Imagine what it is like to be in the shoes of Boy Abunda, talent manager of controversial stars Kris Aquino, Gretchen Barretto, and Ai-Ai delas Alas…
One reporter quipped, “Nakakabaliw siguro!”
But the ABS-CBN host said, “I would go insane kung hindi ito ang aking mga kaibigan.”
At the launch of Bianca Gonzalez as the endorser of Betadine Feminine Wash earlier, July 2, Boy— who served as the event’s host— spent a few minutes with the press talking about his controversial talents.
KRIS AQUINO. He was quick to say, “Wala akong alam!”
Usually, he’s very chatty even about the issues being faced by his talents, but this time, he’s tight-lipped.
Boy resumed, “… Besides there’s a gag order, hindi sila puwedeng magsalita sa media at kung hindi sila puwedeng magsalita, pati yung mga kaibigan at spokespersons yata, hindi ko alam kung saang category ako...
"Maliban sa wala akong alam masyado dun sa detalye at yung ilang detalye na alam kong naganap dun sa loob ay bawal pag-usapan...”
He was referring to the hearing on visitation rights of James Yap, former husband of Kris and father of Bimby, yesterday, July 1.
“It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult because I don’t know what I can say and what I cannot say, I’ll be very honest dahil batas na ang pinag-uusapan, e.”
Would he know if the former couple was able to reach a mutual agreement?
Still careful about the subject, “Kung naayos, palagay ko, meron silang sinusunod na desisyon ng korte.
“It maybe bawal, it may be ano for me to talk about the [issue] kasi may gag order, e.
“May sasabihin ako, hindi ko alam kung puwede akong sumagot, e. I don’t know baka kagalitan tayo, hindi ko alam, e.
“Because ang alam ko lang, yung gag order, it’s not just for James and Kris but for people around them. Yun ang pagkakaalam ko."
Smiling, he added, "But I have an answer to that.”
As a friend, would he know the stand of Kris about letting James visit Bimby?
Boy answered, “I will not comment on that pero, sa aking pagkakaalam, sa aking pagkakaalam, at sinabi ‘to ni Kris, e, in one of her interviews, ‘Walang Nanay ang hindi magnanais na makasama ang kanyang anak ng kanilang ama, lalo na pag siya’y buhay pa.’
“I am quoting a statement of Kris. I dunno when she said it, but she did say it.
“So, ang aking interpretasyon is, walang resistance si Kris doon sa visitation rights at doon sa desisyon ng korte na ayusin itong relasyon na ito between a former couple. That’s how far I would go siguro.”
The reporters made attempts to ask more questions, but, smiling, Boy said, “It’s a boring subject… Hindi, talaga!
“… We have to be very careful with the law. Kung may desisyon ang korte, iginagalang natin yun.”
GRETCHEN BARRETTO. Any development about the actress’s family feud?
Boy answered,“Ako ang stand ko doon ay may mga bagay na hindi pinag-uusapan kaagad. At isa ito.
“May mga bagay na inaantay ang tamang pagkakataon.
“At minsan talaga, magdedepende ka sa kabaitan ng Diyos na ibigay ang pagkakataong iyan para lahat tahimik, umupo, at makapag-usap yung buong pamilya, and that’s my prayer for them.”
AI-AI DELAS ALAS. The subject shifted to the Queen of Comedy, who has an ongoing civil case against her husband Jed Salang.
Boy related, “Nasa Amerika, nagbabakasyon kasama ang kanyang mga anak. She’ll be gone for another what… two weeks? Because it’s supposed to be a one-month vacation.”
He said it’s the perfect time for Ai-Ai to be with her family.
“She needs to bond with her children. Pagkatapos ng nangyaring ito, kailangan ni Aileen [nickname of Ai-Ai] ng panahon para makausap, makasama, maka-bonding ang kanyang mga anak— si Nicolo and then si Sofia are those in the States.
“And then si Sancho na sobrang naapektuhan dito sa kaganapang ito ay kasama niya.
“So I think they deserve to be together.
“May mga bagay kasi na hindi man sila mag-usap-usap, but the fact that they are together is good enough, parang yung isang buwan na yun ay malaking bagay.”
GMA-7’s Nelson Canlas asked: Isn’t Ai-Ai already filing divorce in the U.S.?
Boy’s reply: “I think they’re open about it. Hindi ko lang alam kung anong proseso. Hindi ko lang alam kung sinong mauuna, I don’t know the technical process, yung legal na proseso, pero I wouldn’t be surprised.
“Dahil yun naman ang sinasabi. Gusto nilang ayusin ang paghihiwalay.”
To date, only Ai-Ai’s story was made public. Jed’s version has yet to be revealed.
Boy threw in, “In fairness to Jed, kasagsagan ng kontrobersiya, isa dalawang beses kaming nag-usap especially when he was being invited by The Buzz to do an interview, siya mismo ang nag-reach out sa ‘kin at nag-usap kami at sinabi nga niya, ‘Ama ang aking desisyon ay hindi magsalita at ‘yon ay ginalang ko.
“So bukas ang aming communication lines ni Jed.
“Hindi pa kami nakakapag-usap in the last few weeks pero hindi naputol yung ano [communication]…”
The last topic was about handling the issues of his talents as a host.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked: How does he maintain objectivity whenever he interviews his wards?
Boy said, “It’s not easy. That’s a very nice question. It’s not easy…
“I’ll be very specific. Ai-Ai? I was not comfortable. I was not comfortable to do that interview with Ai-Ai being in the position that I knew a lot of the issue, hindi talaga ako kumportable.
“But I have to do a job, and to the best I could, I have to be fair.
“And to the best I could, I mean wala itong practice…”
Don’t they go through any briefing prior to the actual on-cam interview?
The main man of The Buzz answered, “With Ai-Ai? No!
“I will do the interview, so sabi ko, ipagsasapalaran ko yung konti kong nalalaman, yung aking kredibilidad.
“But since I was assigned to do the job and I was the best person to do the job, I did it.
“Was I comfortable with my interview with Ai-Ai? No, I wasn’t. Had there been someone who was there and available, was willing to do the interview, I wouldn’t have minded that another person should’ve done the interview.”
Was there a time when he had to contain himself from bringing up the juicy details because he’s interviewing a friend?
His response: “Iikot at iikot ka hindi dahil sa pagiging magkaibigan. Alam niyo ‘yan, e, di ba?
“May mga bagay na maselan, may mga bagay na minsan hindi mo itinatanong sa sobrang galang mo sa tao dahil ayaw mong makasakit.
“Dahil I don’t do my interviews to hurt people at palagay ko wala namang nag-iinterview na ang intensiyon ay makasakit, di ba?”
Some may perceive it as an undue advantage, but Boy underscored that he’s very much aware of the fact that he needs “to keep that balance.”
He explained, “Yung friendship can be a consideration pero ayaw ko ng nagbibigay ng tanong halimbawa bago ang aking mga interviews.
“So yung dun nga sa tanong kung ano yung, may conflict sa loob, there are times kasi na sino ba naman ang hindi mo kaibigan sa industriyang ito, di ba?
“Most of the people we interview are friends so kailangan klaro talaga sa puso’t isipan mo kung, hanggang saan ang paggalang mo sa tao, hanggang saan ang integridad mo bilang isang interviewer.
“You have to keep that balance.”
Lastly, the talent manager/ host/ endorser stressed: "You are facing an audience."
His parting shot, "Utang na loob mo ang kuwentong ibinabahagi mo because in fact, you’re just a story teller and you have the best you can in telling your story."