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Raffy refuses to be compared with Charo and Mel

Raffy Tulfo

RAFFY Tulfo hit it big with his Radyo5 and TV5 program, “Wanted sa Radyo”, a public service program where he helps people with problems to obtain the justice they seek from those who they perceive as oppressing them. The format quickly became a big hit with both radio listeners and TV viewers.

The film clips of warring parties confronting each other in his show became a big hit even on Youtube, making Raffy a real Youtube star with 18.3million followers. He now even has more subscribers than some big name stars, making him a real Youtube star.

No doubt he is now the most popular Tulfo. He is the 8th in a family of 10 siblings but he has now eclipsed the careers of his earlier more famous brothers Ramon, Ben and Erwin.

“Honestly, I don’t think of that,” he says humbly. “I’m still the same Raffy Tulfo na parang nung nagsisimula pa lang ako as reporter sa PTV4. Walang pagbabago sa akin. Hindi ko iniisip na may 18.3 million subscribers ako sa youtube, kasi baka lumaki ang ulo ko and I don’t want that to happen.”

Isn’t he afraid of being overexposed since he is now seen in so many shows?

“Yes, marami akong exposure, but I don’t consider it as overexposed kasi iba iba naman ang oras na napapanood ako at iba-ibang klaseng viewers ang nanonood sa’kin. Sa ‘Idol in Action’, mga housewives ang nanonood sa amin. In ‘Wanted sa Radyo’, mga manggagawa. Sa ‘Fronline Pilipinas’, newscast ‘yan and everybody watches it. And now in ‘Wanted Ang Serye’, this is also for all viewers from all social classes kasi kahit ang mga nasa A&B class lumalapit sa akin kapag may problema sila.”

Will he replace Charo Santos Concio of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and Mel Tiangco of “Magpakailanman” in dramatizing real life stories?

“Naku, hindi. Sina Ma’am Charo and Ma’am Mel, malayong-malayo na po sila at ang mga programa nila. Nandito pa lang po ako.”

Will he ever appear as an actor in an episode of his show? “Ay no, I won’t act. Hindi bagay sa akin, hindi ko kaya. Sinubukan ko siya minsan, natatawa ako sa sarili ko, so hindi talaga pwede.”

So how do they choose which stories will be dramatized in “Wanted: Ang Serye”? “We have a team in choosing the stories. We chose ‘yung mga nag-trending, nag-viral, pinag-usapan at controversial episodes, but more than anything else, ‘yung may kapupulutang aral ang viewers. Then we call those involved sa actual cases to ask their approval, we tell them kung paano tatakbo ang story at kung sino ang gaganap sa papel nila. Merong pumapayag, merong ayaw, tumatanggi, uncomfortable na isadula yung nangyari sa kanila. Meron namang humihingi ng compensation na okay lang naman with us.”

The first episode was shown last Saturday and it is about a brother and sister who had an incestuous relationship played by Louise de los Reyes and Bugoy Carino. Another episode lined up on Saturday at 9 PM is the love story of Joana, a lesbian, and Exur, a gay man, who fell in love with each other, played by Ritz Azul and Epy Quizon.

Then there’s the story of a husband, Adrian Alandy, whose wife, Maxene Eigenmann, worked as an OFW abroad and had an illicit affair with Alex Castro. The fourth story is about a mother, played by Ruby Ruiz, who is maltreated by her own children and slapped by one of them using a tsinelas.

What does Idol Raffy think is the reason why people keep running to him for help? “Siguro dahil nagagampanan ko ang role na gusto nilang gampanan ko, which is in helping them solve their problems. At mukhang naging effective naman, kaya they keep on coming back to ask for my help.”

How about celebrities? It depends on them if they would want their stories to be dramatized on TV We are now talking to some of them, pero hinihingi pa namin ang kanilang permiso. Siempre kung ayaw nila, wala naman kaming magagawa.”

Sheryl wonders why the rumored romance between her and Jeric continues to persist

Sheryl Cruz and Jeric Gonzales
Sheryl Cruz and Jeric Gonzales

SHERYL Cruz and Jeric Gonzales are wondering why despite their frequent denials, the rumor that they are lovers continue to persist. In their show’s zoom presscon, they were again asked about this and once again, they insisted they’re illicit lovers only in the story of “Magkaagaw”. Are they hesitant to admit it because of the age gap between them, since Sheryl is now 46 and Jeric is only 28 years old?

“Actually, yung age gap doesn’t really matter kung totoo, as long as nagmamahalan nang tapat ang dalawang tao,” says Sheryl. “Kaso nga, hindi naman totoo, so anong aaminin namin? Ako, I already experienced being married then being out of a marriage and being single again. So ngayon, cougar na cougar ang dating ko but hindi naman totoo. Again, if ever may mangyari ganyan sa’kin, I won’t hide it. Yung own emotions mo ang pinaka-important dito and if you share true love with the person you connect with, I don’t see anything wrong with it. As long as you love each other, hindi na importante ang sasabihin ng ibang tao as long as wala kayong sinasaktan o nasasagasaang other parties sa relatiionship nyo. What do I care what others would say.”

Jeric agrees. “Age doesn’t really matter naman,” he says. “Sabi nga ni Miss Sheryl, ang mahalaga is how are things between you two. As long as you love and respect each other at doon kayo masaya, nakikita ng buong mundo na nagkakasundo kayo, yun ang mas mahalaga. You don’t have to be concerned about what other people would say.”

How did Sheryl react when the rumor even said she is already infanticipating? “Well, it’s really ridiculous as I just had my period,” she laughs. “Jeric and I, we just laugh about it. We know ang daming fans ng ‘Magkaagaw’ and they really want us so much to be together. Lahat binibigyan nila ng ibang kahulugan.”

She remembers when she just greeted Jeric on his birthday. “Then I posted our photos from the show, aba, may nag-conclude na agad na sobrang sweet namin talaga sa isa’t isa. Kahit saan ako magpunta, people ask me about Jeric. Even some of my family. We do get along fine ni Jeric and our love scenes in the show look so realistic, simply because that’s what our director requires from us. But our relationship is strictly professional.”

Jeric says he’s currently single and his last relationship was with a non-showbiz girl two years ago. “But right now, my priority is, first ang family ko, then ang career ko. Staying with my family during the pandemic helped me in realizing how important my parents and siblings are to me. Naging maganda talaga ang bonding naming lahat.”

He also had time to reflect on his career. “I realized I should really focus on my career, specially with my being a music maker, so nag-aral ako ng playing the piano and the guitar so I can accompany myself when they ask me to do a song number.”

He also studied how to act more convincingly. “Yes, I learned more about acting by studying acting videos online, kaya when we resumed the taping of ‘Magkaagaw’, I felt I was really primed and ready to face the cameras again. Nataon, puro mabibigat na eksena ang kinunan sa amin, ang daming confrontations scenes, heavy drama, so preparing for it really helped me. Abangan nyo ang fresh new episodes and you be the judge sa acting ko. Palagay ko, hindi naman ako mapapahiya.”