JoWaPao relishes back-to-back projects

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JOSE Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros are happily discovering that their wit and comedic chemistry go beyond “Eat, Bulaga!”

Spin-off characters from the highly successful “Kalyeserye” that concluded with AlDub’s [Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub” Mendoza] wedding and newfound family life, Lolas Tidora, Nidora and Tinidora have been making waves weekday mornings on GMA Network with “The Lolas’ Beautiful Show.”

Airing just before Eat Bulaga, the noontime show’s loyal viewers are treated to 30 minutes of fun talk about life and love and everything in between by the trio of JoWaPao; that is, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros.

“The show, in a way, is an extension of what we’ve done in Kalyeserye. With the same characters we try to interact with different people from all ages, while trying to impart life lessons to the viewers,” said Bayola.


Paolo Ballesteros, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola

Admittedly, The Lolas’ Beautiful Show came as a surprise for all three of them. Ballesteros reveals they were only given two weeks to prepare for their pilot episode in late September.

“We’re very happy with this opportunity but at the same time, we feel that we have an bigger responsibility to the audience,” Ballesteros explains. “We take time to plan and discuss what we’ll feature in every episode because we only want to give them the best. After all, it’s not every day that your bosses will gift you with a project this big.”

Manalo, the original Lola Tinidora of Kalyeserye what with the characters of Nidora and Tidora introduced later into the concept, says for his part he is simply overwhelmed that two years since the Aldub phenomenon, the public is still hooked on the Lolas.

Right now, TV’s successful trio are counting on the same support from their fans for their first major film “Trip Ubusan: The Lolas vs Zombies” from APT Entertainment and M-ZET TV Production. (See banner story).

“This project is different from Kalyeserye and ‘Lolas Beautiful Show’ because this is an action-adventure movie. We’ve never done anything like this together,” Bayola relates.

“They will see our characters’ personal adventures, while we show them that despite age, the Lolas—just like their grandparents—still have that sense of adventure in them,” Manalo adds.

Busy as can be what with the morning talk show, Eat Bulaga and movie promos, the trio agrees they will not have it any other way. After all, how many people can actually say their job is a whole load of fun?

“We work every day but we don’t complain about it because we like what we do. We love our job and the people we work with. We’re just grateful for the outpouring of love from everyone,” Ballesteros says.

As for comments from showbiz observers they are poised to be the next TVJ (Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon), JoWaPao believes they still have a long way to go.

“Madami pa kaming kakainin na bigas,” Manalo quotes the Filipino saying. “We’re happy and flattered when we hear that, but we’re far behind them. No one can surpass what TVJ have achieved over the years and what they continuously contribute to the industry. What we can only do is be inspired by them and remember why we are working in front of the camera like they taught us—to entertain the Filipino.”

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