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Entertainment

‘It’s Showtime’ hosts: Pinoy world-class performers must be priority in restarting jobs

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
âItâs Showtimeâ hosts: Pinoy world-class performers must be priority in restarting jobs
'It's Showtime' hosts Jhong Hilario, Vice Ganda and Vhong Navarro wearing face shields
ABS-CBN / Released

MANILA, Philippines — “It’s Showtime’s” highly anticipated return to the studio and on-air via Kapamilya Channel and Jeepney TV thrilled viewers in and out of the country as it dominated social media chatter and recorded millions of online views.

After three months, hosts Vice Ganda, Vhong Navarro, Jhong Hilario, Karylle, Jugs Jugueta, and Teddy Corpuz finally reunited on stage, armed with face shields and standing meters apart from each other during the opening number last Saturday (June 13).

“The return of ‘Showtime’ and the airing of Kapamilya Channel is not a solution to COVID-19. It won’t cure the disease, but it can cure some illnesses caused by COVID-19, such as your sadness, your boredom, and the fear you’re feeling now. We will try to take that away from you and put smiles on your faces. So let us come into your homes, because we miss you very much and love you very much,” said Vice, who held back tears while speaking.

Messages of support and love also welcomed the show as it led the trending topics on Twitter worldwide with the #ShowtimeMagkaisayahan and #KapamilyaChannel, and “Kapamilya Forever" and "Showtime is back."

“To be honest it’s the first time I have laughed this hard in 3 months and it’s all because of Showtime. More power, Showtime!” commented Janice Pring while watching on YouTube. “Watching It’s Showtime helped me in coping up with my depression and anxiety. I’m so glad they’re back,” said @Azumi 93.

“The long wait is over our number one and favorite noontime show is finally back. Thank you ABS-CBN for creating a new channel for us to able to watch Kapamilya shows. Hope that someday we will seeing ABS-CBN / Kapamilya Channel on free TV,” posted Twitter user @Artlayug1.

Overseas Filipinos also joined the welcome party online, including @richiecausaren, who posted on Twitter from Indonesia, “Welcome back Showtime family. This proves that we will remain resilient whatever challenges we face. You’ve done so much in helping make OFWs happy.”

During its livestreaming, “It’s Showtime” attracted more than 137,739 concurrent viewers across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook and earned more than 2.5 million views throughout the entire Saturday.

The show also introduced new segments that seek to provide Filipinos with joy, relief, and livelihood opportunities, such as “1Ted: Now Hiring,” where Karla Estrada successfully hired a secretary for her Queen Mother Salon. In “Pamilyanaryo,” Caloocan’s Brito family took home P81,000, while the singing battles continued in “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”

According to the hosts, all studio contestants underwent quarantine and rapid testing before coming into the studio.

In a teleconference with Philstar.com and other media outlets last week, "It’s Showtime" hosts Vhong Navarro and Jhong Hilario appealed for the resumption of work for many entertainers worldwide, most especially, Filipinos.

“Isa sa mga nangangailangan ngayon ng trabaho ay napakaraming artists. Marami ngayon ang ‘di nakaka-pag-gig, nakakanta sa mga casino,” Jhong said.

According to him, priority should be given in resuming work for entertainment industry workers especially since Filipinos are world-renowned for being good singers and performers.

“Dapat lang ma-prioritize ang mga entertainers kasi alam natin ang mga Pilipino ay napaka-talented. Naparaming talent, napakaraming pwedeng gawin na kayang ipagmalaki sa buong mundo… Kaya ‘yung sinasabi nilang ‘di priority, ‘di ako sang-ayon du’n na ‘di maging priority ‘yan,” he explained.

“Kung titignan mo sa buong mundo, ilang Pilipino ang nagpeperform d’yan? ‘Di lang sa mga casino, ‘di lang sa mga hotel. Ultimo sa mga Universal Studios, sa mga Disneyland, napakaraming Pilipino ang nagtratrabaho d’yan. So para sa’kin, dapat lang bigyan ng importansya ang entertainment industry, ang mga artists ng Philippines.”

While Vhong understands why other industries should be given priority in restarting during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, he feels for many fellow entertainment industry workers who lost their jobs, most especially daily wage earners.

“S’yempre aminado naman tayo na ‘di talaga priority ang entertainment. Nakaka-tampo rin ng konti. Pero naiintindihan mo sino ba ‘yung bibigyan mo ng priority? Pinaka-affected dito ‘yung mga per day na nagtratrabaho. Per arawan. Sila ‘yung mga pinaka-tamaan so sila din ‘yung dapat i-priority. Pero ang hirap lang sa’ming mga entertainer, ‘di namin alam kung kelan lahat makakabalik. For example lang, band. Kelan ulit sila makakapag-gig?”

While some entertainers like them were able to find alternative platforms such as Zoom, TikTok or YouTube shows, still, many entertainers like their own backup dancers at “It’s Showtime” are affected.

“Pero pa’no ‘yung mga dancers natin? Pa’no sila kukuha ng income? ‘Yung mga backup dancers, pa’no sila? Kasi sila ang unang tatamaan, social distancing eh. ’Di pa namin alam kung kelan sila pwede makabalik ulit nang buo kasi affected sila, sa totoo lang.”

“It’s Showtime” airs at noon from Mondays to Fridays on Jeepney TV and Kapamilya Channel (SKYcable channel 8 on SD and channel 167 on HD, Cablelink channel 8, G Sat channel 2, and most cable operators under the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association (PCTA) nationwide. 

Related: ‘It’s Showtime’ new segments to help workers displaced by COVID-19 pandemic

‘It’s Showtime’s’ Vhong Navarro praises ‘Eat Bulaga’ for ‘new normal’ measures

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