Are Tito, Vic, and Joey leaving “Eat Bulaga?”
“Eat Bulaga!” has been the center of controversy in the past days. The long-running noontime show, which is a production of TAPE Inc. and APT Entertainment, is reportedly going to go through huge changes this year.
In the span of its almost 44-year run, “Eat Bulaga!” has already gone through a lot of changes.
It started airing on July 30, 1979 on RPN-9 with Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon—known as the trio TVJ—as main hosts. Former congressman and TAPE Inc.’s Romeo Jalosjos and APT Entertainment’s Tony Tuviera are the two founders of the program.
After 10 years, “Eat Bulaga!” moved to ABS-CBN since its producers had problems brought about by the sequestration of RPN-9. “Eat Bulaga!” would stay as a Kapamilya show until 1995, after ABS-CBN tried to buy the airing rights of the show, which producers Tony Tuviera and Malou Choa-Fagar declined.
On January 19, 1995, “Eat Bulaga!” started airing on GMA Network as blocktimer. The Kapuso channel became its home until present time, with several milestones, changes, and shake-ups happening throughout the years.
But the biggest shake-up during its stay in GMA Network is said to happen soon as “Eat Bulaga!” is reported to go through its biggest reformat yet—with some key hosts and production people to be let go, including the main hosts for 44 years, TVJ.
The beginning of “Eat Bulaga!” rumors
It all started as a blind item in PEP.ph on March 1, 2023, which said that a long-running show is to go through changes, with a well-loved personality departing it.
On March 2, 2023, Cristy Fermin shared in her “Cristy Fer Minute” program that there is an internal problem going on with the noontime show. Her information alleged that a big executive of the show is bound to be removed to the program.
Fermin points out, “Hindi po kami magbabanggit ng mga pangalan, pero meron po talaga. At hindi naman kasi isang tao lang po ang nagpapatakbo o nagmamando ng ‘Eat Bulaga!’ Ito po ay isang korporasyon, marami po sila dito sa TAPE Inc. Maraming namuhunan, maraming magkasosyo. Pero ang balita, merong isa na mahal na mahal natin, isang ehekutibo na gustong tanggalin, sipain, sa pamamahala ng programa. E, pinakamahal pa naman siya ng lahat.”
Is Tony Tuviera the executive?
Website Bilyonaryo.com then reported on March 3, 2023 about an issue involving former Congressman Romeo Jalosjos and Tony Tuviera, the two producers of the show. The names of the main hosts—Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon—are also being dragged in the issue.
The headline reads: “High noon showdown: Romy Jalosjos plotting to kick out partner Tony Tuviera and Tito, Vic & Joey from ‘Eat Bulaga.'”
According to the report, Jalosjos wants to “kickout Tuviera and TVJ” and that he just waited former Senator Sotto to “get out of politics before launching his takeover bid.”
The report also says that the camp of TAPE Inc. are looking for replacement hosts for TVJ through Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Allan K., who have also been longtime hosts of the show. Jalosjos also reportedly wants to replace Maine Mendoza with her daughter, Soraya.
During this time, TAPE, Inc., APT Entertainment, and GMA Network have not issued any statement.
READ: “Bida Next” Winner Carren Eistrup Shares Experience In Hosting “Eat Bulaga!”
Tito and Joey’s reactions, TAPE meets with GMA Network
Amid the reports about the “Eat Bulaga!” shake-up, the live show remained normal on March 3, 2023. On the same day, more reports came out about the show.
But on the same day, Tito Sotto published a cryptic post on Instagram, which seemed to address the issue. He posted a photo of him and Tuviera that was taken the night before.
Sotto’s caption reads: “Tito and Tony last night! Who says we’re splitting?”
PEP.ph’s Cabinet Files then reported that Jalosjos’ children—Bullet, Jon, and Soraya—met with the executives of GMA Network on March 2, 2023. The three children now hold executive positions in TAPE Inc., and the meeting was to formally introduce them as the main producers of the program. Tuviera was also said to be in the meeting.
De Leon, on the other hand, also had a reaction about the “Eat Bulaga!” issue. He reposted a screenshot from Manila Bulletin’s article about the shake-up on his Instagram. But his caption only read: “Actually, natatawa at natutuwa ako sa mga pangyayari kasi pinag-uusapan pa rin kami hanggang ngayon! Thanks!”
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Willie Revillame to replace TVJ?
There were also rumors that Willie Revillame—an established noontime show host himself—is being wooed by Romeo Jalosjos to replace TVJ on “Eat Bulaga!”
A fanmade poster even made its rounds online, with the show being called “Wow, Bulaga!” The poster included Bretman Rock, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Allan K., and Miguel Tanfelix as hosts of the show.
While it was obvious that the poster was fake, the rumor that Revillame replacing TVJ was intensified because of the poster.
Boy Abunda, on his show “Fast Talk With Boy Abunda,” debunked the report on March 6, 2023. He said, “Nais sabihin ng isang mapagkakatiwalaang source dito sa GMA-7 na this poster is not true. This is a fake poster. Hindi po ito totoo.”
The fake news was also entirely debunked by Dapitan City Mayor Bullet Jalosjos, who now acts as treasurer of TAPE, Inc. He told PEP.ph Cabinet Files, “No. Not true, for the record po.”
At the same time, he mentioned that a press conference will be held to address the issues of the show. He explains, “We will have a presscon soon and answer all issues facing the company. At the same time, present a new format na mangyayari as agreed [upon] by all the executives.”
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“Eat Bulaga!” changes bound to happen soon
PEP.ph first reported on March 10, 2023 that a press conference will be held on April 15, 2023 for the relaunch of “Eat Bulaga!”
But as early as now, changes have started happening. First is that esteemed variety show director Louie Ignacio has already joined “Eat Bulaga!” as the new director of the show. Ignacio directed some of GMA Network’s hit live shows such as “SOP,” “SIS,” and “The Clash.”
The report also said that a well-loved executive of “Eat Bulaga!” will return to the show. The Manila Times reported that the executive is Malou Choa-Fagar, TAPE, Inc.’s former SVP for Finance.
The Manila Times report also stated that artists from Sparkle, GMA Network’s talent management arm, will join the new “Eat Bulaga!” This comes after Romy Jalojos met with Johnny “Mr. M” Manahan, consultant of Sparkle. Other names coming out are Kim Atienza, who is currently part of “Eat Bulaga!” pre-programming “Tiktoclock,” and Alden Richards, who is said to be one of the show’s pillars.
With TVJ being said to depart from the show, Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned network Net 25 is reportedly wooing them for a new show. Currently, the trio has existing shows with the network. Net 25 President Ceasar Vallejos has already said before, “Ipinangako namin na for Tito, Vic and Joey, Net 25 is their newest home. And we’re very happy that [the] three of them [will] have their specific programs on Net 25.”
At press time, none has been said yet about the rebranding of “Eat Bulaga!” Loyal fans and viewers have yet to wait for April 15—if plans will push through—to know more about the fate of the show.
Banner Art Paulo Correa