Five days after his actual birthday, July 7, John Lapus was given a birthday treat by his Showbiz Central family yesterday, July 12. As expected, it was sweet and packed with treats.
MESSAGES. His friends and crushes greeted him via a VTR, which also showed the different facets of his being an artist—as TV host, actor, stand-up comedian, and show producer.
Regine Velasquez, who worked with John in the film Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw and GMA-7's adaptation of Kim Sam Soon, was among the well-wishers. She is set to reunite with Aga Muhlach in a movie, where the birthday boy will be her sidekick once again.
Janno Gibbs also gave a message. He and his wife, Bing Loyzaga, are special to the celebrator because when Sweet was just starting in showbiz, some of his clothes were hand-me-downs from the Power of 10 host.
Sweet told Janno, "'Pag yaman ko, Lolo Janno, ikaw naman ang ibibili ko ng damit."
Other celebs who surprised John with video greetings were—Sheena Halili, the PEP blogger's co-star in Kim Samsoon; Dennis Trillo, Sweet's crush and co-star in Adik Sa 'Yo; Eugene Domingo, his nanay-nanayan during theater days; plus, Dingdong Dantes, Phillip Lazaro, Heart Evangelista, Roderick Paulate, and Jolina Magdangal.
Sweet brimmed with elation after watching the VTR, and thanked God for his talents and the GMA executives for giving his talent a chance and maximizing it to its full potential.
He currently has two shows, Showbiz Central and Adik Sa 'Yo, plus another project in the works. He refused to divulge details, and joked, "Sa mga fans ko, abangan n'yong lima ang sitcom na 'yan. Dininig na ng GMA ang dasal n'yo." But a PEP source revealed that the show is Show Me the Manny, with Manny Pacquiao and Marian Rivera.
In a separate interview with PEP, he also thanked his ABS-CBN friends, who went to his birthday party last July 6 (click here to read article).
"Ang sarap ng feeling na kaibigan ko pa din sila. Super happy sila sa tinatamasan kong success ngayon sa GMA. Maski sila, they know that I will not reach where I am now kung hindi ako lumipat sa GMA.
"Modesty aside, I am one of the few Kapuso stars na nai-invite sa mga party ng mga executive at directors ng ABS-CBN. Nakaka-proud at nakaka-touch.
"A few months ago, birthday ni Tita Cory Vidanes, she invited me kaya punta naman ako. May isang female star ang ABS-CBN na nagulat nang makita ako. Say niya, 'Uy, Sweet nandito ka'. Say ko naman, "Oh, yes. Surprise!" Napikon yata kasi nagtawanan ang mga Kapamilya friends na katabi ko sa table. Hahaha."
He is happy for what he has achieved so far, and even happier that he remained friends with the people he used to work with. "I never burn bridges. Masama 'yon," he said simply.
SURPRISES. Sweet's crush, JC de Vera, was also invited as a guest on "Don't Lie To Me."
The ward of Annabelle Rama is his Top 4 crush. The rest, according to him, are Dennis Trillo, Dingdong Dantes, Richard Gutierrez, and Bryan Termulo.
Survivor castaway Jace Flores and Hole in the Wall lifeguard Edward were also invited to give him flowers. The host then announced that they'd be his sixth and seventh crushes, respectively.
INTRIGUES. Even if it's his birthday, he was not spared from intrigues. So, right after his special, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked him about his stint in TV5 shows, Talentadong Pinoy and Shall We Dance.
A source told us that he was pulled out as a talent scout from Talentadong Pinoy, because it is winning, in terms of ratings, over its rival shows in both GMA-7 and ABS-CBN.
Out of curiosity, we asked, why were you pulled out?
"Ay hindi," was his quick reply. "Ako at ang manager kong si Ricky Gallardo ang nag-decide na huwag na muna mag-guest sa TV5. I will have a new sitcom with GMA. It's my third show with the Kapuso network this year. I will not have any time at all to guest in any other network. Gagawa pa ako ng movie with Regine and Aga. May mga pending pa akong live shows. Puno na ang labada."
Health, he said, was his primary reason. In his recent blog entry (click here to read the entry), he related the number of times he went to St. Luke's Hospital.
The PEP blogger added with a laugh, "Kagagaling ko lang sa Bell's Palsy at bronchitis, baka mamatay na ako pag hindi ako nagbawas ng work. Kaloka! May binubuhay akong mga pamangkin at hindi pa ako nakakahanap ng boyfriend na hindi pera at katawan ko ang habol. Gusto ko makabili ng bahay at lupa at hindi ng kabaong. Hahaha!"
Seriously, he said that all is well between him and TV5: "Na-explain naman nang maayos ng Star Magic [talent management arm that handles Sweet's movies, live shows, and other network guestings] sa TV5. Naintindihan naman nila.
"I am so thankful sa TV5 for believing in me. Singaling pa lang, naniniwala na sila sa talent ko. Di ba, sila din ang nagbigay sa akin ng first solo show, yung Blind Item? Naging kaibigan ko na din ang mga staff doon at may utang na loob talaga din ako sa kanila.
"To be honest, I'm supposed to do another solo show in TV5, pero mukhang malabo na sa dami ng work ko sa GMA, which is now my mother network."
DETRACTORS. Another issue hurled at him had to do with his recent car accident. A rumor claimed that he picked a fight with his car insurance agent. Is this true?
"Totoo yung accident. Nilagay ko 'yon sa blog ko sa PEP. Magbasa na lang sila. Pero yung nang-away, gawa-gawa noong baklang nakuhaan ng pipino sa p*wet. Imbes na sa mukha ilagay, sa p*wet pinasok.
"Kaibigan niya pala yung may-ari ng insurance. Maski yung may-ari, when I talked to her, hindi niya alam kung saan nanggaling 'yon. Pinagsabihan ko nga siya na sinungaling ang kaibigan niya at endorser pa ng insurance niya."
Lastly, John issued a message to his detractors: "Sa dami ng blessings ko, mamatay kayo sa inggit at mapagod kayo sa kakalait sa akin. At ngayon naiintindihan ko na. May nagbabayad at nag-uutos sa kanila para laitin ako. Mga tuta. Kawawa naman kapag hindi ako nilait sa diyaryo at radyo kasi wala silang kakainin. Aminin! Hahaha!"