When Chokeleit, who passed away aged 48, made an appearance on "It's Showtime" around three months ago, it was one of his quips that drew the loudest laughs from the "madlang pipol."
Joining the show's beauty contest, he introduced himself by saying: "Nang magsabog ang Diyos ng kagandahan, bakit hindi ako inabisuhan? Pero hindi bale, naniniwala naman ako na kapag ang kagandahan ay nakakamatay, tiyak isa ako sa mabubuhay."
It's his bread and butter, this self-deprecating brand of humor. His bent was not to deviate from the norm of how these are delivered, but to mean them in the most brutally honest way possible.
It's what he loves --making people feel good about themselves at the expense, perhaps, of himself. But to describe him as ugly, no matter how often he did this, would be a disservice to the people whose lives he has touched. There's a lot of them.
Genuine is the word that pops up most often when his celebrity friends remember him, most notably when Sharon Cuneta talked about their friendship back in September last year.
"Napaka-tunay na tao --napakabait, napakaganda ng puso. His heart is so beautiful. Matalino siya, masarap kausap, at higit sa lahat talagang kaibigan," Cuneta gushingly shared.
It's also maybe why Vice Ganda, one of the country's comedy icons, is having a difficult time accepting his death, struggling to grasp the reality of losing one of the 'realest' people he knew.
When Chokeleit guested on Vice Ganda's late night talk show, he talked about how he never once thought of having plastic surgery. ("Komedyante tayo, hindi sexy star," he said in jest).
And no doubt it was this authenticity that endeared him to many. He will probably be known to most people for his side roles in ABS-CBN movies or for playing the shokoy Pearly in 2004's "Marina," but to those closest to him, it'll be for his genuineness.
He's proudly real --and his jokes are all the more better for it.