From left: Cherie Gil, Heart Evangelista and Jose Manalo comprise the Star- Struck Council of GMA 7’s artista search’s seventh season that is set to air Saturday nights beginning tomorrow, June 15.
Heart & Cherie defend Jose against bashers
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Heart Evangelista and Cherie Gil came to the defense of Jose Manalo after the comedian received extreme backlash from netizens questioning his ability and doubting his credibility to sit in the jury panel of the new season of GMA 7’s StarStruck. Heart and Cherie complete the three-member team of the artista search council.

During the show’s grand media launch, Jose was asked about his reaction regarding the harsh comments on social media after the names of the StarStruck judges came out in the news recently.

In a humble tone, the comedy actor said not once did any TV assignment make his head too big for a hat. He looks at being a judge simply as part of his job.

“I never put in my head that I am a judge; na pinili ako kasi karapat-dapat ako. Hindi ko po nilalagay sa ulo ko ‘yon, kaya kung ano ‘yung marinig ko sa kanila (bashers), hindi naman masakit, hahahaha,” said Jose. 

However, Heart showed her genuine concern and defended Jose by telling, “For those people who are judging why he’s here as a judge, it is so difficult to be a comedian. It’s really something that’s innate and I think for him to be a judge is perfect because it’s not a joke what he does every day.”

Cherie, on the other hand, pointed out that Jose handled the auditions in Eat, Bulaga before he made a career in comedy acting.

“It was also only now that I’ve learned that it was him who did all the auditions in Eat, Bulaga. That’s where he began — to see people who are performers. Di ba doon na-discover si Echo (Jericho Rosales)?”

Jose was still then a production assistant when Jericho was discovered after he made it to Mr. Pogi, one of the contests in the longest and hit noontime show on TV. Jose recalled he guided Jericho on doing his spiels.

“I would demonstrate to him how he’s going to read the spiels,” he said. “When you audition inside the studio of Eat, Bulaga, kami-kami lang ang nakakakita. Here (in StarStruck), you cannot make just one decision (at) andun na ang magagalit sa ‘yo ang mga kamag-anak, ‘yung mga kakilala and the social media is open (for people to make comments). That’s why, I do not have anything on social media, even Facebook, to avoid reading negative comments that will make me mad.”

His relatives and friends, Jose shared, would sometimes tell him of what they read about him on the Net. They would send text messages to him and Jose would ask for their answers. “They were the ones who got affected and me, I don’t mind them (bashers) because probably those people just wanted attention. Many say that when someone is burdened with problems, pilit nilang ibabato sa ibang tao para mapagtakpan ‘yung sa kanila. I have enough share of problems already, so why bother about them?”

Jose said he only focuses on his work, especially these days when his schedule is truly hectic. His duty in StarStruck allows him not to just see hopefuls but also give them pieces of advice. “Perhaps, I can share story about my life, ‘yung mga nangyari sa buhay ko pwede ko i-advice sa kanila kung makakatulong ‘yun para ma-inspire sila.”

Cherie is certain that they have a good combination as judges given their different personalities. They will be mentoring the finalists and be involved in the story-telling of the program.

“Heart brings different analysis to it while Jose is easy to get along with so I think, we’re finding our rapport with each other.”

For her part, Heart said, “It’s a good mix. It’s fun, especially with Jose who is so funny. He’s the one who breaks the tension. Sobrang galing n’ya mag-translate ng subtitles ‘pag masyado kaming umi-English (laughs).”

Airing Saturdays beginning tomorrow, June 15 after Daddy’s Gurl, StarStruck 7 will have Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado as hosts. Kyline Alcantara joins the program as host of Inside StarStruck online, which began last June 10 on YouTube. 

CHERIE GIL GMA 7’S STARSTRUCK HEART EVANGELISTA JOSE MANALO
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