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Vhong Navarro shares how he spent his time during quarantine; excited for the return of ‘It’s Showtime’ on June 13

“Kumbaga hindi kami tumigil dun kahit sa bahay na lang lahat. Hanggang sa nabuo ng Showtime staff na eto nga babalik na nga, at talagang pinaghandaan namin dahil maraming mga segments ang bagong bago.”

Kapamilya host Vhong Navarro is all set and ready for the return of Its Showtime on Saturday, June 13 after almost three months of hiatus due to the Luzon-wide quarantine followed by the tragic shutdown of the Kapamilya Network last May 5 forcing its broadcast operations to halt.

During the It’s Showtime online press gathering via Facebook Live on Tuesday, June 9, Vhong along with co-host Jhong Hilario, and some members of the press talked about the upcoming live comeback of the noontime variety show that the madlang people really missed watching and the preparations they’re doing as well as adjustments in compliance with the new normal of TV productions.



The one and only Mr. Suave admitted that while he felt anxious and scared by the sudden shutdown of ABS-CBN, he remains optimistic and offered all his doubts and worries to God through prayers.

He said, “Ako talaga ang ginagawa ko, dinadaan ko sa dasal. Alam naman natin maraming pagsubok na dumating sa atin ngayon na alam nating malalagpasan natin. Kumabaga challenge lang naman eto ni God sa atin.”

Vhong also said: “Siyempre sa amin di mo maiwasang mangamba dahil hanggang ngayon wala paring linaw sa mga nangyayari.

“Mapalad ang [Its Showtime] kasi kahit papaano nagawa parin ng ABS-CBN na umere kami para magbigay ng saya sa ating madlang people sa dami ng pinagdadaanan natin.

“Ito lang naman yung pwede naming gawin para mapawi ang kalungkutan na pinagdadaanan natin at mapasaya sila.”

However, despite the live comeback of the Kapamilya show, a live audience will still not be allowed. On the brighter side, new exciting segments will be introduced in the show such as
“Wanted: Now Hiring,” a segment that aims to give opportunities to those who lost their jobs due to lockdown; “Pamilya Nario,” a segment created for families who greatly helped the poor and needy amid pandemic; and “Super Fiestars” which has something to do with fiestas.

Meanwhile, “Tawag ng Tanghalan” will remain as part of Its Showtime.

Furthermore, the 43- year-old dancer-comedian shared that even after it was announced that TV shows and productions would be suspended, the noontime variety show looked for other ways and platforms to continue to bring happiness and joy to madlang people so as to ease the growing anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The host-singer stated, “Actually kahit nung hindi pa po kami bumabalik ng live, gumagawa talaga ng paraan ang staff ng Showtime eh. Kung mapapansin niyo nag zumba rin kame, gumawa parin kame ng ibang platform para makapag entertain pa rin ng tao.

“Kumbaga hindi kami tumigil dun kahit sa bahay na lang lahat. Hanggang sa nabuo ng Showtime staff na eto nga babalik na nga, at talagang pinaghandaan namin dahil maraming mga segments ang bagong bago.”

Vhong also shared the challenges as well as adjustments that he and other hosts have made to still host the show sans a live audience.

“Number one dapat siguro, humaba pasenya niyo. Tulad ko nawawala signal ko eh. Kumbaga live na tapos nawawala yung signal tapos di naman lahat may kakayahan na malakas yung wifi so napuputol.

“So kailangan talaga na habaan mo yung pisi mo. ‘Yun yung natutunan ko. Tapos nagho-hosting ka, namimiss mo i-hug si Vice o yung mga co-host namin, di mo magawa at yun ang hinahanap ng tao.

“Kumbaga nagdo-double effort kame para mas mapasaya sila. Hinahanap nila yung physical hosting [pero] yun ang hindi namin mabigay sa kanila kaya naghahanap kami ng alternatibo na pwede parin silang mapasaya kahit via Zoom lang.”

Moreover, he also admitted the struggle of hosting without being with or seeing your co-host as they were used to physical hosting.

Another struggle that they had to face was the limitation or unreliability of Wi-Fi or internet connection as not everyone has access to a good signal.

Vhong revealed, “Ang hirap maghost na hindi mo nakakasama yung co-host mo. Nasanay nga kami sa physical hosting diba na hinahanap at gusto ng madlang people.

“Kumbaga dito [sinubukan] din namin na ibigay yung best namin. Natutunan ko rito na kailangan talaga haba ng pasensya kasi nga minsan nawawala yung signal, yung Wi-Fi. Hindi lahat may kakayanan na malakas yung Wi-Fi, tulad ko, nawawala wala yung Wi-Fi ko.

“Tsaka yung timing kapag nagho-host ka, yung timing napuputol kase nga kapag nawala yung signal, mawawala yung blunter hindi mo maca-catch up agad. So, yun yung mga bagay na natutunan namin. Mahirap mag host o gumawa ng show via Zoom.”

When asked about what he feels as an artist now that entertainment is not given much priority, he replied, “Aminado naman tayo na kung hindi ka masyado priority, nakakatampo rin ng konti. Pero naiitindihan mo, siyempre. Sino ba ako para bigyan mo ng priority.”

He went on: “Ang pinaka-affected dito yung mga per-day nag tratrabaho, per arawan. So sila yung pinaka tinamaan, dapat sila din unahin. Pero kasi until now, mahirap samin mga entertainer, hindi pa rin nakakabalik lahat.

“Kailan makakabalik, hindi din natin alam. Example lang, banda. Kailan ulit sila makakapag gig? Alam ko lahat naman gumagawa ng paraan. Via Zoom nag sho-show sila. Yung mga singers natin. Pero paano yung mga dancers natin? Yung kapwa dancers namin nila Jhong. Paano sila kukuha ng income, yung mga back-up dancers, paano sila?

“Kase sila yung unang matatamaan, social distancing eh. Ang XB Gensan, ang Showtime dancers, hindi namin alam kailan sila makakabalik ng buo. Kase affected sila, sa totoo lang. Kaya sana, alam ko naman magagawa rin ng paraan yan. Makakaisip pa tayo ng ibang paraan. Ang Showtime hindi din tumitigil doon. Na I’m sure makakabalik din ang XB Gensan at ang Showtime dancers. At tulad nga yung sinabi kanina yung BidaMan at yung Hashtags gumagawa din ng paraan, para din makabalik sila.”

Aside from the much-awaited comeback of Its Showtime, Vhong also shared his unforgettable funny experience while staycationing at his home amid quarantine.

“Siguro yung ano, dito natuto maggupit yung asawa ko. Kumbaga bawal pumunta sa mangugupit diba. So siya yung naggupit sakin [at] buong tiwala ko naman na pinagkaloob sakanya ang aking buhok.

“Sinasabi ng lahat, guluhin mo na ang lahat, huwag lang ang buhok ko. Pero pinagkatiwala ko sakanya. So ayon may uka ako non, ginupitan niya ako. Pero napatawid naman. Kasi diba dapat, sa pagrarazor ang bawas eh 2 inches or 1 inch ganon. Yun pala yung matitira yung 1 inch eh sobrang nipis non. Eh di yung bilang may 1 or 2. Akala ko 2 yung mababawasan, eh yun pala 2 yung matitira or 1 yung matitira. So ang laki yung kinuha rito.

“Tapos yun, natanggap ko uli yung sumpa ng buhok ko na maging kulot. Kasi for a while nilihim ko sainyo yun lahat eh. Kaya gulat yung mga tao na nagpakulot ako. Hindi po, yun po yung buhok ko. Yun yung mga funny experience na natanggap ko naman kasi wala tayong magagawa.”

Further, he added, “Dahil sa pandemic na to may natutunan ako. Natitipid kang magpabango. Kasi lagi kang nakamask eh. Hindi kana mag papabango, libreng libre na yung pabango.”

To ease his boredom at home, the former Streetboys member said he bought himself a treadmill which he only used once.

Looking at the bright side of this crisis, Vhong shared that pandemic has brought him and his family together which he admitted was something he really missed. He also said that having deep conversations with his children is something that he will really miss as he gets back to work.

Additionally, since he lives separately from his parents, he makes sure that he checks on them every once in a while to make sure they’re doing well and to assure them of his safety

Since Father’s Day, which is celebrated every third Sunday of June (for 2020, June 21) is fast approaching, Vhong gave a few words for the fathers like him out there.

“Ako po, gusto ko lang sabihin sa mga tatay, na ngayon po ay napakahirap ng hinaharap nila kasi sila yung haligi ng tahanan. At sila yung laging lumalabas, sila yung nag tratrabaho, at ngayon ay maraming nawalan ng trabaho. Specially yung mga public, yung mga [jeepney drivers] diba. Sa construction at marami pang iba.

“I’m sure, maitatawid natin to, malalagpasan natin to. Alam mo kasi yang mga tatay, umiiyak na yan. Sa loob umiiyak na yan pero di nila pinapakita sa mga anak nila dahil alam nila, sila yung kinukuhanan ng lakas ng anak nila at ng asawa. Pero basta kapit lang tayo mga tatay diyan tulad ko.

“At gusto ko lang sabihin sa inyo na happy Father’s Day,” he continued.

Now that It’ s Showtime is back in the business, Vhong can’t hide his excitement, hence, his very nice haircut.

“Ako sobrang excited na ako, nagpagupit na nga ako eh kasi hindi talaga ako nagpagupit for how many months eh. Talagang ngayon lang ako uli nagpapasok ng tao sa bahay para magupitan ako dahil gusto ko talagang paghandaan yung pagbabalik namen na mukha na uli akong tao. Tsaka kase ang tagal kong na miss eh. Namiss ko talaga magpasaya ng madlang people. Parang nagtratry ka, triny namin via Zoom magpasaya pero kulang.

“At eto na yun kaya talagang pinaghandaan namen. Gusto namin na sa pagbabalik namin readying ready kame. Eto yung mga segments namin na pinag-isipan para lang mapasaya sila at makatulong at the same time.”



It’s Showtime and other Kapamilya shows temporarily suspended production effective March 15, due to the lockdown imposed by the national government in its effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease that has affected not just the country, but other parts of the world.

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