Willie Revillame (born Wilfredo Buendia Revillame, January 27, 1961), is a Filipino game show host, singer and comedian. Revillame currently hosts the noontime game show Wowowee,.

Career

Early career
Revillame earned a living as a professional drummer. He met his mentor, entertainer Randy Santiago, through a high school play known as "Tikboy: Alyas boy Dragon", where he starred as the main actor "Tikboy". In 1986, Santiago discovered Revillame while Revillame performed in the play and would then hire Revillame as his sidekick in the now-defunct GMA Network noontime show Lunch Date. Revillame stayed for three months on the show and was signed up by Regal Films to star alongside Joey Marquez in the movie Bobocop (from Tagalog word 'bobo', meaning 'dumb'), a spoof of the hit Hollywood movie Robocop. Since then, Revillame has been cast in movies as sidekick to other movie personalities such as Philip Salvador, Rudy Fernandez, Edu Manzano, Cesar Montano, Aga Muhlach, Dolphy, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and when he married Princess Punzalan, daughter of broadcasters Helen Vela and Orly Punzalan.


Noontime shows
As Revillame became the newest co-host of 'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila on ABS-CBN in 1998, he then joined his former Lunch Date co-host Randy Santiago and John Estrada in newest noontime show Magandang Tanghali Bayan, replacing 'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila. He immediately bonded with the two hosts and the three were noted for their on-screen chemistry and comic timing.

The newborn triumvirate of Santiago, Estrada, and Revillame was noticed by the viewers. But along with Revillame's new fame as TV host came criticism. Some sectors branded the new trio as a rehashed version of the more established Tito, Vic and Joey, their rival counterparts in the other noontime show, the Eat Bulaga on GMA 7. On the other hand, some viewers and critics denounced Willie for acting like a "sex maniac" with his vulgar behavior over the Calendar Girl contestants in MTB. Despite the criticism, the new trio of Santiago, Estrada, and Revillame received immense support from the ABS-CBN management.

Magandang Tanghali Bayan started its first live episode on November 30, 1998. This was Willie's third noontime show after Lunch Date (GMA 7) and 'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila (ABS-CBN), and his first major TV show after playing bit roles in sitcoms. MTB later dethroned rival show Eat Bulaga via GMA 7 in the ratings game. MTB is also the primary sponsor of the popular tabloid "TikTik Tonite", in fact from 2001-2002, Revillame was the editor-in-chief and was featured as the centerfold in the tabloids 300th issue.


Comebacks
In December 2002, Willie began exploratory talks with ABS-CBN regarding a new noontime show that would replace Magandang Tanghali Bayan. ABS-CBN decided to bring back the original MTB trio, Randy, John and Willie for the new noontime show and terminate the services of other MTB co-hosts and staff, including Roderick Paulate, Amy Perez and director Edgar Mortiz. The noontime show was titled Masayang Tanghali Bayan.

Willie also revealed in an interview with Ricky Lo later on that he went on a sabbatical to the United States for a couple of months. He was contemplating on retiring from showbiz and pursue a career as a band drummer. But his plans changed after getting a positive reaction from his Filipino-American customers who mingled with him during his stay. Bong Revilla. Willie ended up meeting with ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs executive Arlene de Castro, wife of Vice President Noli de Castro, who offered him a public service show with a touch of humor. The show turned out to be Willingly Yours.

Masayang Tanghali Bayan show was involved in so many controversies, some of which resulted in Willie's second suspension from ABS-CBN. Willie also did the public affairs program Willingly Yours which was also axed in mid-2003 although he won an award from Star Awards as Best Public Service Host, besting the likes of Mike Enriquez, Bernadette Sembrano and Arnold Clavio.

When Willie resigned from Masayang Tanghali Bayan after MTRCB requested ABS-CBN to terminate him due to some nasty jokes he said on air, he appeared in the showbiz talk show The Buzz and generated support for the embattled host-comedian. Gretchen Barretto, the partner of telecommunications magnate Tonyboy Cojuangco who owns the television network ABC 5, was one of them. She promised Willie that he will be hired as an ABC-5 (Now TV5) talent, much to the consternation of other people, particularly Gretchen's brother-in-law, Dennis Padilla who was Willie's co-host on Masayang Tanghali Bayan. At the same time, songwriter Lito Camo, the hitmaker behind hit novelty songs, and Universal Records executive Bella Tan decided to repackage Willie as a novelty singer. He then started a show with ABC-5 entitled Puso o Pera.

After the axing of Puso o Pera, Willie guested in GMA 7's reality show Extra Challenge. The particular episode was shot in Bali, Indonesia, with Andrew E., Francine Prieto and Michelle Bayle joining Willie as guests. The two-week episode posted the highest ratings for Extra Challenge. Willie followed it up with another guesting at GMA 7's sitcom, the now-defunct All Together Now where his former MTB director Edgar Mortiz was one of the mainstays. His guesting in that show also rated well. It was enough for GMA's rival network ABS-CBN to call up Willie for a meeting with the help of former ABS-CBN news executive Arlene de Castro (wife of Vice President Noli de Castro). Willie then named de Castro his new business manager in place of Wyngard Tracy.

After a series of meetings, ABS-CBN decided to bring back Willie in the noontime slot with his own game show. Willie was given creative freedom in his new show and joined forces with his former directors at MTB, Edgar Mortiz and Bobbet Vidanes in thinking new concepts for the game show. Willie then christened the noontime game show Wowowee in 2005, which was made especially for Filipinos who are experiencing poverty. It was started with female co-hosts Janelle Jamer, Kat Alano and Iya Villania. The show is currently on air, with new female hosts Mariel Rodriguez, Valerie Concepcion and Pokwang.

While in 2008, Willie revealed on the website of Philippine Entertainment Portal that he will be making a movie comeback via Octo Arts Films' Mr. Housewife. The movie will have him portray a family man who lost his job and was force to assume his wife's duties in taking care of the house and their children. Roxanne Guinoo was slated to play his wife in the film, which has been put on hold after Willie fell ill.


Controversies

Suspensions
In August 1999, Randy, John and Willie were suspended by ABS-CBN from Magandang Tanghali Bayan because of the vulgar jokes that they threw at the contestants that joined the contest during the show's portion Calendar Girl. The suspension was meted after MTRCB, then headed by Armida Siguion-Reyna, issued a warning on ABS-CBN regarding MTB. A week later, the whole noontime show was suspended and was replaced temporarily by Esep-Esep.

In 2001, Willie was terminated from Magandang Tanghali Bayan after he defied orders from ABS-CBN management to refrain from making vulgar jokes. He was replaced in the show by the matinee-idol triumvirate of Marvin Agustin, Dominic Ochoa and Rico Yan†. Soon after, he started appearing as guest star in some GMA 7 shows, fuelling speculations that he will soon be transferring to ABS-CBN's rival network. But after guesting at GMA 7, there was no news coming from Willie's camp except for his appearance during an EDSA 3 rally.

When Magandang Tanghali Bayan went off air, it made a comeback with a different title Masayang Tanghali Bayan with almost the same group, plus new hosts. Then in December 2003, the MTRCB ordered ABS-CBN to terminate Willie from the show, when he remarked nasty jokes with Masayang Tanghali Bayan mainstay Mahal, but before the order could be carried out, the host-comedian filed his resignation instead. In January 2004, Willie appeared on ABS-CBN's The Buzz and made a tearful farewell appearance full of tears.

Annulment case
On July 16, 2007, Revillame was charged before a Quezon City court (Criminal Case No. Q-07-147787) for allegedly abusing his estranged wife, Floralice "Liz" Almoro. Prosecutor Gibson Araulla Jr. recommended P 12,000 bail after he found that Revillame violated Section 5, RA 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act. Almoro alleged that Revillame a) humiliated and shouted words of encouragement at her while he was holding their baby boy, b) that sometime May 2006, he allegedly tried to file her face off with a nail file and that c) he had "dirty sexual affairs'" with different men and women. In his counter-affidavit, Revillame denied the charges claiming that he had difficulty performing his duty as husband allegedly because of Almoro’s explosive moods and hurtful tirades.

While his Wowowee co-host Janelle Jamer stated that she was never pregnant by Revillame, since there were rumours that she was slim due to an alleged abortion.

Wowowee stampede

On Wowowee's first year anniversary, a mass tragedy happened when a stampede broke out on February 4, 2006 6:00 AM local time at the PhilSports Arena while people were waiting for the show to begin on 1:00 PM local time. 74 people died (according to reports, 71 were dead) and hundreds were injured. It is said that the cause of the stampede is on the line where people get tickets for the show and when the security of ULTRA closed, causing people to rush to enter the gates. Others say that a man shouted that there was a bomb, causing panic. It is the deadliest accident to have occurred in a television event in all the whole history of Philippine broadcasting. After the chairman of ABS-CBN, Gabby Lopez, accepted full responsibility for the tragedy, on March 11 of the same year, the game show was relaunched.

On August 24, 2007, in a 7-page resolution the Department of Justice dismissed criminal charges against Revillame in connection with the infamous PhilSports Arena stampede. But Raul Gonzalez affirmed the charge against 14 other respondents, including ABS-CBN Network officials led by executive vice president Charo Santos Concio. A 5-man DOJ panel of prosecutors led by Atty. Dacera earlier ruled in an 80-page resolution that the organizers of the Wowowee game show were guilty of gross negligence.


Willie Revillame on Yes Magazine
According to many blog post Willie Revillame was named and voted upon as Top Most Powerful man in Philippine Showbiz by Yes! magazine Philippines' in 2008. The Yes Magazine April issue about 50 Most Powerful People in Showbiz were Willie Revillame tops is the most talked item in Philippine Entertainment Industry, many commented well about this controversy in blogs,forums and on online Pinoy Entertainment Portals. The news magazine also reveals that Willie Revillame earns 1 million pesos (Philippine Peso) a day.


Personal life
Willie was married to former beauty queen Liz Almoro in civil rites at Lipa, Batangas on March 2005 officiated by film star and town Mayor, Vilma Santos. This was followed shortly by a lavish church wedding in June 2005 that was sponsored by commercial entities and most probably ABS-CBN network. The wedding was adjudged by readers of YES Magazine as "Wedding of the Year" for 2005. He and his wife Liz now have a son, Juan Emmanuel (Juamee).

Despite the hoopla and extravaganza of Revillame's wedding and on-air vows of love and devotion to his wife, it was finally confirmed that Revillame's marriage is undergoing the process of annulment upon the instigation of Liz Almoro.

Willie Revillame has three daughters from previous relationships. One of his daughters, Meryl Soriano, is an actress. On August 27, 2007, Willie's daughter Meryl gave birth to a baby boy named Elijah. It was Meryl's firstborn with ex-husband, actor Bernard Palanca and officially Willie's first grandchild.

He is currently building his first real estate business Wil Theater Mall and will soon rise near ABS-CBN Eugenio Lopez Drive in Quezon City, Philippines.

Filmography

Television

Title Network Year
Wowowee ABS-CBN 2005-present
Belo Beauty 101 TFC 2007-present
Mr. Housewife ABS-CBN 2008
Pinoy Big Brother ABS-CBN 2006
Puso o Pera ABC 5 2004
Masayang Tanghali Bayan ABS-CBN 2003
Willingly Yours ABS-CBN 2002-2003
Magandang Tanghali Bayan ABS-CBN 1998-2001
Richard Loves Lucy ABS-CBN 1998-2002
'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila ABS-CBN 1998
Actually 'Yun Na! RPN 9 1994
Barangay U.S.: Unang Sigaw RPN 9 1994
Salo-Salo Together (SST) GMA 7 1993
Four da Boys IBC 13 1992-1993
Barangay USA NBN 1990
Loveliness IBC 13 1989
Dance Tonight IBC 13 1988
Ayos Lang Tsong! IBC 13 1988
Lunch Date GMA 7 1986

Films

Mr. Housewife (2009)
Pera o bayong (Not da TV)! (2000)
Matalino man ang matsing na-iisahan din! (2000)
Alyas Boy Tigas: Ang probinsyanong wais (1998)
Kasangga kahit kailan (1998)
Bobby Barbers, Parak (1997)
Go Johnny Go (1997)
Kung kaya mo, kaya ko rin (1996)
Sa kamay ng batas (1996)
Omar Abdullah: Pulis Probinsya 2, Tapusin Na Natin Ang Laban (1995)
Ka Hector (1994)
Lagalag: The Eddie Fernandez Story (1994)
Abrakadabra (1994)
Masahol pa sa hayop (1993)
Pat.Omar Abdullah: Pulis Probinsiya (1992)
Contreras Gang (1992)
Joey Boy Munti, 15 anyos ka sa Muntilupa (1991)
Sam & Miguel (Your basura, no problema) (1991)
Barbi for President (1991)
Joe Pring 2: Kidlat Ng Maynila
Bobocop (1991)

Albums
Approved by MTRCD (2001)
Parental Guidance (2001)
Ikaw (2005)
Wowowillie (2005)
Namamasko Po! (2006)
Dododo Dadada (2007)
Willie Sings Camo And Saturno Songs (2007)
Giling Giling (October 2008)
Ikaw Na Nga! (April 2009)

 
 
 

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