Long-time Kapuso host Paolo Bediones was a big surprise to the entertainment press during the TV5 Christmas Party for the Press last night, December 3, at the PETA Theater in Quezon City. He was introduced as the newest addition to the network's family.
"It was the hardest decision I had to make, career-wise," the 35-year-old TV personality admitted in an interview after the event.
"To be able to decide whether I would stay with GMA-7 or to go to TV5, ang daming sleepless nights. Hindi ako makapaniwala na nandoon ako sa sitwasyon na 'yon na I had the opportunity to decide."
Paolo related that before coming up with a final decision, he had to endure two weeks of negotiations between GMA-7 and TV5.
He said "I had the best of both worlds, you see. TV5, they were offering something new; GMA-7, they were offering a fresh contract again. Nandoon talaga lahat ng mga elements of a situation wherein mahihirapan ka talaga."
Paolo was also thinking about his future plans for his career. He recalled, "After the second season ng Survivor Philippines, nararamadaman ko na na parang, 'Saan ako pupunta? Ano na ang gagawin ko?'
"Next year, puro franchise ang mao-offer sa akin, will I be hoping and praying na sa akin mapunta? Kasi, 'yong career ko hybrid, e. Wala namang ganung career talaga, di ba? It's either actor ka or singer ka or host ka or newscaster ka. Ako 'yong pahalu-halo, 'tapos ang format ko sa News and Public Affairs was Survivor, Extra Challenge, Tok Tok Tok, hindi siya talaga pang-News and Public Affairs."
So, what was the offer of TV5 that he couldn't resist?
Paolo, who signed a three-year contract with TV5, said, "Ultimately, what made me decided was that the offer of TV5 included a position in management. 'Yon ang gusto natin talaga—ang maging instrumento sa pagbabago ng industriya natin, mayroon tayong ide-develop na mga talent, mayroon din tayong mga shows na iko-conceptualize din. 'Yon talaga ang nagpa-decide sa akin."
He added, "After the [Survivor Philippines: Palau] finale, nag-iisip na talaga ako, 'What's gonna happen to me what do I wanna do?' Then, TV5 came with a very fresh offer nga, 'yon nga, a management position and opportunity to do things I've never done in my life."
GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH GMA-7. For 14 years, Paolo Bediones had become the face of several successful shows of GMA Network—Game Plan (1997), Extra! Extra! (1999), Extra Challenge (2003), S Files (2005), and most recently the second season of Survivor Philippines: Palau (2009).
And so, Paolo could say he had built a good working relationship with his former mother network, which is why he was very transparent about the offer he got from TV5.
"That's the reason why nag-insist kami ni Noel [Ferrer, one his talent managers] na maging transparent. Huwag tayong maging patagu-tago na nagne-negotiate, so, they knew," said Paolo.
He also admitted that during those weeks of negotiation, his former mother network was giving him counter-offers. But when he finally made up his mind, the network executives gave him their full support.
He related, "Alam mo, ang maganda is this morning and this afternoon, I was in GMA-7 for the last time, nagpaalam ako sa lahat ng mga bossing—kay Jimmy Duavit [Executive Vice President & COO], Atty. Felipe Gozon [Chairman, President & CEO], Ma'am Marissa [Flores, GMA News and Public Affairs head], Ma'am Wilma [Galvante, senior vice president for entertainment TV] ay nasa Singapore, and lahat ng nakatrabaho ko. So, may iyakan, may emotional... But at the end of the day, doon ko na-realize na ang ganda ng relationship ko with GMA-7. When they said, 'Sige, go ahead, we understand. Wala tayong masamang pinagsamahan, wala tayong samaan ng loob,' 'yon ang nagpagaan sa akin."
LESSONS LEARNED FROM GMA-7. As Paolo transfers to TV5, he brings everything he learned from his hosting experiences in GMA-7. This is one promise he gave to his former bosses.
"[The GMA-7 executives] were happy for me. Sabi nila, 'Sige, make us proud and you do good there.' Kasi, di ba, parang ganun lang 'yon, e. Sila ang nagturo sa akin, kung ano ang natutunan ko ay dadalhin ko dito, and we're gonna help jumpstart TV5. That's an honor for me, na ako ang unang-unang napili ng TV5 na gawing exclusive na talent," said Paolo.
He also mentioned the things he would miss about being a Kapuso: "'Yong samahan, respeto sa isa't isa, dadalhin ko dito sa TV5. Mami-miss ko 'yong passion ng tao sa work. Yon din ang dadalhin ko dito, the kind of passion that I have and, I don't know, the next year, the next two years, ay palalakihin natin ang TV5."
Although he's now part of one of the competitors of his former mother network, Paolo said that nothing would change his relationship with his former colleagues.
He simply stated, "You know, kalaban is relative din, e. Kaibigan ko sila at hindi mawawala 'yon, that's 14 years of good relationship."
NEW POSITION ON TV5. As the first exclusive talent of TV5, Paolo would be given a chance to participate in training new talents and in conceptualizing future programs.
Although, his new position still doesn't have a definite title, Paolo doesn't want to be called a boss.
He told the media, "Ayaw kong sabihing boss, pero it's like an executive management position. I think that's what I've been preparing for. Kasi sa Survivor days at sa Extra Challenge pa lang, ginagawa ko na 'yon, pero walang title. Ngayon, legitimate na, may title pa."
Aside from the lessons he wants to share with his new network family, Paolo would also want to offer new things to the third leading network in the country.
He said, "One, doon sa training ng mga talent, for example, sa hosting. It's always something na gusto nating gawin, makahanap ng protégé or makahanap ng matuturuan ng tamang hosting. 'Yong profession talaga, hindi lang 'yong nagbabasa.
"Then, professionalism is something I want to build. Maraming values [ang puwedeng ituro]. Sabi ko nga kay Atty. Felipe Gozon, 'Marami po akong mga values, good values, na dadalhin from GMA-7 to TV5.'"
Will he also be doing some shows aside from his executive responsibilities?
Paolo said that he would still be doing hosting jobs for TV5. He added, "Ang mga shows natin dito is, well, may isa sa News and Public Affairs, a talk show; sa entertainment nila, puwedeng game show. [Sa movies], pwede akong kasama sa conceptualization, sa planning kasi mahilig din ako sa pelikula, e."
It can be remembered that at the 21st Philippine Ad Congress held recently, TV5's newest owner, Manny Pangilinan, said in a press statement that the network plans to produce movies in 2010. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
Paolo is also positive about the things he could do for his new mother network because, "TV5 is a very lean organization kasi it's starting pa lang."
This is one of the factors that helped Paolo in moving on with his career, even though it meant leaving his long-time home network.
He stressed, "Masakit kung masakit [ang paglipat], but ang nangingibabaw ngayon ay ang excitement to be part of something that's exciting. And in the next three years, sabi ko nga, 'Magkasama tayo, palalakihin natin 'to.' Then, we're gonna give people an alternative doon sa napapanood nila."