Boy Abunda: Leaving Backroom was a no-brainer

Boy Abunda (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)Walking away from his daily showbiz late night show and the talent management company he built from scratch 25 years ago was a no-brainer for TV host Boy Abunda.

When asked if he did this primarily to spend time with his mother who has been diagnosed with dementia, Boy was emphatic. “Hindi primarily, but [the] only [reason],” he said at the press conference of Olay Total Effects which he hosted Thursday, Sep. 8, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Boy recently gave up the ownership of his company Backroom to his employees. He also gave up “Showbiz News Ngayon,” the daily late-night show he hosts with Bianca Gonzalez.  It airs its last episode tonight.

Instead, he joins Ces Drilon, Julius Babao and Karen Davila as one of the anchors of “Bandila,” ABS-CBN’s late-night news show.

“Pero kung kinakailangan akong magbawas (ng trabaho) dahil sa kailangan ko, gagawin ko,” he said.

His 25-year-old baby

On the face of it, his talent management company seemed harder to give up as he built the business from the ground up. Backroom handles Gretchen Barretto, Ai-Ai de las Alas, Bianca Gonzalez, Rufa Mae Quinto, Mariel Rodriguez, Erik Santos, Tintin Bersola and K-La Rivera, among others.

But, he said, “Sometimes something really hard has to happen for you to have a better view and make easier decisions,” Boy said.

It was, he added, a decision he could have not done years ago, even if managing talents is a tough job.
“Ma-late ang artista mo sa isang show, sa ’yo ang tawag niyan. Maling kanta ang kantahin ng singer mo, sa ’yo ang bagsak niyan. Nagkamali ang spiel, sa ’yo ‘yan. I’m very hands-on. And i-multiply mo ’yan by 25,” Boy said.

Boy also revealed that even though he just recently handed over the reins of Backroom to his employees, the earnings of the company have gone to its employees for the last 12 years.

“Ngayon ibinigay ko ang lahat ng financial capital sa Backroom. Yung mga senior officers, sila ngayon ang president, VP, CEO of the company,” Boy said.

He added that even though he’s leaving the company, he will always stand as Backroom’s consultant.

“One of the most touching moments in my life was when my employees came to me and said, ‘Salamat. Salamat sa tiwala at pagbibigay ng pagmamahal,’” Boy shared.

He also knows that leaving will take a toll on the company. But it’s par for the course.

“Kaya nga sinasabi ko sa kanila na they really have to work really extra hard because you're coming after me. Alam nila yun. Merong dadagdag (na talents), merong mawawala. Normal yun, alam nila yun,” he said.

A family thing

With more time for his mother, Boy said that she responds well if he and other family members are always present.

“At dahil siguro yan sa oras that you spend (with your mom). Sabi nga ng mga nurses, ‘Sir, iba talaga pag kayo ang kaharap. Iba ang responses niya,’” Boy said, smiling.

Last Monday, Sep. 5, Boy said his mother has not lost her memory yet. “Meron lang mga indicators ng ailment. Pero ang laki ng mga pinagbabago.”

The presence of the family is also important during her mother’s visits to the doctor because they provide information about their mother’s prior condition.

The presence of Boy’s long-time partner, Bong Quintana, during doctor’s visits has also been a big help. “Nanay responds very well to Bong. Napapatawa ni Bong, sinasayaw. So family effort talaga yung consultations,” Boy said.


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