NO ROOM IS EVER QUIET

FHM (Philippines) - - PULSE -

when Jugs Jugueta is around. He can’t help it. His di­aphragm has had over two decades of prac­tice mod­u­lat­ing in front of au­di­ences. He’s been one-fourth of Itchy­worms for 21 years now; when he speaks, it’s as though he’s mak­ing sure peo­ple in the bleach­ers hear him.

Of course, there’s also the daily task of en­ter­tain­ing the mad­lang peo­ple. In It’s Show­time, it’s Jugueta’s job, along with his co-hosts, to keep their au­di­ence bop­ping, clap­ping, laugh­ing, and singing for three hours, six days a week.

About four years ago, he and some friends took over Route 196, a cozy bar/mu­sic haven in Que­zon City. He didn’t do it for the money. “What money? Nung isang gabi, ang sales namin for the whole night was P1,600.

So­brang abonado ako.” He did it, in­stead, for love of his craft.

“It’s my way of giv­ing back to the mu­sic in­dus­try and keep­ing OPM alive,” he says. “Binibi­gyan namin ang young artists ng venue

na pag­tu­tug­tu­gan. If you think OPM is dead, I dare you to watch a gig at Route 196, lalo na pag mga bata yung tu­mu­tug­tog. As long as may bata sa Pilip­inas, buhay ang OPM.” If he had the time, Jugueta would also pro­duce al­bums and man­age bands. But there just isn’t. He is, af­ter all, a mem­ber of this gen­er­a­tion’s multi-hy­phen­ate so­ci­ety. Apart from Itchy­worms, It’s Show­time, and Route 196, he still has other in­ter­ests to take care of. And keep­ing all th­ese to­gether is Jugueta’s most im­por­tant role: hus­band. He cel­e­brates his sec­ond wed­ding an­niver­sary this year.

“We’ve been to­gether for al­most 11 years,” says Jugueta. “Nata­galan lang ako mag-pro­pose kasi ang ma­hal ng dia­mante. Eh hindi pwe­deng mag-pro­pose nang walang sings­ing. Be­sides, I had to do it. Kasi with women—it’s hard to live with them, but it’s harder to live with­out them. Nakita

ko lang sa In­ter­net yang quote na yan, by the way.”

He throws in an­other In­ter­net gem for good mea­sure: “Sabi nga ni John Len­non: ‘Life is what hap­pens to you when you’re busy mak­ing other plans.’” Jugueta learned this first-hand seven years ago when he found some­thing equally fun be­yond his rock-and-roll life. When did it dawn on you that life in a rock band might not be enough? I was 30. Pag ga­nung edad ka na, nakaka­pag-isip ka na ng quar­ter life cri­sis. Sabi ko sa sar­ili ko, pucha, treinta na ko; hindi na pwe­deng rock and roll for­ever. Lagi kong sinasabi sa mga bata yan: Pwede kang mag-rak­en­rol hang­gang 30. Tapos kailan­gan na magseryoso. About what? Your in­come, mostly. Back then, my only in­come came from Itchy­worms. And a lit­tle bit from a stuffed toy busi­ness that was dy­ing be­cause China had stepped in. Kung P50 ang cost ng isang stuffed toy rito, sa China,

P5 lang. So in short, wala akong masyadong gi­na­gawa nun. So you de­cided to go on TV. Hindi ko trip mag-tv, ha. Pero payag ako nang payag sa TV guest­ings. T at aw a gang Game KNB ?“Fr eek a ba to­day?” “Oo!” Hindi na­man ako nananalo. Malas ta­laga ako sa mga ga­nun, pati sa casino. Pero natu­tuwa akong su­mali kasi bawat sali mo, bi big yank an gP 3,000, om in san

P5,000 pa. And since I never won, they could in­vite me back a month af­ter. If you win, you can’t join again for six months.

How did you jump from al­ways los­ing at game shows to be­ing one of the co­hosts of It’s Show­time? Hindi ko rin alam. Parang tad­hana. Sa pagsali ko sa mga game show, naki­lala ko yung mga staff: the writers, floor di­rec­tors, etc. So nung bin­ubuo nila

yung Show­time, I was on their short list [for the orig­i­nal set of hosts]. The di­rec­tor/cre­ator of the show put to­gether a di­verse mix: Anne Cur­tis, who was the high class coño kid; Vhong Navarro, an ev­ery­day man na nakakatawa; Vice Ganda, bad­ing na co­me­dian; Kuya Kim,

matan­dang matal­ino. And then they needed a dreamer—some­one who had a dream and, be­cause of hard work, reached their dream. That was me and Teddy [Cor­puz]. Did you fore­see back then that seven years on, your TV host­ing gig would still be go­ing strong? Hindi. It's Show­time was sup­posed to be just 13 episodes, taped, and aired Satur­day nights. Sabi

ko, why not? Wala na­mang masasagasaang gig [of Itchy­worms]. We taped a mock episode. But when man­age­ment saw it, they said, “Gawin na lang natin siyang morn­ing show, live, Mon­day to Satur­day.” Na­pa­subo na ko. On screen, the en­ergy level of all the It’s Show­time hosts is off the charts. How is it back­stage? It’s the same. Mas bas­tos lang ang jokes namin off cam. What you see on TV, that’s re­ally how we are; that’s re­ally how we talk. Wala kam­ing mask that we put on in front of the cam­eras. I don’t think I could have lasted seven years kung kailan­gan kong mag­suot

ng mask ev­ery day. Nakaka­pagod yun. Did you feel bur­dened to live up to the image that It’s Show­time’s di­rec­tor gave you—a hard­work­ing dreamer? Never. Yun na­man ta­laga ako. No one ever asked me to change. Wala yung, “Mag­pa­payat ka na­man.” I never felt un­com­fort­able about my­self with any­one in the pro­duc­tion. What I got was, “Be who you are. That’s why we got you.” Many ig­no­rantly la­bel celebri­ties as dimwits and judge you based on how you look. How do you set this mis­con­cep­tion straight? By talk­ing to you in English, ha ha! But you can’t deny that image is a huge deal in show busi­ness. Sure. I know peo­ple judge me based on how I look. They’d say, “Ay, mataba

lang siya na cute.” Eto ma­g­a­n­dang les­son na natu­tu­nan ko es­pe­cially from my co-hosts: Peo­ple, lalo na

yung mga eli­tista, do think na ang mga artista, bobo yang mga yan. Ma­ganda lang tingnan. Pero ang daming matatal­i­nong artista. Even bet­ter, they’re street smart. They know ex­actly what they’re do­ing. They can say, “I tried this; I tried this; I tried this. This one worked; that’s why I’m stick­ing with it.” Ga­nun lang ka-sim­ple yun. You’ve been a TV host for over seven years, front­man of Itchy­worms for 21. Do you still get high from ap­plause? Oo na­man. Marami pa ring [Itchy­worms] gigs na nakak­abingi ta­laga ang mga sigaw mula sa au­di­ence. Buti na lang, masyado na kam­ing matanda para sa fans na stalk­ers. Ang stina-stalk lang, yung mga batang banda. What kind of au­di­ence is eas­i­est to play for: kids or the older ones? Pareho lang. I’m used to all kinds of au­di­ences any­way. For It's Show­time, the au­di­ences are more var­ied—from kids to mga lolo at lola. For Itchy­worms, ang nakikinig sa amin, usu­ally from teens to peo­ple in their 40s. Who are the nois­i­est? Pag stu­dents ang nasa au­di­ence, so­brang saya lagi. Pag sa probin­sya, may mga mahiyain; meron na­mang

all-out ang saya.

Ang mall crowd, usu­ally nakaupo lang sila, pero masaya rin. Sig­uro ang pinakatahimik, na masaya pa rin na­man, ang cor­po­rate gigs namin. Siyem­pre nagco-cor­po­rate

[gig] din kami; sayang na­man ang English skills namin. Wala na­man din kam­ing mga tat­too, so bagay kam­ing tu­mug­tog sa cor­po­rate [set­ting]. Itchy­worms started out as a col­lege

barkada, just like Parokya ni Edgar. Both bands have been around for ages. Is it im­por­tant for a band to be friends first, band­mates sec­ond? It’s very im­por­tant that you get along well with your band­mates. Ang

nakikita lang ng mga tao is the one hour that you’re on­stage to­gether. Hindi nila nakikita yung hours of re­hearsal, record­ing, photo shoots, van rides, plane rides, boat rides, sound check, wait­ing back­stage, etc. Tu­ma­gal kami ng gan­ito dahil magkakaibi­gan kami who hap­pen to play well to­gether. [Be­ing in Itchy­worms] is just a great ex­cuse to hang out with my friends. Parang may high school re­union kami three times a week. FHM

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