After all these years, Eat Bulaga stays true to its mission — to bring isang libo’t, isang tuwa sa buong bansa.
40 years and counting: The secret to Bulaga’s success
KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier-Cruz (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2019 - 12:00am

“Mula Batanes, hanggang Jolo…” is the opening line of a song every Filipino in every part of the world knows. For 40 years, Eat Bulaga has grown from being a noontime show to an ubiquitous household name. And last Feb. 1, TAPE, Inc. renewed its partnership with GMA Network for the blocktime airing of Eat Bulaga — a relationship that has spanned over two decades and counting.

Eat Bulaga’s pillars and original hosts, Sen. Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, remain part of the show to this day, along with the growing Dabarkads family.

Asked why he thinks the program remains successful even after all these years, Sen. Tito emphasized that it must be the way it serves the viewers. “Eat Bulaga is really a public service program masquerading as an entertainment show. That’s the secret.” 

“Time really flies ‘no?” his co-host, Vic, said. “Pero pakiramdam ko nag-uumpisa pa lang kami eh. We’re looking forward to more and more years.”

For Joey, doing the show is both fun and gratifying. “Itong palabas na ito ay nakakabata dahil tawa kami nang tawa,” he shared. “Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa mga Kapuso na hindi kami binibitawan mula noon hanggang ngayon.”

Anjo Yllana, Jimmy Santos, Allan K. and Ruby Rodriguez, who have all been hosts of the show for more than 20 years, see the job as a privilege.

“Eat Bulaga is different dahil puno ng entertainment at sariling brand of comedy. I see it both as a blessing and a privilege to be part of this longest-running noontime show,” said Anjo. Jimmy, on the other hand, talked about the show’s generosity to people in need, “I’m very lucky to be a Dabarkad because of Eat Bulaga’s mission to help those who are in dire need, while bringing joy to the viewers.”

Allan K. added that it’s the warmth they receive from viewers that inspires them all these years. “Parang lahat ‘pag nakikita ka gusto kang yakapin kasi parang feeling nila, part ka ng family nila dahil every tanghalian kasama ka nila.” And for Ruby, she found a family amongst her co-hosts, “I’ve been with Eat Bulaga for 27 years, so as you can see, I’m very happy. We really are a family.”

Meanwhile, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros, more known in the segment Juan For All, All For Juan as JoWaPao, are grateful for the support Kapuso viewers unendingly give. 

“Maswerte ako na dahil sa Eat Bulaga, lumawak ‘yung dami ng kaibigan ko, ‘yung dami ng nagmamahal sa amin, kaya pagbubutihin pa namin magpasaya sa show na ito,” Jose promised. Wally complemented this by saying, “Hindi lang basta sa salita siguro magagawa yung pasasalamat namin, nawa’y hanggang sa dulo walang iwanan, Kapuso tayong lahat at Dabarkads.”

“I’ve been with the show since 2001,” Paolo shared. “Kumbaga dito ko na-hone ‘yung talent ko tsaka more than anything else, pamilya na talaga kaming lahat dito.”

Along with this, the other Dabarkads opened up about how Eat Bulaga is more than just a show to them.

“Ako naman, I’ve been here for practically half of my life,” Pauleen Luna-Sotto smilingly said. “I met my husband here and it opened a lot of doors for me work-wise even. It’s overwhelming to know na we have a home in GMA.”

For his part, Ryan Agoncillo relayed how he continues to grow through the show. “I started my career here and I keep learning and growing as a host. For me, to be part of Eat Bulaga and be a Kapuso is a double bonus talaga.”

“Being a Kapuso means that you have the heart to serve people. Here in Eat Bulaga, we serve the public, those who are in need, as much as we entertain,” Pia Guanio quipped.

Luanne Dy added that she feels blessed to be part of the nation’s noontime habit. “I’m so blessed to be part of this show na talagang inaabangan ng mga tao, ng mga Kapuso  at mga Dabarkads natin dahil naging parte na rin kami ng buhay nila.”

The latest host to join the show, Maureen Wroblewitz, affirmed this and added, “It means a lot to me to be here and I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I hope to stay a Dabarkad forever.” 

The youngest Dabarkads, Ryzza Mae Dizon and Baeby Baste, have nothing but gratitude for Kapuso viewers.

“Super thank you dahil parati silang nanonood ng Eat Bulaga. Sana po palagi lang silang nandyan and marami pa pong aabangan sa Eat Bulaga,” Ryzza chirped. With a sheepish grin, Baste said, “Patuloy n’yo po sana kaming suportahan. I love you all po.”

Phenomenal Star Maine Mendoza, on the other hand, expressed how Eat Bulaga changed her life, “Katulad po ng lagi kong sinasabi, binago ng Eat Bulaga ang buhay ko. Hindi lahat nabibigyan ng ganung pagkakataon at habambuhay po akong grateful na ako’y isang Dabarkad at Kapuso.”

And for Pambasang Bae Alden Richards, Eat Bulaga is his dream come true, “Dream come true po talaga sa akin ang maging parte ng Dabarkads. Siguro for almost four years, dito na umikot ang buhay ko at hindi ko ma-imagine na hindi ko ginagawa ang Eat Bulaga. Sobrang thankful po ako.”

Alden added that as early as now, they are preparing for their 40th anniversary celebration this year. “It will be grand,” he said. “It will be something for the Dabarkads, lalo na sa mga sumusuporta sa amin sa Eat Bulaga. Wala po kaming ibang gustong ibigay sa kanila kundi saya at pasasalamat.”

It’s not difficult to see why Eat Bulaga remains to be the country’s top noontime variety show. It’s their solid bond, their passion to give back, and their grateful hearts that make these Dabarkads so endearing to Kapuso viewers. After all these years, Eat Bulaga stays true to its mission — to bring isang libo’t, isang tuwa sa buong bansa.

EAT BULAGA GMA NETWORK INC. NOONTIME SHOW TAPE
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