Meet the new hosts of Hi5 Philippines, the local version of the award-winning children's edutainment program.
TV5 has chosen five talented Filipino performers to host the interactive kids' show that originated in Australia.
Hi5 Philippines is composed of Gerard Pangusan, Aira Binas, Rissey Reyes, Alex Reyes, and Fred Lo. They were introduced to members of the media on June 11 at the TV5 headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
This is the first time that the Hi-5 franchise assembled an entirely new team for the localization of the show in Asia.
Hi5 Philippines will start airing this Monday, June 15, on TV5 at 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Also, catch their first public live show this Saturday, June 13, at SM Megamall.
SAY HI TO THE CAST. PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the media got to know more about the cast members during the press conference.
Performing in front of crowds is nothing new for Gerard because he was an events host and a theater performer before joining the team.
Gerard Pangusan told the press, “I used to host events for kids and family occasions, private and corporate events as well, and also with a little theater background.
“Nakasama po ako dito dala-dala ang aking karanasan sa pagtatanghal din po sa entablado.
“Mahilig po akong kumanta, mahilig po akong sumayaw, at nakakasama kop o kadalasan ang aking mga nakakababatang kapatid sa aking church community, sa school community.
“At dahil po doon ay nagkaroon po ako ng love sa ganitong klase ng plataporma.”
Aira Binas used to be in the field of Foreign Service but her passion for performing led her to a spot in the team.
She admitted, “Yung background ko po is sa Foreign Service po talaga ako pero dahil hilig ko po talaga ang pagkanta, pagsayaw, at pag-arte, nagko-commercial din po ako [at] dun po ako nag-start.
“Mahilig po talaga ako sa mga bata at gusto ko po talaga yung napapasaya sila.
“Nag-start po ako sa mga pamangkin ko, sa mga pinsan ko, nagpapatawa ako.
“Lahat ginagawa ko, gusto ko talaga makita silang tumatawa.”
Rissey Reyes also had a detour before following her true passion. This Hi5 Philippines member is a graduating Anthropology student of the University of the Philippines. However, Rissey was also active in theater and different musical productions.
She told the press, “Buong college at high school life ko ay nagte-teatro po ako.
“Karamihan po ng ginawa ko ay para po sa PETA, sa Philippine Educational Theater Association.
“So mostly musical theater for children, Batang Rizal and William.
“Tapos nagtuturo din po ako.
“Nagturo po ako nung nakaraang taon sa Miriam College bilang guro sa musical theater sa lower school.”
Alex Reyes just graduated from the University of Santo Tomas. Alex fell in love with theater and performing during her college days.
She said, “Ang background ko din po ay theater. I started theater in college, first year college po.
“I started taking workshops sa Repertory Philippines po and I also did workshops sa 9 Works Theatricals.
“So dun po nag-start yung love ko for singing and dancing, actually, it’s a passion of mine.
“And also, I also love kids. I have nephews and nieces that I really sing to.
“Lagi ko silang pinapatulog o kaya sumasayaw kami, ganun.”
Fred Lo is the designated “kuya” of the group. Before joining Hi5 Philippines, Fred was a full time theater actor and teacher for musical theater.
He disclosed, “I was a full time theater actor for five years.
“I’ve done different shows for different companies.
“And I also teach kids musical theater for Trumpets Play Shop.
“So basically, that’s what sparked the interest for Hi5.
“All my pamangkins, all 27 of them, marami po sila pero they all love Hi5.
“And it really just, there’s really something about this show that really attracted me to it.
“Kaya sobrang nung nalaman kong may audition po, tumuloy ako.”
AUDITION PROCESS. Members of the press asked about the qualifications that TV5 management looked for in order to choose the hosts of Hi5 Philippines.
Sienna Olaso, TV5’s Vice President for Production Finance and Special Projects, noted that the ability to sing and dance were definitely must-haves for those who applied.
She explained, “Siyempre kailangan mahilig kumanta, magaling kumanta, magaling sumayaw.
“At saka may certain character na maamo or talagang nagugustuhan ng mga bata.
The TV5 executive also added that sincerity is also an important factor they considered.
“Kailangan yung sincerity, talagang nandun [at] kita mo ‘di ba?
“Hindi yung on-off so it has to come very natural and I think dahil mahilig ka sa bata at masayahin ka, ang disposisyon mo ay masaya.”
During the final selection, kids were also brought in to help them determine the five members of the group.
TV5’s Vice President for Marketing Melvin Nubla said, “When we got the selection we also looked at the connection between the cast and the kids.
“When we’re doing the actual selection, there were actually kids there.
“So we were looking at, ‘Okay, the kids are geared towards this girl or this guy.’
“That helped us make the selection.
“It’s not only singing, it’s not only acting, but making sure the kids connect to them.”
PINOY TWIST. Sienna assured fans that the Philippine version of the program will stick to the original format of the kid’s show.
“Hi5 is a global brand and based on the directions of the management, we want to stick to the brand.
“Ang ginawa naming, kinuha naming yung bible, kasama yun sa deal namin sa kanila.
“At saka tinuturuan nila kami, we consult with them.”
Some segments of the program will now be done in Tagalog.
Sienna said, “Yung tamang i-adapt na Filipino, ina-adapt namin.
“Example, sa Hi5 World pinag-uusapan nila yung seven wonders of the world, yun pinapalitan namin.
“Gagamitin namin yung Chocolate Hills instead of the Pyramids.
“Kung kumakanta sila ng medyo foreign na music, pinapalitan naming na medyo barrio fiesta siya.
“Para angkop talag dun sa nakikita natin, dun sa malapit sa atin.”
Viewers can also expect some of their favorite Hi5 songs to be translated to Tagalog.
Sienna said, “Lahat po ng kanta, ang mga songs of the week kakantahin po nila ng English.
“Tapos yung songlets naman, kasi ano siya, music integration.
“So kahit anong lesson, or kahit anong tinuturo or kahit anong laro, kasama yung kanta.
“Yun po yung kaibahan, talagang it’s through music and dance.
“Yun ay Tagalog po, sa wikang Filipino.”
She added, “Meron din naman po kami eventually ia-adapt na mga kanta na original.
“Pero unti-unti po yun. Gusto po muna naming malapit kami dun sa brand.”