By Ricky L. Calderon

“Basta po kami ginagawa namin ang best namin para mapasaya ang mga tao. Kasi naging ganoon din naman ang Eat Bulaga. Dumaan din naman sila sa roller coaster ride.”

Comedian and TV host Vhong Navarro is thankful that he was still able to finish a movie intended for the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival. He is one of the lead stars in the horror-comedy Buy Now Die Later, produced by Quantum Films and directed by Randolph Longjas.

He considers it a blessing for being part of this annual festival. “I am happy that I was able to do a movie for this year,” said Vhong. “At least, I have something to look forward to on Christmas Day.”

We all knew about the incident that happened to Vhong last year which led him to file charges against Cedric Lee and DenieceCornejo, for illegal detention among others. Has he recovered from that unfortunate incident? Can he say that his life is back to normal?

(Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)
(Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)

“I am trying to make it normal even if it is not yet normal,” said the It’s Showtime mainstay at the recent press conference of the said movie entry. “It’s hard to relax kasi baka pag nag-relax ka doon may mangyaring di maganda. That’s why I always say that one has to be ready anytime. For now, I just want good vibes. I want people to see that even if I am undergoing something stressful in my life, I still want to make them happy by entertaining them. That’s what I want people to see – that I am happy, especially in front of the camera.”

Vhong believes 2015 is a very good year for him, especially with the movie he did. “I thought we won’t be able to finish this movie but happily we did. It has been a roller coaster ride for me, especially for us in It’s Showtime. Some people even asked me why is it only now that I did a movie. But I consider it a blessing that I am ending my year in a good vibe.”

We asked Vhong about the rumor that It’s Showtime has been given only up to February to shap eup or face the specter of being booted out. There were also rumors that the show is only given up to this month to fix things up.

“We haven’t heard about those rumors. Management hasn’t informed us anything like that. We still go to work everyday to do our thing in making people happy. We do what are supposed to do for our studio audience and for those who watch us in their homes. But with regards to what you are saying that our show was given up to February to shape up, we haven’t heard of that. Our audience support is still there and our viewership and ratings have improved,” said the host-comedian.

Do you and Vice Ganda talk about the effect of AlDub in your show?

Hindi naman po pwedeng hindipag-usapan kasi ito po yun talaga an gnakaapekto sa amin nung mga panahon na iyon. Kasi ang bago. Ang fresh ng mg amukha.Tapo sang cute nila tingnan. Kumbaga may bago silang inalok sa mga televiewers. Talaga pong tututukan.Wala po tayong magagawa doon. Hindi po natin mapipigilan iyon.Iyon po kasi ang gusto ng mga manonood. Wala naman kaming ibang pwedeng gawin kundi mag-isipng bago na pwede namin ialok sa mga manonood,” replied Vhong.

How do you view the competition posed by AlDub and Eat Bulaga?

“Hindi po naman natin maiiwasan ang competition,” he answered. “For 36 years, alam natin ang inabot nila, yun ang roller coaster talaga. Kumbaga kami, baby pa lang ang roller coaster namin compared sa kanila. Ang sinasabi ko, kaming dalawa ni Jong, nasa Streetboys kami. Naging bahagi kami ng Eat Bulaga. Kahit konti ay nakita namin ang pinagdaanan ng Eat Bulaga.”

In the movie Buy Now, Die Later, Vhong shares stellar billing with Rayver Cruz, Alex Gonzaga, John Lapus, Lotlot de Leon and TJ Trinidad. Vhong plays an online blogger named Odie who is trying to follow the footsteps of his famous photographer father. He bought a camera from Santi who claims that it would help Odie be renowned just like his father. And it does, as the item would lead him to his first scoop: a murdered celebrity.

(twitter @Tanyax44)

He would take photos and post it on his blog, which in turn would trend. That would make him famous. The camera would give more scoops, from one high-profile murder to another, each death more grotesque than the last.

But later on, instead of being happy with his scoops, he somehow feels guilty when he started investigating the scoops that he discovered.

Vhong is competing with Vice in the festival since they both have entries.

“When it comes to comedy, Vice is one of my idols. Whatever it is that he has achieved, he shares it with us. I also do the same thing with him. We support each other. I don’t expect to be number one or number two in the  box-office ranking. As long as I did my part well in the movie and the people liked what I did, I am already happy,” he said.

Vhong recognized the fact that Vice is a big box-office star. He has topped the festival many times. “I have yet to reach the kind of success he has achieved in the box-office. If our movie earns P100 million, I’d be happy. In case our movie earns up to P400 million that is already a very big bonus,” he expressed.

“As an actor, as long as I have played my part well, according to what my director envisioned it to be and I was able to entertain the audience that is enough to make me happy. If the people say that we gave them their money’s worth, I’d be contented.”

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