Aiza Seguerra asked to take leave of absence from 'ASAP 20'

MANILA, Philippines – Aiza Seguerra said that he was asked to take a leave of absence from the variety show ASAP 20, according to Pep.

Aiza said he wasn't given a reason for the leave, and the message was coursed through his manager, Annabelle Borja. He wondered if it might be because he's now working on The Ryzza Mae Show Presents... Princess In The Palace, a show by GMA. (IN PHOTOS: Aiza Seguerra and Liza Diño's beautiful wedding)

GMA is the rival network of ABS-CBN, where ASAP 20 airs.

The singer was asked to take a leave of absence after ASAP 20's London show, titled "ASAP 20 Live in London."

Even though he's sad that he was asked to take a break from the show, Aiza said that he has no hard feelings against ABS-CBN or ASAP 20. "I don't hold any grudges against them na they have to do that. After all, this is a business, they have to protect their business," he told Pep at a press conference for The Ryzza Mae Show Presents... Princess In The Palace on September 15.

He added that he didn't think that ABS-CBN would ask him to leave ASAP 20, because ASAP 20 and The Ryzza Mae Show Presents... Princess In The Palace are not direct competitors. "So, yeah, I think, they are just protecting themselves. And ang sabi lang nila, they don't want to set a precedent na gawin din ito ng ibang artists sa kanila," he said. (They just said they don't want to set a precedent for their other artists who plan to do the same.)

Still, Aiza said that he's taking the leave of absence with a heavy heart. “I felt bad 'cause I would be missing the Sessionistas. More than anything, more than the decision, I will miss the people I sing with," he said.

The ASAP Sessionistas are a group of artists who have a segment on ASAP 20. It's composed of artists like Aiza, Richard Poon, Sitti Navarro, Nyoy Volante, Princess Velasco, Kean Cipriano and Juris Fernandez.

In a Facebook message to Rappler, Aiza's manager Annabelle Borja shed more light on Aiza's projects with both networks. 

"Out of courtesy to ABS-CBN, I informed Lauren Dyogi [ABS-CBN Head of TV Production] regarding the soap that Aiza is doing with TAPE [ Television And Production Exponents Philippines, which partners with GMA to produce shows] and APT [which works with TAPE to produce the programs].

"Aiza is not an exclusive artist of ABS-CBN since last year after her 2-year contract expired. We may recall that Aiza was part of the long running soap as "Kute" in Be Careful With My Heart and she is one of Sessionistas in ASAP every Sunday.

She also explained that the new soap is not in direct competition with ASAP, so they were hoping that Aiza would be able to stay on.  

"Aiza was a product of Eat Bulaga since [she was] 3 years old. Her loyalty and respect remain with people who gave her the first break. Marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob si Aiza (Aiza knows how to repay a debt of gratitude). So when TAPE, Inc and APT asked Aiza if she can be part of this new soap, she can't say no and having in mind that she is not an exclusive artist of ABS-CBN and to note that we have declared an exemption of Eat Bulaga, TAPE, Inc, APT and M-ZET projects in our previous contract with ABS, meaning, Aiza can accept projects with these entities considering the existing relationship Aiza has with these people.

"Moreover, the soap is not in direct competition with ASAP. Besides, Aiza is an ACTOR in the soap The Princess in the Palace (Mon-Fri) and Aiza is a SINGER in ASAP every Sunday. We thought, with all these reasons, Aiza will remain in ASAP.

"Since I am in Australia, Direk Lauren and I exchanged emails. Direk Lauren says that he understands the 'relationship' Aiza has with TAPE and APT but he explained that due to the critical timeslot of the soap and a highly competitive one at that, I was advised that while Aiza is doing the Princess in the Palace, it's best for Aiza to take a leave of absence in ASAP after the London trip so as to set limits with all their artists and so as not to set precedent.

"Aiza and our management respect the decision but of course it is but natural for Aiza to feel sad about the situation. ASAP, most especially her co-Sessionistas, is family to her already. Aiza loves performing as a SINGER in ASAP every Sunday." –