GMA Network launches Asar Talo, Lahat Panalo, an all-original program where a contestant needs more than intelligence to win.
Hosted by Edu Manzano, GMA says this is their biggest treat to all Filipinos who are up to the challenge of facing the most menacing attacks, the most aggressive of audiences, and the most challenging remarks — and it's happening live on television.
The contestant called the "Bida" will have to survive a barrage of taunts, harmless heckling, and boos from the "Kontrabidas" who are also called "Sulsuleros." A celebrity guest will act as the head heckler who will be given the title "Kapitan Kontra."
The Bida has to answer seven questions from the game board with different categories and corresponding cash values where he/she may win the grand prize of as much as P150,000. If he/she commits two mistakes, a consolation prize worth P5,000 will be awarded together with a bonus prize called "Doods Goods" from Edu.
Cheering the Bida from the sidelines are his/her loved ones and friends. Encouragement comes from the "Bida's Angel," played by new Kapuso talent Ellen Adarna.
Adding side-splitting entertainment in the game is a vocal group called "Sung-Its" who will jeer or sometimes sing for the Bida.
Wilma Galvante, GMA Network's Senior Vice President for Entertainment, said they were very grateful for Edu's decision to come back to TV hosting via GMA-7's Asar Talo, Lahat Panalo!
"Kasi narinig ko, parang ayaw na niyang mag-TV after the election." She then called up Edu's manager June Torrejon and asked her to relay to him that GMA-7 is interested in getting him as a TV host. "Can we present something to him and that would make him change his mind?"
The lady executive related that the convincing process started in April, "Madaming beses yun, ha. Hindi lang isang beses na pag-uusap. Mula nung pumasok siya't sinabi niyang gusto niyang bumalik, at sa GMA siya babalik. Doon pa lang, panalo na kami."
Ms. Galvante also credits Edu for developing the show further by presenting his own ideas to the show's creative group. "Gumanda pa, e. Kung nakita mo yung raw na Asar Talo and how it is now, makikita mo kung papaano siya na-embellish, papaano siya naging buung-buong game show. And we are proud to say, this is a GMA original with the very important contributions of Edu Manzano, bilang isang mahusay na game show host."
What is it about Asar Talo that convinced Edu to return to TV?
Edu first clarified the statement that reached some members of the press and Ms. Galvante—that he would never do TV again after elections.
"Nung sinabi kong hindi ako babalik, that was in relation to Isang Tanong wherein I was asked, 'Babalikan mo ba yung game show sa kabilang istasyon?' And I said, 'Hindi ko na babalikan yun. Ayoko nang sumayaw.'
"You know, I felt na naging unique opportunity yun at that time. Naging bagay yung mga ginawa kong antics nung panahon na yun. And now, since I'm turning 55, I want to reinvent myself again."
Reinventing himself seems like a habit for Edu. With a modeling background, he entered showbiz as a newbie actor in 1979 with his first film Romansa with the Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos, whom he later married in 1980. They had a son, Luis "Lucky" Manzano. The couple divorced in 1984. In 1985, he ventured into TV hosting with his late night talk show, Not So Late Night With Edu. In 1998, he entered politics and ran for Vice Mayor of Makati and won. He became the first chairperson of the Optical Media Board (a government agency battling optical media piracy) in 2004. His latest foray in politics was running for Vice President in the May 2010 elections.
"When this concept was offered to me, maganda yung presentation. Unang-una, hindi ko na kailangang sumayaw... joke!" quipped Edu on why he accepted the invitation of GMA-7 to host Asar Talo, Lahat Panalo!
"Maganda yung ginawa nilang concept, e," continued Edu seriously. "Because by nature, ang Pinoy at ang kultura natin, mga alaskador talaga, e. Pumunta ka sa pinaka-highest echelons of government hanggang doon sa mga sari-sari store sa barangay, ang Pinoy talaga by nature, mapagbiro, mahilig mang-asar, or mang-alaska.
"And I'm very curious kung paano nila ilalagay itong lahat ng mga components na ito in a game show, which we were able to do very effectively. And then, of course, I think, they were also very aware of the fact that I also want to evolve as a person, not just as a host. I also want to develop shows.
"And they promised me that I can do things that I miss doing. At ito yung talk show ko. So, I will also be coming back with my Not So Late Night With Edu. Meron ding elements na babaguhin in keeping up with the times.
"And I have to admit—I've always said this—I've always had very good working experiences with GMA. I started Not So Late Night With Edu in 1985 sa kanila. I had a chance to work sa Emergency, at nagkaroon din ako ng short stint sa Unang Hirit. And all of these experiences were very, very pleasant. So, I'd like to think na I developed friendships. I'm coming home and renewing friendships."
Watch how the Bidas defend themselves from all the jeers as well as the cheers in Asar Talo, Lahat Panalo! beginning September 18. This game show will air Monday to Saturday before Eat Bulaga! on GMA-7.