IN THE SPOTLIGHT: A look back at Eat Bulaga’s most iconic segments through the years
While Tito and Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon’s departure from production company TAPE Inc. appears to be a seeming conclusion to their longstanding battle for “Eat Bulaga” (EB) — taking their unending brouhaha to social media and interviews with various media outlets is a clear sign that it’s far from over.
Despite this, it’s worth noting that “Eat Bulaga” has been a staple in every Filipino’s life. From the young school children who come to the show airing on their parents’ TV sets, everyday workers who happen to catch it on air during their afternoon commute or lunch break at the karinderya, to the old folks seeking a solace from their daily lives, it’s proof that many have grew up with the show at some point.
The legacy of EB spanned many decades, as it produced a variety of segments and gave birth to the careers of many celebrities in the industry throughout its 44-year run. Allow us to take a trip down memory lane as we list down some of its most memorable moments through the years.
SexBomb vs EB Babes dance-off
These sexily-clad women used to be just background dancers, but they managed to pull through the stereotype and make a name for themselves as a group and individually. Eat Bulaga was able to mine the group’s popularity by giving them their own airtime during the show where the dances are able to showcase their dancing prowess. Eventually, the group landed their own afternoon drama show after Eat Bulaga’s timeslot.
The noontime show also witnessed the dance-off between SexBomb Girls and EB Babes. Both units were a staple in EB’s segments, where they would show off their dance moves, share good-natured banter with the hosts, and react at the show’s most gripping moments, which can notably be seen in the jackpot rounds of its past segments.
But EB Babes taking SexBomb Girls’ place became a turning point in noontime history as they faced off in a dance battle. Both teams created their own steps to the song “Itaktak Mo” and the audiences selected which members would face the opposing team through text votes.
AlDub, the onscreen pairing composed of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s Yaya Dub, took the country by storm in 2015 as their love story revolved around the concept of “tamang panahon.” The romance between their characters started as a surprise, where the cameraman caught wind of Yaya Dub’s accidentally smiling towards Richards and the rest is history.
The love team signaled a career rebirth for Richards and catapulted Mendoza’s name into the spotlight, with both actors expressing their gratitude to the show for being a “blessing” in their careers on numerous occasions. The pairing, however, proved to be a bane for them as well, as some of their love team fanatics had become too caught up in their affairs, forgetting that they both have private lives that do not involve the other.
The backdrop of AlDub’s romance is the Juan for All, All for Juan’s Kalyeserye subsegment, a play on the words “kalye” or street and “telyeserye.” The essence of this segment was to take Eat Bulaga to the streets, involving more of the ordinary people into the show.
Apart from the loveteam, characters such as Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola), Lola Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros), Lola Tinidora (Jose Manalo), Teodoro Smash (Vic Sotto), Rogelios, Frankie Amoi Arenolli (Jose Manalo), and Lola Babah (Ai-Ai delas Alas) were the supporting characters who added color to their love story.
While the segment is a parody of a teleserye, many fans were enamored with the AlDub’s love story and hilarious dubsmash moments among the characters. Meanwhile, Lola Nidora threw many wrenches to Alden and Yaya Dub’s love story, despite insisting that her actions are done for their own good.
Little Miss Philippines, That’s My Boy, and Mr. Pogi
Eat Bulaga was also the cradle of various talent shows that launched the careers of many celebrities in show business. Among these are the iconic Little Miss Philippines, That’s My Boy, and Mr. Pogi.
“Little Miss Philippines” became a stepping stone for aspiring female child stars who want to enter showbiz. Among those who started with LMP were Ryzza Mae Dizon, Ice Seguerra, Pauleen Luna, Camille Prats, Jessa Zaragoza, Julie Anne San Jose, Gladys Reyes, Judy Ann Santos, Catriona Gray, and Kathryn Bernardo.
The segment was set up in the form of a pageant for kids where the contestants would showcase their talent, wit, and overall charm through its many segments. One of the contest’s most noteworthy moments include Dizon’s “naipit po ng upuan niyo [‘yung gown ko],” to Joey de Leon and Seguerra reciting a poem called “Ang Giant at ang Bata.”
On the other hand, That’s My Boy was crafted as some sort of counterpart to “Little Miss Philippines,” the segment is a pageant featuring little boys with hopes of wanting to get into showbiz or aiming to help their families through the cash prize.
Some of its most popular contestants include Makisig Morales, Steven Claude Goyong, Eisenlois Bayubay, and BJ Forbes.
Meanwhile, Mr Pogi was set up as a search for the next heartthrob. The segment became a stepping stone for many actors including Jericho Rosales and Edgar Allan Guzman.
The segment’s signature is a hand gesture involving a hand framing the chin, with the index finger and thumb spread out.
There was a time when no Christmas party or fiesta celebration would be complete without “Pinoy Henyo” being part of parlor games, a staple for every lively gatherings. To this day, or at least, prior to the departure of TVJ from Eat Bulaga, “Pinoy Henyo” remained to be one of the most popular EB segments of all time. The game includes a pair of contestants who will guess a word based on a certain category. One will act as a guesser and the other will be the clue-giver who can only reply with only “Oo (yes),” “Hindi (no),” or “Pwede (possibly).” The guesser would have a word placed on their forehead where they will give a variety of clues until they reach the correct answer within the time limit.
While Eat Bulaga upgraded the segment to use a special chair for contestants so that they will no longer have to carry the guess words on their foreheads, “Pinoy Henyo” would likely be a most favorite game of Filipinos in more years to come.
One of the show’s longest-running segments, “Bulagaan” is set up in a classroom setting where the hosts or “students” guess a certain word given by a professor — with Joey de Leon and Tito Sotto usually taking on the role. Then, the hosts donning school uniforms would perform the buzzwords in the form of a “knock-knock” joke before spinning the roulette to reveal their score.
At the end of the segment, the team with the lowest score will get doused with water while their fellow hosts would flung pie at each other, much to the laughter of the audience.
Some of the segment’s most well-known teams include Vic Sotto and Jose Manalo, Ciara Sotto and Paolo Ballesteros, and Gladys Guevarra and Pauleen Luna.
Kwentong Eat Bulaga
“Kwentong Eat Bulaga” is a trip down memory lane, as the show features some of the biggest celebrities who were part of the show’s history either as a host or a contestant of its previous segments.
Perhaps, some of the most noteworthy celebrities featured in the segment were Jericho Rosales who did an updated version of his Mr. Pogi introduction as the “Proud Son ng Marikina,” former guest host Iza Calzado, and Toni Gonzaga who started her showbiz career with the noontime show.
Laban o Bawi
Avid EB viewers would remember the segment kicking off with SexBomb Girls chanting, “Laban, Laban, o Bawi Bawi. Get! Get! Aw!” although the intro has since been updated through time.
Laban o Bawi is a game of luck where contestants rearrange a row of boxes in hopes of winning the P1 million jackpot prize, after emerging victorious in the elimination round. Should the contestant arrange the boxes in the correct order or nil, they would end up taking the prize at the end of the competition.
EBest (Eat Bulaga’s Excellent Student Awardees)
The segment is meant to be a heartwarming tribute to some of the country’s most academically-gifted students coming from humble backgrounds. After featuring their achievements, the hosts would partner up with educational institutions and development organizations to provide financial support and scholarships to the crop of EBest scholars.
Some students were also given laptops, phones, school supplies, and even financial assistance to their families.
EB Lenten Specials
EB also takes a break from its usual activities during Holy Week, as the noontime slot becomes a slew of drama anthologies featuring the hosts as the leads. Standalone episodes revolving around heartwarming stories of family, love, and faith is the show’s focus, where it has become a tradition at the month of April.
Some of its most noteworthy episodes include “God Gave Me You” starring Alden Richards and Jake Ejercito, “Wala Sa Lupa ang Langit” starring Ice Seguerra and Ruby Rodriguez, and “Tahanan” starring Joey de Leon and Keempee de Leon, among many others.
Another noteworthy segment is “Super Sireyna” which catered to trans women. The title of the segment is a play of the words “serena (mermaid)” and “reyna (queen).”
During the pageant, the transgender women contestants engage in a battle of beauty, talent and intelligence, where their wit is the highlight as many show their ability to banter with the hosts.
The segment is created with a purpose of calling attention to current events and issues, where contestants would guess the correct answer among a group of people with emotional experiences and gut-wrenching revelations.
This is where the phrase “Bawal Judgmental” enters the picture, as the contestants are responsible for making the correct choices and eye-opening judgments in order to shed light to the person in question.
A test of singing prowess, “Doble Kara” features a set of contestants who can perform a duet with themselves — where one half takes on a male singing voice while the other half stars as the female singer.
Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d’Pipol
One of the longest-running segments in EB, “Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d’Pipol” revolves around “Sugod Bahay Gang” Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros, and Maine Mendoza visiting far-flung barangays to provide financial assistance, groceries, appliances, and the notable “Bossing’s Savings” to the contestants.
The segment is split into two parts: where the “Sugod Bahay Gang” communicates with the hosts in the studio, as they feature their adventures and sub-segments in a chosen barangay. A lot of times, funny moments happen during its run, one of which includes the now infamous moment of Manalo falling into a river while meeting up with a contestant.
Give Love on Christmas Day
An apparent play on the hit Christmas jingle “Give Love on Christmas Day,” the segment is a special portion of the noontime show where they aim to grant the holiday wishes of the chosen contestants. Some of the wishes would range from a family wanting a simple Noche Buena meal to kids hoping to get the toy of their dreams despite not having the financial means to afford it. EDV