Jose Manalo: "Hindi swindler ang asawa ko!"

Comedian Jose Manalo remains optimistic that the court case against his wife will be resolved without inflicting damage on the parties concerned. "Walang problema na hindi nalalampasan," the Eat Bulaga! regular co-host seriously remarked at the press conference of Love OnLine (LOL). He is currently on leave from the program.

Comedian Jose Manalo wants nothing more but to pick up the pieces following the multi-million jewelry-scam lawsuit filed against his wife Anna Lyn.

In an article published here in PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on June 22, 2009, a group of traders reportedly submitted a formal complaint after discovering that the checks issued by Manalo's wife for jewelry and real estate properties were allegedly non-sufficient. (Click here to real related story.)

The term "non-sufficient fund" is used in the banking industry to indicate a demand for payment that cannot be honored due to inadequate funds in the account on which the instrument was drawn.

Yesterday, July 21, at the press conference of Vic Sotto's upcoming comedy film Love OnLine (LOL), held at Moomba Bar and Café in Quezon City, Jose finally spoke on the delicate issue facing his family.

"Okay naman. Okay na din kaming mag-asawa, although nandiyan pa rin siyempre kung anumang problema, hindi nawawala 'yon," Jose told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other entertainment reporters present at the venue.

In this trying moment, Jose emphasized the importance of strengthening communication lines to make sure that both parties are on the same page in dealing with the issue.

He said, "Lagi kaming nag-uusap. Pinag-uusapan kung ano 'yong mga bagay na dapat pag-usapan. Mga bagay na papaano tayo gagalaw. 'Tsaka nagtatrabaho kami nang maayos, 'yon lang. Lagi mo lang tingnan 'yong mga anak mo para mas lumakas pa 'yong loob mo."

SLOWING DOWN. Although Jose—who was very reluctant at first to discuss the subject—is now beginning to open up to the media, it is apparent that the controversy deeply affected his professional career.

To at least soften the blow brought about by possible intense public scrutiny, Jose decided to file a leave of absence from Eat Bulaga! where he is one of the mainstays complementing the trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon.


The decision, which is on indefinite terms, was made by Jose to likewise spare the country's longest-running noontime show from unnecessary distraction.

"Anytime naman puwede akong bumalik sa trabaho," he confidently offered. "Kaya lang, ayoko lang idinadamay nila 'yong programa, pati ang GMA idinadamay nila na hindi naman dapat. Pati kung sinu-sino kagaya nila Bossing [Vic Sotto's pet name in the industry] na wala namang alam dito, pilit nilang tinitira sa diyaryo o sa radyo.

"Ayoko 'yong mga taong wala namang kinalaman dito dinadamay nila. Kung may problema asawa ko at dinadamay din nila ako sa problema ng asawa ko, kami na lang, huwag na 'yong ibang tao. Willing naman kaming harapin kung anong problema at hindi naman kami nagtatago at hindi ganun kalaki ang problema na pinapalaki lang nila."

Incidentally, Jose met up first with his embattled wife in a hearing before proceeding to attend the press conference. The hearing as relayed by the comedian does not paint a pretty picture, particularly for the accused.

"Kagaya kanina, galing sa hearing 'yong wife ko, nagkita kami ng mga alas-dos [o] alas-tres. Iyon, mataas na naman 'yong dugo niya kasi nandun silang lahat. Kahit hindi kasama sa hearing, nandoon silang lahat, nagsisigawan sa City Hall, 'Ito na ang swindler!' Sobra sila. Sobra na 'yong ginagawa nila na hindi naman totoo.

"Uulitin ko lang, hindi swindler ang asawa ko! Kasi ang pagkakaalam ko sa swindler, hindi mo makikita 'yong tao, hindi mo matatagpuan kung nag-ibang bansa na ba. Nakikita nila kami, e, napag-welgahan nga nila bahay namin. Nagagawa nga nila lahat ng gusto nilang gawin sa 'min. Huwag ninyong tawagin swindler at nakikipag-usap kami sa kanila. Nakikipag-usap 'yong lawyer namin sa lawyer nila. Hangga't maayos, aayusin at hindi namin tinatalikuran kung ano 'yong mga bagay na dapat [harapin]."

LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE. "Na-depressed ako," Jose confessed. "Sobrang depressed ako, especially sa mga anak ko. Hindi lang para sa kin kundi para sa mga anak ko. Pero okay na naman sila. Dati ayaw nilang pumasok sa school, pero ngayon okay na naman."


Jose's temporary absence on television doesn't mean giving up live gigs in comedy bars around the metro. For someone who earns a living in the business of making people laugh, the personal satisfaction attained in hearing appreciative laughter coming from the audience never fails to boost Jose's bruised spirits.

"'Pag nakikita kong may tumatawa na sa 'kin, nabubura na 'yong [lungkot]. Nagsu-show pa rin ako gabi-gabi at marami pa ring tao gabi-gabi, at may mga nanggugulo pa rin gabi-gabi, pero hindi ko iniintindi."





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