The November 22 episode of Survivor Philippines:Celebrity Showdown ended the season-long speculation that there was a big, ugly leak in the reality show—that the winner was supposed to be known already!
Just a week after the show's pilot episode, which aired August 30, 2010, the leak which circulated—initially in the social networking site Twitter—said that "Moi Bien" would be the first winner of the first celebrity edition of the reality show of GMA-7.
Several celebrities actually tweeted this and a few publications picked it up.
Moi Bien is Moi Marcampo, the "Yayang Palaban" of ABS-CBN big star Piolo Pascual.
In truth, on November 22, Moi was the latest castaway to be eliminated.
She also became the sixth member of the jury of the show hosted by Richard Gutierrez in the Tele Babad block of the Kapuso network.
The Survivor staff immediately did research on the rumor. They discovered that Moi herself had heard about the leak two weeks after her return from the Survivor site in Thailand.
During a pocket interview hosted by the Kapuso network for the last three eliminated castaways, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the media asked Moi about this.
"Ako, two weeks na akong nakabalik sa Pilipinas nang narinig ko yung sinasabing leak na ako raw ang mananalo," Moi answered frankly.
Continuing, she said, "Sabi sa akin ng staff, may na-tweet nga raw si Chokoleit at yung isang director sa ABS na ako ang mananalo. Hindi ko naman alam kung bakit."
(Chokoleit is a comedian in the Kapamilya stable. PEP is still trying to reach him for his comment.)
One story the Survivor staff picked up was that somebody heard Piolo Pascual, her employer of the past 10 years, saying "Mayaman na si Moi!"—and the eavesdroppers assumed she would emerge the winner.
"Naku, yun ba?" Moi responded. "Sinabi lang ni PJ yun dahil nung bumalik ako from Thailand, may commercial agad ako. 'Tapos nasa TV na raw ako, sa Survivor nga, kaya mayaman na raw ako." PJ is a nickname for Piolo.
She went on, "Hindi ba pag sinasabi nilang nasa TV ka, mayaman ka na raw? Hindi niya naman sinabing milyonarya na ako, e."
"Mula noon, sa mga nakakakilala sa akin, sa mga nakakakita sa akin, binabati ako, kasi raw ako nga raw ang nanalo sa Survivor!
"Ang sinasagot ko na lang, 'secret' o kaya 'manood na lang kayo, hindi pa naman tapos ang show.'
"Wala naman akong pagsasabihan nun dahil alam ko naman hindi totoo, at hindi ko naman masabi sa kanila na mali yung leakage dahil hindi puwedeng sabihin."
But keeping mum was not easy.
"Ang hirap. Yung iba nanghihingi ng balato!" Moi revealed.
"Dyino-joke ko na lang sila na tapusin muna nila yung show. Kung papatulan ko naman baka mapaaway pa ako, lalo na yung nagpipilit na ako nga raw ang nanalo.
"Wala naman akong sinabihan. Di ngayon, naniniwala na silang hindi totoo yung leak."
WHAT'S NEXT? Life has changed drastically for Moi after her Survivor stint. She is now recognized when she goes out, asked to sign autographs and to pose with fans.
She now has her own manager, Erickson Raymundo, too!
But some things remain the same: She is still working for Piolo Pascual. And she has plans no of leaving her employer.
As Moi puts it emphatically, "Hindi ko maiiwan si Piolo. Siya ang mentor ko. Siya ang nagsasabi kung ano ang dapat kong gawin.
"Siya ang nagtuturo sa akin na huwag daw lalaki ang ulo ko. Hanggang puwede akong magtrabaho sa kaniya, gagawin ko."
Moi's employment with the matinee idol started in 2000 when she was employed by Piolo's elder sister to be the nanny of the sister's newborn.
In 2003, Piolo took Moi as an all-around helper in his house. In 2005, when Piolo's PA (personal assistant) left, she took over the position.
"Mabait si Piolo," Moi says about the member of ABS-CBN's top-tier stars and celebrity endorsers.
"Biro mo, ngayong busy na ako, kapag may schedule din ako, pinapayagan niya ako. Basta ayusin lang namin ang schedule namin para hindi nagkakasabay pero kung kailangan talaga, okay lang sa kaniya."
Despite her new celebrity status, Moi still performs domestic duties for her employer, like washing and ironing his clothes.
The loyal employee quips, "Suplada ako, hindi ako nagpapa-laundry. Gusto ko, ako mismo ang naglalaba ng mga damit niya."