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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Ashes to Ashes...Dust to Dust The Last Hurray of Willie Revillame

Stepping back in time to when Willie Revillame started out as a personal roadie for Ronnie Rickets, who was then Philippine cinemas top action star in the 80's, no one ever dreamed that he, (Willie) would become a big success in his present field of endeavor. The years of perseverance and hard work finally bore fruit for him, as he found his first debut in the movies, starting out as an “extra” which was solely attributed to Mr. Ronnie Rickets's own personal commendations.

Ronnie Rickets is a very accommodating celebrity that despite his stellar status in the Philippine movie industry, is also an honorable individual in private life as well. There was hardly any bad things written about him during his stint as an iconic action star even up to this day. It was only natural for him to gain the trust and admirable respect from people in and around the Philippine movie industry as to give in to his favors with no contention of whatsoever.

As to becoming friends with Willie Revillame was concerned, it was a relationship that lasted for years. A genuine yearning to help friends, Ronnie Rickets always recommended Willie Revillame to any opportunities that may come his way in regards to the movie industry, thus landing Willie in a spate of movies as an extra at first and then gradually landing minor parts that require a dialog.

The years eventually passed and Willie Revillame's career soon took flight, eventually landing him co-starring rolls in mostly comedy screw ball films. It was in the late 80's when he was given a big break in his career, that gave him the chance to co-host a noontime show. After the era for “Student Canteen” ended, which spanned three decades, “Lunch Date” soon followed and made it as the second most watched noontime show in the Philippines next to “Eat Bulaga”.

Lunch Date” lasted for a few years until in the early 90's, when GMA Television Arts finally pulled the plug on the show eventually ending it. No sooner than a few months have passed, Willie was back again in the limelight. ABS-CBN Channel 2 had taken in the former cast of “Lunch Date” to do a new noontime show that was to directly compete, head to head with “Eat Bulaga”, as the former noontime show is now rating in as the most watched noontime show in the Philippines.

Magandang Tanghali Bayan” (MTB) as it was known then, was now competing head on with “Eat Bulaga” as ratings were almost at par with both the networks. The show consisted mainly of Randy Santiago, John Estrada and Willie Revillame. Their combination of hosting seemed to be the perfect formula as each hosts individual charisma became evidently complimentary to the shows theme. It enjoyed a prime in network ratings until ABS-CBN decided to cancel the show due to managerial issues that ended the shows glorious run in the early years of 2000.

Latter on, in the middle of 2006, ABS-CBN offered Willie Revillame a stint to do a noontime show, but Willie agreed to do it with one condition and that was that he should have a major input on how the shows format will be to his liking. Eventually, ABS-CBN agreed to do so in Willie's own term as Charo Santos-Concio was heading Programing Management during that time. Willie Revillame was now in total control over the programming of his own show as he planned a glamor filled format that would entice audiences and “Wow Wow Wee” was born.

The show enjoyed rave reviews during its first few years until tragedy struck. It can still be remembered to this day as the “ULTRA Stadium Stampede” incident which involved more than a crowd of 7,000 people, waiting in line for almost 2 days, just to get a chance of entering the stadium, hoping to get a chance to win any minimal amount of money that the show was more than generous to give. It left a few hundred injured and claimed more than enough lives to question the managements safety policy that involved ABS-CBN in the matter.

It was just one of several spates of bad luck that has befallen the show, as latter on, Willie Revillame was once again criticized in dishonoring the funeral rite of former Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino, as he somewhat berated sarcastic commentaries on how it was conflicting the shows “Happy Theme” as he said, “Wag nyo munang ipakita yan!...Nag sasaya kami dito eh!” ( Please don't show that now...We''re trying to have fun here! ). That unmindful remark had become an evident sign of Mr. Revillame's bloating ego as it was not to be his last unmindful remark as yet.

After a souring of relationship with the management of ABS-CBN, Willie Revillame's show was put on ice, permanently as his irrational way of managing the show to reflect his personal agenda slowly became unfavorable to the networks ideals. Instead of incurring more bad press and collateral damage from Mr. Revillame's unmindful brash approach to network entertainment, ABS-CBN finally broke ties with him to end the bad spate of fate that was evidently doing more harm than good.

In 2010, ABC TV 5, under the new managerial hands of Manny Pangilinan, sought ought to create its own noontime show to fill the void in its noontime slot and got Willie Revillame to host it, as always, it included that Mr. Revillame have total control to all of its proceedings. Thus “Wow Wow Willie” was born and on its maiden telecast, the production was never short of the grandeur that was personified with Willie Revillame. As usual, the masses flocked and fought the elements of the harsh weather just to get inside and bask in the opulence of the shows glitz and staggering prizes that was the center of anyone who would come to see and blindly hope that Willie would grant them his good graces in giving it away.

Unfortunately, ABS-CBN was preparing charges against the show for using its copy righted name brand that was clearly used by Willie Revillame in his show in ABS-CBN, thus forcing the management of ABC TV 5 to change the name of the show to “Willing Willie” as to not further agitate the ongoing court case against Willie. All seems to be going well after that until another spate of bad luck struck the show which involved a little boy that performed on the show as a contestant that gained the irk of people. The “Jon-Jon” incident was one of the most unforgeable moments of the programs seemingly distasteful to most who have remembered it.

It can all be recalled that Willie Revillame let Jon-Jon dance the “macho dancer” routine can be overlooked and simply pass it off as a sort of comical interlude, but what was bothering about it was Mr. Revillame let it be prolonged for too many times, as the boy started to cry and the crowd started to laugh in ridicule at the boy's own expense! After that incidence, ABC TV 5 was forced to change the programs name to “Will Time, Big Time” in order to avoid any more untoward issues that may be related to that certain folly, which was clearly Mr. Revillame's decision.

Unfortunately, Manny Pangilinan decided to pull out from ABC TV 5 as he clearly stated that the network was “not making any tangible earnings as a company”, that led to Manny Villar to come into the rescue. Things were now surely becoming distraught for the programing as ratings on the programs time slot continued to dip despite rigid marketing campaigns to alleviate advertising sales. It can be clearly seen as the big gap of advertisers on the time slot can be counted as being too few which is evident for its almost 4 hours of running. The programs segment would continue for a straight 10 to 15 minuets without a single advertiser, which proves Manny Pangilinan's statement.

After which came Willie Revillame's promotion of his “Wil Tower Mall”, a high rise condominium unit mall, which he proudly promotes on his program. But to a certain aspect of it seems like an insult to look at as Mr. Revillame's prized possession of exotic sports cars are displayed on the lobby. One observer was quick to comment, “Are we in the lobby or are we in the parking area?”. What is the deal of showing off such brash full opulence when you profess to be a man of the masses? Long before Willie Revillame's rise to fame, there was already Tito, Vic and Joey, who were already entertaining the masses with their brand of noontime show. Despite of their long decadence in show business, the trio never bought airplanes or yachts or built towering buildings with their names to be remembered.

It just shows that some people yearn for respect in society and that they will go to great lengths in order to be recognized for their hardships in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with respect and adulation just as long as you are not fooling your selves and others as well as to letting people to believe that you genuinely care for them. Fortunately, the intangibility of idealistic principles can not conquer the reality of life that people have problems and there are people in this world that will take advantage of an individuals precarious state of misery in life. On the coming weeks, as September 2013 draws to a close, so will Willie Revillame's show “Will Time , Big Time” on ABC TV 5 as the curtain will finally come down.

To that, ABC TV 5 has clearly stated that it will consider Mr. Revillame in its future plans of new shows, but that is a doubtful notion as the dark shadow of past misfortunes seem to follow Willie Revillame on all of his enterprising endeavor, like a lurking sign of bad luck bestowed upon him for some unexplainable reason. This misfortune has a name and it is called “Karma”.

Good luck Willie, you will truly need it as it seems that you have exhausted the trust and complacency of all the people around you as the road ends, inevitably to where you started...Nothing.

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