Willie with guest co-host Donita Nose at the 42nd floor of his Wil Tower where the show has been airing since Easter Sunday, on the GMA Wowowin timeslot (5 to 6:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday before 24 Oras). It has more than 15 million viewers to date.
How Tutok To Win came about
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

It began under a tree in the mangrove of his resort in Puerto Galera barely five days after the lockdown was declared first week of March.

“I woke up one morning and I asked myself, ‘What can I do at this time?’,” recalled Willie Revillame, who was caught by the lockdown while taking it easy with some of his staff in his hideaway. “Why don’t I help? I think it’s God’s will; He guided me into doing something (worthwhile) during this pandemic and not just sit pretty. So I thought of doing a game show online and give away cash prizes just like what I was doing in Wowowin.” (The show has been on hold until better, safer times.).

On March 20, Willie greeted his followers on Facebook. “Kumusta na po kayo? Tutok lang kayo. Hindi ko lang kayo pasasayahin, bibigyan ko rin kayo ng premyo. Initially, hindi ko kabisado ang Facebook but thanks to my staff at natuto na ako. Sa simula, we were using Zoom.”

Thanks to friends who helped the show take off beautifully, including Frontrow’s R.S. Francisco who donated P1M and 20,000 face masks, Herbs & Nature (vitamins and medicines, etc.) and Willie himself who chipped in with P1M from his own pocket. Some of the proceeds were donated to St. Luke’s Medical Center and the GMA Kapuso Foundation.

Content of the show included Willie’s charitable projects on the island (in Mindoro), distributing relief goods among soldiers, Mangyans and other residents, assisted by the fishermen. The feedback to the first few episodes was encouraging, with the first viewed by one million. Among the resource persons in the streaming from Puerto Galera were Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Frontrow partner Sam Versoza, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Rep./Cabinet Sec. Karl Nograles.

A week later, Willie had the sala of his resthouse converted into a mini-studio while the number of his viewers continued to rise as the show extended to Twitter and YouTube. The word “tutok” (stay tuned) stuck and Willie decided to call his show Tutok To Win (TTW). Easy does it: Log on to the three platforms and if Willie dials your number, presto, you win P10,000. If you can answer a question (as shallow as guessing if Willie is wearing socks, etc.), you get an additional prize. Basta, tutok lang in order to win.

GMA executive Joey Abacan was impressed by the popularity of the show. During the Holy Week, there was a series of negotiations between him and Willie. Soon, upon the go-signal from GMA big boss FLG (lawyer Felipe L. Gozon), TTW was transplanted from Puerto Galera to Manila using the Wowowin timeslot (5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday before 24 Oras), with Wowowin on Saturday nights. The fine-dining restaurant on the 42nd floor of Willie’s own Wil Tower serves as the studio.

As a media practitioner, Willie got the required documents before flying to Manila, with the help of Martin Andanar (head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office/PCOO), Sen. Bong Go and Jake Joson who contacted Sta. Lucia for the chopper (with Capt. Boy Garrucho as pilot) that flew Willie to Manila. (Willie had left his own chopper in Puerto Galera and is now piloting it himself back and forth. He’s a certified pilot.).

Since TTW started airing on Easter Sunday, it has earned more than 15 million viewers and given away more than P1M-worth of prizes (except that he cannot give away jackets for an obvious reason.).

“I am getting used to performing before virtual audience,” admitted Willie, “although I miss my live audience.”

Asked which is more fulfilling, hosting/producing TTW or Wowowin, Willie conceded, “Both are fulfilling and rewarding kasi with both shows ang dami kong natutulungan. But doing TTW is easier because it’s live while Wowowin is taped and it would take three to four hours.”

As in Wowowin, TTW has all the ingredients of total entertainment such as drama (viewers narrating their pandemic experiences), action (watch the show and find out), music (provided by guest singers) and comedy (such as Willie falling from his swivel chair). One time, when Nograles guested for the second time, Willie made him cry by showing a video of a military frontliner who could hug his little son while both were clothed in plastic.

Strictly observing protocols (wearing face masks and social distancing), Willie has reserved 11 rooms for stay-in production members (guest artists are hatid/sundo, limited to just one chaperon requested to wait downstairs). Groups of not more than six are divided during meals.

So how would his “new normal/post pandemic” show be like?

“I miss my live audience, so I can’t wait for the time when Wowowin returns. But I will retain Tutok To Win and put it on the Saturday slot.”

Okay, bigyan ng jacket ‘yan!!!

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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