It’s Christmas everyday on Eat Bulaga’s ‘Juan for All’

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Not only has the show helped to give entertainment and joy to various communities in the Philippines, but it has also made many viewers feel that Christmas can come everyday to their homes—(from left to right) Maine Mendoza, Paolo Ballesteros, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola are grateful for the unique opportunity to do this

Not only has the show helped to give entertainment and joy to various communities in the Philippines, but it has also made many viewers feel that Christmas can come everyday to their homes—(from left to right) Maine Mendoza, Paolo Ballesteros, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola are grateful for the unique opportunity to do this

Hosts look back at the year’s most touching moment on longest-running noontime show

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Remedios Chaves of Lubao, Pampanga prayed hard that she would be chosen as a Sugod-Bahay winner when Eat Bulaga’s “Juan for All, All for Juan” came to her barangay back in July. The reason: she wanted to see her son Lito, a tattoo artist based in East Timor, whom she had not seen for 16 years. They would only communicate occasionally via email, and only through his cousins. Clearly, Remedios was longing for her son since her husband passed away.

“Lagi ko noon sinabi na, ‘Diyos ko, paano na kaya ang anak ko.’ Akala ko kung ano na nangyari,” she said.

For the devoted mother, “Juan for All, All for Juan” was her only means to finally be reunited with her son. And Lito, whom Eat Bulaga was unable to contact at first, only found out his mother had been a “Sugod Bahay” winner thanks to a fellow Filipino in East Timor who saw the episode on the Internet.

“Noong una, tumawag si Bossing Vic [Sotto]. Hindi ako makontak. Nalaman ko na lang na nanalo nanay ko n’ung sinabi ng kaibigan ko na may ‘Sugod Bahay’ daw, nakita n’ya sa YouTube. Pinakita sa akin. Sabi ko, nanay ko nga yan. Nakita ko rin na maraming nagsasabi sa Facebook na, ‘Umuwi ka na, hinahanap ka ng nanay mo.’ Naiyak ako. Nagulat talaga ako,” Lito said.

Eat Bulaga did not disappoint Remedios. Not only was she able to talk to Lito via a video call days after her “Sugod-Bahay” win; the noontime show even sent her to East Timor, where she stayed for 15 days.

“Noong nakita n’ya ako, syempre, katakot-takot na iyakan ang nangyari kasi 16 years kaming hindi nagkita,” Remedios said.
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Their lives have changed since then, thanks to Eat Bulaga. Remedios now has a small sari-sari store in Pampanga as a means of livelihood. Meanwhile, Lito returned to the Philippines two weeks after his mother’s visit to East Timor. He has decided to stay here for good.

“Babalik ako ng East Timor after one year para kunin yung mga anak ko. Pagkatapos, dito na kami sa Pilipinas titira. Lagi kasing naglalambing nanay ko. Matanda na raw siya, gusto n’yang makasama na kaming pamilya n’ya,” Lito said.

“Malaking bagay. Malaking tulong ang Eat Bulaga. Binuo niya ang pamilya namin,” Remedios said. “Parang Pasko araw-araw.”

This is common sentiment of the winners of “Juan for All, All for Juan.” Not only has the show helped to give entertainment and joy to various communities in the Philippines, but it has also made many viewers–especially contestants from depressed areas in the country–feel that Christmas can come everyday, right in front of their doorsteps.

“Juan for All, All for Juan” began as an Eat Bulaga segment in February 2009, with hosts Ruby Rodriguez and Wally Bayola going to different barangays every day. It started out as a simple “Bring Me” game, where the hosts at Broadway Centrum who tell the viewer-contestants what items to give Ruby and Wally in order to win prizes.

The segment eventually evolved. Now, “Juan for All, All for Juan” is the heart of Eat Bulaga, thanks mostly to its “Sugod-Bahay” portion, where the Eat Bulaga mainstays get to personally interact with the segment winners in their homes without fail, rain or shine. Current segment hosts Bayola, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, and Maine Mendoza agree that “Juan for All, All for Juan” is special for everyone involved.
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“Everyday, nakikita namin yung iba’t ibang istorya ng tao,” Bayola said.

“Masarap yung pakiramdam na kasama ka dito. Maraming hosts ang Eat Bulaga, at maswerte kami na magkaroon ng sariling portion na kailangang alagaan mo,” said Bayola. “Araw-araw may pressure. So yung feeling dapat mahalin mo yung segment, kung paano mo palalaguin sa tulong ng mga nasa Broadway.”

Manalo, who grew up in Tondo, Manila, said he enjoys spending time with the people outside the Eat Bulaga. “Masarap yung pakiramdam sa part ko, kasi sabi nga nila ang artista dapat lumilingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan. Ito yun, eh. Hindi ako nawawala sa mundo ko noong araw. Sa tulong ng ‘Juan for All,’ hindi ako naaalis sa lugar ko. Nabigyan lang ako ng trabaho pero andoon pa rin ako sa lugar ko.”

“Mahilig akong makipagchikahan sa mga matatanda,” said Ballesteros, who initially joined “Juan for All, All for Juan” as temporary substitute for Bayola, who was down with sore eyes. He clicked with the segment and has become a mainstay ever since. “Nakakatuwa rin na kapag nasa barangay kami tapos may lalapit sa amin na naging winner na before, tapos chichikahin namin kung ano ginawa nila sa premyo nila.”

Mendoza, the latest addition to the Eat Bulaga family, joined the show via “Juan for All, All for Juan.” “Dito ako nagsimula. Iba yung pag-welcome sa akin dito. Family ang trato sa akin dito kahit una pa lang. Noon hanggang ngayon, sobrang saya, hindi nagbabago yung pakiramdam,” she said. “Masarap to get along with different kinds of people and to hear different stories.”

The TV host-actress said she personally chose to do “Juan for All, All for Juan” instead of doing hosting duties at the Eat Bulaga studio. “Niloloko nila ako na lilipat na ako sa Broadway. Pero sabi ko, parang hindi ko kayang iwan yung barangay kasi dito ako nagsimula. Dito rin ako magtatapos. Ayokong iwan kung saan ako nagsimula. Sobrang napamahal na ito sa akin.”

Manalo believes “Juan for All, All for Juan” is a blessing to the segment winners and the Eat Bulaga viewers at home.

“Yung viewers, mas nagiging matatatag sila sa tulong ng segment. Doon nila pwedeng makita na may mga taong mas nangangailan ng tulong kaysa sa kanila, na dapat di sila magalit o magtampo sa mundo,” he said. “Yung mga pinupuntahan naman namin, nabibigyan naming sila ng bagong pagasa na hindi huminto yung mundo nila sa tulong ng ‘Juan for All, All for Juan.’ At the same time, yung mga payo nina Tito, Vic, and Joey, nagagamit nila yun.”

The segment hosts and their fellow Dabarkads feel they also get something in return from being one with Filipinos at the barangay.

“Give and take siya, eh. We learn mula sa mga kwento nila, and kami naman nakakapaghatid ng papremyo,” Bayola said.

Mendoza rejoined, “Marami kaming nalalaman dito sa barangay. Mas marami akong natututunan tungkol sa buhay dito. Dito ko na-re-realize na ang swerte ko pala talaga. At the same time, sobrang saya kasi nakakatulong ka rin sa tao.”

Manalo ended, “Araw-araw Pasko para lahat sa lahat dito. Hindi lang araw-araw Pasko — namimigay din tayo ng saya at pagasa sa bawat pamilya at tahanan na napupuntahan namin. Hindi lang kami pumapasok para sa show. Pumapasok din kami sa buhay ng tao.”

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