KING of Talk Boy Abunda has finally returned home to GMA Network 23 years after leaving in 1999.
Abunda’s contract signing was broadcast via livestream Thursday, December 15. GMA executives were in full force when the premier talk show host made his grand homecoming.
“Nag-umpisa ako sa GMA noong meron pa akong buhok. Ngayon, wala na pero laban pa rin po,” he said as threw back to his old days.
“Pero mula sa aking puso, salamat sa inyong tiwala sa aking kakayahan bilang isang presenter, talk show host at interviewer,” he said.
Now that he is back, Abunda promised to do his best for the network.
“I will commit to working hard, to doing the best I can, to be able to deliver the best entertainment, best interviews, and best shows for GMA-7.”
He was also welcomed by the network through their official Twitter account.
Just like other priced Kapamilya stars who crossed fences to GMA, Abunda’s transfer too was teased in a series of intriguing social media posts bearing the initials “B.A” which started earlier this month.
Netizens were quick to connect that the clues mean “Boy Abunda” and many expressed excitement at seeing the premier TV host back on television.
Why did Boy Abunda return to GMA?
It is no secret that Abunda carved a stellar career with ABS-CBN. Most of today’s young generation know him strictly as a Kapamilya and only a few may only remember that he was once with its rival.
But why did he decide to finally come home? He only had one reason but the decision to finally act on it did not come overnight.
“Matagal na usapan,” he said in an interview with GMA Integrated News Thursday.
“Bakit ako narito? Dahil nawalan ako ng tahanan. Nawalan ako ng show at sabi ko nga kanina, I’m being welcomed buong puso ng GMA-7,” he said.
Just like most employees and talents of ABS-CBN, Abunda lost jobs following the network’s franchise non-renewal. He however did not stop his passion of doing compelling interviews and discussion through his vlog, “The Boy Abunda Talk Channel.”
And so simply put, his passion for talk is his single most reason for considering the offer.
“I am back because gusto kong makabalik sa telebisyon, gusto kong gumawa ng mga palabas, gusto kong gumawa ng trabaho na alam ko gawin at trabaho na mahal ko. That’s the reason I’m back,” he said.
He also reassured everyone that he parted ways with ABS-CBN peacefully, “maayos akong nakipag-usap, maayos akong nag-paalam, maayos akong nagbabalik dito sa GMA-7.”
What can viewers expect?
Everyone knows the caliber of a Boy Abunda but now that he’s moved networks, what will his programs be like?
Abunda made one thing sure, he will be continuing his magic as a presenter and an interviewer.
“Naniniwala ako sa kapangyarihan ng interview,” he said.
“Kahit ano man ang aking gawin, mayroong interview component. But I’d like to reinvent, reimagine interview tools para may bagong mai-offer,” he said.
“You can expect a committed talk show host who would not rest on what he used to do but discover new things in so far as the art of interview’s concerned,” he said.
StarTalk, Show & Tell
Prior to his television debut, Abunda first worked as a public relations consultant for the network.
Then he was given the chance to host the now-defunct showbiz-oriented talk show “Show & Tell” together with Gretchen Barretto, Ai-AI delas Alas and Lolit Solis in 1994.
After the show concluded, it was replaced by “StarTalk” where Abunda too was one of its original hosts still together with Solis and Queen of All Media Kris Aquino who left in 1996 and was replaced by fellow actress Dawn Zulueta.
But of all the shows he did, Abunda is best remembered for hosting ABS-CBN’s “The Buzz,” the second longest-running weekly entertainment program next to “StarTalk.” Its maiden episode premiered on June 13, 1999 soon after Abunda’s transfer.
It is best known for featuring the biggest celebrities and controversies. It also served as a reunion for him and Aquino after the network got her as a co-host in 2000.
Image: Boy Abunda via GMA Regional TV Facebook