Aga Muhlach makes big leap from ABS-CBN to TV5

"I think it's important also that studios or networks should take care of their artists at the end of the day, because it's their artists that bring in money also sa kanila. Parang ganun lang 'yon. Hindi naman kami mga robot na parang 'punta ka rito, punta ka ro'n, gawin mo 'yan,'" says Aga Muhlach.


Pormal nang ipinakilala si Aga Muhlach bilang pinakabagong star ng TV5 sa pamamagitan ng isang presscon na ginanap kagabi, March 30, sa Annabel's restaurant sa Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Kasamang humarap ni Aga sa press ang TV5 head of creative and entertainment na si Perci Intalan.

Three years ang kontratang pinirmahan ni Aga sa Kapatid network, na pagmamay-ari ng business tycoon na si Manny V. Pangilinan.

"I signed for three years, and siguro after three years, then another three years. I really want to stay with [TV] 5 because I'm here now, and mahirap namang magpalipat-lipat. You only do it once, so this is it!" sabi ni Aga sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang invited press.

Bago ang paglipat ni Aga sa TV5 ay 18 years siyang nagtrabaho sa bakuran ng ABS-CBN. Nagsimula siya noong 1992 sa sitcom na Oki Doki Doc. Ang huling naging show niya doon ay ang M3 (Malay Mo Ma-develop) nila ni Ai-Ai delas Alas noong nakaraang taon, 2010.

Paano siya nagpaalam sa Kapamilya network?

"Hindi ako nagpaalam, kundi nagsabi lang ako that I'm moving," sagot ni Aga.

Inamin din ng aktor na umiyak ang kasalukuyang presidente ng ABS-CBN na si Ms. Charo Santos-Concio nang sabihin niyang lilipat na siya sa TV5.

Pero aniya, "Hindi naman dapat lahat ng lumilipat kailangan may problema. Sa akin naman, hindi ko naman kadikit sa buhay yung problema, or yung gulo o eskandalo, o kung anuman.

"And I even told her that, 'You know, I'm not trying to haggle... I'm just moving.'"

Ano ang dahilan ng pag-alis niya sa ABS-CBN?

"It's nothing, you know... Parang it's monotonous, parang I just wanted something different, really. And TV5 was offering all these things sa akin," sagot ni Aga.

THE BIG LEAP. Ano ang naging biggest consideration ni Aga sa desisyon niyang lumipat sa TV5?

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"Yung vision ng 5. Yung vision ng 5 now is to come up with any nice show and—if I'm not mistaken—not think of ratings first," sabi niya.

Last December 2010 pa napabalitang lilipat si Aga sa TV5, pero ngayong buwan lang sila nagkasarahan. Gaano ba katagal inabot ang negosasyon sa pagitan ng aktor at ng network bago ito nag-materialize? (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

Si Perci ang sumagot ng katanungang ito para kay Aga.

Sabi ng TV5 executive, "I think that actually went smoothly. The only thing that we waited for was maayos muna what kind of projects Aga would do, para we know. We know na hindi masyadong maaga ang pag-announce ng mga programs.

"At the same time, Aga was busy working on the films. And actually, nag-relax din [siya] habang iniisip niya, nagmumuni-muni exactly what it is he wants to do.

"Ang maganda nga, a few months ago, when we met, yun na, ang dami-daming ideas ni Aga on what he wanted to do. And that's exactly how we do things kasi in TV5, e. We'd like to involve the artists and find out what it is that would get them excited, rather than impose on them what shows we think they should do. We do a dialogue first.

"And so far, that formula has worked for us beautifully on the projects that we had. Kaya may ownership yung mga stars dun sa show. Kasi they were involved in the early stages pa lang. And that's what we were able to do in the past month or so."

Aminado naman si Perci na "very big deal" talaga ang paglipat ng isang dekalibreng artista gaya ni Aga sa kanilang network, na maituturing na baguhan sa larangan ng telebisyon.

At 41 years old, isa pa rin si Aga sa itinuturing na most bankable leading men sa bansa.

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"One thing that we have to obviously respect is that it's a very big decision for Aga," sabi ni Perci.

"With all the years he has been with ABS, we know and we understand that it's a big leap, a big leap of faith to transfer network—especially to us, a new network.

"So, that's why we also want to make him feel that it's something that we really appreciate in a big way.

"Kaya hindi rin namin minadali, and now we're talking about the shows very carefully, deliberately. Kasi, we know this is a big step for him."

Ano naman ang pakiramdam ni Aga sa kanyang paglipat sa Kapatid network?

Sagot ng aktor, "It's nice. I've been looking forward to this since last year pa, and now it's here. It's happened already. So, moving on. It's big and it's gonna be fun!"

A SLIMMER AGA. Ang unang napansin ng press kay Aga nang pumasok siya sa function room ng Annabel's restaurant ay ang kanyang pagpayat. Nang huling beses kasing humarap ang matinee idol sa press ay hindi pa siya ganun kapayat.

Tinanong ng PEP kay Aga kung isa ba sa dahilan ng kanyang pagpapapayat ay ang launching niya bilang TV5 star.

"That's one, yes," sabi niya. "I had my pictorial last Monday [March 28], and I even told Raymund Isaac, who did my shoot, sabi ko, 'Raymund, we've been doing pictorials for the past how many years and nakita mo kung paano ako katamad na...'

"But all of a sudden, nung pictorial namin, may dala pa akong CD, pati clothes na dala ko... So, I'm just happy and excited and talagang matagal na akong hindi nakapag-pictorial nang ganyan. Kung titingnan n'yo, so haping-happy lang ako diyan. I was just really bursting with energy.

"And if I can start with my new show tomorrow, then I'm just dying to... That's why we've been meeting about it. Kaya nga sabi ko, with my two movies na lalabas, maybe I wanna focus and concentrate first sa TV this year and the next couple of years.

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"And if there's one movie that I'm going to do probably next year it's with Studio 5—or Star Cinema, if they're gonna offer me."

Ang "two movies" na tinutukoy ni Aga ay ang Huling Sayaw nila ni Angel Locsin para sa Star Cinema, at ang reunion movie nila ni Regine Velasquez para sa Viva Films.

Sinundan ng PEP ng tanong ang sinabi ni Aga na "tinamad" siya noon. Ano ang dahilan at naging ganun ang pakiramdam niya?

"You know, mahirap sumagot basta-basta ng anything because, first, the last thing I wanna do is say something against ABS-CBN—kung saan ako nanggaling, saan ako tumanda, saan ako lumaki. I will always be grateful to them.

"It's just that, parang I just realized, parang I just wanted something new—bagong atensiyon, bagong pakikitungo. Tapos yung plano nila, parang iba na yung naging plano nung kabila, parang iba'ng direction nila.

"And with TV5's direction, parang feeling ko lang, I thought that time, parang do'n ko gustong pumunta. Because they would still listen, and all they wanted to do is just work, come up with good shows.

"Of course, ratings is important. But right now, parang before we think of ratings first, let's do good shows, let's enjoy it, and let's see. So, it's just like that first, which is feeling ko, yun ang tama. Because if it's just gonna be ratings game, then parang sayang...

"I think it's important also that studios or networks should take care of their artists at the end of the day, because it's their artists that bring in money also sa kanila. Parang ganun lang 'yon. Hindi naman kami mga robot na parang 'punta ka rito, punta ka ro'n, gawin mo 'yan,'" pahayag ng aktor.

Ang ibig bang sabihin ay may dissatisfaction siya?

"Of course, I cannot deny that. There's dissatisfaction," pag-amin ni Aga. "But, again, when I told her [Charo Santos-Concio] that I was moving out, I said, 'I will not point fingers anymore. There's no need. It's useless.'

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"I mean, nobody's perfect. May ilang tao na may pagkakamali, and probably siguro ako rin... So, no bad blood, it's all good. All's well."

UPCOMING PROJECTS. Hindi pa makapagbigay ng konkretong detalye si Aga sa mga nakalinya niyang projects para sa TV5.

Pero aniya, "Merong tatlong napakagandang at napakalaking programang gagawin ko na hindi ko pa nagawa. So, dito ko lahat siya magagawa, so I'm really excited.

"Siguro yung first will start ng June, then yung isa siguro August or September, and yung isa it will be aired next year."

"Variety" ang naging sagot ni Aga nang tanungin kung anong klaseng shows ang gagawin niya. Isa na rito ang paghu-host niya ng isang reality show na ayaw pa niyang sabihin kung ano ang title.

"Dito, parang buong madla kasama mo, is participating, so it's different. Dito kasi, viewers from all over will participate... It's very interactive. When they presented that to me, sinabi ko kaagad, 'Akin 'yon!'" sabi niya.

Ipinaliwanag naman ni Perci ang dahilan kung bakit hindi masabi eksakto ni Aga ang unang project na gagawin niya sa TV5.

Aniya, "I can just give a few hints, there's a particular show, a reality show, that we're working on. Nine-negotiate pa namin yung format, and we're waiting for the consultant...

"It's a franchise, a very, very new one na malaki, pag-uusapan. We didn't want to preempt it kaya sabi ko nga, maganda na rin yung paisa-isa nating maa-unveil dahil, siyempre, isa-isa ring gagawin ni Aga. So, we don't want to preempt ourselves...

"Yung reality show ang una naming niluluto, pero sabay-sabay naming pinag-uusapan."

Gagawa rin daw ng drama show si Aga para sa Kapatid network.

Matatandaang hindi gumawa ng dramaserye si Aga sa Kapamilya network. Ayon sa mga tiga-ABS-CBN, si Aga ang ayaw tumanggap ng ganitong assignment. Ang pagkakaintindi nila ay gusto ni Aga na ang dramatic appearances niya ay ituon sa pelikula.

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AGA'S CHOICE. May say ba si Aga sa mga taong makakatrabaho niya sa projects na gagawin niya sa TV5, gaya ng mga artista at direktor?

"Yes! And that's nice of TV5, na lahat ng mga nababanggit kong mga artista na makakasama ko, na kahit yung iba na wala pa, na papunta pa lang..."

Pinagbibigyan siya?

"Yes," sagot muli ni Aga. "Even the directors and kung anong tema ang gagawin ko. So, kahit yung mga gusto kong makasama nga na wala pa dito, e, mapupunta na rin dito."

Sino ang mga tinutukoy niya na mga "susunod pa"? Isa ba sa kanila ang misis niyang si Charlene Gonzalez?

Natawa muna si Aga bago sumagot. Aniya, "Parang naghahanap ka ng mga kasama mo. Of course, sa TV5 nakita mo na kung sino ang makakasama mo. But then, minsan meron kang projects na, parang, 'Ito ang babagay diyan, o si ganito o si ganyan. Kunin natin siya, kunin natin 'yon.'

"But I am not saying it's gonna happen. It's not even pirating... It's just that, 'Hey, I have this project, I want you here. What do you think? You wanna do it? Then come, let's do it.' Parang gano'n."

Bagamat three years ang pinirmahang kontrata ni Aga sa TV5, papayagan naman daw siya ng management na gumawa ng project sa ibang networks o film companies.

"But I'm not thinking about it right now because I'm happy where I am right now. So, it's TV5, TV5, TV5!" diin ni Aga.


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