The numbers that sparked a word war

Aug 28, 2008
"Explain before you complain." This became a catch-phrase during the peak of the "Wilyonaryo" controversy that happened a year ago.

Variety show hosts Joey de Leon and Willie Revillame recently hit the showbiz headlines once again . Joey allegedly referred to Pokwang when he said "aswang" in his Pilipino version of John Lennon's "Imagine."

Earlier this month, a video started to circulate a month after Eat Bulaga had a special episode in Los Angeles, California. The video captured Joey singing his views on what would happen if there's no GMA network.

Reacting immediately was Willie who appeared in Wowowee last August 19with his co-host Pokwang to defend her from Joey's mockery.

"Ipagtatanggol ko ito dahil kilala ko ang pagkatao ng taong ito," he started. ""Sana ho kung magbibiro tayo, puwede naman kayong mag-compose ng kantang hindi kayo nakakasakit ng kapwa n'yo, e."

Pokwang kept her chin up but not after her daughter reported that her schoolmates teased her for having a vampire as mom.

Joey never answered back. However, in Eat Bulaga's comedy skit "Ang Joke Ko," Joey de Leon again used the word "aswang." In the said segment he, together Vic Sotto and Jimmy Santos, was bragging about his grandmother's confrontation with an "aswang."

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When asked what her grandmother's name was, he quipped, "Po... Po... Puring!"

But one year ago, the fight between the Wowowee and Eat Bulaga hosts was no joke.

Remember the "Wilyonaryo" scandal? PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) looks back to the incident that ignited the war between Joey de Leon and Willie Revillame.

THE VIOLET WHEEL. Last year's conflict between the two comedians started with Wowowee's game segment "Wilyonaryo."

One of the wheels used in the game contained both the numbers "0" and "2". These numbers represented the money a contestant could possibly take home, either zero or two million.(Click here to read related story)

"Wilyonaryo" let the contestants chose of the colored wheels, and then asked if he or she wanted "Wilyonaryo" or "Winame."

The winner of the game that day could choose "Winame" (meaning, "Uwi na ‘ko") and take home Willie's offer. Or he could say "Wilyonaryo," which meant the chance to win P2 million.

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Willie was supposed to show where the two million was placed. He took the violet wheel and repeatedly said that inside was the P2 million jackpot. When he pulled a card from the wheel, however, it showed "0" instead of "2."

In the background, co-host Mariel Rodriguez was heard saying, "Ah, 'yon, walang laman!"

Willie, on the other hand, instantly said while laughing, "Mali, mali, sandali... ang two million... ay hawak ko na!" Then, he handed the film in his hand, which contained the number "2," to one of the dancers of the show.

When PEP tried to get the side of Wowowee with regard to this incident, an ABS-CBN executive said that it was an honest mistake and that Willie unintentionally pulled the strip that contained number "2" so the number "0" appeared, which was said to be the base of the wheel. (Click here to read related article)

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"KAYO NA ANG NUMBER ONE!" After the "Wilyonaryo" controversy came out, Joey de Leon wrote in his column "De Leon's Den" (Manila Standard)his scathing take on the "Wilyonario" scandal, titled "Transfer-mers."

In the last paragraph, he wrote, "Alam nyo, may art din yung pagsundot at patama. But naturally, all these are 'tuksuhan lang.' Tayong lahat ay may mga pinagsamahan. Magkikita at maaring magkasama rin tayo balang araw. Kaya, walang pikunan. Paliwanagan lang. Biruan lang. Teasing is not bad. Cheating is... on TV!" (Click here to read related article)

That same day, Willie was in tears as he shared his feelings about the "Wilyonaryo" controversy and Joey's constant remarks about it.

"Hindi po ako nandadaya. Kung naniniwala kayo na nandadaya ako, iwanan n'yo po ako, iwanan n'yo kami dito."

After a while, he turned his attention to Joey, "Ikaw na ang bida, ikaw na ang number one, sa iyo na ang ratings, ikaw na! Sige, Eat Bulaga! na ang number one!

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"Ako nagsimula ako sa Channel 7. Ni wala akong sinabi ni isang salita na masama sa Channel 7...kaya malaki utang na loob ko sa Channel 7, diyan ako nagsimula. Sana Joey, katulad ko nagsisimula, katulad ko na humahanga sa iyo, ginagabayan mo."

While his last words for Joey were, "Ganunpaman, Mr. Joey de Leon, nirerespeto pa rin kita. Huwag mong hintayin na mawala respeto ko." (Click here to read related article)

"EXPLAIN BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN." On the following day, Joey retorted in Eat Bulaga: "Hindi pa po pinapaliwanag ng taong ito bakit nagkagulo-gulo... Bakit hindi n'yo muna ipaliwanag bago [ninyo] ipasa ang sisi at para malihis ang atensiyon ng humihingi ng tanong na bakit nagkaganun. Inuna n'yo pang tirahin 'yung ibang tao para, ano ba, malihis ang atensiyon?"

"Ang pagsasalita ko pong ito ay alang-alang sa milyun-milyong Pilipino na nanonood ng telebisyon at humihingi ng paliwanag. Sigurado po ‘yon, humihingi kayo ng paliwanag. Bakit nagkaganun? Para lang sa spirit ng fairness siguro dapat natin paliwanag."

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And then Joey uttered the phrase that became popular during this controversy: "Kaibigan, para sa ‘yo ‘to, explain before you complain. Paliwanag mo muna. Pag naipaliwanag mo na nang maayos ‘Ah kasi ganito kasi e, nagkamali, o, ganun.' Wala, e, ang nangyari parang binalewala mo ang gusto ng Pilipino at ng mga sumusubaybay din sa ‘yo na ipaliwanag mo ‘yung detalye." (Click here to read related article)

MTRCB MEDIATES. Chairperson Consoliza Laguardia of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) intervened in the endless word war. She commanded the two hosts to stop hitting each other on television.

Joey promised to refrain from making snide remarks about Wowowee and its host Willie. At the same time, he also asked, "Sana, tumigil na rin ang ibang mga kakampi niya, yung mga cohorts ba? Kasi pagkatao ko na ang sinisira nila, e." The comedian-TV host was referring to entertainment columnists associated with Willie.

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Willie also had a meeting with Chairperson Laguardia about the issue. Since then, there were no comments coming from both parties that came out in noontime shows. (Click here to read related article)

GOVERNMENT REACTS. This controversy did not only draw the attention of MTRCB but also the other government offices.

During the exchange of words between Joey and Willie, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas, chair of the Senate trade and commerce committee, expressed his intention to investigate the alleged rigging of ABS-CBN noontime variety show Wowowee.

He even said that it would start once the necessary information had been collected from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other concerned parties.

This order was given hours after Joey stated in Eat Bulaga, "Inuuna n'yo 'yang ‘Hello, Garci.' Bakit hindi n'yo muna unahin itong ‘Hello Pappy'?"

(Click here to read related article)

The DTI organized a fact-finding team to investigate the incident. It was composed of the Consumer Welfare Trade Group, Bureau of Trade Regulation Protection of DTI, representatives of the MTRCB, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), and a consumers' organization.

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The panel probed the controversy for two months and released its recommendations on November 9, which led to the filing of administrative case against ABS-CBN in connection with the defunct "Wilyonaryo" segment of Wowowee. (Click here to read related article)

AFTERMATH. Although the word war stopped, a viral video was released in YouTube showing Wowowee hosts and a contestant rehearsing for the "Wilyonaryo" game.

In that video titled "Kita Mo?" Willie Revillame was seen practicing pulling the film strip from one of the wheels. On his first try, the wheel showed a bold black line. On the second pull, it displayed a different figure.

DTI saw this video as evidence that would support the allegations against the "Wilyonaryo" game. Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said in a statement, "Lumalabas na mukhang merong probable cause na 'yong August 20 incident ay nag-violate ng Consumer Act."

In a different press statement, however, ABS-CBN stood firm in saying that the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) had cleared Wowowee over the "Wilyonaryo" scam. KBP was one of the members of the fact-finding panel organized by DTI.

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In fact, its legal counsel, Atty. Rudolf Jularbal, reiterated in a press statement that their Standards Authority Committee found that there was no cheating, after the Committee investigated the equipment used in the game and interviewed Wowowee's production staff.

After the "Wilyonaryo" controversy, both Joey and Willie stopped making sarcastic comments about each other. The battlefield was silent until another viral video started to circulate the "aswang" issue. And as the saying goes, history repeats itself.

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"Explain before you complain." This became a catch-phrase during the peak of the "Wilyonaryo" controversy that happened a year ago.
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