One-on-one with John Estrada

On being axed from his TV5 sitcom; getting the cold shoulder from Willie; and the demands of his noontime show
By Ed Uy, Staff Writer
AFTER being bashed on live TV by Willie Revillame, someone he considered as one of his best friends, John Estrada continued to face public scrutiny, as his departure became the topic of several radio and showbiz talk shows. Comments ranged from disagreement to the hurtful, calling him “walang utang na loob,” for leaving TV5—a station that took him in and fulfilled his dream of starring in his very own sitcom.
In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times, Estrada speaks out to clarify rumors and settle the issue that almost ruined his return to noontime television and the debut of Happy Yipee Yehey! (HYY!).
“Kadalasan kasi yung mga nagsasabi na di ako nagpaalam, they are not part of management kaya wala silang alam kung ano ang deal between me and management,” Estrada began. “Ang dapat naman kasing pinag-papaalaman is yung management at hindi sila. The truth is I talked with the bosses of TV5 and made them aware of my situation, at nagpaalam ako ng mahusay. Ang problema sa kanila [referring to his critics] salita sila ng salita pero hindi naman nila ako ini-interview para bigyan ng chance makapagpaliwanag.
“Kaya as far as the management of TV5 is concerned, ang alam ko wala kaming samaan ng loob.”
“I never planned on leaving my sitcom, dahil mahal ko yun,” Estrada continued. “In fact, when Randy [Santiago] and I met and with [ABS-CBN executives] Cory Vidanes at Linggit Tan, they asked us to leave TV5. But I told them upfront na, pasensiya na po, hindi ko puwede silang iwanan dahil sila ang nagbigay sa akin ng sitcom na matagal ko nang hinihingi from you [ABS-CBN]. And in fairness naman to ABS-CBN they agreed, so the truth is hindi talaga ako umalis sa sitcom, tinanggal ako.
“Ang totoo niyan nalungkot ako noong nawala yung sitcom, dahil alam ko na may mga ibang tao dun na nagsasabi sa management na bakit ninyo pa kukunin yan? Because management and I already agreed that I was going to continue with the sitcom despite my shows here at ABS-CBN,” he added.
Estrada also clarified that he resigned from the Sunday noontime variety show P.O. 5 properly and did not just abandon it, or disappeared, as people are being made to believe.
Asked whether he preferred doing sitcoms to hosting, Estrada replied, “I’m sure you are well aware that hosting is far more difficult than doing sitcoms because this is a daily show, and I don’t want to be a hypocrite to say na hindi ako masaya na I was given a noontime show. There are a lot of big name stars out there who will do anything to have a noontime show, pero hindi kasi lahat binabagayan. So it is not a matter of what I want, I am just very thankful to be given the opportunity to host Happy Yipee Yehey!”
On his friendship with Revillame and co-host Santiago, Estrada says he’s been friends with the two for almost the same length of time. And as much as he’d like to mend ties with Revillame, John say, “Paano mo kakausapin ang isang taong ayaw ka kausapin?”
Estrada, who is scheduled to wed former beauty queen Priscilla Meirelles on February 26 at Thunderbird Poro Point Resorts in La Union, also revealed that he had to indefinitely postpone their honeymoon because of his new show.
“Doing Happy Yipee Yehey! is hard work, we have to give our inputs to the show, and pati lahat ng spiels pinaguusapan namin ni Randy para lalo pang mapaganda yung show.”
Estrada said he is also very grateful for the support ABS-CBN is giving the HYY! “Before Randy and I accepted the show, we asked the management if they were going to pressure us about the ratings and they said no. Ang sabi nila, they just want us to enjoy ourselves and have fun. Saka na yang ratings, ratings na yan.” He also praised co-hosts Mariel Rodriguez and Toni Gonzaga, both veterans of noontime shows themselves, saying they were very professional and easy to work with and was quite surprised by the chemistry they all had from the beginning.
So far, HYY! is doing good despite some harsh criticisms, which Estrada said was expected. “You can’t please everybody.
Basta kami we will just work hard and try
our best to produce an entertaining show.
To all those who support us, thank you so much, wala kaming ibang nais kundi ang samahan kayo sa inyong pananghalian at maghatid sa inyo ng kasiyahan araw araw.”
Happy Yipee Yehey! airs Monday to Saturday after Showtime on ABS-CBN.
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