MANILA -- It was in July 2020 when Ate Gay, popularly known for his impersonation of superstar Nora Aunor, opened a siomai shop in Tondo, Manila as the pandemic stopped operations of comedy bars in the country.
Called Ate Gay's Siomai Himala -- after Aunor’s popular film "Himala" -- the small space near his house became a hit for its affordable siomai with rice or noodles.
But in less than a year, the comedian felt the need to close the shop.
In an article from the entertainment website Pep, Ate Gay explained the reason behind his decision.
He said that because his projects are starting to pick up, the comedian could no longer be as hands-on with Siomai Himala.
"ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), wala akong magawa eh. Sarado 'yung mga comedy bars. Hangga't wala kang mga ginagawa, e di nagtayo ka ng Siomai Himala. Ngayon, noong medyo okay-okay na ang trabaho, isinara ko na," he said.
"Eh kasi walang nagbabantay. 'Pag wala ako dun, walang bumibili eh!" he added.
Aware that comedy bars won't be able to recover from the effects of the pandemic anytime soon, Ate Gay said he now counts on other projects such as movies to earn.
He said he feels like he is starting all over again in his career.
"Parang magsisimula uli," he said.