FOR four decades, noontime variety show “Eat Bulaga” has been the daily source of fun and laughter to millions of Filipinos worldwide. Its entertaining segments and production numbers endeared Dabarkads across all generations. But unknown to many, what we see on television is just a fraction of the work done to produce an engaging program.
Comedian and host Joey de Leon, who has been with the show since it first aired in July 1979, said it takes a team of dedicated, hard working and passionate individuals to make things happen on the small screen.
“We feel blessed that we are entering our 40th year because no one in Philippine television history can say that they’ve reached this milestone. Behind this success is not just us, the people you see daily on television, but is also due to the people who work behind the camera. They have given their undivided time, talent and loyalty to Eat Bulaga,” he said.
De Leon added that they, the hosts, actually get the easiest part of the job as compared to the production team that works tirelessly from sunup to sundown six days a week. “Our staff can actually replace us because they know how things work. They’re in the know on every aspect of what we do and some have been here for decades already. They can even do their job even with closed eyes! I’m really proud of this team because they are the best in the business.”
In an unprecedented move by the show’s management, De Leon and his colleagues get to dip their toes into off-camera production work through the show’s special anniversary web series entitled “Eat Bulaga Behind the Scenes” (EB BTS).
Made accessible for its growing following on YouTube, EB BTS aims to give the viewers a glimpse on the day-to-day routine of the production people – from conceptualizing a segment to its execution.
“We are a small group but we’ve always been the leader in this format and on this timeslot. We want the viewers to see what goes behind the segments they love. I also think it is high time we acknowledge the people who work day and night to come up with quality programming,” said Eat Bulaga’s SVP for Creatives and Operations Jeny Ferre.
In EB BTS’ first few episodes, Pauleen Luna gets to be a production assistant while De Leon and child star Ryzza Mae Dizon took over their online accounts and became social media managers.
Meanwhile, Ruby Rodriguez, Pia Guanio and Luane Dy all joined the Sugod Bahay team to work as “Juan for All” (JFA) registration staff, executive producer and location manager, respectively.
Rodriguez said joining the remote EB team gave her a new appreciation of the people they work with and the job they had to do to be able to come up with a systematic and organized JFA segment.
“I appreciate them more because I saw how hard it was. In my experience as registration staff, it’s not just one house I visited; it’s all the houses in that area. Then the work doesn’t end there because you have to go back to the office and then call each and everyone who register to verify all information,” she said.
The female host also realized that EB is actually a 24-hour job. “What we see on television is just a portion of the work they do because they actually wear different hats. The work is routinary but they are faced with different situations every time.”
As for JFA regular Wally Bayola, neither his background in theater nor his hosting experience prepared him for the task as an Eat Bulaga writer.
“You have an idea on how the show works but when you take over the writing job, you’ll learn that it’s not easy. I initially thought that I’ll just write a few spiels and fill the gaps, but that’s far from what they actually do. Aside from conceptualizing what will appear on TV, you have to be flexible and creative especially when there are technical problems or a particular segment is not yet ready to air. You really need to be on your toes and be alert always,” he said.
Bayola, Rodriguez and De Leon all share a new found respect for the people in production. They all agreed that Eat Bulaga won’t be on air for the last four decades and a proven television success if not for the men and women behind the camera.
“They are the unsung heroes of the program. They make our lives easier and they uphold Eat Bulaga’s promise of providing not just pure entertainment to every family, but also extending help to millions worldwide,” de Leon ended.
Don’t miss the past episodes and the upcoming appearances of Allan K, Maine Mendoza, Alden Richards, Jose Manalo and the rest of the Dabarkads family in “Eat Bulaga Behind the Scenes” available on the show’s official YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/eatbulaga1979).