Boy Abunda on becoming Bandila news anchor: "I’ve always been where I am. I’m a crossover artist. I’ve always been doing that."

"I am blessed that I’ve been doing this job for a long time. I can do a lot of shows with my eyes closed. Pero kung kinakailangan ako magbawas dahil kailangan, gagawin ko," says Boy Abunda on the recent career decision he had to make.


Boy Abunda says that a farewell episode of his late night entertainment news program Showbiz News Ngayon (SNN) is inevitable. Only that there should not be much drama.

"Hindi naman siguro [forever mawawala] ... It’s the kind of material that can come back so dapat hindi heavy ang paalamanan," states Boy. He also mentions that the three-year-old SNN for which he originally signed a one-season contract has fulfilled its purpose.

"Oo, magti-three years na kami so okay na yun."

At Olay Total Effect’s event at the Mandarin Oriental hotel yesterday, September 8, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the opportunity to get an update about the upcoming merging newscast of SNN and ABS-CBN’s current affairs program Bandila.

"Napanood ko kahapon yung presentation episode," tells Boy.

"Base dun sa napanood namin, base dun sa ginawa naming presentation episode, natuwa naman ang management. Pero sabi ko nga, you wouldn’t know how it’s gonna go, and how far it’s gonna go until you really do it."

Asked whose idea the merging was, Boy claims it was his.

"Yung [ideya ng] pagsasanib sa akin.

"It was an idea that I brought up many, many months ago. Less than a year ago, hindi mga over a year ago. Less than a year ago we started to talk about it.

"For many reasons, practically kasi, you know, parehong sobrang late. You know, ano ba ang puwedeng magawa? And I said one time, why not join forces and strengthen the equity kasi both of us naman are delivering news. Except that [SNN is entertainment/current events] and wala pang konsepto na pinagsanib ang news at saka ang current events at ang entertainment news. So subok, di ba?," states Boy.

Asked if he will have his own entertainment news segment on Bandila, Boy explains that he will in fact join news anchors Julius Babao, Karen Davila, and Ces Drilon.

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"I sit as one of the anchors. Hindi ito yung tatawagin ako, ’Ngayon [for] entertainment news.’ Hindi. I open the show, and I close the show with them.

"So halimbawa, it opens with Julius [Babao], Karen [Davila], Ces [Drilon], ako... I will also close that way. So exciting siya. Bago, bago."

The integration of current affairs and entertainment news is fairly experimental. Does Boy think this will work out the same way his past shows have?

Boy answers, "I don’t know. But we’ll try, we’ll work. You know, it’s a challenge and it’s a risk.

"I’ve always been where I am. I’m a crossover artist. I’ve done Kontrobersyal for 5 years for news. I’ve done Etcetera, the pre-programming of [TV] Patrol for like 2 years. I did Private Conversations under news so pamilyar ako...

"I will always be a crossover. I can do both. And I’ve always been doing that."

MOTHER’S CHECK-UPS. When SNN sees its last airing date tonight, September 9, Boy gets a couple of weeks to rest before leaping onto a different program, which officially starts on October 3.

"That gives me a couple of weeks to fix my schedule, my life...

"Ang sarap kasi, ngayong Friday, bukas, dadalhin ko ang Nanay sa ospital for our check-up."

Boy shares his recent realization that accompanying his mother to the doctor for check-up proves to be essential.

"Ang check-up hindi lang sa kanya, pati sa amin. Kasi importante mga kuwento namin...

"Ang natutunan ko kay Dr. Jacqueline Dominguez ng St. Luke’s, sabi ko, ’Doc, paano po ang consultation?’ [Sabi niya,] ’You have to be there.’

"Kasi halimbawa, ito, nalaman nila na medyo may problema ang Nanay sa Vitamin B-12, naging sakit ito ni Nanay mga 12 years ago. So I have to be there.

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"Ako yung nagsabi na ’Alam niyo po na-ospital ang nanay ko 12 years ago at ang kanilang findings during that time was deficiency in Vitaman B-12. Sabi ng doktor, ’Napaka-importanteng input yan.’"

Boy informs us that his mother will undergo a series of tests on Monday.

"Ipapasok ko siya ng mga siguro 3 to 5 days... nasa ospital kami para malaman namin kung kaya niya mag-travel, kung kaya niya kasi nag-improve ang appetite ng nanay, wala pang loss of memory ang nanay.

"Meron lang mga indicators doon sa ailment pero ang laki ng ipinagbabago. Isa diyan ay siguro yung oras na, you know, that we spend together. Kasi sinasabi ng mga nurses, ’Sir, iba talaga pag kayo ang kaharap.’ Iba ang responses niya, iba," shares Boy.

GIVING UP BACKROOM, INC. Boy’s talent company, Backroom Inc., is undergoing a transition phase now that he is leaving his position as president. He elucidates on important matters.

"Mga siguro 10 to 12 years na ito na, lahat ng kita ng Backroom napupunta sa kanila. I earn my own money as a host, as an endorser.

"Oo, lahat ng kinita ng Backroom ay napupunta sa kanila. Ang kita ko, akin. Halimbawa singer ka, nagkumisyon, napupunta sa kanila yun for the past 12 years. Pero I still own the company.

"Ngayon, ibinigay ko ang lahat ng financial, non-financial capital ng Backroom sa mga empleyado."

Boy also adds that the current senior officers will take over the chief post when he ends his term as president. These people will likewise own the company.

Boy mentions that some things will remain the same. "So siyempre hindi ’yan mabibigla katulad ngayon,e, lahat naman ng endorsement ni Aileen [Ai-Ai Delas Alas] ako naman ang hahawak niyan...

"Hindi mabibigla yun pero eventually, yes, ang responsibilidad na ’yan ay magiging kanila. Except, of course, Kris [Aquino] and Ai-Ai."

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Boy will, however, remain affiliated with Backroom, Inc.

"Oo naman. I will always be a consultant of the company at saka, yung mga artists, like for example, si Mariel [Rodriguez], ’Tito Boy, I know you’re not supposed to take care of me [but] I have questions.’

"Wala, e. Ganun pa rin pero malaking tulong sa akin yung ginawa kong ito. Ang laking tulong."

Recently, Boy’s Backroom family expressed their gratitude for having him as their head.

"The most touching moment in my life, one of the most touching moments in my life was when my employees came to me and said ’Salamat.’

"Yung salamat sa tiwala, salamat sa pagbibigay ng pagmamahal. Yung pagmamahal at tiwala."

. The obligations of being the top honcho of a talent company proved to be trying for Boy. When asked what made him give it up, he answers, "Mahirap mag-manage."

He elaborates, "Ma-late lang ang isang artista mo, isang singer mo sa show, sa ’yo ang tawag niyan. Hindi kinanta ang tamang kanta, sa ’yo ang bagsak niyan...I’m very hands-on.

"Meron kaming mechanism na nalalaman kung ano ang nangyayari. Hindi binayaran ng cash, tseke ang binayad, problema mo yun. Ay! I-multiply mo ’yan by 25!"

Was relinquishing the job primarily because of such difficulties?

"Hindi ’primarily.’ ’Only because,’" emphasized Boy.

"Kaya sinabi ko yun, una yun. Malaking kabawasan yun. Ngayon yung mga shows ko naman, I am blessed that I’ve been doing this job for a long time. I can do a lot of shows with my eyes closed.

"Pero kung kinakailangan ako magbawas dahil kailangan, gagawin ko.

"At eto yung leksyon sa mga anak, sa mga tao, minsan, you know, something really difficult happens for you to have a better view and to make easier decisions.

"Ngayon hindi ako nahihirapan magdesisyon, pero five years ago kung tinanong mo ako, [sasabihin ko] teka muna. Ngayon hindi. Napakadali magdesisyon because naka-focus ako sa aking ina."

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