Cosmetic surgeon andentrepreneur Manny Calayan finally explained the reason behind thenon-inclusion of longtime endorser John "Sweet" Lapus in the Calayan Surgicentreomnibus billboard displayed along the busy stretch of New York Avenue in EDSA,Cubao.
The prominent billboard, which was launched late last year,features the celebrity endorsers of the company—BoyAbunda, Pia Guanio and the Coverboys, among others—all gathered under the slogan, "To C Is ToBelieve."
Conspicuously absent, however,is Showbiz Central co-host John"Sweet" Lapus, who has been a well-known supporter of the popular cosmetic surgery clinic fortwo years. Speculation even had it that Boy Abunda was behind the apparent snub, owing to the reported longstanding conflict betweenthe two.
BOY VERSUS SWEET. It will be recalled that last July 2, 2007—in Showbiz Central—Sweet disclosed how the gap with TheBuzz host started.
It involved a model named Jasper, who became Sweet'sboyfriend for nine months. He related, "One day isang araw, hindi na lang siyanagpakita sa akin, though nagti-text kami, nagtatawagan kami..."
Boy was dragged into the picture when Sweet discovered through a mobile phone tracking device that Jasperwas a frequent guest at talent manager's abode. But the ex-boyfriend explained that he wassimply asking Boy to help jumpstart his showbizcareer.
The two hosts made peacethat same year, but they are still not on speaking terms.
And a year later, therift was believed to be resurrected. Boy, who was allegedly involved in the ad'splanning stages, was said to have excluded Sweet in the billboard intentionally.
SWEET'SSIDE. In an article that came out here in PEP(Philippine Entertainment Portal) on December 24, 2008, John stated, "Ganito nalang. For the past two years or more, I have been loyal to Dr. Manny and Dra.Pie Calayan. I have always thanked them sa mga shows ko dahil marami silangnagawa para sa akin. In short, gumanda ako dahil sa Calayan. Kahit na may mgagustong kunin ako to endorse their clinic, still, naging loyal ako samag-asawang 'yan.
"With regard kungbakit wala ako sa launch at sa ginawang billboard, siguro ang masasagot ko langay isang matamis na ngiti. Yun lang."
The issue wasfurther discussed in the January 4, 2009 episode of Showbiz Central when John was directly asked if he personally feltthat Boy had a hand on the controversy.
"Yes," he said. "Bago maging isyu, paapelahin n'yo muna ko. Feeling ko naman,not directly. Buong December, simula nang lumabas ‘yang billboard na ‘yan...Butin fairness kay Tito Boy, nakausap ko na rin yung mga taong involved, dun samismong ads, hindi siya nakialam. So, ang feeling ko, ang mga nakialam sakonsepto, again, not indirectly, kapag isinama ko pa si John Lapus, baka dalawana silang bakla run."
The commentreportedly slighted Boy Abunda, prompting him to call manager-host Lolit Solisto vent out his disappointment.
Last January 6,2009, Lolit derided John by announcing in her radio program, "Bakit siyaisasama sa billboard, e, tsinugi na nga siya ni Calayan?! Siguronapag-isip-isip ni Calayan na wala namang ibinungang maganda ang dalawang taongendorsement ni Sweet... I'm sure."
There were even unconfirmedreports that Boy had plans of resorting to legal options.
PEP managingeditor Karen Pagsolingan asked Sweet's reaction to this via a text message sent lastJanuary 12, and his reply was: "'Wag na [patulan], sis. Hapi na!"
DR. MANNY'SEXPLANATION. In a short e-mail response forwarded to PEPcontributor, Alex Datu, Manny answered point-by-point the questions raised bysome quarters following John's notable nonappearance in the campaign ad.
Here is Dr. Manny's written explanationon the issue:
"Talagang wala si sweet saomnibus billboard namin kasi:
1. Expired na contractpero renewed na this January 2009. Pero ‘di ko napansin na expired na at kahitexpired na, sa goodwill namin, pinadalhan pa din namin ng white gold pendant namay C last Nov. 24, 2008 after ng press launch campaign held last Nov 21, 2008held sa Renaissance [Hotel] dahil tinuturing pa rin namin siyang endorser.
2. Naka-line up talaga siJohn for the next batch of campaign na ang kasama naman niya halos is taga GMA-7.
3. Walang alam si BoyAbunda sa planning ng campaign. Ako at si Cay of Mad888 ang nag-conceptualize. Hindinamin napag-usapan si Sweet kasi halos puro taga-Dos muna then taga-GMA namanwith Marvin Agustin, etc."