Empoy Marquez and Mark Oblea engage in cooking, gardening, and pet care activities this lockdown

Laughing-in-tandem Empoy Marquez and Mark Oblea make sure that the days under lockdown will never end unproductive. In his trademark hirits, Empoy shares that he got his domesticated side at work by keeping the entire household organized. “Marami na po akong nakilala na ipis at lamok sa paglilinis ng buong bahay.” The comedian won’t surely let the lockdown put his humor in idle, with his smooth timeless jokes cracked at just the right moments all throughout this interview.

Just listen to how Empoy managed to make the story about his pet lovebirds melodramatic and hilarious at the same time. He says the female lovebird Brenda died three days ago, leaving the male pet in misery. “Kinakaya naman nu’ng isang naiwan noong mga nakaraang gabi pero lately nalulungkot na. Mamaya sasamahan ko siya sa kulungan para hindi siya malungkot.” And when asked about his recent quarantine discoveries, Empoy quips, “Kaya ko palang tumapat sa electric fan nang hindi pumipikit for fifteen and a half seconds.” The funny guy is in his province in Bulacan making the most of his free days bonding with his family and cute nephews and nieces, and squeezing in culinary activities once in a while.

Meanwhile, Mark’s supposed three-day stay in his hometown in Cavite was extended for almost three months because of the lockdown. He isn’t complaining, though, as he found something new to love – home gardening.  He started off with the easy-to-grow garlic which only requires its cloves, a small container, and water, perfect for newbie gardeners like him. The former Pinoy Boyband Superstar contender also moved a level higher in terms of cooking skills and has perfected his specialty spicy chicken adobo.

 The duo lists down simple tips during this pandemic such as washing the hands and wearing a mask when going out for necessary errands. Mark underscores the golden saying “Prevention is better than cure.” Turning off the humor for a serious take on this crisis, Empoy says the new normal might be risky and scary but there’s one effective way to fight against the fear and uncertainties – prayers.

Apart from this good-vibes-inducing “Dear Empoy” online game show, Empoy also keeps himself busy with culinary activities during this lockdown period. This love for cooking has started a long time ago when he took up a culinary course for college. Unfortunately, he was forced to ditch his studies for showbiz in order to earn a living. 

The comedian owns a restaurant in Bulacan called “Way Back 90s Café” and they’re already preparing to re-open for takeout services soon.  Empoy gets our taste buds intrigued with a serving of his favorite shrimp pasta recipe. “Sinimulan ko siyang lutuin noong 1992 pero kanina lang naluto,” he jokes again. Also included in his list of specialty are spicy tuna pasta and sinabawang tahong cooked with lots of chilli leaves added with malunggay leaves and butter.

Before “Dear Empoy” kicks off, its hosts Master Empoy and Esfren Mark get in the Kapamilya Chat games. The first round is the virtual travel game called “Where Am I” challenge. The mechanics is to guess the Philippine tourist spot flashed on the screen and the first to get five points wins.

Mark scored a point on the first item but Empoy gets the second question right, keeping things exciting. However, the comedian blurts out a series of hilarious and wrong answers in the next rounds, giving Mark the winning advantage. Empoy loses in this game but his brand of comedy is always a winner.

The next match is the classic “Bring Me” which Empoy slays thanks to his dependable pamangkins. Mark remains competitive and sport, nonetheless. This round belongs to Empoy after being able to bring three out of five items.

The final contest is quite a dry run for Mark and Empoy’s newest online game show. Empoy and Mark take on the tricky general knowledge questions individually while calling on each other for help. The game wouldn’t be complete, of course, without the witty punchlines.