OVER the years, longest running noontime variety show “Eat, Bulaga!” has introduced a number of the biggest and brightest names in local show business. The show has also launched hundreds of careers through its backdrop of providing limitless fun and entertainment to millions of Filipinos worldwide.
And if there is one talent who’s famously associated with the program since her early days on television, it would probably be former child star Aiza Seguerra.
Seguerra was only three years old when she joined Little Miss Philippines in 1987. Even if she was not crowned as winner, the singer/songwriter was eventually called back for a coveted stint in the program.
“The show has been my foundation,” Seguerra said while recalling her younger years. She said “Eat, Bulaga!” had become her second home for over 10 years.
She also went to play the daughter to Vic in several of the “Enteng Kabisote” movies before eventually launching her solo music career.
Seguerra said she owes much of her success to the noontime variety program as it allowed her to do what she loves best – entertaining people and inspiring them through her music.
“How I am now, how I work, I owe that to ‘Eat, Bulaga!’. Every time I work with people, I always look for that familiar environment. ‘Eat, Bulaga!’ will always be a safe place for me.”
Aside from Seguerra, dancer-turned-actress Rochelle Pangilinan traces her showbiz roots to the program.
It was in 1997 when she joined the show as one of its house dancers. A few years later, “SexBomb Girls” was formed. The all-girl dance group went on from performing daily in “Eat, Bulaga” to appearing in their own teleserye on GMA-7 entitled “Daisy Siete”.
Pangilinan later on pursued a solo acting career.
“They are the reason why I was able to provide a better life for my family. They gave me an opportunity I never thought I’d get,” she said. “They taught me to be professional and to always be ready for everything.”
She added that being part of “Eat, Bulaga!” made her love her craft more and truly appreciate the viewers.
“This is not like work for them. They treat everyone as part of a family. You will feel that you belong… that you are one of them. They have always been my family.”
At present, “Eat Bulaga!” still trains the biggest stars of today.
Aside from child stars Ryzza Mae Dizon and Sebastian Benedict, popularly known as Baeby Baste, the show is also home to Maine Mendoza, one of the most successful stars of her generation.
The program is also grooming Kenneth Medrano, Miggy Tolentino, Kim Last, Tommy Penaflor, Jon Timmons, Joel Palencia, collectively known as That’s My Bae, as industry’s next hosts and leading men.
Jeny Ferre, creative head of “Eat, Bulaga!” said it is such a big honor to be part of the careers of these talents.
She also said that Mendoza, Dizon, Baeby Baste and the That’s My Baes have come a long way. “You feel proud because you see them from what they were before. Now, they star on their own television series. If they have dreams, we have bigger dreams for them. We are happy to see that all their dreams are coming true.”
Ferre believes the show has been effective in producing new artists as “Eat, Bulaga!” gave them a venue to hone their skills and discover their inner talents without losing the fun in what they do.
“We look for their strengths and focus on that. Let the child do what he or she likes to do. If Ryzza loves to dance, we’ll let her do that.”
As for the unprecedented success of Mendoza, Ferre said she had known that something was special with the former when her dubsmash videos became a viral hit online, but she never thought it would turn this big.
Ferre said it gives the show the validation that they are doing things right.
“You just have to gamble. You just have to try to look for new talents. If you will not try, nothing will happen. You have to take that risk. And we love to invest in people and create new stars because there are a lot of dreamers. You just have to give them the opportunity and let them bloom to their full potential,” she ended.