Super Tekla: beneath the funny facade

by Michelle Licup
Mar 20, 2022
Comedian Super Tekla
Super Tekla's journey to showbiz success has not been without its share of heartbreaks and controversies. Despite such challenges, he remains a real trouper and continues to reinvent himself as a comedian, actor and TV host.
PHOTO/S: Rose Garcia, @superteklahlibrada on Instagram

Super Tekla is a gay persona created by Romeo Librada.

The host, comedian, and actor joined showbiz in 2016. He rose to popularity as a host in GMA-7's Wowowin, then later helmed his own show, The Boobay and Tekla Show.

He was also part of the cast of several GMA-7 shows, most notable of which was Inday Will Always Love You in 2017. He even starred in the 2019 film Kiko En Lala.

However, his success is not without controversy. Here's what you need to know about Super Tekla's journey to fame.

BACKGROUND

Super Tekla wearing stripes

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Super Tekla was born in North Cotabato. He was raised by the Manobo tribe and was taught to become a farmer. But when he went to Manila, he was accidentally discovered in a comedy bar.

He told this story to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) after a PEP Live session on September 19, 2019.

"Unang-una, salta lang ako sa Manila. Iyon, siyempre, the usual na work. Nagtrabaho 'ko [bilang] construction worker, 'tapos janitor. Kung anu-ano na abot sa level ko sa high school, hanggang doon lang ako.

"Gumigimik ako and then umakyat ako ng stage, 'tapos hindi naman ako nagpapatawa. Tumawa lang yung mga tao habang nilalait ako. Sabi ko, 'Ah, nakakatawa siguro mukha ko.'"

He first tried performing as a straight guy, but his comedy acts were not well received. This prompted him to try a "pa-girl" persona, and he used several names before settling on Tekla.

Super Tekla also worked as Chokoleit's sidekick in a comedy bar for five years.

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He said of the late comedian, “Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanya.

"The way yung format ng comedy, yung timing, yung bitaw."

SHOWS

Super Tekla in GMA Artist Center

Super Tekla first appeared on GMA-7's Wowowin in August 2016, as a contestant who shared his life story on the show.

He made his mark on the audience and on September 24, 2016, he became one of the show's regular hosts.

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His Wowowin hosting stint opened the door to guestings on other GMA shows, such as Trops (2016-2017) and Alyas Robin Hood 2 (2017). Super Tekla signed an exclusive contract with GMA in 2017.

He got his big break in 2018, when he was included in the cast of the prime-time teleserye, Inday Will Always Love You, which starred Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio.

That same year, Super Tekla became part of the musical variety show Studio 7. The show featured his comedy tandem with Donita Nose, and they were collectively known as DonEkla. Other participants of the show were Julie Anne San Jose, Gabbi Garcia, Migo Adecer, Kate Valdez, Mikee Quintos, Mark Bautista, and Christian Bautista.

On January 27, 2019, Super Tekla's YouTube show with comedian Boobay started airing on GMA. The Boobay And Tekla Show (TBATS) garnered high ratings despite being on the same timeslot as ABS-CBN's Gandang Gabi Vice.

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Kiko En Lala, Super Tekla's first movie, was shown in cinemas on September 25, 2019. The comedy film was produced by Backyard Productions, under GMA Network Films. Kim Domingo and Derrick Monasterio were Tekla's co-stars in the film.

CONTROVERSIES

Departure from Wowowin

Super Tekla departure from Wowowin

Super Tekla was missing from Wowowin for two weeks before he finally posted on July 6, 2017 on Facebook that he is no longer part of the show.

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There were many rumors about his departure from the show. One was that his constant tardiness prompted Willie Revillame to remove him from the show. Others alleged that Super Tekla was addicted to gambling and that he squandered all his money.

Super Tekla’s Facebook post gave no reason for the end of his Wowowin stint.

It read (published as is), “My journey in Wowowin is totally ended!!!

“WALA AKONG HINANAKIT SA PUSO KO BAGKOS LUBOS AKONG NAGPAPASALAMAT KAY KUYA WIL.

“SA NARATING KO AT SA CHANCE NA BINIGAY NYA SAKIN MARAMING AKONG NATUTUNAN, LALONG LALO NA INILAPIT NIYA AKO SA 'masa.'"

“BUONG BUHAY LILINGUNIN KO PAMBIHIRANG PAGKAKATAON NA BINIGAY SA AKIN NG PROGRAMANG WOWOWIN…"

During the grand presscon for Inday Will Always Love You held on May 11, 2018, Super Tekla told PEP.ph that he has no gambling addiction but he does play bingo.

"Nagbi-bingo talaga ako, pasttime.

"Hindi ko naman… napakaipokrito ko naman kung hindi ko…

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"Parang, hindi ba puwedeng magsaya, mag-enjoy, mag relax? Time for myself.”

Super Tekla also admitted to drug use but underscored that he had overcome this.

“Before. Nalagpasan ko na lahat iyan.

"Nung nag-sign [ako] ng contract sa GMA, sobrang clean, nagpa-drug test ako.

"Clear na lahat bago po ako nag-sign as legit Kapuso."

On July 3, 2020, Willie welcomed Super Tekla back to Wowowin. The on-air exchange between the two shed light on the true story behind Super Tekla's departure from the show.

Addressing the audience, Willie said, "Hindi ko siya tinatanggal, ha? Siya ho nagsimula sa Facebook na nagpaalam siya sa amin nang hindi formal.

"Isipin niyo, nagpaalam sa amin sa Facebook nang hindi namin nakakausap. Bigla na lang nawala."

Willie then asked Super Tekla, "Hindi ba, yun ang totoo?"

"Yes, Kuya." Super Tekla answered, and he proceeded to explain his side to Willie.

"Hindi ako nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na makausap ka nang personal.

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"May gusto akong gawin Kuya, e. Pakiramdam ko, di ako maggro-grow sa poder mo. So I tried na mag-explore sa ganung ano...

"I admit that, Kuya. May mga pasya tayo sa buhay na akala natin tama, yun pala hindi.

"Pero may kaakibat palang leksyon at aral sa mga pasya mo minsan na mali, na hindi mo naman puwedeng i-consider na mali talaga.

"Dun mo matututunan yung mga aral, yung mga desisyon na yun."

Sexual abuse allegations

The Internet exploded when Michelle Lhor Bana-ag, the live-in partner of Super Tekla and mother of his son, accused Super Tekla of sexual abuse.

The allegation was made on Raffy Tulfo's Wanted sa Radyo show on October 20, 2020. She also alleged that Super Tekla would not give them money to buy food after she refused him.

In an exclusive interview with GMA News Online on October 21, 2020, Super Tekla denied Michelle's allegations.

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"Hindi totoo iyan. Ako, nasa tamang katinuan pa naman ako."

Addressing Michelle in the interview, he said, Hindi ko magagawa iyan, Michelle.

"Binabato mo ako ng isyu na pinipilit kita sa ganyang bagay.

"Usapin natin, Michelle, iyan. Usapin ng pamilya iyan. Isang napakasensitibong usapin iyan, Michelle.

"Michelle, utang na loob, may anak akong babae, si Aira. May mga kapatid akong babae…

"Hindi ko kayo pinapagutuman, alam mo iyan."

On October 27, 2020, Raffy declared in his show Raffy Tulfo in Action that he will no longer help Michelle and he would assist Super Tekla in getting custody of baby Angelo.

This happened after Michelle, who initially said she was willing to undergo a drug test, refused to give a hair sample. Raffy said a hair sample can show drug use even after 90 days.

Super Tekla and Michelle are now on good terms for the sake of their baby.

The breakup of DonEkla

On February 18, 2022, Donita Nose and Super Tekla shocked their fans after they gave their last vlog on Donekla In Tandem.

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The pair lived together for a year to make content creation easier, as their YouTube channel had 3.21 million subscribers.

However, Donita alleged that living together was not enough, and Super Tekla was not giving the same amount of effort to the vlog.

Donita said, "Ite-text ko na lang, 'Pupunta tayo sa ganito, dito tayo magbla-vlog.' Marami pa siyang dahilan. 'Di ako puwede.'

"Teh, ako na naghanap, pupunta ka na lang. Magba-vlog na lang tayo. Ba't di mo kaya ibigay sarili mo? Kasi ako, binibigay ko lahat sa akin, e.

"Di nga ako nag-upload sa channel ko madalas kasi nagpokus ako sa ating dalawa, dahil madami nagmamamal sa ating dalawa."

Super Tekla also aired his side, clarifying that he decided to leave and break up the tandem.

He said, "Ako po talaga nagdesisyon na umalis at maghiwalay kami.

"Kasi, may pinagdadaanan ako lately na ayoko na siya maistorbo pa. Ayaw ko nang makadagdag sa isipin niya.

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"Sinarili ko na lang. Kailangan natin maghiwalay.

"Basta sobrang magulo na rin utak dahil sa sunud-sunod na problema. Kaya naapektuhan yung channel namin."

Super Tekla did not deny that Donita took initiative for their vlog's content.

"Totoo po yun. Sa bawat vlog namin, si Donita talaga nag-iisip.

"Nagsa-suggest din ako ng mga gusto kong mangyari, but di rin niya maano, e. Kasi, parang nahihinaan siya sa mga suggestion [ko], so di nagma-materialize sa kanya.

"Ako na lang, for the sake of para maging strong, I'll go for your idea.

"Nagtratrabaho na lang ako sa vlog. Pero pag dating sa idea, si Donita may alam diyan.

"Basta napagod na rin ako. Magulo ang isip ko, guys."

Despite their tandem's breakup, Super Tekla made an appeal to the fans.

He said, "Wag na po mag-bash kay Donita. Narinig niyo naman po from her side.

"In-admit ko naman yun, yung mga kahinaan ko. Mga kamalian ko, ina-acept ko naman yun.

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"Wag niyo siya husgahan. Siyempre masakit din sa kanya.

"Kaya po nag-live ngayon para matigil na pamba-bash kay Donita.

"Kung ano man, kumbaga, para makapag-isip kami... Kung maayos pa ba itong channel na ito o hindi.

"Mahirap magtrabaho nang di kayo nagkakasundo."

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Super Tekla's journey to showbiz success has not been without its share of heartbreaks and controversies. Despite such challenges, he remains a real trouper and continues to reinvent himself as a comedian, actor and TV host.
PHOTO/S: Rose Garcia, @superteklahlibrada on Instagram
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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