Is John Estrada flirting?
It was mid-September this year when PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) received a feed about Happy Yipee Yehey! co-host John Estrada being linked to beauty queen Bianca Manalo. The two appear in the show, which is ABS-CBN's big effort to compete with noontime leader Eat Bulaga! of GMA7.
According to a source who wanted to remain unnamed, some Happy Yipee Yehey! staff had been talking in hushed tones about John making a pass at his co-host. The talk, still according to the source, specifically revolved around his alleged "panghihipo"—or inappropriate touching—of the beauty queen.
The talk was that John, who has a reputation for being a ladies' man, was showing interest in Bianca, and that Bianca, for her part, was not strenuously objecting to his attention.
A second source, who also wanted to remain unnamed, said that the very same chatter reached TV5's talk-show group sometime in August. TV5 is the station where John also had shows, until he left it to go fulltime as ABS-CBN noontime show host.
In one showbiz event, a TV5 reporter finally asked Bianca: "Nililigawan ka ba ni John Estrada?"
Bianca gave a direct and quick "not true" response.
The beauty queen, who is today the girlfriend of ABS-CBN talent John Prats, gave the same answer when Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP.ph) contributor Allan Sancon interviewed her today, September 28.
Here is Bianca's categorical and brief statement: "Wala pong katotohanan 'yan! Pamilya kami rito sa HYY at walang nangyayaring ganyan. Lahat kami rito magkakasundo at lahat kami rito masaya."
JOHN SPEAKS UP. Earlier this evening, PEP.ph was able to reach the host-actor by telephone.
His first reaction was to laugh, then he said: "Hindi totoo 'yan."
When PEP.ph explained what it had picked up, he dismissed it right away and said, "Wala 'yan, hindi totoo 'yan.
"Naku! You can ask Bianca, talagang sasabihin niya sa 'yo, wala 'yan. Wala talaga 'yan.
"Alam niyo, may mga kalaban kami. Maraming mga parinig diyan dati pa. Maraming paninira diyan, pero hindi totoo 'yan. Never.
"Sa management nga, alam nila na basta't ginagawa namin ang trabaho namin nang tama, wala kaming kalokohan, ayos lang tayo."
He said the rumor is not to be taken seriously because he is "happily married" to Priscilla Meirelles and Bianca is involved with a fellow ABS-CBN talent.
He said, "How can I do that? It's her and John Prats. And I have a wife. How can I do that?"
But John, who is known to speak his mind, offers a theory: "Matagal na ang tsismis na 'yan. Narinig ko na 'yan. Ginawa 'yan ng Channel 5. Na sabi daw, e, niligawan ko si Bianca, pero talagang hindi!
"Matagal na iyan na tsismis. Kagagawan lang ng Channel 5 'yan! Alam mo naman, ang mga marami diyan, mga tao, may mga pera, may mga sinabi, may kaya—kaya puwede kaming siraan."
And for the third time, he stressed: "Talagang hindi totoo 'yan."
His parting shot, "Saka, I appreciate yung pagtawag ng PEP sa akin, thank you. Kasi gusto ko naman na iko-korek ko yung mga iyan, lalo na kung hindi totoo."
At press time, PEP was getting TV5's reaction, which will be published as soon as we receive it.