"'Yong mga magagaling na [undiscovered] basketball players natin sa Pilipinas hindi nakapag-aral sa magandang unibersidad dahil walang pera, walang pambili ng sapatos o kaya may problema sa pamilya," says Bayani Agabayani, who hosts TV5's reality sports show, My MVP, together with ex-cager Jason Webb and current Ateneo head coach Norman Black.

Photo: File copy

Listening to the plight of contestants on TV5's reality sports program My MVP reminds comedian Bayani Agbayani of his own struggles during his younger years.

Back in college, Bayani used to work as a service crew for a popular donut chain while studying at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila. After graduation, Bayani went on to work as a waiter before landing a job as a network production assistant. His exposure to production work, combined with his innate sense of humor, ultimately pushed him in front of the cameras.

As one of the hosts of My MVP, Bayani shared how touching it is to see young people work extremely hard just to make the cut.

Everyone has a touching story to tell. Some of those who showed up at the training camp were actually former college players who, were forced to abandon their dreams of playing professional basketball because of financial constraints or personal crises. 

As Bayani puts it, "'Yong mga magagaling na [undiscovered] basketball players natin sa Pilipinas hindi nakapag-aral sa magandang unibersidad dahil walang pera, walang pambili ng sapatos o kaya may problema sa pamilya."

My MVP's press conference was held last Tuesday, September 30, at Burgoo restaurant in Podium mall in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.

The show aims to provide that second chance to the contestants, at the same teach them to cope better with life struggles as viewed from a basketball perspective. Bayani's role in the show is to present the lighter side of life, as opposed to co-hosts Jason Webb and Norman Black's stiff image in the eyes of the aspirants.

"Dapat masaya ka pa rin so nila-lighten ko ‘yong drama," explained Bayani. "Kasi kung habang pinapaganda mo ‘yong buhay mo na malungkot ka, e, di mo kakayanin. Kaya nga dapat kalimutan mo na ‘yong negatibong nangyayari sa buhay mo kasi unang-una, nangyari na 'yon, e, so dapat looking forward ka na."

ON CESAR AND DOMESTIC BLISS. After the comedy sitcom That's My Doc ends, Bayani will be seen in a new ABS-CBN fantasy series titled Dragona. He will be joined by young stars Shaina Magdayao and Jake Cuenca.

As for his domestic life, Bayani happily announced that everything's doing fine. "Awa naman ng Diyos maayos naman ‘yong mga bata, maayos ‘yong schooling nila, malulusog. Maganda naman ‘yong nagiging buhay namin, awa ng Diyos."

It is widely known that Bayani is good friends with Cesar Montano and his wife Sunshine Cruz. When the celebrity couple had a controversial falling out early this year, Bayani was constantly asked by reporters for updates or any story to fill up Cesar's silence regarding the issue. The comedian stayed  away from the issue by keeping his mouth shut to avoid aggravating Cesar's marital woes.

Cesar and Sunshine are now back together and they're even neighbors with Bayani and his family in a Quezon City subdivision.

"Actually, ang away talaga ng mag-asawa, pag totoong nagmamahalan kayo, kasama ‘yon, e. Hindi laging masaya, meron talagang conflict. Kung walang conflict, walang maitutuwid kasi hindi naman tayo pare-parehong perpekto. Pero pag di mo nakita ‘yong mali, di ninyo pinagtalunan, hindi ninyo makikita ‘yong pagkakamali ng isa sa inyo," Bayani said seriously.