Patrick Golamco: Pork Adobo {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wholesome and punny, it’s hard to believe ‘Pork Adobo’ is Patrick Golamco’s solo debut at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

What inspired me to see the Chinese Filipino Australian comedian was that we share the same cultures. I am half Malaysian Chinese and half Filipino; the Chinese part is from my dad’s side and my mum is from the Philippines. I was born and raised in Australia, my parents are from two different countries, and so, our family communicated in English.

Although I do recognise some words and phrases in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and Tagalog, I can’t exactly say I’m fluent in anything but English. Which I am sad about since who wouldn’t want to know more than one dialect and language? However, I’m still very proud of my ethnicity and feel very blessed to have so many wonderful traditions and cultures in my heritage. After all, I get to celebrate Lunar New Year and Christmas! For me, that’s a win.

While our shared backgrounds encouraged me to attend Patrick Golamco’s show, it was the title itself that initially caught my attention – ‘Pork Adobo’. What is pork adobo you may ask? It’s the most delicious pork dish known to man and a Filipino delicacy. If you haven’t tried it, you must! I did recognise the Filipino reference in Patrick’s show title but still wondered why it was called ‘Pork Adobo’. What I discovered was a wonderful show filled with so many smart and silly jokes, plenty of puns and an endearing story about ethnicity, family, food, and most of all – love.

I adored Patrick Golamco’s pleasant storytelling. You’re never worried about him interacting with you when in the audience as everything feels so calm and comfortable. Even though Patrick appeared a little shy, hesitant, and awkward at first, this was part of his charm. He’s a natural on stage and had the audience (including me) laughing within seconds. In fact, I laughed so hard, I found myself in both hiccups and tears (this has never happened to me before). This was not just from how funny and relatable Golamco is, but because the show is very sweet. I was quite moved.

Equipped with a keyboard, two microphones, cheeky elevator music interludes, and three photographs that assisted in Patrick’s narrative, ‘Pork Adobo’ is an absolute delight to witness. Golamco is such a natural, it is a surprise that this is his first solo show. It feels like he’s a seasoned professional that has been doing this all his life. Genuinely funny, you don’t have to share the same background as Patrick to enjoy his comedy, but it helps. I really hope ‘Pork Adobo’ wins awards because it’s such a clever and wholesome well-written show that deserves attention.

There’s still so much of the comedy festival left but I believe I’ve already found my favourite show of 2023. I would consider this festival run for Golamco a triumph. Adorably funny in every way, there is so much to love about Patrick Golamco’s ‘Pork Adobo’. It will inspire many to try the Filipino dish or want to eat it again, remind them the importance of family, and it will satisfy and leave audiences with that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Not only am I hungry for Filipino pork adobo now (no, really, I am going to have to ask my mum to cook some upon my next visit), but Patrick Golamco’s ‘Pork Adobo’ is a beautiful love letter to his life, his family, and especially his grandma. Patrick Golamco is a star. It’s hard not to love a show like ‘Pork Adobo’ when it is so deep, reflective, inspires so many laughs, smiles, and has so much heart.

Patrick Golamco’s ‘Pork Adobo’ is now on as part of the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 23rd.
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