Filipino celebrities

From Kapuso to Kapatid: Tito, Vic, Joey move ‘Eat Bulaga’ to TV5

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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From Kapuso to Kapatid: Tito, Vic, Joey move ‘Eat Bulaga’ to TV5

EB. Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, the mainstay hosts of noontime show 'Eat Bulaga' bid farewell to production company TAPE.

Eat Bulaga's Facebook

(3rd UPDATE) Manny Pangilinan's network, TV5, gets much-needed 'star power' with the transfer of Tito, Vic, Joey and other Dabarkads from GMA blocktimer TAPE

MANILA, Philippines – The showbiz trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon (TVJ) and other Dabarkads (Eat Bulaga mainstays) are moving to TV5, after signing a deal with Manny Pangilinan’s MediaQuest Holdings Incorporated.

“Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, and other hosts of Eat Bulaga have found their new home in TV5,” announced Cignal TV, one of the media assets of the businessman and sports patron’s holding company, MediaQuest, on Wednesday, June 7.

“We are thankful to our friends at MediaQuest for this fresh start. Dahil sa ating mga Dabarkads na naging Kapatid, tuloy pa rin ang tuwa’t saya na aming dala (Because of our Dabarkads who are now Kapatid, the laughter and happiness we bring will continue),” Sotto, who led the negotiations with other networks, said in a press statement released by MediaQuest.

MediaQuest said the agreement with TVJ and the Dabarkads is to “produce content for TV5 and other MediaQuest platforms.”

The Kapatid network is now the second biggest next to GMA Network Incorporated (GMA), and MediaQuest has other media assets that can help jumpstart their new show. Another option Sotto considered was to move to the Iglesia channel, NET25, where he, brother Vic, and De Leon have their own respective shows.

The big ‘bulaga’: How Tito, Vic, and Joey’s exit from TAPE might shake up Philippine TV

The big ‘bulaga’: How Tito, Vic, and Joey’s exit from TAPE might shake up Philippine TV

Pangilinan also leads telco giant PLDT Incorporated, which can promote TVJ’s new show in a big way through its wireless business SMART. Cignal TV is the Philippines’ number one Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite provider, and it also transmits digital channels to analog TV sets.

MediaQuest also has a 24/7 station, Sari Sari Channel, a partnership between Cignal TV and Viva Entertainment that airs on Cignal TV and Cignal Play.

MediaQuest also owns daily broadsheets The Philippine Star and business paper BusinessWorld, which have their respective news websites. The Philippine Star has a competitive entertainment portal,

Aside from TVJ, among the other Dabarkads who will bring much-needed “star power” – and eyeballs – to TV5 are social media queen Maine Mendoza, Paolo Ballesteros, Ryan Agoncillo, and Vic Sotto’s wife, Pauleen Luna. Luna posted a video on her Instagram today about the transfer to TV5.

“I’m honored that these pillars of the Philippine entertainment industry have agreed to work with us. Our partnership strengthens our ability to continue to deliver the best for Filipino viewers here at home and all over the world,” said Jane Basas, president and CEO of MediaQuest.

TV5 is on a second attempt at improving its ratings by improving its entertainment content, following a failed move to become sustainable with sports and news programs under its former head, basketball coach Chot Reyes.

The transfer will likely boost the audience reach and ratings of TV5, the metrics that advertisers look at when placing TV ads.

TVJ left Eat Bulaga! producer TAPE Incorporated (TAPE) after a bitter dispute with its owner, the Jalosjos family, led by its chairman and majority owner, ex-convict and former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos Sr. The production company has a blocktime agreement with GMA for the noontime slot until end of 2024.

After four days of showing Eat Bulaga! replays, TAPE finally aired a live show on Monday with Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar Alexa Miro, and the Legaspi twins. All are under GMA’s Sparkle Artist Center except for singer-actress Miro. Miro is handled by Tyronne Escalante Artist Management.

The question of who can use the Eat Bulaga! trademark for entertainment is still pending with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Sotto has insisted that TAPE only has the license to use it for merchandising, not for a television show.

“The creators are the owners, whether copyrighted or not…. At the moment of creation, you are the owner,” Sotto told CNN Philippines on Monday, June 5.

The show’s name is from the kid’s game, “Eeet…bulaga!” (Eeet…surprise!), which became Eat Bulaga! since the program airs at noon when people have lunch. It was created by comedian De Leon.

TV5 to decide time slot

In an interview with Cignal TV’s Tagalog news channel One PH after the transfer was announced, Sotto said they chose TV5 over the other stations because MediaQuest gave the best offer. 

“TV5 ay ‘di lang air [free] TV. Napakaraming platform, may HD Channel, may Cignal TV, ang daming pagkakataon,” he said. “MediaQuest ang kausap namin.” 

(TV5 isn’t just free TV. They have so many platforms. They have an HD channel, they have Cignal TV, many opportunities. We’re talking with MediaQuest.) 

Asked which time slot their new show will air, Sotto said this is up to TV5 and MediaQuest. 

“MediaQuest will take care of airing [the show]. As far as production, we have full control of production and content,” he said. 

If TV5 and MediaQuest decide to place TVJ’s new show on the noontime slot, it will have to move ABS-CBN’s noontime show, It’s Showtime, led by comedian Vice Ganda, to another time slot. 

The noon time slot is considered prime air space, similar to the evening slot. 

TV5 already airs most of ABS-CBN’s popular prime time teleseryes like FPJ’s Batang Quiapo in the evening slot. 

Sotto also disclosed that they will be using TV5’s new studios on Reliance Street in Mandaluyong City. 

He expects their new show to air on TV5 “last week of June” at the earliest, or “first week of July” at the latest. 

Sotto said they are glad about the transfer to another station, which is known for airing sports programs such as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) games, volleyball games, and UAAP collegiate sports. 

Pang sports na, pang pamilya pa (They’re for sports, now they’re also for family),” he quipped. 

Sotto said they will fight to use the name, Eat Bulaga!, for their show on TV5.  

“In my personal opinion, yun pa rin (it’ll still be that). As far as I am concerned, history and the law are on our side on this issue,” he said. “Kami ang Eat Bulaga. (We are Eat Bulaga).” 

Sotto said they will retain the popular segments of Eat Bulaga! such as Pinoy Henyo, Bawal Judgmental, and Juan for All, All for Juan, and will add new segments.

In an interview with TV5, Joey De Leon wore a T-shirt with the words “Wow Lima” (Wow, 5), a play on his former gag show on the Kapatid network, Wow Mali (Wow, Wrong). –

Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza, other ‘Eat Bulaga’ co-hosts leave TAPE 

Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza, other ‘Eat Bulaga’ co-hosts leave TAPE 

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.