‘Eat Bulaga is here to stay’

Just when everyone thought Philippine TV's longest-running program was nearing its end, “Eat Bulaga's” very own Vic Sotto publicly promised the show “is here to stay.”At the media conference of his partnership with appliance brand Hanabishi on May 5, the ace comedian, who is one-third of the iconic Tito, Vic and Joey (TVJ) comedy group, finally broke his silence amid controversies surrounding the 43-year-old noontime show.

Actor and ‘Eat Bulaga’ pioneer Vic Sotto PHOTO FROM IMDB

Following his brother, former senate president Tito Sotto's bombshell revelation that “Eat Bulaga's” producers, TAPE, Inc., have long failed to pay TVJ's talent fees, now amounting to tens of millions, the younger Sotto firmly said, “All the facts have already been presented by Tito Sen, and I have nothing more to add but this, Eat Bulaga is here to stay.”

Pressed to confirm the P30-million figure his brother cited they were each owed, Sotto clarified that the amount only referred to Joey de Leon's unpaid salary.

Unwilling to disclose how much his outstanding fees were, the 69-year-old comedian also duly confirmed the debt had been settled when he next saw media last Monday at the news conference for a new sitcom. [See sidebar].

“Tito Sen. had the wrong info on that part — that was just Joey's. His fees were unpaid over a long period. That's why it got so big. But as Joey said, 'It's nothing.' That's how much we love 'Eat Bulaga,' so we kept going,” he continued.”Not everything is about money. For me, one's principles are more important than material things,” Sotto averred.

In both interviews, he refused to talk about TVJ's current relationship with TAPE's management, saying instead, “I will comment about that when the right time comes.”

Sotto with Hanabishi executives (from left) Jasper Ong, Cherish Ong-Chua, Candice Ong-Ang and Jevon Ong

Eager to get back to the business at hand, Sotto proceeded with the ceremonial contract renewal while receiving high praises from Hanabishi Appliances President and CEO Jasper Ong.

“We believe in keeping lasting relationships. We have been working with Bossing (Vic) since 2014, and it has been a really fruitful collaboration. Throughout that time, we have seen consumer preferences evolve, challenges like the pandemic come up, and more competition enter the market. This partnership helped us navigate all these obstacles, which is why Vic Sotto is more than just a partner for us. He has become part of the family already,” the businessman said.

Furthering the statement, Cherish Ong-Chua, vice president for finance and marketing, said, “Our partnership is built on a shared mission of bringing joy to Filipino families. Hanabishi is committed to making household work easier and helping people put up their own businesses using our various appliances.

Likewise, Bossing, through his movies and TV shows, has given laughter and happiness to Filipinos across the country.”

In response, Sotto sincerely thanked the brand for its continued support of “Eat Bulaga's” community projects.”They've been supporting the show since 2010, and when they asked me to be their endorser in 2014, I didn't think twice about accepting because most of my appliances at home are Hanabishi. That's even before I became an endorser,” the celebrity affirmed.

“One thing about the Ongs is they don't treat me as an ambassador or endorser but as part of their family. We're 'dabarkads',” he revealed, using the term of endearment given to “Eat Bulaga's” fans. I feel really comfortable with them, and I believe in their products because they are quality and very affordable for the Filipino family.”

As one of the country's top endorsers for many decades now, Sotto rounded up his remarks with valuable advice for today's young influencers.

“What's always been important for me as an endorser is to be true to yourself. Don't accept offers or products you don't use because that's false advertising. You have to be true not just to yourself but to your viewers and followers as well.”

Giving way to one last question if retirement comes to mind nowadays as he nears 50 years in show business, the famous funny man quipped, “I'm not a senior yet, and there's a new age for senior citizens. It's no longer 60 but 80 years old.”

More seriously, he expressed, “You know, a lot of people have been saying I have done a lot already, and have I helped a lot of people already. My answer to them is this: I can do more, I can help more, I can entertain more. So retirement is very far from my mind.”

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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