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Ryan Agoncillo and Billy Crawford enjoy Asean exposure

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Two of the country’s most popular TV hosts are extending their reach beyond their home networks via cable programs for the Southeast Asian Region. Poised for success what with their gift of gab, their easy going and lovable ways, and a good head above their shoulders, Ryan Agoncillo and Billy Crawford deserve both a pat on the back and a boost from their fellow Filipinos as they show the world just how talented the Pinoy male is.

 Ryan Agoncillo

Ryan Agoncillo

Ryan Agoncillo hits the road anew for ‘Cash Cab’
Multi-awarded TV host Ryan Agoncillo goes behind the wheel anew for the second season of quiz-show-on-wheels Cash Cab on cable channel AXN.

At an interview on Tuesday, the Eat Bulaga mainstay who first made a name for himself as host of such shows as Talentadong Pinoy and Pinoy Fear Factor, said he is very excited to multi-task as cabbie and quiz show master all over again as he picks up unsuspecting passengers across Metro Manila and asks them all sorts of trivia for prize money.

Grateful for the success of his first 13 episodes doing the British-developed game show, Agoncillo related, “Personally, I think the first season was a learning phase for me, but now [my producers]say I seemed to be more relaxed.”

Admitting he had so much to learn in terms of driving, shooting questions, handling money, and being entertaining all at the same time, he promised for the new season, “I’ll be more focused on the contestants rather than focusing on getting the game going, operating the car, and communicating with my team.”

His goal, therefore, will be to make conversations more interesting by bringing out his passenger’s story as he has effectively done in his career as program host.

He also sees the familiarity with Cash Cab following the first season as an advantage in a smoother second run.

“I should think after the initial shock of the passengers getting into the cab and seeing me, they already have the consciousness that there is such a game show, and hopefully get on with playing. There is lesser need for lengthy explanations about the rules so it’s also less tedious,” Agoncillo added.

Happy that the show, which is seen across South East Asia has been given a second season—meaning to say it’s succeeded in viewership despite being an all-Filipino show in English—the 37-year-old celebrity is excited to feature more showbiz personalities on this regional platform.

“Cash Cab 2 will have celebrity contestants like Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez, Epy and Ronnie Quizon, Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle, and the Philippine teams from the ongoing The Amazing Race Asia Season 5—beauty queens Maggie Wilson-Consunji and Parul Shah, and married couple Eric and Rona Samson-Tai,” Agoncillo enumerated.

Besides growing with the show, asked what else the Cash Cab experience has done for him, the ever grounded celebrity said he gained great sympathy for motorists and commuters in Metro Manila.

“I’m a motorcycle commuter most of the time so my experience behind the wheel really showed me how the traffic situation affects people’s lives. People who are just trying to earn a living but are kept away from their families for much longer than they should just because of traffic,” Agoncillo related.

“My empathy especially goes out to the taxi drivers as I do become one of them every time I hit the road for the show, just making a living for myself too. I realize why good conversations are needed on the road for everyone to survive.”

All the same, he continues to be excited over driving a cab and getting to meet everyday Filipinos, while giving those lucky enough to flag him down a unique break from their daily grind on the road.

“I’m looking forward to more seasons. As a host too, the satisfaction I get from this show is really of a different level. Not everyone gets to do this so when I get positive feedback from audiences even outside the country, it’s really overwhelming.” Agoncillo ended.

Cash Cab Philippines Season 2, airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. right before The Amazing Race Asia Season 5.

Billy Crawford

Billy Crawford

Billy Crawford goes on ‘BroCation’
There are days in a man’s life, when he just wants to lay low, hang with his bros and go on a crazy, wild adventure—away from the girlfriend, the wife or the family. This December, action entertainment cable channel KIX makes real this male fantasy with an original concept titled, The Ultimate BROcation.

These four guys by the way happen to be famous Southeast Asian celebrities who meet for the first time in an unforgettable, testosterone-fueled vacation in Hong Kong. The Philippine “import” is no less than TV host and R&B artist Billy Crawford, who is thrown in the mix of award-winning Malaysian hip hop artist SonaOne, Thailand’s “bad boy” DJ and TV host P.K., and Singapore’s maverick chef Bjorn Shen.

Bringing these four strangers together is Hong Kong martial arts movie star Philip Ng, who invites them to join him on an all-expenses-paid trip full of authentic, tailor-made experiences offering the best of his hometown.

“Yep, no girlfriends, no wives, no kids were allowed on the trip,” confirmed Crawford who launched the program on Tuesday for the Philippine market in a Quezon City Restaurant. “I would’ve loved to have taken my girlfriend [sexy dramatic actress Coleen Garcia], but then again, who could say no to an all-expense paid trip!” he added joking.

“It was a different yet fantastic experience to be able to bond with ‘bros’ I barely knew. When you put four guys together, regardless of whatever activity they are involved in, they will always try to compete with each other. In a way, you kind of get bullied and in my case, I bullied P.K. a lot since he was the first bro I met. But in all honesty, we all hit it up pretty well; SonaOne and I clicked on music; and Bjorn is just a big ole teddy bear. And what I really loved most about this experience is the fact that it was done in Hong Kong, one of my most favorite cities in the world,” Crawford continued.

He also enjoyed the fact that Hong Kong Tourism Board supported this co-production of Endemol Shine Group and KIX, because he saw places in this favorite travel destination of Filipinos he never even knew existed.

In reply, the tourism board’s regional director Simon Wong expressed, “We are glad to work with KIX and Endemol Shine Group on the production of The Ultimate BROcation and now we are excited about the airing of the series. We believe that the bros’ unforgettable fun times in Hong Kong will inspire the audience to experience for themselves the best and most authentic shopping, eating and playing options Hong Kong has to offer.”

In describing the show, Andy Chang of Celestial Tiger Entertainment related, The Ultimate BROcation is a fun-filled ride that guys will relate to and ladies will laugh at. The show captures how four guys who don’t know each other can bond over shared experiences in a foreign land. I think our viewers will really enjoy the bro-bantering between Billy, SonaOne, P.K. and Bjorn. Their antics on this ‘brocation’ are truly hilarious.”

According to Crawford, he and his new found bros had a wild night on a yacht, wine-tasting on a tram, fly boarding on the south side of the island, and of course a endless food trips in the epicure haven that is Hong Kong.

Asked by The Manila Times if at all, just how naughty they got—boys being boys—the ever witty Filipino-American celebrity feigned a most mischievous smile and quipped, “You’re just gonna have to watch it to find out.”

KIX is available in the Philippines on Cablelink Ch.54, Cignal TV Ch. 133, Destiny Cable Ch.63, Gsat Ch. 18 and SKYcable Ch.63.

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