“Ako lang talaga ang mashonda sa show na ito!”
This was the first thing Gelli de Belen said during the press launch of her latest TV5 show “Tropang Kulit” at the Fun Ranch at Frontera Verde, Tiendesitas on Monday.
“Tropang Kulit” is a kiddie gag-variety show featuring the Artista Academy Kids. It will premiere on the Kapatid Network May 11 at 7PM. This is Gelli’s first time to host a children’s program — a nice change of scenery after the down-and-dirty daily quarrels of adults on “Face to Face” which she guest-hosted for almost a year.
“When they offered me to host this show, game agad ako. Maraming nakakaalam that I love being with kids. Being a mom myself, dalawang boys ang mga anak ko, and I know kung gaano kahirap na alagaan ang mga bata.
“Naging tagapag-alaga rin ako ng mga pamangkin ko kaya I can say na sanay na sanay na ako sa mga bata.Kabisado ko na ang mga ugali ng mga bagets,” Gelli said.
She also started in showbiz as a child actress, taking after her big sister Janice who started as a soap opera star. So she is confident she can deal with her little co-workers because she used to be in their place. Mostly it’s playtime for the kids, anyway.
“Naglalaro lang kaming lahat talaga. Saya-sayahan at walang seryoso muna. But of course, hindi maiwasan na may mga umiiyak, naiirita, nag-aaway—normal na sa mga bata ‘yan. Kaya nga on-standby ang mga parents or mga yayas nila. Just in case na may magkaroon ng tantrum, may nagpapaalis ng stress nila,” she noted.
But “Tropang Kulit” is not all horsing around for its young cast.
“Sa show naman namin, we teach them good values at ang maging mabuting playmate sa bawa’t isa. We teach these kids na ituring nila ang bawa’t isa na kapatid nila,” Gelli said.
Gelli,who is concurrently co-hosting “Karinderya Wars” with Marvin Agustin, is also tapping into her experience as a veteran of gag shows for “Tropang Kulit”. She was a member of the zany cast of ABC-5’s “Tropang Trumpo” in 1994 and was also in GMA-7’s “Nuts Entertainment” in 2003.
“Beterana na nga raw ako. Halos lahat naman ng gag shows napasukan ko. Kung natatandaan ninyo ‘yung ‘Tonight With Dick & Carmi’ noon, may pagka-gag show din iyon na musical naman. Tapos paminsan-minsan noon nagge-guest ako sa ‘Bubble Gang’. Kaya nakaka-miss ang gag shows. Kilala n’yo naman ako. May pagkaluka-luka ako talaga. Masayahin lang akong tao kaya gusto kong nagpapatawa,” she said.
Of course, “Tropang Kulit” is different because of the age of her cast mates.
“This time mga bata naman ang mga kasama ko. Mga makukulit pero very loveable silang lahat,” she enthused.
The “Tropang Kulit” gang will feature the Top 11 kids of “Artista Academy” (ages range from 5 to 10) carefully selected from among the more than 3,000 talented youngsters who auditioned—including Kyle Banzon (9), Julie Charlotte Cadeville (5), Peter Angelo Echaluce (7), Josh Clement Eugenio (8), Jonicka Cyleen Movido (5), Mariella Frances Grace Ortiz (7), Chloe Dominique Reyes (12), John Carlo Tan (8), brothers Jason (11), Jhiani (9) and Jhurel Zimmerman (5).
The kids of “Tropang Kulit” have talents that go beyond comedy. While most of them can sing, dance and act, standouts like 8-year-old Josh Clement Eugenio can also play the violin, guitar and do occasional modelling.
Another potential child wonder, 5-year-old Jonicka Cyleen Movido, is known to drop some cool rhymes with her signature rap style.
The Top 11 kids are joined by 24 other kids who are sure to add to the fun on “Tropang Kulit”.