13 Facebook fan pages, 11 Twitter accounts, 88 YouTube search results.
The Indonesian franchise of “Eat Bulaga”, which airs daily from to 4 to 5:30PM on Jakarta’s Surya Citra Televisi network, has already caused quite a stir among social media networks just six days after its pilot broadcast.
And one of the reasons for the show’s immediate impact is the lone Filipino among its 14 hosts – Leo Consul. A native of Bolinao, Pangasinan, Leo is a Communication Arts graduate of UP Baguio who has been carving out a career in Indonesia since 2011.
He tried his luck in Jakarta after deciding that the entertainment industry in the Philippines was too crowded for him.
“Sa kabilang network (ABSCBN Regional Group) po ako dati. Local tv host po sa Baguio. Di po ako confident sa tindi ng competition dyan satin eh,” Leo tweeted in response to numerous inquiries from fans who want to know his background.
Given that Indonesia has become a second home for celebrities like Christian Bautista and acoustic singer Sabrina, it is a logical destination for any Filipino entertainer who wants to make a name for himself.
In Leo’s case, it does look like he has found his niche there. Aside from being a TV host, Leo has also recorded an album as a member of the dance/R & B vocal trio RiS3 (pronounced as “rise”). Determined to make it to the top, the group lives by the motto, “Success doesn’t go to you, you go to it. RiS3 and chase the dream!” which is included in their Twitter profile description.
But hosting seems to be Leo’s primary calling as his inclusion in the “Eat Bulaga” “dabarkads” (called “bulagang”) has generated a lot of responses from Twitter where he now has 1,086 followers.
Among other inquiries that he patiently and repeatedly answers is whether he is 100 percent Pinoy and can speak Tagalog, which he both answered in the affirmative. “Medyo natuto din po ako ng Ilocano,” he volunteered in another tweet.
To a fan who compared him to “Eat Bulaga” Philippines’ Paolo Ballesteros, Leo replied, “naku wala po tayong panama sa mga stars natin dyan. Ok na po ako dito. Nahihiya na nga ako kay paolo, kapal ng muka ko. LOL”
To another who compared him to the late Rico Yan, he tweeted, “That’s too much. Baka multuhin ako sa galit.”
On his ability to speak the Indonesian language of Bahasa: “Locals would know kapag nagsalita ako. Broken bahasa pa rin kasi and that’s my character they’re trying to build up.”
On being romantically linked to one of his female co-hosts: “May boyfriend na lahat ng girls. Lol”
On his “Eat Bulaga” Indonesia family: “From talents to staff to bosses, they’re all amazing!” On his own overnight celebrity status: “oo nga daw po sabi ng tatay ko, may mga 25 na akong fans. Nyahahaha! Simpleng OFW lang po.”
On the similarity of their show to the original Philippine program, “yup, may bossing din kami… we call it (Pinoy Henyo) Indonesia Pintar. Pintar means genius in bahasa…We’ll have all the segments, even little miss indonesia.”
And on why the show is being talked about in Indonesia: “wala pa pong variety show dito. It’s a first here kaya pinag-uusapan…So far ok ang pagtanggap ng tao. Dinagdagsa na rin ang All for Juan, Juan for All!”
Leo is also overwhelmed by the show of support from Filipino fans all over the world even though many of them have yet to see an episode or understand Bahasa at all.
“Salamat po sa lahat ng mga nag-tweet at nag-extend ng support. Very much appreciated po…nakaka-proud din kung pano magpakita ng suporta ang mga Pinoy sa kapwa Pinoy! Wagas!”