Five days after apologizing for making dismissive remarks about depression on “Eat Bulaga,” comedian and TV host Joey de Leon informed his social media followers that he was taking what he called a self-imposed suspension from the longtime noontime show.
“I made a mistake and I’m suspending myself…”An ounce of suspension is worth a pound of tour!” Ngek!,” he posted Tuesday on his Instagram. Although he did not exactly reveal his exact location, one of the photos included the logo of the food and beverage establishment iCremeria. In another photo with wife Eileen Macapagal, he mentioned that they were in a restaurant called Dragon Noodles Academy. Both establishments are located in Hong Kong.
Last Thursday during the “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment of “Eat Bulaga,” De Leon responded to a contestant who said she had depression by dismissing it as “gawa gawa” (made up) and “nagpapasosyal lang” (just trying to be elite).
De Leon apologized the following day following a social media uproar and after his own wife and kids explained the seriousness of depression and revealed that there were even people close to him who were suffering from the mental disorder.
“Nagkamali po ako (I made a mistake)…Ako’y humihingi po ng paumanhin sa mga napaitan sa mga nabanggit ko, at humihingi ng inyong unawa (I seek forgiveness from those who found my words bitter, and am asking for your understanding).”
Most netizens responded favorably to De Leon’s acknowledgment of his mistake. He has not given a timetable for his return to “Eat Bulaga,” which first aired on RPN-9 in July, 1979.
Along with Senator Tito Sotto and his brother, actor-comedian Vic Sotto, De Leon is one of the show’s founding hosts.