Vhong Navarro on ‘Eat Bulaga,’ new MMFF 2015 movie, Pastillas Girl

Alexa Villano
Vhong says despite the rollercoaster ride this year, he and the other 'It's Showtime' hosts will continue to make their audience happy as long as they can

VHONG ON ALDUB. Vhong Navarro admits that 'It's Showtime's' rating were affected by the tandem of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Comedian and It’s Showtime host Vhong Navarro will soon return to the big screen as he stars in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2015 movie Buy Now, Die Later.

In a recent press conference for the movie, Vhong weighed in on the success of AlDub, featured on Showtime‘s noontime rival, Eat Bulaga, and talked about the possibility of forgiving his enemies (Vhong was mauled and accused of rape in 2014). 

At the press conference for the movie Buy Now, Die Later on Thursday, December 3, Vhong talked about the recent success of noontime show Eat Bulaga. 

Oo, naman. Hindi naman natin ikakaila ‘yun. Sabi ko nga, kumbaga, that time, ang Eat Bulaga parang gumanun [taas-baba] sila, kami rin nararamdaman din namin ngayon ‘yun. (Yes, yes of course. We’re not denying that. As I said, at that time, Eat Bulaga also went through that [roller coaster], and we’re experiencing that also).”

So far, may nagsabi rin kanina na unti-unti na kaming bumabalik, marami pong salamat. Dahil bumabalik sila ulit para panoorin kami (So far, some are saying we’re slowly returning and thank you for that. Because they are returning to watch us again),” he said.

Vhong said that he can relate well since he also started in Eat Bulaga with Jhong Hilario, when the two were part of the dance group Streetboys.

Eh kasi nung time naman, ang Eat Bulaga naging ganun din naman [taas-baba]. Alam din naman natin sila na from 30+ years, alam natin ang inabot nila. Iyon ang roller coaster talaga, kumbaga kami, baby pa lang ang roller coaster namin kumpara sa inabot nila.

(At that time, Eat Bulaga also experienced it [ups and downs]. We all know that for 30 + years, we know what they’ve achieved. That’s really a roller coaster, in other words, what we’re going through is just a smaller rollercoaster compared to what they’ve gone through.)

Asked how they kept their spirits up during the time they were having problems with ratings, Vhong said: “Natatawa ako kasi para kaming hindi naapektuhan (I was amused because it felt like we were not as affected).”

Dapat kasi, sabi nga namin, ‘Panghawakan natin yung sinabi natin sa mga tao na paliligayahin natin sila kahit anong mangyari (As we said, ‘Let’s hold on to what we told people, that we will make our viewers happy no matter what).”

“Kaya sabi nga namin, kahit isang tao lang nanonood sa atin, hindi tayo bibitaw. Kasi may nanonood pa rin sa atin, na meron pa ring nagbabayad ng kuryente (That’s why we said, for as long as there’s one person watching, we won’t let go. Because someone’s still watching us, they’re using and paying for the electricity to watch us).”

As for reports of a possible reformat, Vhong said they have yet to hear from management, although he mentioned that the show has been adding new segments.

In July of this year, the tandem of Alden and Maine was accidentally formed when she saw Alden during the Juan For All, All for Juan segment while doing her own segment. In the show, she plays Yaya Dub, the nanny of Lola Nidora played by Wally Bayola.

Meanwhile, Vhong said that the management and people behind It’s Showtime are helping Angelica Yap aka “Pastillas Girl,” following the death of her mother. Angelica’s mom Teresa Hernandez was shot dead on Sunday night, November 29. 

Until [now] naman po may connection ang management at ang It’s Showtime kay Angelica. Kumbaga sila po yung gumagawa ng paraan kung anong puwede maitulong at kung ano pwede namin maitulong (Up to now, there is still a connection, the management and It’s Showtime with Angelica. In other words. they’re the ones who are finding ways to help, and what they can help with),” he said.

Asked for the support they’re giving Angelica, Vhong said: “Eh so far malalim nga, medyo mabigat. Marami pang hindi nasosolve kaya ang hirap; sobrang hirap pero hanggang ngayon open pa rin kami sa pagtulong (It’s very deep, very heavy, and there are so many things that have yet to be solved. So it’s very hard, but up to we’re open to helping her).”

Buy Now, Die Later

As 2015 comes to a close, Vhong said that his year has been very fruitful despite some problems in his life. In 2014, Vhong was mauled and accused of raping model Deniece Cornejo. The rape charges have been dismissed by the Department of Justice.

Ako yung 2015 ko, ang ganda nung nangyari….Ang ganda nung 2015 ko sa pagtatapos kasi nakagawa pa ako ng isang pelikula. Akala ko hindi aabot…pero sabi nga, sabi ni Tita [Aster Amoyo], kung bakit ngayon lang din uli ako nakagawa ng pelikula, nakagawa ng project at natutuwa naman po ako na kahit bago matapos ang taon, itong 2015 naging maganda po para sa akin kasi nagkaroon din ako ng Dance Kids (a new reality show).”

The cast of 'Buy Now, Die Later.' Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

(My 2015 was a fruitful one because I was able to do a movie. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it in time, but as Tita [Aster Amoyo] asked, I was able to do a movie towards the end of the year, and it’s been a good year for me because I also have Dance Kids.) 

It’s Showtime, para po kaming roller coaster doon aangat-lulubog at sa patapos may umabot pang project….Kumbaga ang sarap ng blessings na dumadating,” he said. (It’s Showtime, it’s like we were on a rollercoaster, going up and then down, and as the year ends, there is a project…so it’s very nice to have blessings coming in).”

Meanwhile, in an interview via Pep, Vhong was asked if he was ready to forgive Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, and his group. 

Sa ngayon kasi, ang hirap magpatawad na ikaw pa ang binabaliktad. Paano mo patatawarin ang isang tao kung ikaw pa ang binabaliktad, ikaw pa ang masama? (For now, it’s very difficult when you’re the one being accused. How can you forgive one person if you’re the one who ends up looking bad?)” he said.

Vhong  meanwhile is gearing to promote the movie Buy Now, Die Later, a comedy-horror film under Quantum Films, the people behind English Only Please, together withMJM Productions Inc, Tuko Film Productions, and Buchi Boy Films. 

In the movie, Vhong plays Odie, an aspiring photojournalist who buys a high-end cell phone from a mysterious shop. As he uses the phone, Odie gets scoops for his stories, but this comes with a price, when he sees more than he intends to.

Buy Now, Die Later also stars Alex Gonzaga, John “Sweet” Lapus, Janine Gutierrez, Rayver Cruz, Lotlot de Leon, and TJ Trinidad under the direction of Randolph Longjas. The movie opens December 25, as part of the Metro Manila Film Festival. – Rappler.com


Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.