Friday, May 21, 2010

Resignation Letter of Willie Revillame from ABS-CBN (Lumayas Ka Na WILLIE, wala kang kwenta!)

Willie: Please release me!
FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricardo F. Lo (The Philippine Star) Updated May 21,
2010 12:00 AM

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Willie Revillame: Where to from here?

When Willie Revillame started hosting Wowowee in Feb. 2005, his heart
was light and easy, eager to please and entertain especially the
marginalized sector of Philippine society. It was a heart that truly
and sincerely cares for the masa with whom Willie can easily identify
because he, too, experienced how it was to miss meals and sleep on the
hard floor of a cramped rented room, with a dilapidated electric fan
that produced more creak than cool air.

Two weeks ago when he quit Wowowee in a huff and in protest against
Jobert Sucaldito whom he accused of hitting him “for almost one year
already” in Jobert’s program on dzMM (ABS-CBN’s sister company),
Willie was diagnosed to be suffering from ulcers, a bad throat (no
doubt from talking on the show almost non-stop for two hours and a
half Monday thru Saturday) and a clogged heart that continues to beat
for, should I say, the down-trodden, most of whom show up on Wowowee
in slippers (vendors, etc.) and in worn-out clothes (streetkids,
etc.), and go home not luhaan (no tears) because Willie sees to it
that they are cared for with a reassuring hug and, most important of
all, with financial help (even the contest losers get consolation
prizes).

Either you love Willie or you hate Willie. Most of those in the upper
class (A and B) — those who can afford to buy computers and maintain
Twitter and Facebook accounts — hate Willie with impunity; and those
in the lower class (B, C and D) — who can hardly afford to have three
meals a day and to buy branded clothes — love Willie with a passion.
There lies the secret of Wowowee’s success both here and abroad where
there are TFCs (The Filipino Channel).

Willie has remained “inaccessible” at the moment, he’s in “seclusion,”
refusing to answer or return calls (placed through third parties) or
text messages. He’s sorely missed by Wowowee followers and his
co-hosts (all of them, I hope!) and his staff who have only nice words
for Willie.

“He’s generous,” said one of the 98 staffers whom Willie treated to a
holiday in Hong Kong with $200 pocket money each. “He never forgets to
give us bonus or to help with hospital bills and other needs kapag
kulang ang budget namin,” adding with pained laughter, “parang nga
siya ATM namin, eh!”

Does this piece sound like, sigh, a “tribute” to Willie who has been
temporarily replaced (for two weeks) by Robin Padilla on Wowowee which
is, the network’s biggest money-maker? And the bigger question: Will
Willie ever go back to Wowowee?

Read between the lines of the following letter Willie has just sent to
the ABS-CBN bosses, a copy of which was furnished Funfare by my Bohol
Avenue VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent) who swore that she would
kill me if I revealed her identify (don’t worry, “auntie,” the secret
will remain a secret forever):

12 May 2010

MR. EUGENIO LOPEZ, III

Chairman of the Board

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.

Mo. Ignacia Ave., Quezon City

Through: Ms. Charo Santos-Concio

President

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.

Dear Sir Gabby and Ma’am Charo,

I have labored over the past week on what to do in the face of another
setback in my relations with the management of the network. ABS-CBN
has been my home for the last five years and five months and it has
given me the greatest gift – the opportunity to reach out to people
who have so little in life.

In the process, I have come to realize that my gratitude to the
network would be more meaningful if I considered the impact of my
recent actions which has placed the station in a bad light. This is
among the reasons, as I will explain in this letter, that I humbly
request the management, to release me as a talent of the network.
(Willie’s contract is good for one year and a half more. — RFL)

It is no secret that the program “Wowowee,” for almost five and a half
years, has been the core of my existence. The program gives me a sense
of purpose because I make people happy and I give them hope that,
despite their difficulties, they can make things happen for
themselves. Because of this, my world has revolved around the show.
The desire to make it the best noontime show, has consumed my waking
hours, as I conceptualize its format and contents from Monday to
Saturday. Apart from this, I want the show to give the network
excellent ratings to maintain its reputation as the leader in the
broadcasting industry.

My devotion to the show is unparalleled that I have even been besieged
by health problems due to the long hours I spend daily, thinking of
how to bring “Wowowee” closer to the public. In fact, I have developed
a heart blockage, which has already once posed a real threat to my
life. I have sacrificed so much. Now, I have to accept the reality
that I also have to take good care of my health.

Hence, it is very painful to hear every time my show is the target of
unwanted and unnecessary tirades. I do not think that these people
even have the slightest clue of what I go through to put together a
show like “Wowowee”’. The show is not for me, but for those people who
dream of a better life. Is it too much to ask that we be respected for
what we do? Is it too much to ask that we be defended from such
attacks?

My outburst last week during the live presentation of the show is
nothing more than a reflection of my frustration over these things,
and was not at all meant to disrespect the network and its management.
I implore you to understand that several incidents, which were beyond
my control which have marred the reputation of the show to some
extent, have already taken their toll on me.

There was the “Wilyonaryo” incident wherein we were accused of
deceiving contestants about their winnings; the Ultra stampede wherein
I was blamed and severely criticized; the misunderstanding about my
remarks when the coverage of the funeral of the late Pres. Corazon
Aquino was unexpectedly shown in the giling-giling portion of
“Wowowee”’s airing, for which I have apologized. In all these
incidents, I took responsibility even if I was not at fault.

I do not want to cause any further embarrassment to the network. I
know that all these have caused so much strain on our relations and I
would like to save the situation by asking that I be released as a
talent of the station. This way, I will have the much-needed space and
time to contemplate on my direction in life and, at the same time,
maintain the relationships I have built within the network, which are
all worth preserving.

Before I end this letter, I would like to express my sincerest
gratitude to all the important people I have had the good fortune to
work with during the years I have been with ABS-CBN. Ma’am Charo,
maraming salamat sa lahat ng pagkakataon na naibigay ninyo sa akin.
Kayo po ang tinuturing kong ina na patuloy akong tinatanggap at
minamahal sa kabila ng lahat ng aking kahinaan. Hinding-hindi ko po
kayo makakalimutan at lahat ng mga bagay na ginawa ninyo para sa akin.

Kay Mr. Gabby Lopez, maraming salamat po sa inyong pagtitiwala sa
aking kakayanan na magbigay ng mahusay na programa. Kay Tita Cory
Vidanes, maraming salamat sa pagiging maunawain ninyo sa akin. Kay Mr.
Johnny Manahan, maraming salamat sa walang-sawang pag-suporta ninyo sa
akin at sa “Wowowee,” at lalong lalo na sa pagtayo ninyo bilang aking
pangalawang ama. Kay Ms. Linggit Tan, Mr. Jay Montelibano at Mr. Edgar
Mortiz, maraming salamat sa suporta at tulong ninyo na mapabuti and
programang “Wowowee” para sa ikaliligaya ngmga natutulangan natin. Sa
lahat ng bumubuo ng management ng ABS-CBN, maraming salamat sa tulong
ninyo sa aking programa.

Higit sa lahat, sa lahat ng mga taong sumuporta at patulong na
sumusuporta sa show na “Wowowee,” maraming salamat at kayo ang
nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas na gawin ang mga dapat kong gawin. Sana po
ay maunawaan ninyo ang aking kahilingan sa sulat na ito. Ayaw ko na
pong may masasaktan pa at gusto ko lang na maisaayos lahat. Taos-puso
akong humihingi sa inyo ng tawad at lubos na pang-unawa sa lahat ng
pinagdadaanan ko ngayon.

There will never be enough words to express my gratitude to all of you…

Salamat at mabuhay po kayong lahat!

Respectfully yours,

— Willie B. Revillame

Copy furnished:

Ms. Charo Santos-Concio

Ms. Cory Vidanes

Mr. Johnny Manahan

Ms. Arlene De Castro

Ms. Linggit Tan

Mr. Jay Montelibano

Mr. Edgar Mortiz

There you are.

I agree with what Tempo’s Ronald Constantino wrote in his column
yesterday: Willie is Wowowee and Wowowee is Willie, as in worthless
one without the other? It’s like saying, Sharon is Megastar and
Megastar is Sharon...Maricel is Diamond Star and Diamond Star is
Maricel...Or, Vilma is Star For All Seasons and Star For All Seasons
is Vilma.

My prayer is that Willie and the ABS-CBN bosses will adjourn their
scheduled meeting (on Monday, May 24?) on a happy note. Let’s keep our
collective fingers crossed.

Posted via email from Everyday little thoughts, whatever comes to my mind!

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