by ALEX P. VIDAL
VANCOUVER , British Columbia – "Wowowee" has not yet made a show here but host Willie Revillame’s "erratic" handling of his feud with a showbiz writer that led to his unceremonious exit from the popular TV program, has been the talk of the town in the Filipino community.
Most fans here, however, have no love lost for the controversial noontime show host, who was reported to be on "indefinite leave" following his much publicized altercation with tabloid columnist Jobert Sucaldito.
"He has repeatedly said that he was willing to make a sacrifice for the show," said Rolly Fortaleza, a graphic artist from Surrey . "If he will not come back, he will really have to sacrifice his income of at least one million (Philippine) pesos a month."
Fortaleza rapped Revillame saying "he had it coming" if the ABS-CBN management decided to ax him "because he did not have any iota of humility when he openly challenged the management right in his show, a move that he would regret for a long time."
Yolanda Escalante, a live-in caregiver who hails from Maasin, Leyte, said she used to admire Revillame especially his gesture of handing out money to the needy and to poor show participants, "pero maraming na akong naririnig na hindi mabuti tungkol sa kanya at napatunayan ito noong nagsalita siya ng hindi tama tungkol sa away nila ni Sucaldito." (I have heard so many ugly stories about him in the past and this was magnified by his conflict with Sucaldito.)
SHOW IN B.C.
Despite what happened to Revillame, event organizer Elena Boyd said they are still hoping to see in the future the "Wowowee" show in British Columbia.
"Even without Mr. Revillame, members of the Filipino community are still hankering to watch the show ‘live’ here. We don’t care if it is only Pokwang and the other ladies who will act as hosts," she said. "Willie Revillame belongs to the past. Wowowee will remain as Wowowee even without Mr. Revillame."
A Filipino chef of a Japanese restaurant on Burrard Street who requested anonymity said Revillame "was very wrong when he made those irresponsible statements because he and the object of his tirade belong to the same station and they have the same employer."
"Sana naman mag ingat siya sa mga pananalita niya dahil sa palagay ko ay hindi tama ang ginawa niya at marami ang nasaktan (He should be cautious with the words that come out from his mouth. He really was wrong and has offended so many personalities)," he quipped.
Wowowee is a local noontime variety show broadcasted by ABS-CBN in the Philippines . The show first premiered on February 5, 2005, and airs live weekdays and Saturdays.
The show also broadcasts worldwide through ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel.
Revillame, 49, absorbed stinging brickbats from irate TV audience in the Philippines and abroad when he dared the station management to fire Sucladito, who is hosting a separate showbiz show in the same TV station.
He accused Sucaldito of "unfairly" criticizing his program for allowing several below average grade school pupils as guests and thus exposing them to ridicule.
Revillame, a movie comedian, later explained "he was only tired" when he made those remarks. He, however, did not show any remorse.
After he issued the threat to resign if Sucaldito was not dismissed, Revillame disappeared from the show. Reports said the show’s rating went up when actor Robin Padilla substituted temporarily for several weeks.
The management was set to announce the new male host or hosts as of press time.
Sucaldito was not fired. /MP