In January 2009, Willie Revillame graced, for the first time, the cover of YES! Magazine.
The public clamor for that particular issue was so strong that it had to be reprinted twice, and it went on selling more than 300,000 copies.
Six years later, Willie is once again on the cover of YES! This time, the cover star of the June 2015 issue talks about his big TV comeback and his prized possessions.
Willie, who has been on hiatus from TV work for one year and seven months, returns with a new weekly variety-game show titled Wowowin, which premiered last May 10 on GMA-7.
But, he clarifies: “I’m always back. Hindi naman ako mawawala sa mga taong gusto kong makapiling every day or even once a week.”
This time, the charismatic, though at times controversial, TV star is not just hosting Wowowin but is also producing the show under his new company, WBR Entertainment Productions, Inc.
WBR stands for his full name Wilfredo Buendia Revillame.
“Hindi ka na empleyado na makikiusap pa sa mga boss, e, ang gusto mo lang naman e mapaganda ang show. Hindi na, tapos na ’ko ro’n. Ikaw na ang boss," he says.
Willie is very thankful for GMA-7, starting with the network’s chairman and chief executive officer Attorney Felipe Gozon, president and chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit Jr., and chief finance officer Philip Yalung.
“Ang sarap ng feeling na imagine, we are a blocktimer here at the same time ang suporta sa ’yo para silang producer,” he points out. “Very supportive sila.”
The TV host and producer also addressed the issues that have been thrown at him—getting into gambling, selling of properties, being down and out, to name a few.
“Paano ka madi-depress in life, e, ang buhay naman, hindi naman 100 percent [sure], hindi lang naman sugal,” he explains.
“Sugal e kikitain mo rin naman ’yan pag nagsipag ka na, e. Huwag ka lang malulong.
"Huwag ka lang magbebenta ng lahat ng gamit mo, na wala ka na even a single cent."
On the light side, Willie gives YES! an all-access pass to his show’s studio, mansion, jet plane, yacht, and pricey cars.
He describes the studio that he’s built for Wowowin as one of the most expensive in the country.
“Pinaulanan ko ng LED lights,” he exclaims. “The speaker itself, it’s worth about five million.”
His mansion sits on a 2,200 square-meter lot in the posh subdivision Ayala Heights in Quezon City. It used to be owned by his former boss, ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez.
It was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, whose masterpieces include the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex and the Ayala Museum.
He says he was captivated by the house’s timeless design, that’s why he bought it, in 2008. “’Yong napaka-tropical, maaliwalas,” he explains. “Para kang nasa probinsiya na nasa Maynila… This has a resort-feel.”
Willie’s plane is a 34-seater Fairchild-Dornier 328JET that he bought five years ago.
This is the same plane that took, in December 2013, international pop star Justin Bieber to Tacloban City in Leyte province to reach out to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
Willie’s yacht is a 94-foot object of luxury that has six rooms, four bathrooms, an entertainment area complete with a karaoke system, four outdoor lounge areas where guests can dine al fresco, a Jet ski, a rubber boat, two kitchens, and an abundance of food and different kinds of beverages.
Willie’s car collection has been trimmed down to five: a Rolls-Royce Wraith, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Ferrari sports car, a Range Rover van, and a Ford pickup.
He has unloaded some of his precious rides—an Audi, a Benz, a Lamborghini, among others—because, he says, “hindi na ‘ko masyado sa kotse.”
Why all these expensive acquisitions?
“Alam mo ang pera dapat slave mo 'yan,” he says. “Hindi ikaw ang slave ng pera.
"Kung kinukuriputan mo ang sarili mo e me problema ka. You work so hard and then titiisin mo ang sarili mo? P’wede ka namang kumain ng steak, bakit kakain ka ng ganito lang?”
YES! Magazine June 2015 issue is now available in stands and soon on Buqo, Zinio, and Apple Newsstand.
For digital subscriptions, visit http://summitnewsstand.com.ph/yes-magazine or https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/yes-magazine/id520760744?mt=8