Michael V’s treasures

KAPUSO DAY - The Philippine Star

He may be known for the wacky characters and comedy sketches he comes up with on GMA Network’s 20-year-old Bubble Gang or his Pinoy na Pinoy everyman Pepito Manaloto but Michael V a.k.a. Bitoy is first and foremost a family man.

When asked who or what he treasures the most, he readily replies it’s his wife Ayoy.

“Ganun naman talaga eh, ‘pag kinasal ang dalawang tao dapat ‘yung partner mo ang iyong forever… most treasured person. Kapag marami akong ginagawa, buong araw halos hindi na kami nagkikita. At night ‘yung pagtabi sa kanya, ang laki na ng nagagawa nun. At ‘yung assurance na nandito lang ako, hindi naman ako aalis sa tabi niya.”

Time spent with his family is doubly precious given his consistently hectic work schedule. In fact, he would rather stay at home surrounded by his loved ones, doing mundane things like potty training his poodle Dexter, among other things, instead of going away on vacation.

“The fact that I’m rarely at home because of work, I’d rather have a staycation than a vacation,” he said.





The family owns a house in California which they visited two months ago but Bitoy is quick to point out that he’s far from materialistic. He is, however, thankful to have access to several cars because he can drive himself to and from work, pick up and drop off his children at school, and take his wife out on dates or accompany her if she has errands to run.

He is also thankful for his relationship with the Kapuso channel. Bitoy admits he wouldn’t have stayed as long if it hadn’t been for the favorable working conditions and the relationships he has with the cast and crew.

“Every day, for me, is a treasure as a Kapuso artist. I’m one of the few who don’t have a network contract. My contract is per show. So I treasure the trust, the friendship, the relationship with the network and myself. I won’t last this long in one network if there’s no network. (That is if) kung pera-pera lang ang usapan.”

Bitoy is particularly proud that Bubble Gang has marked  its 20th anniversary. Aside from the many awards it has reaped, the long-running gag show has created and provided jobs for many people, and can rightly be considered part of pop culture.

“It’s part of the Pinoy culture. It’s already an institution. Kaya nga iyon ang tagline namin for the 20th year: I am BG. I am Bubble Gang. Kasi parang lahat naman ng ginagawa namin sa Bubble Gang, reflection ng kung ano ang estado ng Pilipino ngayon, ng bansa. There’s a Bubble Gang in every Filipino.”

He also has a soft spot for the long-running weekly program Pepito Manaloto and considers the main protagonist as his baby.

“Embodiment din siya ng Pinoy eh. At saka consistent yung character niya. Si Pepito frustration ng lahat ng Pinoy, hope ng lahat ng Pinoy, and at the same time, nakakatawa siya. So for me, Pepito Manaloto is my favorite.”

Whenever he starts to doubt himself or question his decisions, Bitoy remembers what TV and theater actor Jaime Fabregas once told him. “You don’t make the wrong decisions. With every decision you make, you have to make it right.” Words of wisdom he has taken to heart.

Now it’s his turn to impart what he has learned so far. “I’ve always said this: Whatever your dreams are, never lose sight of them and never let go of that hope that you will achieve them. At times, you will be sidetracked but you have to do what you want to do.Whether you succeed or not, you have to do it. Because you will not be truly happy if you’ll not be able to do what you’ve always wanted to do.”

Bitoy is also currently seen depicting various political personalities in a number of plugs shown on GMA, with the campaign’s much-anticipated reveal scheduled on Jan. 15, in 24 Oras. Viewers can expect to see more of Bitoy’s latest projects in the days to come.

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