Boy Abunda standing on the shoulders of TV icon Pepe Pimentel

I HAVE this thing, a little unease when writing about TV host non-pareil Boy Abunda. Now that’s short of an understatement considering that I have always maintained in all of my yellow journalistic disclosures that the guy is indeed a genius in that direction ( right Pete A?).

I know for sometime in the past when “quid pro quo” as in kwentas klaras was the usual way observed in Boy’s PR house to reward movie writers doing him or for his talents, but that totally changed when he himself became a media mogul (translate: King of Talk) and a biz writer himself of consequence even in a highly circulated broadsheet like the Phil. Star.

In recent memory Boy would in most of our fleeting encounters with him egged on us unselfishly not to do or write about him at all apparently because he has turned himself into a total media man even if his right hand obliges through a trusted staff a generous act with which to suffice us and conclude it all without the left knowing it with neither a trace of the “quid pro quo” attached yet to it. Parang wala lang so they say.

Charge the beatific act of the male version of St. Teresa of Calcutta to an all- too- subtle way of saying that the “quid pro quo” of co-existence in showbiz need not necessarily be played in more quantifiable ways from which way it is supposed to come. I am wont to think that Boy Abunda is rara avis in that department. No hyperbole nor ass-licking there.

In showbiz one is normally defined by his last visible, quantifiable works/proofs  ( in showbiz parlance it’s called “presentasyon romero”), and not necessarily by face value. Without it you’re regarded much like a dead duck where no one would dare touch you with a ten-foot pole hahaha! Cliche, but cruel? Yes.

Why do I belabor the issue? In the volatile world of showbiz where AC-DC (subtext: attack and collect) including the shameful  practice of “presentasyon romero” among some underpaid, exploited movie writers (mind you that does not exclude me either as shamelessly culpable)  passed on as an acceptable ritual of social  exchange between a celebrity and a movie writer, I am more than fortunate to have met Boy in his pre-biz days.

Somehow I have discerned his prescience, the genuine part of him early on. This is where I am most lucky. With a common friend, a person with HIV like Mars Cavestany, we both have trusted Boy long enough And whereof I write. Boy is beyond the Christian blurb “help till it hurts.”

One day he would attend to his sorties as PR for the iconic Tita Conching (Sunico) of the genuine society ladies the side of Manila, and on the other he would  give bent to his interest in the performing arts directing for the stage at St Paul’s College Manila PETA actor Bey Vito who was touted to have been groomed by Director Lino Brocka next to Christopher de Leon. Those things you would love to do when at heart you know you are an artist.

Boy’s varied immersions in theater arts whether at Metropolitan Theater or outside it I guess must have made him more than an expert, if a guru in the arts and science of talent building and management. Backroom’s admirable track record in the industry can very well attest to that.

Interestingly, Boy defines himself as a product of the past icons of TV and the industry itself.  When I brought up the idea of Sonny Parsons initiating a tribute for the semi-retired, though much alive and kicking icon of one of the longest-running TV game shows in Phil. history “Kwarta O Kahon” Pepe Pimentel (in partnership with the Divine Government of God  headed by preacher Manuel Pablico),  he did not blink an eye to say yes to whatever he can do to help in the direction.

The matter was up to his amiable, cool lady executive producer Nancy Yabut of the top-rated “The Buzz” who tagged Pimentel’s tribute for plugging outright on Boy’s  nightly SNN at ABS-CBN no less. Of course there was to go with it the subtle cues from Boy to the self-effacing Phillip known for paving the usual act of generosity in our right hand without, again the left knowing it. Hence, nothing “quid pro quo” anymore in it at all.

The icon of TV hosting Pepe Pimentel whose game show lasted for 38 long years by the way has stopped playing cruel jokes on his mother-in-law who he claims has died but continues to text him unsettling messages straight from her grave.

Instead, he has found in former MTRCB Chairman Manoling Morato, his neighbor in Timog Q.C.  the scapegoat with which to play his ribald, if not cruel jokes on. We will hear some of these jokes when Pimentel gets his tribute at Metro Bar, West Avenue sometime in September.

Kidding aside, in reference and respect to the accomplishments of  past TV icons I heard  Boy Abunda once saying, “Kung wala sila, wala kami ngayon rito,” said in utmost magnanimity. More thumbs-up for Boy’s score card.

Sounds like standing on the shoulders of the past giants or on the wind beneath their wings.


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