More than a month after the noontime not so merry-go-round, lunchtime shows continue to generate controversies.
First, there was the Vice Ganda-Ion Perez finger-licking episode in It’s Showtime. Then there was the sweet moment between Tito Sotto and Helen Gamboa that some netizens found lascivious and too much for a noontime show. Finally – and I hope it stops there – viewers heard Wally Bayola cuss on live television in E.A.T.
Let me tackle the Tito-Helen issue first. My verdict: Not guilty. Here was a couple properly wed – married twice, in fact – for more than half a century.
What’s wrong with that – even if viewed by children. It’s not like they copulated on TV. Oh, no, did I make Helen blush with the word “copulate”? She can be quite prudish, you know.
The way Tito and Helen showed their affection on TV came off as sweet, especially since they are already septuagenarians. As kids, didn’t we get thrilled every time Daddy gave Mommy a peck on the cheek or if we see them hugging? Now, walking in on them in the act of you-know-what is a totally different story.
But to see our parents being romantic to each other gives us an assurance that our family is intact. And don’t we wish in our hearts that they’d stay that way forever?
As for the Wally Bayola incident, it happened outdoors during the “sugod-bahay” episode in E.A.T. It clearly was a “PI” that was uttered. Not Philippine Islands, wise guys, but the most offensive cuss word in the vernacular.
I found myself in that kind of situation when I was still doing Startalk. My guest was Lara Morena. When I asked one of the questions flashed by the writers, she said WTF. No, not Wednesday/Thursday/Friday. You already know what I mean.
Immediately after she said those words, I immediately apologized on-air and explained that these things happen unexpectedly in a live telecast. And then, even without getting instructions from the floor, I called for a commercial break.
The viewers must have waited in anticipation what would happen next because when we checked the ratings days later, even the commercial gap was picking up views. People were wondering what would happen when we came back.
And so back on-the-air. The first thing I did was ask Lara to apologize. She did. I knew she meant her apology sincerely. I know her. She is basically a very good person and was just caught in the moment.
That is actually a problem TV hosts should watch out for – guests blurting out expletives unintentionally. As a host, one should be quick to think on his feet. In my case, I had to think quickly on my butt – because I was seated. Oops, do I merit an invitation from the MTRCB for that?
Seriously, the show didn’t get into trouble for that incident. No one reported us to the MTRCB because the program apologized – immediately.
The problem with Wally’s cussing was that no one seemed to have bothered to make any rectification from the program hosts and staff after the incident. Of course, at some point, someone was supposedly heard saying: “Hindi sinasadya. (It was unintenional).”
Some viewers say it must have been Paolo Ballesteros who said that, but it was so inaudible. The show had to wait till netizens went up in arms to complain about that ugly episode on E.A.T. And so, there was a repentant Wally Bayola apologizing the next day. But too late. The MTRCB had been alerted.
As for the Vice Ganda-Ion Perez finger-licking moment in It’s Showtime, well, let me share with you first a scene from television that was aired a long, long time ago. This was circa 1978. It was an episode of Mga Kuwento ng Pag-ibig, a drama anthology that was produced by Armida Siguion-Reyna. Most of the time, she played the lead character.
Her guest then was Rudy Fernandez, who was already on the verge of superstardom (this was after his first blockbuster hit Baby Ama). It was a May-December affair.
Set in the rural area, the scene called for Armida to put a whole length of puto bumbong into her mouth. It had to be done in the most prurient manner possible a then 48-year old woman like Armida could muster – and get away with.
She neither chewed nor swallowed the puto bumbong. Instead, she pulled it out whole and slipped it straight into the mouth of Rudy, who was like a nestling waiting to be fed by mommy bird.
It didn’t end there. Rudy took the now very moist (and wet!) puto bumbong from his mouth and slid it back into Armida’s orifice.
The censors body that time was under the military. But even with Armida being the half-sister of then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, she still had her share of run-ins with the censors. But wonder of wonders, that episode went through the censors seemingly without problems and even had a replay!
And now, It’s Showtime is in trouble with the MTRCB because of that finger- licking caper of Ion Perez and Vice Ganda. There is the issue of sanitation here for one. Pandemic or no pandemic, it is unsanitary to lick one’s fingers if one didn’t go through the motions of hand-washing.
What happened in that It’s Showtime incident is rather sensitive. It is also polarizing, particularly in this era of gender fluidity. Nobody wants labels anymore – except on their milk cartons and food packs that indicate the amount of calories per serving.
Vice Ganda and Ion Perez in a same-sex relationship isn’t news anymore. The public had been aware of that for close to a decade now.
During the MTRCB hearing for the It’s Showtime case that is said to be scheduled today, it is likely that some board members would ask them this question: “Did they have to flaunt it in public – before the viewers they refer to as “madlang pipol?”
What will cook their goose is the fact that there were two young boys in their presence during the finger-licking bit. I don’t know how the It’s Showtime people would be able to extricate themselves given that scenario.
A multitude of other young boys surely must have witnessed that finger-licking act from their homes. Hopefully, there were responsible adults around to guide them if at some point they got into a state of confusion.
But the two young boys on the It’s Showtime stage that time only had each other. Were they confused? Kids are very intelligent these days. But it’s still best to act with caution when dealing with them.
With this tsunami of noontime controversies occurring within close succession, I can only hope that those involved in these ugly issues had finally learned their lesson.
The constant exposure to the various contents on social media, surely, had made some of them callous. Most personalities today, sadly, seem to have already forgotten that they have a responsibility to the viewing public, especially to the young people watching them.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
FOLLOW US ONLINE:
and join our Viber Community: tinyurl.com/PikaViber