Showbiz Roundup: TVJ vs TAPE, Paolo Contis’ daughters, John Regala’s death
“Eat Bulaga” stalwarts Tito and Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon continue to cross swords with their former production company, TAPE Inc. as they battled over who owns the rights to the “Eat Bulaga” (EB) name, amid claims that the Jalosjoses, who owned TAPE, wanted to use the noontime show for their “political agenda.”
Another EB-related news that took over the headlines is the lukewarm response towards the noontime show’s new hosts, among them Paolo Contis, who pointed out that they don’t intend to replace TVJ. Ironically, his ex-wife Lian Paz revealed that her daughters with the actor-host wanted to change their Contis surname. Meanwhile, character actor John Regala has died after his long battle with his liver cirrhosis.
All these and more caught the attention of avid showbiz watchers. Take a look at the hottest news that rose to the top of entertainment headlines from June 2 to 8.
‘Di na namin na-tolerate’
Tito Sotto disclosed during an interview with broadcasters Julius Babao and Christine Bersola last June 1 that the “Eat Bulaga” hosts only came up with the decision to “disengage” from TAPE Inc. just moments prior to their announcement, after the production company forbade them from airing live episodes.
“Naging bigla ang lahat, nabigla din kami kahapon (May 31) sapagkat ang plano lang namin kaya kami nagsipasok ay una para pumasok, pangalawa ay gusto namin mag-usap [kung saan] pagdedesisyunan namin ang mga final issues na dapat pag-usapan pa,” Tito stated.
The former Senate president pointed out that TVJ did not resign but to “disengage” from TAPE, as they do not have a contract with them to begin with.
“Medyo nangapa kami nang konti sa gusto naming sabihin pero nai-deliver namin ‘yung message which is, we are disengaging from TAPE Inc. The rest, tingnan natin kung anong mangyayari after, pero hindi na namin na-tolerate ‘yung mga gustong gawin, yung mag dahilan kung bakit kami napilitan magdesisyon, mag-usap,” he said.
Tito noted that TAPE even called for a meeting with the hosts prior, but the management might have been given “wrong information” which prompted them to forbid the hosts from airing live.
“Akala siguro nila gagamitin [namin] ‘yung programa e never namin ginawa ‘yon. Talagang hindi kami kilala nitong new management. Siguro ang bintang ay gagamitin namin ang programa at doon kami magre-resign, e nagdedesiyon pa lang kami e. Pinabilis nila ‘yung desisyon,” he said.
Tito further said that they are still awaiting the decision from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines regarding the “Eat Bulaga” copyright. While this has yet to be resolved, Tito said that they might use a different title for the show they will be hosting.
At the latter part of his interview, Tito declared that they felt free after parting ways with TAPE and said, “All the while, merong sword of Damocles na sila raw ang ganito, sila raw ang may-ari. Ngayon wala na.”
Following TVJ and their “Eat Bulaga” co-hosts’ departure from TAPE Inc., it was confirmed that they’ve signed an agreement with Mediaquest Holdings Inc. last June 7, as they’re set to have an upcoming show on TV5 network.
New hosts, rebranded show
With the departure of Tito and Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, and other mainstays from “Eat Bulaga,” the new noontime show introduced its new hosts Paolo Contis, Cassy and Mavy Legaspi, Betong Sumaya, Buboy Villar, and Alexa Miro last June 5.
In one of his spiels, Contis said that they are not onstage to replace TVJ and that they do not know for how long they will be on the show. They said that they just want to bring the viewers and the audience happiness in their own way.
The show also introduced new game segments to entice live and TV audiences. In one of the segments, Sumaya told participants to use the hashtag “Eat Bulaga Na.”
On May 31, TVJ announced that they are leaving the show after they were ordered by TAPE Inc., Eat Bulaga’s production company to no longer air its shows live. Subsequently, their co-hosts also tendered their resignation from TAPE.
Earlier, Tito Sotto said TAPE wanted to ease out the show’s top hosts to make way for the owners’ own personal and political agenda. He also bared that they have been in talks with the management of TV5 and Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez, who has his own production outfit, to carry their new program.
TVJ insists that they own the rights to use the program name “Eat Bulaga” as they were the ones who created and conceptualized it, from its segments to title of the show, to its theme song.
For ‘political agenda’
Romeo ‘Romy’ Jalosjos, owner of Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE, Inc.), was said to be eyeing the creation of a party list for kasambahays, a “political agenda” that has motivated some of his decisions regarding Eat Bulaga program changes.
In a Saturday radio interview over DWIZ, former Senator Tito Sotto III said that the former congressman had previously suggested the replacement of Eat Bulaga’s Bawal Judgmental with a segment entitled “Search for Kasambahay,” which is similar to a previously aired beauty pageant segment for Filipino domestic helpers.
“Anong gustong ipalit [sa Bawal Judgmental]? Yung Search for Kasambahay… Maid in the Philippines flopped after two or three years. Sinagot na may magfi-file daw na partylist si Romy para sa mga kasambahay… So papalitan mo ‘yung isang magandang programa dahil meron kang isang political agenda? Ganun ‘yun,” said Sotto.
(What did he want to replace Bawal Judgmental with? Search for Kasambahay… Maid in the Philippines flopped after two or three years. They told us that Romy will file a party list for domestic helpers… So you’re going to replace a good program because you have a political agenda?)
Without mentioning any names, Sotto also revealed that he and others behind Eat Bulaga have filed a cancellation of registration against TAPE, asserting that TAPE Inc.’s previous claims of financial losses were mere “alibis” as the production firm supposedly declared P231 million in net profits in 2022.
Changing of the Contis surname
Lian Paz revealed that Xonia and Xalene, her daughters with Paolo Contis, have been asking for their names to be changed as they no longer want to use their dad’s surname.
Through her Instagram page, the former EB babe congratulated Xonia while showing the latter’s certificate for being the top student in her class.
Paz and Xonia then received congratulatory greetings from netizens including one @purple_riz who took notice of the child’s surname.
“Bitbit pa apelyido wala naman ambag,” the netizen commented. Paz then responded, “Asking na nga po ang mga bata to have it changed.”
Other netizens echoed the same sentiments, with some even suggesting that Paz’s daughters should use the surname of her current partner, John Cabahug.
Paz and Contis, who got married in 2009, confirmed their separation in 2012. Paz revealed in 2018 that she has been the sole provider for Xonia and Xalene since their controversial split.
Earlier this year, Contis admitted that he has not been giving financial support to his children, saying he has his “own reasons” for doing so. Aside from Xonia and Xalene, Contis also shares a daughter named Summer with his former partner, actress LJ Reyes.
John Regala, 55
John Regala passed away last June 3, due to “multiple ailments,” his friends and family confirmed. He was 55.
The actor’s death was confirmed by veteran entertainment writer Aster Amoyo through her Facebook page.
“Veteran actor John Regala (John Paul Guido Boucher Scherrer) died this morning at 6:00 am due to multiple ailments. Let us all pray for the eternal repose of his soul,” Amoyo said, along with Regala’s photo.
Vicky, Regala’s partner who goes by the name Gina Alonzo on Facebook, also confirmed the actor’s passing through their fellow church member Thony Cura. Cura showed a screenshot of their conversation via his page.
“Sa kabila ng kanyang karamdaman at hirap na naranasan, ay isa lamang ang hiling ng Ka John Regala na madalas masabi nya sa akin noong nabubuhay pa siya, na sana ay matapos nya ang kanyang takbuhin na taglay ang kanyang kahalalan…na huwag na muling mahiwalay pa sa Iglesia,” Cura wrote. “Salamat po, Ama, at natupad ng Ka John ang kanyang panata!”
In 2020, a frail Regala, who had been suffering from liver cirrhosis and severe gout, made headlines after he asked for help from a food delivery rider. At the time, Regala received help from fellow celebrities Amoyo, Nadia Montenegro and Chuckie Dreyfus who set up a crowdfunding page for the actor’s medical needs.
Regala starred in numerous films including “Isa-Isahin Ko Kayo” (1990), “Bukas Bibitayin si Itay” (1995), “Askal” (1997), and “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story” (2011). He also appeared in the ABS-CBN TV series “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.” EDV
READ: John Regala dies at 55