'TVJ is 'Eat Bulaga,' 'Eat Bulaga' is TVJ': Hosts react to IPO decision

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'TVJ is 'Eat Bulaga,' 'Eat Bulaga' is TVJ': Hosts react to IPO decision
TVJ with several Darbarkads and legal representatives from DivinaLaw
Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon are relieved with the Intellectual Property Office's (IPO) decision, finding them the originators of the "Eat Bulaga" name.

Tito began a media conference held at TV5 Media Center — where TVJ hosts the noontime show "E.A.T." after departing Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE) earlier this year — attended by several outlets, including Philstar.com, by reading a statement following the decision.

The former senator noted that the IPO and the Bureau of Legal Affairs, in deciding that TVJ were the originators of "Eat Bulaga," canceled the trademark registration of TAPE.

The IPO ruled that TVJ have the "absolute and exclusive right to register" the "Eat Bulaga" trademark after it found that they presented sufficient evidence that they originally coined the term, while TAPE failed to sufficiently explain its claim of ownership of the "Eat Bulaga" name.

"It [was] Joey who coined and created [the name] in 1979 in my kitchen in White Plains... TAPE did not even refute or contradict our narration of the origin. In fact, they corroborated our claims when they said Romy Jalosjos (owner of TAPE) only chose 'Eat Bulaga' among the suggested list given to him," Tito continued.

Tito also noted IPO recgonized Joey's creative efforts in conceptualizing "Eat Bulaga," and that "it is not the application or the registration that confers the right of registration."

"It is only us and no one else who have all the right to register these subject marks. TAPE should not be allowed to profit from the business reputation built by TVJ," Tito stated. "For how many decades, TVJ garnered goodwill over the 'Eat Bulaga' brand and the general public even said that 'TVJ is 'Eat Bulaga,' 'Eat Bulaga' is TVJ.'"

Initial reactions

Asked for their first reactions to hearing the IPO's decision after Tito finished reading the statement, the ex-senator said he immediately thanked the Lord.

Joey joked that he heard about the decision the same time a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Occidental Mindoro and was felt in parts of Luzon.

"Onga pala, sa mga nagtatanong ano 'tong 'ICON,'" Joey quipped, pointing at his cap. "Ibig sabihin niyan 'I Created Our Name.' Pasikat lang!"

On a more serious note, it only sunk in for Joey when he saw TVJ's legal representation from DivinaLaw Atty. Enrique "Buko" dela Cruz on television affirming the IPO's decision.

Vic was shooting a sitcom for GMA-7 when the news broke and was surprised to receive several congratulatory messages, "'Di naman ako grumaduate, puro congratulations!"

Like Joey, it did not sink in for Vic because he was not as well-versed in legal jargon, but he had other things on his mind as a result of the earthquake.

"Medyo naguluhan isip ko kasi 'yung mag-ina ko nakasakay sa ferris wheel," Vic said. "Si Pauleen and Tali nasa ferris wheel nu'ng lumilindol! Akala ni Pauleen luma na 'yung ferris wheel!"

Tito later thanked their co-hosts, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros, Allan K, Ryan Agoncillo, Maine Mendoza, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Miles Ocampo, Carren Eistrup and Atasha Muhlach, for standing by them "through thick and thin." Their group is also fondly called Dabarkads. 

"Ibang klase kasi naging samahan namin sa 'Eat Bulaga.' It's a lot more than the show itself or the title, 'yung pakisamahan walang katumbas na halaga," Vic chipped in.

TVJ will soon be discussing when to officially use the "Eat Bulaga" name, and implored that TAPE respect the IPO's decision even as the company mulls appeals. — with reports from Cristina Chi

RELATED: TVJ can use 'Eat Bulaga' name, TAPE must respect IPO decision — lawyer

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