaw iyong headliner, 'ke nasa TV ka o radio ka or wala, iyon na iyong measure ng success," he said.
Though being a comedian is both fun and funny, Victor said he does not advise other aspiring humorists to take the same route he took.
"Matagal akong tengga sa bahay, tapos puro stand-up (gigs) lang ako . . . Ten years bago ako nabigyan ng Manulife (commercial)," he said.
"Kung walang nangyari (na break) 'edi okay lang naman maging pulubi, diba? May libre kang food," he added in jest.
Victor said he made sure he had enough savings before resigning from his corporate jobs.
"Ilokano kasi parehong parents ko so naturuan akong mag-ipon talaga. Noong nag-resign ako, marami na akong ipon," Victor said.
"Kung mag-reresign iyong millennials, dapat meron talaga silang ipon and options... para wag nila ako sisihin," he added laughing.
But the banker-turned-comedian said he will also cheer for other humorous dreamers who are stubborn enough to forge their own ways into the comedy scene despite his warnings.
As expected from a veteran comedian, Victor's piece of advise for aspiring comedians is another piece of joke: "Practice lang talaga. Practice para maging makapal yung mukha mo."