Jo Koy and Other Filipino Comedians Share Stories and Tips for Success

For the first time ever, comedian Jo Koy took Netflix to the Philippines in his new special ‘Jo Koy: In His Elements’. Koy celebrates his heritage by telling jokes about life as a Filipino-American, highlighting the culture of Manila, and shining a light on other Filipino-American performers.

We got the opportunity to interview Jo Koy and the cast of ‘Jo Koy: In His Elements’ – and surprise, surprise! There’s a different side to Jo that most people haven’t heard of.

Jo Koy shares that he started standup in 1989 – a difficult time to promote his brand and get his word across. Plus, it was hard for him to find other Filipino influences in his area. Now, people have so many tools available to them, such as flyers, social media, and digital ads. However, he points out that you still have to want to do it. “Make sure whatever is that you want to do, you have that honest drive,” he says. “And be willing to do whatever it takes. Travel any road it takes you. The long hard road and whatever obstacles are in front of you, be ready for it and enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey. Be passionate about it.”

We also got the chance to interview the cast, starting with BBoy Ronnie.

BBoy Ronnie shares that he and Jo Koy clicked back in 2001 when they both opened up for Snoop Dogg’s concert in Hawaii. “Even back then, he was holding it down and killing it, having the crowd laughing in tears,” he gushes. “Jo Koy has an undeniable presence when he’s on stage.”

!llmind (Ramon Ibanga) shared some tips on how to reach out to people and build relationships. “The direct answer would be to send them a DM on Instagram and say something honest,” he says. “Bring something to the table and show them how you can help and what you can offer.”

Andrew Lopez shares that he has always wanted to become an entertainer. In fact, he didn’t have a single backup plan and couldn’t see himself doing anything else. “Sometimes, when you know, you know and you have to follow your heart,” he says.

As for Joey Guila, his father was the comedian of the family. However, he was always being silly, as well, dancing and making fun of his brothers and sisters. “During my teens, I found myself entertaining my friends the same way,” he reminisces. Years later, Joey had a setback with his health; and while going through cancer treatment, he watched comedy (including Jo Koy). “It was definitely healing,” he shares. “I told myself: when I’m in remission, I want to immediately dive into the art of standup. My dream was to make others heal through laughter.”

Andrew Arolfo shares that he wasn’t great at comedy at first, but he really wanted to improve and excel. He shares that he had never felt that way about other things before.

Have you watched ‘Jo Koy: In His Elements’ yet? What was your favorite part?

Do you have an interesting story you’d like for us to feature? Email me at angeline.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send me a direct message at When in Manila Angeline on Facebook. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad! Join our WhenInManila.com community on Viber, as well!

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