Seeing them host onscreen makes us believe that even seemingly-ordinary people like us could make it big and be famous. These celebrities prove that as long as you have the talent, you could still be popular and shine!
Here are some of the country’s most unconventional hosts who captivate us with their punch-drunk humor and wit, and make us glued to our screens!
1. RAMON BAUTISTA
From being an Internet superstar, Ramon Bautista, a filmmaker and UP professor, has crossed over from indie to mainstream and is considered as one of the most famous unconventional hosts today. He might not be your typical good-looking matinee idol, but his charm and weird ways has gotten the interest of everyone, especially his current hot girlfriend, Korean model Jinri Park.
Ramon started hosting his own show, The Ramon Bautista Show, in 2007 under MTV Pilipinas where he interviewed famous artists in the Philippine music industry. He then also hosted May Tamang Balita, a satirical news show in GMA News TV. Recently, he has crossed over to international media by hosting National Geographic’s Science of Stupid, which has been warmly received by audiences.
Aside from the hit shows under his name, he is now also a popular endorser of big brands such us Nescafe, Petron, McDonald’s, Nissan and Smart. To add to that, he is also the author of the best-selling book, Bakit hindi ka Crush ng Crush mo?, which was adapted to film by Star Cinema that starring Xian Lim and Kim Chiu. He also hosts a radio show in Magic 89.9 titled Boys Night Out.
Ramon’s stardom can be credited to his witty takes on Philippine culture and showbiz. He does away with gags and antics and instead, makes social commentaries injected with his brand of humor. Despite seeing him almost everywhere, Ramon believes “hindi pa ako showbiz.” “I just do my best and have fun delivering what I have to deliver to bring maximum enjoyment to our audience.”
But even witty comedians could not always get away with criticism. Recently, Bautista was declared persona non grata in Davao City for his hipon jokes whilst hosting a party during the Kadayawan Festival. Bautista has since apologized, but officials dismissed his apology as fake and half-baked. The host has taken to Twitter to express how he respects the decision of Davao officials and that he “will abide by it.”
2. LOURD DE VEYRA
Even before he became known as a host, Lourd was already a popular vocalist of the group Radioactive Sago Project. Their hit song, Gusto ko ng Baboy, was an example of how the group mixed bebop jazz, punk and poetic lyrics to target socially-relevant issues of the country such as drugs and politics. Lourd is now one of the key hosts in TV5 and has done a lot of shows for the channel. He used to co-anchor the news show TEN: The Evening News and hosted a segment Word of the Lourd in Sapul sa Singko. Currently, he is one of the hosts in Aksyon, Wasak, Word of the Lourd, Exsaktong Impunto, Lulubog Lilitaw sa Ilalim ng Tulay, Good Morning Club, History: Tsismis noon, Kasaysayan ngayon and Good Morning Ser in TV5.
Aside from his TV gigs, he also hosts radio shows like RockEd Radio in Jam 88.3 and Chillaz Radio in 92.3 News FM. Lourd always treats his commentaries with wit and humor because he believes that humor is a way for people to cope with the problems in our society. “We never run out of things to laugh about in our society… We hide our pain through laughter. Pain is not a good alternative. I believe laughter is a coping mechanism,” de Veyra said.
Lourd has indeed risen as a credible news and current affairs host as he is also a brilliant writer – he has won the Don Carlos Palanca Award for Literature thrice – a third prize in Essay (English Division) in 1999 and 2003 and a first prize in teleplay (Filipino division) in 2004.
3. ARVIN TADO JIMENEZ
The late Tado first became a household name when he hosted the eccentric show, Strange Brew, in UNTV in 2001. Using his maroon Volkswagen Beetle, he and his co-host Angel Rivero, went on road trips and explored different adventures while also interviewing different personalities. After the show was cancelled in 2003, his tandem with Rivero continued in the radio show, BrewRats, in Hit 99.5 FM.
Since then, Tado regularly appeared on Kapamilya TV shows such as Magandang Tanghali Bayan, Ok Fine Whatever and MTB: Ang Saya Saya. He was also a talent in Camera Café Philippine Edition that aired in GMA Network in 2007-2008. He also had guest appearances in The Weekend News with Ramon Bautista in TV5, Eat Bulaga in GMA and Happy Yippe Yehey! and My Puhunan in ABS-CBN. His last appearance was in AHA, which aired in GMA this 2014.
All of local entertainment and art scene mourned though when Tado died of a tragic bus accident early this year. With his passing, his wife, loved-ones and colleagues are determined to continue his advocacy, as Tado left behind DAKILA – a group of artists promoting social awareness and change through the use of music and other media. As an excerpt from his book “Bio-eulogies” says:
“To those who were close to him, Tado represented that rare artist who was fueled not by fame or fortune but by his convictions. Tado was not content with making a bad day a little better with laughter. He was an advocate, who made use of the popularity he invested in as a tool for revolution. His entire career was engineered to change mindsets and perspectives.”
4. MARCO HO as BOGART THE EXPLORER
Internet sensation, “Bogart the Explorer from Davao,” may not be actively seen on local TV yet but he has already amassed a huge following in his show on Youtube. Dressed just like the famous crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, Bogart wanders across the metro and gives scientific names to everything he encounters. What makes him really funny is how he imitates Steve Irwin’s accent and makes everyday events and people such as a jeepney barkers and snatchers as his specimens. Marco Ho said in YouTube interview that he made up the character Bogart to make Filipinos take a second look at the everyday events that happen in our country and make them appreciate these things more. At the same time, he also wants to make a mockery on things that foreigners say are ugly about the Philippines such as traffic.
Ho said he is a natural comedian and has been imitating accents ever since he was a kid. He started doing Bogart the Explorer for fun and continues to do so for the same reason.
Marco Ho is also the drummer of the band, Giniling Festival.
*Photo collage by the author.