"I know it came as a shock to a lot people, but kilala niyo na naman ako, e.  Hindi ako 'yong tipong I'll just decide, spur of the moment.  Matagal ko nang pinag-isipan where do I wanna take my career; ang mga natutunan ko, ano ang gusto kong gawin," Paolo Bediones explained about his decision to transfer from GMA-7 to TV5.

Photo: Noel Orsal

Long-time Kapuso host Paolo Bediones was a big surprise to the entertainment press during the TV5 Christmas Party for the Press last night, December 3, at the PETA Theater in Quezon City. He was introduced as the newest addition to the network's family.

"It was the hardest decision I had to make, career-wise," the 35-year-old TV personality admitted in an interview after the event.

"To be able to decide whether I would stay with GMA-7 or to go to TV5, ang daming sleepless nights. Hindi ako makapaniwala na nandoon ako sa sitwasyon na 'yon na I had the opportunity to decide."

Paolo related that before coming up with a final decision, he had to endure two weeks of negotiations between GMA-7 and TV5. 

He said "I had the best of both worlds, you see. TV5, they were offering something new; GMA-7, they were offering a fresh contract again.  Nandoon talaga lahat ng mga elements of a situation wherein mahihirapan ka talaga."

Paolo was also thinking about his future plans for his career. He recalled, "After the second season ng Survivor Philippines, nararamadaman ko na na parang, 'Saan ako pupunta? Ano na ang gagawin ko?'

"Next year, puro franchise ang mao-offer sa akin, will I be hoping and praying na sa akin mapunta? Kasi, 'yong career ko hybrid, e. Wala namang ganung career talaga, di ba? It's either actor ka or singer ka or host ka or newscaster ka. Ako 'yong pahalu-halo, 'tapos ang format ko sa News and Public Affairs was Survivor, Extra Challenge, Tok Tok Tok, hindi siya talaga pang-News and Public Affairs."

So, what was the offer of TV5 that he couldn't resist?

Paolo, who signed a three-year contract with TV5, said, "Ultimately, what made me decided was that the offer of TV5 included a position in management. 'Yon ang gusto natin talaga—ang maging instrumento sa pagbabago ng industriya natin, mayroon tayong ide-develop na mga talent, mayroon din tayong mga shows na iko-conceptualize din. 'Yon talaga ang nagpa-decide sa akin."

He added, "After the [Survivor Philippines: Palau] finale, nag-iisip na talaga ako, 'What's gonna happen to me what do I wanna do?' Then, TV5 came with a very fresh offer nga, 'yon nga, a management position and opportunity to do things I've never done in my life."

GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH GMA-7. For 14 years, Paolo Bediones had become the face of several successful shows of GMA Network—Game Plan (1997), Extra! Extra! (1999), Extra Challenge (2003), S Files (2005), and most recently the second season of Survivor Philippines: Palau (2009).

And so, Paolo could say he had built a good working relationship with his former mother network, which is why he was very transparent about the offer he got from TV5.

"That's the reason why nag-insist kami ni Noel [Ferrer, one his talent managers] na maging transparent. Huwag tayong maging patagu-tago na nagne-negotiate, so, they knew," said Paolo.

He also admitted that during those weeks of negotiation, his former mother network was giving him counter-offers. But when he finally made up his mind, the network executives gave him their full support.