Jollitown: Confessions of a stage uncle


Calvin (in glasses) and other JKC members get the chance to be on TV as they visit

Now I know how Annabel Rama feels.

I woke up at around 4 a.m. with barely three hours of sleep feeling giddy with excitement about Calvin’s “guesting” in one of the episodes of The Jollitown Kids Show.

As a member of the Jollibee Kids Club (JKC), my 6-year-old nephew got invited to a studio visit for a chance to be seen on TV in one of the show’s episodes.

He didn’t need any chicken joy motivation as his eyes immediately lit up when I told him he was going to meet Jollibee and his friends. He was a regular viewer of the show, watched the past seasons on DVDs and never missed a birthday party held at the Jollibee.

As we arrived in the studio, the staff checked out the clothes of the kids—we were asked to bring plain bright colored shirts, without any character/cartoon designs (Jollibee apparently gets jealous easily). Many of the parents brought a couple of shirts; I almost brought Calvin’s entire cabinet.

Shortly after breakfast, the kids were then brought to the holding area (a big play room with lots of toys) and were given a few instructions such as; always be energetic, keep smiling and absolutely no crying; before being ushered inside the studio.

There was a collective “wow” from the kids (and us guardians) as soon as we entered the whimsical and colorful world they know as Jollitown.

When the director asked the kids who wanted to be seen on TV, even the parents and guardians screamed. I was confident they would notice my nephew easily as everyone was complimenting how cute he was, but when Calvin decided to stay at the back of the group, it was then that I switched into stage uncle mode.

I noticed that some of the kids had obviously done this before, as they positioned themselves right in front of the camera. As soon as they began to practice the dance, I quickly approached one of the assistant directors and told her to put Calvin in front so that he would get more exposure. I also made sure to walk across the set; whispering loudly while pointing out the cute young boy in blue so that cameramen would focus the camera on him. I definitely wasn’t going to let my nephew get overshadowed.

The taping took all morning but the crew made sure that all the kids were okay, serving them food and water in between breaks.

Trip to Jollitown
While having lunch, Jollibee Senior Brand Manager Inna Gimenez sat with us to tell us about the new concept of the show. “For its sixth season, we are introducing a more exciting live format for the Jollitown Kids Show to make it more engaging and a fun learning experience for kids.”

He added, “What makes this season more exciting is that JKC members get the exclusive opportunity to be part of the live audience. Not only do they get to watch the show live, they can also join the show’s fun activities and games and get to meet the entire Jollitown gang.

“The show is all about teaching positive Filipino values in the most fun way and with the new format and with the live audience the interaction between the mascots and the kids becomes real and exciting,” she continued.

In addition to the regular cast of Jollibee, Twirlie, Hetty, Popo, and Yum, the show introduces several new friends, such as cheerful big sister Hannah, techie boy Justin, and the baby of the group, Gabbie.

Each week the show will have a specific theme for its various segments such as storytelling time that teaches responsibility, teamwork, love for family and other positive values; and fun games that illustrate the value of sharing and perseverance, plus song and dance numbers. New to the show is the JKC Corner, which features exciting activities and fieldtrips of JKC members.

The taping ended early afternoon, and after Calvin said good-bye to his new friends, he looked at me and flashed that priceless smile on his face and said: “Next time ulit ha, Tito Ed?”

The Jollitown Kids Show airs every Saturday at 8:40 a.m. on GMA 7. For more fun, visit our website


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