Eat Bulaga has been a television institution and household name since 1979.
TAPE Inc. was founded in 1981 to handle and produce the noontime show helmed by the triumvirate Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, together known as TVJ. Even with the change of hosts, Eat Bulaga has become synonymous with TVJ, and TVJ has become synonymous with the show as of this writing.
On May 31, 2023, the landscape and habit watching of noontime TV shows altered abruptly when TVJ and its Legit DABARKADS crew and family quit the TAPE production for reasons that practically and many million fans of the show already knew.
As a result, TAPE had to make a significant change in order to introduce new faces to represent the now-TAPE’s Eat Bulaga show. TVJ and Legit DABARKADS have also found a new home within Manny V. Pangilinan’s TV5 network.
A celebration of threes was enjoyed by millions of free TV and live-streaming viewers all over the world as TVJ and Legit DABARKADS, TAPE’s Eat Bulaga, and It’s Showtime launched a revitalized home viewing as they each hosted their arrivals on their network channel that disrupted the TV industry making the network competition alive again, not just in noontime shows but as a whole as many viewers became interested in watching TV shows again.
Many were looking forward to watching TVJ on TV5 on their first salvo last July 1 as a fan of the former Eat Bulaga, but instead many had to watch them at home because the new TVJ and Legit DABARKADS studio is small compared to their previous studio and no live audience (except for their close friends and families) were allowed to be present on their TV5 debut.
Rewind two days earlier, on June 29, we’ve got the privilege to see TAPE’s Eat Bulaga live as part of the live audience. It was unexpected, and the experience were more than to our expectations.
When we arrived at the APT Studio on Marcos Highway, we were met by friendly guards who guided us through the audience entrance and to our reserved seats.
While the performance was ready to begin, the pre-show hosts were delighted to see the studio audience and entertained us while we waited. They instructed us on how to hold our numbers and balloons, which were assigned to each member of the audience. They also taught us how to react to the program flow, such as when to clap, smile on camera, and remain energetic throughout the program.
We followed all of the instructions, and as a studio audience, there were just a few protocols to observe, one of which was to keep all smartphones on silent mode as soon as the show began.
It was a two-hour live show for us, but many people watched it from the comfort of their own homes. To be honest, it was weird hearing the new Eat Bulaga hosts welcome the crowd without seeing TVJ and Legit DABARKADS. Our mindset was to not to identify the show as ‘Eat Bulaga’ but as another show with a different title to avoid being disappointed.
The hosts are not new to showbiz, but hosting a show that has been running for 44 years is a unique experience. Their first few days were met with bashing and harsh comments, which is reasonable given that everyone wants to see the regular hosts. To be fair, it wasn’t Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar, Betong Sumaya, Mavy and Cassy Legaspi, Alexa Miro, Yorme Isko Moreno, and others’ fault that they were chosen as the new host of Eat Bulaga. They are simply artists and talents who were given an opportunity and a job to entertain people.
We saw improvements in their hosting abilities. They’re still learning, though. We, the viewers, must simply accept that TAPE’s Eat Bulaga is making this daring move despite all of the reasons why they had to arrive in this circumstance. Whether we are a fan of the OG hosts or the new ones, we need to accept that things happen for a reason and change is inevitable.
In the end, the Filipinos and the entire audience are the true winners in this TV channel show rigodons. Everyone now has an option of which show to watch during lunch and in the afternoon.
TVJ and the Legit DABARKADS, as well as It’s Showtime, have moved to their new digs. Eat Bulaga by TAPE is now competing with greater household names. The habit of watching television has been revived.
Only time will tell which shows will stay and will remain in the hearts of the loyal viewers. In the meantime, let us all enjoy these privileges of having three noontime shows giving us pure and quality entertainment benefiting Filipino families.
Mula Batanes Hanggang Jolo, noontime shows are back again!