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Friday, February 09, 2007

What makes Tito, Vic & Joey tick... and tick?

The triumvirate of Tito, Vic and Joey is the epitome of unfailing chemistry. Thirty-five years into show business, they continue to shape the viewing habits of Filipinos not only here but also abroad where forever top-rater Eat, Bulaga! is seen. In spite of the legacy of TVJ, each member of the legendary trio has managed to find life beyond its shadow.

Tito Sotto is up for re-election as senator this year. He is campaigning all over the country up to May allowing himself just one day of rest every week which he spends with his family. "People have told me many times that public service is nothing but headaches," he says. "But such comments I shrug off. After four years of being vice mayor of Quezon City, I know I could never turn my back on many more people in need of assistance. I know this to be true as I’ve seen them with my own eyes and had been with them countless of times."

He continues, "Fortunately, I am blessed with a family that understands and supports my dream for our country. That is, for any improvement to be felt immediately by the lower level of society." Bulaga has played a large part in nurturing this in Tito Sen (as he is fondly called in the entertainment industry). Tito says that though the show has been known for its fun segments like dance contests and impromptu comic skits, it also has served Filipinos via social service-oriented portion PLDT OFW Bulagaan. "This doesn’t only touch the hearts of the viewers but ours, too. The segment tells us that there are just too many people who have lost all they have from natural calamities. Or they have lost hope in the system. Or they have been living miserably due to poverty. It’s inevitable that our eyes are opened to realities together with our viewers."

Given the chance to serve the public once again, Tito will work on his main platform that is pro-youth. One of these is the revival of his Save The Filipino Youth Movement that focuses on teenagers below 15. "The one thing that really pains me to hear is child abuse and trafficking. The foundation is there to somehow ease those two problems. I also believe we have to come up with a program or policy of government that will institutionalize helping the Filipino kids. There will never be enough foundations versus the number of Filipino kids in need or in trouble," he says. Tito will also bat for the revision of the Dangerous Drug Act to make it more in tune with the needs of the times, and to spearhead agricultural modernization to be first felt in Mindanao that he dreams of becoming the Food Basket of Asia.

Vic Sotto, on the other hand, has been Box-Office King for three years now. But asked how Bossing feels about the success, Vic views it from a different perspective altogether. "Madami pa akong bigas na kakainin," he says. "I’ve been in showbiz for almost two decades yet I feel as if I’ve not accomplished anything yet. I know I still have a lot to improve; many things to learn. But, yes, I love my work and enjoy it to the fullest. I know the best is yet to come and I look forward to it."

One of these is to reformat his five-year-old TV show, Daddy Di Do Du. Another is yet an untitled movie with Dolphy which, after months of planning, is finally being marked for a summer play date. By then, Vic would’ve been working on the fourth Enteng Kabisote… or will he? "We’re still looking into it. It’s not that I’m tired of doing another. Rather, I want to make sure that if we do another Enteng, it’s because we have something new to offer. As in every Enteng," he says. What’s sure is Eat, Bulaga! which Vic credits to have sealed his relationship with Joey de Leon and brother, Tito. "It’s one-of-a-kind relationship kasi di pa din kami nagsasawang magkwentuhan, magkulitan, then I’m the listener," says Vic. He adds, "At saka walang inggittan sa amin. Mas nauuna pa ngang matuwa ang isa sa amin when we hear the other succeeding. Walang conflict kahit kailan because we treat each other with respect and support each other fully. Higit pa ’to sa kapatiran at pagkakaibigan."

Joey de Leon is the busiest TV personality bar none and even when deemed from both side of the network fence. With six shows to boot, Joey is also showbiz’s most hardworking. "I’m a record holder of sorts when it comes to that," says he. "Ako na ang tumatanggi sa mga shows at ang tanging taong masaya kapag nawawalan ng trabaho. God has been good."

It doesn’t mean, though, that Joey is all work and no play. A jetsetter who has nearly been in every country in the planet, Joey certainly lives life to the fullest finding pleasure even in the simplest thing. "I also take walking excursions when I’m abroad because it’s the only way for me to exercise. I also enjoy reading up on my destinations. That way, I get to maximize the trip although many times, it makes me feel like I’ve already been to a place even if it’s my first time!"

How does he manage to still enjoy work? "Work is recreation to me because I enjoy it, especially the writing part. To this day, di ko pinauubaya ang pagsusulat kaninuman. I also still write novelty songs. Lalabas na nga ang bago kong album, ’yung Joy To The World 2. Kahit title ng album, may reference pa din sa traveling, no? World." A serious person off cam, Joey has become sensible when it comes to improving the quality of life. Joey has already shunned meat, cola and other high cholesterol foodstuff in his diet. He, too, makes sure he gets enough sleep every day. Joey likewise feeds his mind through reading. His favorites are travel books, biographies and comedy books.

Asked what people probably don’t know about him, Joey delivers a surprise. "That I’m a practical guy and I believe in valuing money. Like I just won’t treat my kids to business class seats when traveling even if I can afford it. I want them to know the value of money; that it’s something to be earned by sweat," says Joey.

Each is a different person but they are one in making people’s lives — and theirs, too — more meaningful. This is the secret behind the unfailing chemistry of TVJ!
By Shyr Pajarillo
The Philippine Star 02/09/2007

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