Tito, Vic, Joey want to see ‘Eat Bulaga’ reach 50 years

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  • Weeks ago, the grapevine was rife with rumors that a major shakeup is going to happen
    beginning April 30 in GMA’s noontime show, “Eat Bulaga.”

    With the recent interview revelations of Sen. Tito Sotto — one third of the show’s triumvirate with Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon — it seems there will indeed be changes in the 43-year-
    old show (going 44 in July) if the trio’s call for “noli me tangere” is not heeded.

    In a recent half hour sit-down with Cristy Fermin on her online show, “Showbiz Now Na,”
    Sen. Sotto related what has been happening inside the program since its producer,
    Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE Inc.), called for a meeting at the beginning
    of the year.

    He related that the general assembly left many of the show’s hosts and staff confused and
    surprised. “‘Yung mga sinasabi sa amin ay hindi maganda, wala sa timing, hindi katanggap-
    tanggap. Nung una sabi namin hindi pwede,” said Sotto. “Sinabi namin, teka, pag nagkaganyan, magkakaproblema tayo. So ang nangyari, nakipag-
    usap at nagkaroon kami ng tinatawag na status quo, sapagkat ‘yung mga gusto nila, ayaw
    namin.

    “At ‘yung gusto namin, pumayag sila later on, after two meetings. Hindi papalitan ‘yung
    director, ‘yung aming head writer, director at ‘yung iba pa naming kasama sa programa.”
    He cleared that he, Vic and Joey – TVJ – wanted to contain the issue and refused to be
    interviewed in spite of several requests from media outlets, including Fermin’s. “Ayoko
    naming i-fuel ito, ayokong sigaan ‘yung isyu.

    “Sinabi namin sa leadership ng TAPE – status quo ang issue pagkat pag kami ang
    nagsalita, marami kaming masasabi.”

    Sotto said it was long-time friend and TAPE executive Tony Tuviera who wrote the invitation
    for the general assembly but it was former Cong. Romy Jalosjos, Tuviera’s partner in TAPE,
    who spoke about the show and its financial problems.

    “Nagulat kami nagkwekwento si Romy, nagsasabi sya ng background ng ‘Eat Bulaga’ na
    medyo lihis sa alam namin,” said Sotto.
    “Kinukuha po ang kredito?” asked Fermin.
    “Parang ganun,” he answered.

    Sotto cleared that TAPE Inc. and “Eat Bulaga” are separate entities with the former being
    the producer and the latter, the creator of the show.
    Sotto also mentioned Jalosjos saying “Eat Bulaga” only started making money because of
    the “Miss Gay” portion was not accurate. “Kinorek ko later on. We have never had a portion
    titled ‘Miss Gay.’

    “‘Baka magkamali tong mga bagong empleyado natin sa sinasabi mo.’ At umangat ng rating
    ng ‘Eat Bulaga’ sa ‘Macho Man,’ ‘Mr. Macho.’ Ang Village People nag promo doon.”
    When asked by Fermin if he was surprised with what Jalosjos said that Tuviera should be
    retired because Tony was “matanda” and “naka baston na nga lang,” he replied, “Medyo
    nasaktan kami duon. I’m sure nasaktan si Tony kasi parang kailangan i-retire si Tony kasi
    nakabaston na. Marami sa amin ang nasaktan.”

    He also confirmed what Cristy said that Tuviera was removed as soon as the children of
    Jalosjos entered the scene.
    “[Tony Tuviera] is the president and CEO executive officer, tinanggal siya. At ang sabi
    gagawin na lang consultant,” related Sotto.
    “Maraming sinabi si Romy na nagulat kami,” he continued.“I’m being very candid about this.
    What I’m expressing to you is yung sinasabi nung iba naming kasama. Mga empleyado,
    maliliit, malalaki.. Nagulat ako sa sinabi ni Tony na aalisin na yung P10 million a month nya,
    gagawin na lang P200 thousand ang kukunin sa ‘Eat Bulaga.’
    Nagkakatinginan kami kasi hindi namin alam na may P10 million a month pala sya sa ‘Eat
    Bulaga.’”

    Many people were asked to retire — with no assurance that they will be re-hired — because
    of the money woes, said Sotto. Wanting to unearth the truth, he decided to inquire from the
    Securities and Exchange Commission and found out that the company recorded a net profit
    of 2021 of P213 million.

    Amidst the many issues on infighting, credit grabbing, etc., Cristy asked Sen. Sotto what his
    message to Jalosjos was.“Let sleeping dog lie. Noli me tangere. Leave it alone. It’s doing well. It’s not broken,” he
    said emphatically.

    “Wag maghimasok kung walang alam…,” said Cristy.
    “Lalo na,” agreed Sotto. “’Yan pinakamabigat sa lahat.”
    For Tuviera, Sen. Tito said he is saddened by his departure.
    “Gusto namin kasama pa rin namin sya. Gusto namin hindi kami magkaka hiwa-hiwalay.
    Nakakalungkot dun. Ni re-retire, gagawing consultant. Papalitan ng mag-aaral. I don’t know
    what the future holds for us pag ganyan usapan.”
    “Sa mga nangyayari at hindi kayo nagkakasunduan, matutupad pa kaya ang, ‘Mula Aparri
    hanggang Jolo’ or ‘Mula Aparri hanggang kung saan na lang’ yung tuwa o galak na
    binibigay nyo?” Fermin asked.
    “Hindi,” he said, “Itutuloy namin ‘yun.
    “Ang target namin, umabot pa ng 50 years. Umabot ng golden 50 years ang ‘Eat Bulaga.’
    Wherever. Kung saan man abutin…”

    To the question how much he loves “Eat Bulaga,” he said:“Mahigit kalahati buhay namin
    itinaya namin dun. ‘Wag na wag nilang kalimutan, lalong lalo na ‘yung nagbintang na
    ginawa lang kami. Gawa na kami bago kami pumasok ng ‘Eat Bulaga,’ kaya nga kami
    kinukuha. We were pinch-hitters of ‘Student Canteen,’ sa ‘Discorama’ regular kami, 1977-
    1978 pa ‘yan. ’Student Canteen,’ pinchhitters kami ni Eddie Ilarde and Bobby Ledesma, pag
    absent ‘yung dalawa, kaming tatlo ang pinapapasok. And then we had ‘Iskul Bukol’ in 1978
    – one year before ‘Eat Bulaga’ and it was the number one primetime show from 1978-1988.
    Kaya hindi pwedeng sabihin ang statement na ‘yun. Dapat nag-iingat.”
    “Masamang masama po ang loob niyo sa mga Jalosjos?” Fermin inquired.
    “Masama ang loob namin sa nangyayari. Let me put it that way, para hindi naman ako
    maging offensive,” he replied. (Malaya)

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