Atta Boy!


I'd like to dwell this time on Boy Abunda's much-vaunted, not necessarily contentious, return to GMA, his original home.

Already a PR consultant for GMA, Kuya Boy, as I fondly address him, was convinced by then-network executive Bobby Bareira to try TV hosting.

It was on the late-night program Show and Tell with co-host Gretchen Barretto where Boy got his proverbial baptism of fire.

It was in October of 1995 that I joined Startalk as one of the pioneer writers (thanks to the late Tita Mina Aragon's recommendation).

Boy was one of the original hosts alongside Kris Aquino and Lolit Solis.

I remember him telling me that it was the glaring disparity among his colleagues that, surprisingly, if magically, made them strike a peculiar chemistry.

However, their trio didn't last long enough as Boy left the weekend show in 1999 and moved to ABS-CBN via “The Buzz.” leaving Lolit behind (Kris was the first to go).

But while with GMA, Boy seemingly enjoyed the company of those in the production team and vice versa.

Rommel Gacho, then Startalk's executive producer, is now his director for the entertainment-oriented Fast Talk (FT) with Boy Abunda, which aired its pilot episode yesterday with guest Marian Rivera. (FT's guest lineup for the week in this order are Glaiza de Castro and husband David Rainey, Alden Richards, Bea Alonzo and Paolo Contis).

Reylie Manalo, who's FT's EP, used to be one of Startalk's segment producers.

To top it all, GMA's Vice President for Talk, Janine Piad-Nakar, already held a key position during Startalk's fledgling years.

In short — as Boy rightfully claims — he's in familiar territory.

Despite his GMA exit and transfer to the rival network, Boy has never severed his friendly and professional ties with these well-meaning program staff: “I don't burn bridges.”

In a sense, Boy is reliving his glory days, secure in the thought that he's surrounded by people worthy of his trust and admiration.

Looking back, Boy then was more than just a host who'd storm into the studio dressed to the nines, slipping into branded stylish outfits without fail every week.

During brainstorming powwows, he fiercely shared his creative, often far-fetched and outrageous, inputs whenever necessary.

Here's one no-nonsense host who detests complacency.

The “puwede na 'yan” line of thinking is absolutely a big no-no to him, an unforgivable lapse in a world where cutthroat competition thrives, more so with the social media and internet onslaught these days.

As I speak now, Boy's FT is a daily afternoon program. His other show–a public affairs one–is with the Cayetano siblings.

But if he had his way, Boy still dreams of hosting an interview show — after all, this is where his strength mainly lies.

Of course, there's still his famous “imaginary mirror” where his subject faces, talks to and unleashes his bottled-up emotions upon himself.

I have yet to see his idea be brought to fruition, this via a separate show he already has a working title to “Tell Me Your Story.”

If a good deal is swung in his favor, Boy would like to co-produce this on GTV, GMA's sister channel.

And why not?

But will the King of Talk be able to muster enough physical energy given his existing shows on GMA, his YouTube channel vlogs and interviews, and other hosting stints on the side?

For sure, he will–just as he was able to finish his master's (in communication in 2011) and doctorate (in social development) degrees (2016) around the same time when he had his hands full with hosting workload.

Atta boy!


Trivia about Boy:

Did you know that he has dentophobia or odontophobia, as in he's scared to see a dentist?

That he and his partner Elmer “Bong” Quintana have been together since 1983?

That even if he has nothing against same-sex marriage, Boy is not keen on getting hitched: “Kasi nai-imagine ko na magtatawanan lang kami.”

That he has a different perspective as far as cheating on one's partner is concerned: “It makes me fall in love with my significant other even more.”

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