'An Oscar award for Tito, Vic & Joey'

ME, STARZAN - Joey de Leon -

First, here’s a true story. 

Last Tuesday (June 2), some members of a “PIRATERNITY” were selling DVDs to a group of showbiz people. Suddenly, one of the stars jokingly asked the leader, “Meron ba kayong dalang mga sex videos?”

The answer was quick and defensive, “Naku wala po! Bawal po ‘yun!”

Ngek! That one was not a clear copy of the law. 

* * *

Of course, this writer is very proud and highly pleased to be a major part of now considered the world’s longest-running Television Variety show for noontime entertainment. And I equally feel the same for also being a part of Eat, Bulaga!’s predecessor, Student Canteen. Ahem and aha! Therefore, that officially makes TVJ the world’s title-holders for hosting a daily variety show continuously for the longest time on television!

So, do we get something for this? Like perhaps, a LONGTIME Achievement Award? Or maybe, an OSCAR? “OSCAR” for Over Staying Celebrities Against Retirement!

But one thing is certain — whenever questions pertaining to “secrets on why we’re still here” and “staying power” come up in some interviews, my answer is always — WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT WE STILL ENJOY WHAT WE DO.

The truth is we laugh more now than before. The only other difference is that we easily get tired laughing today. 

We again experienced a very special glorious sensation for the heart and soul one Saturday in May (May 23) when Eat, Bulaga! in celebration of our TATLONG DEKADS NG DABARKADS, and instead of marking our 30th anniversary with a trip and lavish program presentations, presented four-year high school scholarships to 30 deserving honor students. Ang sarap talaga ng pakiramdam.

In 1980, during Eat, Bulaga!’s first anniversary, we came up with Hangga’t May Bata, May Eat, Bulaga! Today, it is going to be Hangga’t May Eat, Bulaga!, May Mag-aaral Na Mga Bata! 

Medyo kinakabahan din ako ngayon. On that same year din kasi, 1980, I came up also with another slogan and it was even printed on T-shirts. Kayo na ang humusga — “Happy First Anniversary Eat, Bulaga! 99 Years To Go!”

Well, we always keep our word. I’ll see you until 2079!

Through the years, students have always been a major concern in noontime entertainment. Kaya nga Student Canteen eh! That show even called the great Leila Benitez as their Lady Dean. And that is why, up to now, we still have our Bulagaan segment set inside a classroom. And even before Eat, Bulaga!, we were already with “schooliosis” — remember Iskul Bukol?

Napunta lang sa “kainan” nung pumasok na ang Eat, Bulaga! Nagsunuran naman ‘yung iba — Lunchdate, Kalatog-Pinggan, Chibugan Na, etc.

But don’t blame us, especially this writer who is very proud to be called “The Man Who Gave Eat, Bulaga! Its Name.”

I used Student Canteen as my model when I was thinking of a title for our new noontime show running against them in 1979. Obviously, I did not follow the word “Student” — baka sabihin gaya-gaya. Para hindi halata, I concentrated on their second word — “Canteen.” And what do you do in a canteen? Of course, EAT! And that became my appetizer to help me through until I came up with a delicious title — Eat, Bulaga!

(Readers Applaud)

Thank you. But seriously, being in today’s television is like being in school. You don’t stop learning, thinking and experimenting. There’s a lot of subjects and courses to take. To be a student here for the longest time is what is important. 

If you graduate, that’s the end. 

* * *

Of course, you know that I am an endorser of the laundry soap Pride. Kaya nga pinanganak ang Pride and Joey.

Soon, I’ll be endorsing Baliwag Lechon Manok. 

Another dream come true. Nagkatotoo at nagkasama-sama na sila — PRIDE CHICKEN!

* * *

An invitation: Igan D’Bayan’s Heavy Mental and Joey de Leon’s Fish and Chips will open on June 30 at the Crucible Gallery at the Fourth Floor of SM Megamall A. The show is on view until July 13.

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