For a host, I am an introvert. Yes, that's right. Torpe ako talaga. It’s really hard for me to talk to girls. Same with boys—okay, so what can we talk about? Girls? I'm not that into cars, so I can maybe talk to guys about games. Growing up, I'd just be at home, at school, at the library, or at church. I'm a legit nerd. I am until now.
My first impressions of fame were pretty basic. For example, naisip ko dati, 'where do these people on television get those amazing clothes and get-ups? Do they buy those or hiram lang?' I thought these personalities pulled these clothes out from the stores easily for their talent and charm! Or, they had that much money to buy all these for themselves. Pera, maraming maraming pera! Ha ha! This and more, na-break later on when I joined PBB and ABS-CBN. Marami palang mali sa akala ko.
Hosting, as a career, is hard, never easy. The hours are long. You don’t just smile and then you call it a day. It requires a lot of brain work. Just when you think the setup inside the PBB House with all those cameras following you is it, hosting proves to be another level. Dito, mas maraming camera. People would look at you all the time, and because of that you have to project an image. It’s hard, but it’s satisfying.
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In hosting, you have to wield a certain caliber of spontaneity. You actually don’t learn that one—you just have to get that one right away. I got mine over time, over experiences working with other hosts. I specifically got mine from Martin Nievera, 'yung humor from Luiz Manzano, Alex Gonzaga, at Toni Gonzaga. I had to work with all of them consistently or constantly for me to develop that kind of spontaneity. Kasi ang hirap nya—you have to have that certain charm to draw people to your show. As a self-confessed introvert, I didn't have that kind of charm before.
To be better at hosting, you also have to be out there and create crazy experiences. It's what you get to share it with your subjects. “Oh, talaga? Na-experience ko rin yan!” “Oh, talaga? Hindi ko pa na-experience yun, kamusta yun?” “It’s okay, pero yung experience mo mas maganda!”
To host a show or an event, the introvert in me channels this guy who is interested in lots of things and is willing to go crazy when the opportunity presents itself. I started as that young one who was always curious, always asking "What's this?" What's that?" Kuya mode na 'ko ngayon, eh. So, I am now more of a listener, transitioning to that guy who may not be a fountain of wisdom yet, but someone with a substantial amount of experiences he can easily impart to the younger ones. If you want listen to me, then go ahead. And if not, that's okay.
The idea of aging hurts, but that’s the truth. But age does me good in hosting, I believe.
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Photographs of the author's hosting highlights by himself | Interview by Mels Timan