MANILA: He almost had nothing in the Philippines. Or, let’s just say, he had poor prospects in life—until he went to Indonesia. And he’s not ashamed to admit it, even telling people the hardships he’d been through before attaining success.
The Jakarta-based Leo Consul, the only Filipino host of the Indonesian franchise of ‘Eat Bulaga!’, has recalled how he and his father were once evicted from their rented home in his hometown despite him burning with fever.
He had also witnessed how his father suffered from some illnesses, as they couldn’t even afford to see a doctor or buy medicines.
But today, Consul is able to support his father and indulge in some expensive things, such as a car and a condo, with his earnings in Indonesia.
‘Eat Bulaga!’, the most-watched and the longest-running noontime variety show in the Philippines, has been airing and rating well in Indonesia since July 2012 through SCTV Network. And at the moment it is the top-rated noontime variety show in the world’s fourth most populous and the biggest Muslim country.
It seems everything’s coming up roses for ‘Eat Bulaga!’, which has been entertaining Filipinos for over three decades. Produced by Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE), there have also been talks since last year that the show would also be brought to Malaysia and Singapore.
Consul believes in destiny—that he would one day get his place in this world—but also considers himself lucky to have travelled to Indonesia in search of greener pasture.
He remembers how he’d lost hope of finding a job in that Southeast Asian country when, two days before he was scheduled to fly back to the Philippines, he saw an advertisement flash on TV that SCTV was looking for hosts for ‘Eat Bulaga! Indonesia’.
“So, I said to myself, ‘Why don’t I try it?’” he loves recalling this moment during radio and TV interviews, and just about to anyone who cares to listen.