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The inimitable style of Luis Manzano

Luis is once again tapped to host the new season of Minute To Win It that will air Mondays to Fridays beginning July 18 on ABS-CBN. Shown in the background are some members of the entertainment press during the game show’s grand presscon. —Photo by ALLAN SANCON  

MANILA, Philippines - It’s amazing how Luis Manzano can handle several ABS-CBN shows without getting the audience bored and restless on their seats with his hosting style or, to put it in the vernacular, hindi nakakaumay. You see, he has become a familiar face on TV since he started hosting ASAP in 2003 and became a VJ on MYX that same year.

He, too, hosted such reality shows as Star Circle Quest, Qpids and Pinoy Big Brother. His first Kapamilya game show was Panahon Ko ‘To with Billy Crawford. Of course, the more recent ones were Kapamilya Deal or No Deal and Celebrity Playtime.

These days, weekends are never the same without seeing Luis does hosting chores for ASAP, Family Feud and The Voice Kids Philippines. As if that’s not enough, Luis will be seen even on weekdays starting tomorrow, July 18, for the new season of Minute To Win It.

Seeing a lot of the audience’s smiling faces from the stage all the more inspires Luis to do better every single day. “Ibang klaseng sense of achievement and fulfillment to know that your audience is happy, your client is happy and your team is happy from the start ‘til the end of the show especially when people tell you, ‘Uy, napatawa mo kami sa (Family) Feud’ or ‘Ay, ang kulit mo sa The Voice.’ So para sa kin, it’s the best part of my job.”

However, Luis knows there are times when he has to tone down the humor in order for the audience to pay attention to what is happening on stage. He pointed out one particular part of The Voice as an example.

“When we’re doing blind auditions, it was okay for me to make kulit to the contestants because I know that was what they were expecting from me. But when the semi-finals started, and same thing with Pilipinas Got Talent, I became a bit formal since I knew then that the kids were in a more challenging stage (of the contest) and I wanted the spotlight to be on them. When I was doing Deal (or No Deal), l was a bit more on the serious side also but basically, I would like to think and I hope they get me for that same particular reason what I have to offer when it comes to my style is ‘yung kulit ko; may humor ‘yung approach ko. That’s why, sometimes I don’t want to change my style because my being makulit is what they want for a certain show so it might not work if I shift to being serious.” 

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Luis shares that he has easily learned the ABCs of hosting by watching his dad Edu Manzano’s hilarious approach to such game shows as Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba?, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and 1 vs. 100

“I am a big fan of my dad’s hosting (skills). I watched how he works his magic on stage. That’s why I’m very fortunate that I don’t need to look for different hosts in order for me to learn. All I have to do is watch my dad and I’ll be more than fine sa mga natutunan ko sa kanya.”

What is surprising to learn is that, until now, Luis has to deal with stage fright.

“Even up to now every single time that I step on stage with a mic or lapel, I get nervous.  I had to host one of my friends’ wedding before and to think it’s very personal, nanginginig pa ako and I know for a fact that there are times that I talk too fast; I stutter ang dami ko pang ginagawang mali kaya nga sinasabi ko nahihiya akong magpa-workshop kasi alam ko rin ang dami kong mali so I still get nervous every single time whether it be a simple event or something na pang MOA Arena, kinakabahan pa rin ako ng sobra.”

And unlike other Kapamilya talents who accept every hosting assignment there is, Luis believes every host has his own strength and therefore, he has no reason to feel threatened when he deems himself not fit for the project.

“I believe we have a different forte and that’s one reason why I don’t host beauty pageants even if I have received offers countless times to host like Binibini because it’s not my specialty. It’s tough to host beauty pageants; I’ll be bashed the very next day. I would say something I think appropriate but some people might find it inappropriate for that kind of event so iniiwasan ko na.

“Like in Q&A, baka magtuloy-tuloy ako o di kaya basta hawak ko yung mic magbato ako ng punchline. At jackpot ako the next day with the headline, ‘Luis Manzano ‘di gentleman; bastos.’ So why would I put myself in that predicament? That’s the reason why I believe we have our own specialty or ability to offer to people.”

Meanwhile, Luis can’t wait to start working for the new season of Minute to Win It which, according to him, is the most successful franchise of the Kapamilya network “because there were a lot of people who enjoyed the first season where the contestants were not just celebrities but also regular players and there’s the Kids Edition. And the best part of it is we’re using ordinary things for the game na ang daming gumagawa sa mga bahay nila. I even hosted a lot of Christmas parties before and most of the games were from Minute kaya nakakatuwa.”

Playing in the show’s pilot episode are Richard Yap, Jericho Rosales, Maja Salvador, Coleen Garcia, Melai Cantiveros, Eric Nicolas and Kapamilya player Marjan Nassiri.

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