Go, Arnell, Go!
(The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2008 - 12:00am

His story may be likened to that of the Prodigal Son. For those who know him inside and out, however, Arnell Ignacio is and will never be that Biblical character. 

Arnell jumped over the fence to another station from GMA 7 to find greener pastures. After a string of TV appearances and hosting stints, Arnell returned to “where he belongs.” He has remained the funnyman and the game show master that many have adored all these years. Arnell is poised to claim the Best Game Show Host title which he enjoyed for sometime. His PMPC Star Awards Best Game Show Host trophies can attest to that.

“I’m happy that I came back,” says Arnell, host of Gobingo which airs weeknights before 24 Oras. “I’m thankful for the generosity and the support GMA 7 has shown me. The happiness that I’m feeling right has made up for the (not-so-good) things I have been feeling these days. With this welcome change, I don’t see myself finding again for better opportunities.”

Arnell’s happiness is infectious that you can’t help but smile while watching him orchestrating Gobingo with his funny antics and spontaneous side remarks. It’s not surprising for someone who has done shows like Chibugan Na!, Kwarta O Kahon, Katok Mga Misis, Golympics, K! The 1 Million Peso Videoke Challenge, Shall We Dance and Now Na! and has channel surfed five times (RPN, GMA, ABS-CBN, Q-11 and ABC 5). Arnell has also showed his acting chops in TV programs like Ober da Bakod, I Luv NY and Mga Mata Ni Anghelita.

Although he has faced some detours and pit stops in his career, Arnell will always find himself doing what he knows best — hosting. Game show is the genre that fits his bubbly, free-spirited personality.

Who broached the idea of reviving the Kapuso game show that also paved the way to Maricar de Mesa’s showbiz career? Arnell said in an interview that he and Wilma Galvante of GMA 7 met up for a lunch for their usual kwentuhan. Before the lady executive bade him goodbye, she informed him for the possible revival of Gobingo which he will host. Arnell was stunned of the news. Lady Luck is still beside him.

Arnell’s return to the small screen has also carried out some changes. One of which is Annabelle Rama, his new manager. Arnell says it was he who went to Annabelle and asked her to manage his career. The talent manager, whose career will be relaunched via Regal Entertainment’s Monster Mom, welcomed him with open arms. Arnell is happy to work with Annabelle who has done wonders on the careers of JC de Vera, Michelle Madrigal, Nicole Anderson and sons Richard and Raymond Gutierrez.

“You have to ask her permission even for the photo op,” jokes the TV host/comedian.

Also in the show, televiewers will see Arnell in his best fashion as he wears JC Buendia wardrobes. He says that 60 percent of the show’s efforts are placed on his total look and packaging to complement his gift for gab and comedic skills.

Gobingo will have three studio players whose goal is to light up the numbers on the board assigned to them by giving Arnell quick and correct answers to his questions. They will light up first the four corners of the boards and then, the middle row. Whoever lights up the entire board first wins and gets the chance to play in the jackpot round.

Homeviewers, on the other hand, can win prizes by playing blackout with their virtual playing card.

Aside from stars, dancing policemen, beauty salon owners and showbiz lookalikes will also try their luck to win the pot.

“Kris is a very good host,” says Arnell of the inevitable competition between Gobingo and Kris Aquino’s Wheel of Fortune. “It’s a challenge because many expect from me (to make this good) and I will do everything for the show.”

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