Valeen is a very happy Kapatid

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - “I can’t complain. I have no right to complain,” offers Valeen Montenegro as she counts her blessings as a TV5 star. She shows her comedic flair in Loko Moko U and gave everyone updates on Kapatid wannabes in Artista Academy Breaktime. On weekdays at 5 p.m., Valeen hosts Jeepney Jackpot with Mr. Fu. This is a new playing field for Valeen to explore and thrive in, apart from the dancing and acting she used to do early in her showbiz career.

“For the rest of the experience, it is definitely new,” says Valeen of her latest TV assignment. “Jeepney Jackpot has shown my hosting ability. It’s fun doing it. At first, I was nervous because I know how (Mr. Fu) works. Gamay na gamay na niya ang hosting, while I’m just still starting. I can spice up (the repartee) a little bit. As long as I know the gist and how the program will go, I can carry on.”

In Jeepney Jackpot, Valeen and Mr. Fu get possible contestants from a barangay. From there, they choose six who have the privilege to get inside the jeep and play. The game consists of green (easy), red and yellow (tricky questions) levels. A contestant will be eliminated in every round and until there’s only one remaining contestant who will play in the jackpot round. The last man standing could win P50,000. But eliminated contestants are assured of a take home prize of P1,000. It’s not bad at all since Jeepney Jackpot is the one bringing the game to the people.

Aside from learning the game mechanics and following the show sequence, Valeen shares that “the actions of the contestants are very critical.” That’s when Mr. Fu’s experience as police reporter comes in. “He knows the daily lives of people and their reactions. So far, we haven’t encountered people na nag-wawala. But there were those who felt bad (nagtatampo) because they weren’t chosen to play the game.”

It’s “so far, so good” for Valeen’s stint as a game show host. “I’m so happy with hosting. People see my character. What you see on TV is me. Patawa lang kami ni Mr. Fu. He helped me to be more comfortable talking on camera.”

Asked why Filipinos love game shows like Jeepney Jackpot, Valeen replies, “Perhaps, it’s the mix of fun and reality.” The questions are about Metro Manila streets, a place’s history and landmarks, and it’s a fun experience answering them while enjoying your jeepney ride. Jeepney Jackpot is also an easy way to win money, plus the contestants and their family and friends can watch them on TV.

When there are no showbiz commitments, Valeen is working in the gym. “I want to be known as a healthy person. I’m a gym buff. I want to be a role model to others. You don’t have to be thin to be sexy and you have to learn to love yourself. I’ve been eating healthy since I met my boyfriend, a gym instructor. This was four years ago. He is my trainor. I also play badminton regularly.”

Valeen’s life doesn’t end in showbiz. She will earn her fashion designing and merchandising degree from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde this year.

“My silhouette is very form-flattering,” she says of her fashion design. “My colors are in the dark and warm tones. I’m not yet comfortable with colored pieces. It’s unfinished edgy. It looks formal with a twist which is not normal (deconstructed).”

Valeen admires the designs of VJ Floresca, Francis Libiran, Alexander McQueen and Alexander Wang. She would like “to be my own boss. Probably, I’d put up my own atelier or I can have a (design) space in my house and get clients.”

Valeen has a balanced life. And whoever says that showbiz and school can’t be mixed, better think again.











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