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,.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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