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A night out with the Boys

From boys to men: Tony Toni, Sam YG and Slick Rick of the radio program Boys Night Out on Magic 89.9 are funny, playful, naughty, makulit, and at times manyak.   Photos by WALTER BOLLOZOS

We may not be able to do anything about Metro Manila traffic, but a lot of us have found a solution to make the time spent stuck bumper to bumper at least more enjoyable. All thanks to Anthony Bueno, Eric Virata, and Sam Gogna, otherwise known as Tony Toni, Slick Rick and Sam YG of the radio program Boys Night Out on Magic 89.9. They are funny, playful, naughty, makulit, and at times manyak, which make them a favorite of students and yuppies on the road between 6 and 10 p.m. on weeknights. It has been said that 70 percent of their listeners are women, but a lot of men call their show to open up about their deepest, darkest secrets. Whether you listen to them or not, be amused and learn from the 10 things you should know about the boys of Boys Night Out.

1. The great thing about their trio is that nobody takes the jokes personally. “We have to make fun of ourselves first, before we can make fun of others,” Slick says.

Cheeziest when in love: Sam YG

When Tony, Slick, and Sam got together to host Boys Night Out in 2006, there was no need to adjust or warm up. Their chemistry was instant. Tony (the more “wild” one) became a DJ in 1999, Slick (the “boy next door”) in 2001, and Sam (the mix of both) in 2003. “We had no dead air, walang sapawan, we were just flowing,” Tony shares about their first few shows together. With their more than five-year friendship, they have never had a single serious fight between them, and they attribute that to the respect they have for one another’s individuality. They admit to knowing most everything about each other’s lives — though not their love lives. “Who we sleep with, who we’re dating, who we’re in negotiations with (Tony’s new term),” they never share about. No names. Don’t ask, don’t tell: that is their rule. 

2. Tony was born and raised in Canada, and after a series of unlikely events, the last one being a breakup, he decided to move to Manila in 1999. And he hasn’t had a girlfriend since.

Tony has been single for 13 years. “I needed a change of lifestyle, I needed to love myself, and I wanted to be in control of my life,” he says. He came home to the Philippines not really knowing what he was going to do, but what he did know was that he wanted to affect the lives of millions of people. From modeling to being a bar promo boy to being a DJ, he just wanted to entertain people. When asked why he hasn’t had a relationship since, he says, “I don’t think I’m ready to be fully responsible.” It’s not you, it’s him. Literally. “I don’t have the heart to go on air and do what I do and have a girlfriend. It won’t be fair to the girl.”

3. Slick and his then-girlfriend were all set  to get married and move to Florida in 2005. Until he was offered to do BNO.

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Most religious: Slick Rick

There was a point when he felt he had done all he wanted to do in radio, and his girlfriend wanted to leave the Philippines, so they planned their wedding. A few months into doing BNO, he enjoyed it and realized that he wanted to stay. He didn’t have the heart to tell her that his plans had changed, until one time, she was the one who told him “I know you changed your mind, there’s something different in you especially when you’re on the show.” She still moved abroad and Slick stayed, and though they tried to go the distance, it didn’t work out in the end. Are they still friends now? “No,” Slick says. “Pati kami! Un-friend-ed sa Facebook,” Sam says jokingly. Slick still believes he will find that kind of love again someday, and right now, he is seeing someone. 

4. Sam, along with “Shivaker” (a love guru character on BNO), gives great love advice. But he can never apply the same love advice to make his own relationships work.

“When you’re in that emotional love stage, wala, your wall is down,” Sam shares. He was in a relationship when BNO started, and after that, he dated a couple of celebrities including Karylle and Daiana Menezes. He has been single for more than four years now. “How can you tell a person you love them, then you say all these things on air?” He says it usually is okay for the first few months, but at some point, their on-air personas become too much for the girls to handle. Plus, for the girl to understand their job is one thing, for the family to accept them is another. All the love advice he gives on the show is unscripted and spontaneous. “I talk to a lot of people about their love problems, plus my personal experience, and then I put it all into perspective.”

5.Tony Toni, Slick Rick, and Sam YG in numbers:  6: Total number of serious relationships between the three of them (two each).

45: Percentage of the audience share that listens to them during their time slot.

7,500: Number of pesos salary per month on their first job in radio. “You don’t do radio for the money, you have to do it because you love it,” Tony explains.

500-plus: Percentage increase in their income since they started hosting BNO. “It took a long time, it was a lot of hard work and sleepless nights,” Sam shares.

9.5: Their shoe size. (Yes, they all have the same shoe size, and they all stand between 5’8” and 5’9”.) 

6. Comparing the boys: Most girls who approach: Sam Gets the most girls: Tony.  “Walang wingman required, he will get the job done,” Sam reveals.

 Pinaka-”mama’s boy”: “We’re all mama’s boys,” Tony shares.

Cheeziest when in love: Sam

Drives the nicest car: Sam

Most vain: Sam. “Goatee pa lang, 45 minutes na!”

Most religious: Slick and Sam. “They go to church every Sunday,” Tony says. Slick replies, “but a lot of people don’t know that Tony is very spiritual.” Tony goes on a pilgrimage every year.

Most conservative: Tony

Most shy/quiet: Slick. “These two keep talking, so I just want to listen!”

Goes home the latest from gimmick: Tony 

Most conservative: Tony Toni

7. From the hundreds of callers they’ve talked to, what shocks them most about women is how many of them commit adultery. What shocks them most about men is how they are just as emotional as women.

“So many women are willing to cheat if they can get away with it,” shares Tony. Sam says it’s unbelievable how many callers are cheating on their husbands or boyfriends. Slick is quick to point out that “men don’t realize that women can actually do it (cheat) better, because they lie better.” The boys always tell their callers that they do not condone cheating.

They say that men are emotional especially when it comes to love. “Super!” they all say in unison. It is their ego that gets in the way, that’s why women don’t get to see how emotional men really are.

On why people confess their problems and affairs to the boys on air: “The anonymity. They can’t be seen and they won’t be known by just their names, they tell their story and we just listen. It’s therapeutic.” 

8. The one “bro” rule that should never be broken: never get into a relationship with your barkada’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend. The one thing girls should never do to get a guy’s attention: stalk.

“If the girl is an ex of a really good friend or barkada, wag na,” Tony says about the bro code. They have all heard one too many stories of friends dating friends’ exes and how it has ruined friendships. What if you are really attracted to the person and they just happen to be the ex of a good friend? “Confront the person first before you do anything, but as much as possible, just stay away.” 

The boys believe women should never stalk the men they like. “I got home, she was at the foyer on my floor, and it was four in the morning,” Sam shares. “Online stalking is okay, I ignore it, but once someone showed up at my front door, I was so scared,” Tony says. 

Slick adds another thing girls should never do: play stupid or act like a ditz. “If you have something substantial to say, say it, because guys like smart girls. Don’t dumb yourself down.”

The one “bro” rule that should never be broken: Never get into a relationship with your barkada’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend. The one thing girls should never do to get a guy’s attention: stalk.

9. Their top dating advice: Sam says: Be yourself. “People always try to put up a front, but when you realize down the road that the person is not like that, then it all just becomes messy.”

Slick shares something similar: Don’t put your best foot forward. “The more you do that, the more the girl will expect. If you gave her this, or brought her here, then you’re always going to have to outdo the last. And no one can do that.”

Tony says: Get to know a person fully, before you commit. “Everyone can do the lovey-dovey texts, the dinners, movies, DVD nights. You have to get to know them both outside and inside the home. In the bedroom, domestically, it’s a whole different story.” 

10. They are not afraid of commitment. Instead, it’s an issue of not having time and the fear of committing to the wrong woman.

All three boys say they are not ready to commit to a relationship right now. “Hindi pwede yung, ‘okay commit tayo, relationship tayo, but let me put it on the side ‘cause I’m also busy working,’” 28-year-old Sam explains. And right now, work takes so much of their time that there really won’t be any time for a relationship. Thirty-year-old Tony says: “I’m so into my profession that I will not let love for a woman interfere with my love for my work.” When I tell him that maybe he just hasn’t met the “game changer,” he says, “The girl that will love me because I do what I do, will be the it.” They all would like to have a family eventually. When asked to give an estimate of what age they would want to settle down, 31-year-old Slick says that will just come. “If you put a number on it, you’re putting a deadline on yourself. You’ll count how many years are left and you’re just going to stress yourself out.

Do they ever get lonely? “Of course,” the boys say. “When you want to text someone at 3 a.m.,” Tony shares. “Or when you just want to have a really good conversation,” Sam says. They all agree that the happiness you feel with partners you just get physical with or sleep with can never mask the loneliness of longing for someone. The key? “You have to be totally in love with yourself and you have to be totally secure with your being single,” Tony shares. And secure in being single, these boys totally are.

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The boys have become so popular because so many people can relate to them. A group of single friends just having fun, trying to meet people along the way, and trying to make sense and make fun of it all. It may sound funny, but it has become the boys’ advocacy to make people laugh with their naughty brand of humor, and as a result, set aside any possibility of entering a serious relationship. As animated and happy-go-lucky as they may seem, they actually have very valuable advice to share.

Slick says, “Some people think they need someone to complete them. No, you need you to complete yourself.”

Sam says, “It’s going to be a beautiful relationship when two people love themselves and get together knowing fully their self worth as individuals.”

Tony says, “It’s only when people go through a massive breakup or traumatizing experience that they realize they have to love themselves, but it doesn’t have to get to that point. You can love yourself right now. 

Wise words can also come from the rowdy boys next door. 

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E-mail the author at askiamsuperbianca@yahoo.comor follow her on twitter @iamsuperbianca.

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