Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon’s farewell marks the end of an era.
The enthusiastic air usual in the program–which was a replay episode–was temporarily replaced by a sincere moment when Tito, Vic, and Joey bid farewell on Tuesday, May 31, 2023.
“Simula ngayong araw, May 31, 2023, kami po ay magpapaalam na sa TAPE Incorporated. Karangalan po namin na kami ay nakapaghatid ng tuwa’t saya, mula Batanes hanggang Jolo at naging bahagi ng buhay niyo,” Vic says.
“Maraming-maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Hanggang sa muli! Saan man kami dalhin ng tadhana, tuloy ang isang libo’t isang tuwa,” he adds.
TVJ no more
Viewers were initially watching a replayed episode, but shock came just when the trio together with co-hosts, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Allan K, Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza, Ryzza Mae Dizon, and Ryan Agoncillo appeared in a live telecast.
“Pumasok po kami ngayong araw para magtrabaho, pero di po kami pinayagang umere ng new management nang live. Hindi po kami pinayagang mag-live ng new management,” Tito reveals.
But despite evident disapproval to air, they went on to say their goodbyes.
“Kung natatandaan niyo po, July 30, 1979 nang simulan namin ang ‘Eat Bulaga!’ 44 years na po ngayong taon na ito, Joey says.
“Kaya naman lubos ang aming pasasalamat sa mga naging tahanan namin. Unang-una, ang RPN-9 for nine years. Ang ABS-CBN for six years, at ang GMA for 28 years. Dalawampu’t walong taon. Thank you very much,” he adds.
A grateful Vic, on the other hand, echoes his thanks for the advertisers who have loved, trusted, and supported them since 1979. He also mentions the audience, Mr. Tony Tuviera, and God for the good long years in the industry.
What could be the reason?
The controversies surrounding “Eat Bulaga” first came to public’s attention in April when Tito echoed his sentiments about several news organizations and confirmed an existing disagreement with TAPE Inc.
On May 29, 2023, news broke out that the hosts had already sealed a deal with TV5, although this has yet to be officially confirmed by TVJ or anyone from their camp.
However, in the past, Tito has been hinting at the possibility of a network switch as substantiated by an interview with PEP.ph.
“That’s possible. That’s possible. As a matter of fact, I am not… well, how do I say it, I have no problem saying that we’re getting offers from two other stations,” shares Tito.
As of writing, there’s no clear trajectory on the direction of “Eat Bulaga,” only direct statements of a clear farewell of the hosts to TAPE Inc.