In the 60’s and 70’s Pasay City was raw. Cherie grew up in the streets of Pasay City and was proud of it. When not in school she hung out in the street corner store with local bums called ‘istambays’ (from the English words stand by). She could throw a joke like ‘Tito, Vic and Joey’.
After college, when Cherie was in her 20’s she co-founded a film buff organization that sponsored film showings for the benefit of a charity organization. Her main function was marketing the projects and for that she sent out press releases and went to live television shows for free plugging and airtime exposure of their film festival poster. Eat Bulaga, the highest rating noon time show never failed to accommodate her. Needless to say the TV plugging helped sell the tickets and made each project a success.
When Cherie immigrated to the US Eat Bulaga continued on in the backdrop of Filipino life. Recently Cherie rediscovered Eat Bulaga via The Filipino Channel (TFC).
The show is still very Filipino, more so now than ever. The segment “All for Juan and Juan for All” seeks out the poorest of the poor in a different locale per episode to hand out cash and goods to be used as capital for business, budget for children’s education or whatever else the lucky family could use.
Cherie could not keep from crying as she watched an old woman who actually lived in a church’s toilet get cash and she could now find a proper living space for her granddaughter and herself. A hard working repair man whose wife has left him with four children got some help to put his children back in school. And the list goes on.
Eat Bulaga’s journey from accommodating charitable projects into becoming the nation’s equalizer happened inconspicuously while the country’s leaders were busy privatizing government assets and political commentators were busy exposing corruption without any concrete result. Eat Bulaga as led by ‘Bossing’ Vic Sotto has devised a new way of ‘giving back’, a silent unconditional aid to a face in the crowd.
“But the poor will not always be forgotten; nor will the hope of the meek ever perish.” (Psalms 9:18)