Comic relief: A unique way to donate to typhoon victims

Published November 13, 2020, 4:11 PM

by Kerry Tinga

No fees to watch Red Ollero’s comedy special, just a donate-what-you-can plea

In the aftermath of Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses, it is hard to find a reason to smile or to laugh, even though now is the time we could use it the most. But it can be insensitive to find a silver lining in moments when the most vulnerable are suffering. Comedian Red Ollero, however, does not think that giving back to those in need and finding joy in life should be mutually exclusive.

Starting Saturday, Nov. 14, the comedy special “Red Ollero Live at the Paper Lantern” will start streaming online. The price? Red asks people to give what they can, with all profits going to the relief and rehabilitation network Tulong Kabataan. The network helps victims of floods, typhoons, and other natural disasters. After the events of the past couple of weeks, they have sent an urgent call for donations to support their relief programs.

Screenshot from “Red Ollero Live at the Paper Lantern”

“I have been struck by bad luck this 2020,” Red shares with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. After opening for Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy, who was filming a Netflix special, Red was on a rise. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant canceled gigs and limited stand-up opportunities.

“But nothing as bas as other people have it,” he continues. “I’m blessed enough to be able to survive and continue doing what I love so I think spreading around some blessings, especially near the holiday season, is not a bad thing to do.”

The 35-minute long Tagalog stand-up was filmed at Solid OK’s BLAGAG Open Mic, just 10 days before the initial lockdown earlier this year. The “never-meant-to-be-released” footage was just meant for Red to review in order to work on his set. And yet, Red realized that there was an opportunity to raise funds for those in need in an unconventional, but comforting, way.

“One day I was watching Japanese wrestling and saw that they had a live audience for the first time since their lockdown,” Red recalls. “As I was watching it, it brought back a sense of normalcy to me. It was the first time I was watching something in the ‘new normal’ that felt like the good times before. I wanted to do the same, release something from the past that would make people remember the things we did before.”

Comic relief has always helped uplift people in tragic situations, and with this upcoming comedy special, it can also bring about actual change to those in need.

Click here for a preview of “Red Ollero Live at the Paper Lantern.” Warning: Explicit language.

To donate and get a link to watch the special, check out: