Eat Bulaga! is a noon-time variety show in the Philippines produced by Television And Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE) and aired by GMA Network. The show broadcasts from The New TAPE Studios (Eastside Studio) at the GMA Broadway Centrum in New Manila, Quezon City. Eat Bulaga! is aired Weekdays at 12:00pm to 3:00pm and Saturdays at 11:30am to 2:30pm (PHT). The show is also broadcast worldwide through GMA Pinoy TV. The name approximately translates to “Lunchtime Surprise!”. The show celebrated its 33rd year on Philippine television last August 18, 2012. Eat Bulaga! holds the record of being the longest-running noontime variety program on air in the history of local television – Source: Wikipedia
I have been wishing for a very long time to be able to watch the Philippine’s longest running noontime show… Live.
Well… why not?
Throughout the years, the show itself is already an institution of entertainment that also provide hopes and dreams to come true.
From giving out cash from random to deserving Pinoys, to giving out cars and house and lots, to scholarships, to renovating schools and providing libraries, to reuniting long lost family members, to extend awareness in helping save our environment… Eat Bulaga is not just synonymous to the words noontime variety show, they are also a legendary instrument in making all these possible.
So how’s my experience you ask? Read on..
Mom told me that our reservation was confirmed for April 24. (Shout out to my cousin Jaz Coronia for making the reservation possible! 10,000 kisses to you Ate! Thank you!)
I was really excited that finally it will happen.
So our group, Dad, my little brother Angelo, my dear cousin @Bonggakastar (my fellow first timers) with Mom and two of her amigas (all third timers..) and Kuya driver of the van we rented. My Best friend Lhet backed out day before so boo-hoo Best!!
We left Dasmariñas, Cavite at 6AM and we got to Broadway Centrum at around 8:15 (-ish..). We ate brunch first. Mom is an experienced audience and told us that once we’re inside the studio we are no longer allowed to go out. The show will be finished around 3PM.
By the time we got inside Broadway, a lot of people were already waiting. I really don’t mind waiting despite the heat, it’s because I am excited! There’s these group of men that are doing some briefing before letting us in. And I am glad that they are very accomodating. All smiles and no hint of grumpiness. These men, I assume, deals with lots of people everyday, from Monday to Saturday, yet they still manage to be very accomodating and throwing funny punchlines to make the waiting bearable.
So we got inside the studio. We were seated at the back near the aircon boasting with 22 degrees temp. It was so cold inside the studio (brrrr…)!
Anyways, prior to Eat Bulaga’s airing, is the new show of the smallest host of Philippine TV, The Ryzza Mae Show (with matching swaying of both hands in circular motion from right to left then shake your hands!). Since everything starts at 11:30, everybody was rehearsing. From clapping with shouting (Palakpakan na may kasamang sigawan!!!), to calling out Ryzza’s name. They also made us rehearse the famous dance “Cha Cha Dabarkads” with our mouths open (Nganga!). It was really fun! I caught a glimpse of these young teens giving out instructions – the OJTs. I am so jealous. They are so lucky to be part of the EB staff. Back when I was in college, EB was not accepting OJTs at the time (sigh).
There’s these two guys who made me laugh all throughout the beginning and in between commercial breaks. They really made sure that the audience are having a good time even during gaps. They are also the ones that are responsible for the choreography of each teams for the segment “Wave Wave Wave, Win Win Win” (I’ll get to that a little bit later).
Eat Bulaga is known to be famous in the Philippines that other countries are even aware of it. There was a time Julian Hanton from London joined Pinoy Henyo. And this time, Andy and Hamish from the Hamish and AndyShow of Australia (with their cute crew members) were featured in the Ryzza Mae Show. And there’s Eat Bulaga Indonesia who is currently (still) the number 1 variety show in Indonesia. Amazing (doing a ‘Kuya Betong’ pose)!
So after the cute and very entertaining talkshow of Ryzza (her set is so pink… and Ryzza was so good, there were honestly no dull moments when she’s talking) it’s rehearsal again, this time for the Eat Bulaga segments.
From Ryzza they segued to Allan K, Pauleen (Luna), Belle (Daza) and Keempee (De Leon) who did the opening.
First segment was “That’s My Boy” featuring the regional finalists from Davao. A contest for the cute little boys with talents and wits to answer questions. Michael V. and Pia (Guanio) did the interview while Belle (Daza) and Pauleen (Luna) announced the winner.
Next segment is my favorite, “Juan for All, All for Juan, Bayanihan of the Pipol” – a segment done remotely (outside of the studio location) by Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola (now also making a big name in the concert scene) and my crush Paolo Ballesteros. Now this is effortless. While the trio is making their usual funny tactics outside, the rest of the hosts are simply making their presence felt. One by one they all went visible, giving genuine smiles and waving to the audience and when He came out, everyone in the audience (that includes me!) shouted and chanted, “Bossing, Bossing!” – there he was in white polo – my other crush, Mr. Vic Sotto (and it’s his Birthday week – I am so lucky!).
The segment “Juan for All, All for Juan, Bayanihan of the Pipol” is for the Pinoys in the Baranggays. Bossing (Vic Sotto) would blindly pick a name from numbers of registration forms and then will call them to be the day’s lucky winner. That day they were in Tondo and the day’s winner was a former sargeant from the Manila police. He is a widower with 6 children and had 2 episodes of stroke. He is really crying when they speak of his late wife but JoWaPao managed to divert his attention and made him laugh. They brought him food, appliances with weird inclusive packages (remember the infamous Washing Machine with Scuba Diver!!!), variety of grocery items, cash plus savings. They just changed someone’s life again (and they’ve been doing it for decades).
And after much rehearsal every gaps, I am also excited for the wave game! We participated in the dance, shouted and wished for the other teams to lose. But, it was Team A who won and us Team C, as they call it in the EB Studio — Nganga (No EB shirt, no SOS, no cash – so unfortunate)! (Watch our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrvpNGOQPb0&feature=youtu.be)
The last segment – Pinoy Henyo is my Dad’s favorite, By just watching on TV, he would react the way he was watching PBA when Ginebra is playing either winning or losing. As in he would shout as if the contestants would hear him from outside the television.
Unfortunately for my Dad, he can’t see clearly the whole time. Given the distance of our seats from the stage, He is suffering from Macular Degeneration wherein his left eye is already blind and little by little his right is losing its clarity. Once in a while I would glance at him to see if he’s okay. There are times I saw him just listening and then smiling. He was totally participating even though he cannot see Tito, Vic and Joey clearly. I heard Mom telling him where they at, who the hosts were. He really would love to see TVJ (eversince), but even with his limitations, I know he enjoyed every bit of it.
All in all, it was an unforgettable experience. Especially for me. Since now I’m working during normal office hours, it is impossible for me to watch EB daily unlike before when I was still working night shifts. I would watch them on YouTube or wait for the Saturday show. I was smiling and laughing all throughout the duration of the show.
I salute the people behind Eat Bulaga, the OJTs that were patient enough to give us the instructions, the two guys that choreographed our dance and made a little skit spontaneously (all laughable) – you made the gaps lively, the production staff that were carrying, rolling, setting up the props, the men outside the studio – the ones that were doing the initial briefing – thank you for not being snobbish, and also Ate and Kuya from the baggage counter – they made sure our things were safe and they also prioritized the Senior Citizen in front of me with a smile (very good job!).
When you love what you do, it will reflect and be obvious. The people behind cameras and the hosts of Eat Bulaga is one good example. All of them are very passionate in entertaining people. By just sitting there, reading scripts, doing funny faces, delivering a punch line – they totally put a positive effect to the audience.
From what I observed inside the studio, even though we rehearsed how to react, clap and shout, every reaction from the audience was as genuine as a kid’s heart. It means, the audience liked what they saw, hear and everything felt so real. I know because that’s how I felt. My Dad, despite his disability, he was laughing and he left the studio smiling.
The people behind Eat Bulaga is passionate with their chosen career. It is seen, heard and most importantly, felt.
I left the studio smiling and happy, so thank you Eat Bulaga for the wonderful experience.
Ako po si Angge Vasquez, isang Dabarkads.