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They ain’t no ordinary hustlers. Their stories of grit and determination will remind you that your chase is So Worth It.

Red Ollero

Yellow Cab So Worth It Spotlight:

Funnyman Red Ollero tells us why having wit and grit was so worth it

With a stressful day job he didn’t enjoy, a deadline to make it big in Manila’s stand up comedy circuit, a bit of savings, and a hunger to excel in his passion, Red Ollero made the life-changing decision to pursue his dream. “Mahirap kumita ng pera, kahit anong gawin mo, so might as well do what you love!” He encourages others to make things happen for them, to go for their very own So Worth It stories.

For Red, the pursuit of happiness was so worth it. “Happiness [was my motivation]. That was basically it. I figured I was putting too much hours on a dayjob that I didn’t absolutely enjoy. I thought maybe I should live a life where I got to do more things I want to do. At first, when I quit my job I just gave myself 6 months to just do stand-up comedy. But I was having too much fun, so I didn’t get another job! It’s wildly irresponsible, buti na lang may ipon akong konti.”

He fondly remembers his beginnings as a stand up comic, days fuelled by beer and Yellow Cab Pizza. “Yellow Cab fuels the industry I support and thrive in. I thought it was pretty cool that they thought of me to be in their So Worth It campaign. That campaign resonates with what I went through to do things I’m doing now.”

Hungry for laughs

People may see stand up comedy as such an offbeat career to pursue, but like all dreams and careers, it takes a lot of effort and practice. When Red was starting out, he and a friend would brave Manila traffic to meet up and write jokes in a coffee shop. They’d prepare for shows in the evening and get paid in french fries and beer. This was still so worth it according to the comedian as he ended up becoming better at his craft. He also added that because he loved what he did, it didn’t feel like work at all. “The hustle we did was not for future greatness, we were just doing it coz we loved every bit of it! We just pursued what we love, and whatever paid off in the end was just a bonus.”

Red doesn’t deny having fun while chasing his dreams, but that doesn’t diminish the difficulty. Putting oneself out there could be scary, as Red explains. “The difficulty of it all though, was in failure. As comedians, when we have a bad set, it’s basically public embarrassment. And that’s what makes comedy so tough, the risk of failure is always there. But that’s what makes it awesome too, because the feeling of succeeding in such a high-failure craft is beyond words.”

Now that he’s gained recognition as a successful stand up comic in the country, Red finds the journey so worth it. While he never really saw himself as someone who went through a hard life, he’s grateful to have the opportunity to reach for a lifelong dream. “I’m still doing it now. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop because getting to make people laugh on-stage is so worth all the the effort required to do it. I’ll never get tired of entertaining people, and following my dreams. That’s what has kept me going on in stand-up”

Those who’d like to pursue an unconventional path like Red can take some cues from him. ”Keep on keeping on! Don’t let up. Don’t be impatient, and don’t take shortcuts. Every bit of your journey contributes to whatever moment in the future. It’s so worth it, kung pinaghirapan mo siya. Disregard the haters and non-believers, don’t even think of their approval. Do what you’re doing for your own soul. You owe it to yourself.”

Yellow Cab Pizza’s So Worth It Squad series is a celebration of dreamers, artists, hustlers, and believers. To read more stories of grit and hustle that are so worth it, visit:

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