Acting to politics: Why a UP summa cum laude’s remark in noontime show gained traction

August 15, 2023 - 4:50 PM
Allan K and Val Llamelo
Host Allan K and UP Diliman summa cum laude Val Llamelo in the August 12 episode of TV5's "E.A.T." noontime show (Screengrab from TVJofficial/YouTube)

A comment made by a summa cum laude (with highest honor) from the University of the Philippines Diliman on a noontime show gained buzz on local social media.

Val Llamelo, a class valedictorian and graduate of UP Diliman’s Bachelor of Public Administration program, appeared in the August 12 episode of TV5’s “E.A.T.”

Llamelo also made history in the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance after garnering the highest general weighted average (GWA) of 1.0756 upon graduation.

He was among the participants of “E.A.T.‘s” segment “Babala! Wag Kayong Ganuuun…” where guests identify the correct choices and descriptions among a group of people with distinctive characteristics, past experiences and emotional revelations.

In the show, Llamelo was asked by one of the hosts, Allan K, about the job he wanted to have now that the former is a graduate.

“Ano ‘yung expectations?” another host, Ryan Agoncillo, said.

“Kasi public administration ‘yung ano eh, ‘yung course… are you gonna go into politics?” he added.

“Parang gusto ko na lang mag-artista,” Val answered.

The co-hosts laughed and commented that it was not far-fetched.

“Ta’s ‘pag sumikat ako, tumabko ako sa politics,” Val added with a smile.

The fresh graduate’s comment earned online attention and was amplified when Pilipino Star Ngayon Digital reported about it.

The news outlet highlighted Ryan’s question to Val and the latter’s response.

The post has earned 12,000 laughing reactions, 2,500 shares, and over 372 comments so far, with some Filipinos commenting that it appeared to be a “shade” to certain showbiz personalities who suddenly entered politics.

“The shade,” a Facebook user wrote in the comments.

“Eyyy, the shade,” another user wrote with sparkle emojis.

“On point,” wrote a different online user with laughing emojis.

“Madaming natamaan boy, hahahhahaha,” another Pinoy commented.

“Kanta ka lang ng ‘Wonderful Tonight,'” wrote different Filipino, referring to Eric Claption’s song, the actor turned senator, Sen. Robin Padilla, was performing as part of his senatorial campaign.

“Tama naman siya. Eto ang realidad sa Pilipinas. Nagawa na ‘yan at gagawin ‘yan ng bagong henerasyon ng mga Pilipino,” another user commented.

In the Philippines, it is not unusual for a showbiz personality to seek public office after some time in the entertainment industry, having popularity as leverage to other political aspirants.

Some showbiz personalities who attempted to enter politics in the May 2022 elections were Padilla and actors Nora Aunor and Tom Rodriguez who both joined the party-list race.

Actor Richard Yap and Richard Gomez run for Cebu City and Leyte district representatives, respectively. Yap lost, while Gomez won.

Other actors who were successful in the 2022 polls include actor-turned-vice governor Ejay Falcon, actor-turned-provincial board member Jason Abalos and actor-turned-city councilor Nash Aguas, among others.

Llamelo later said that one of the “E.A.T” hosts, Tito Sotto of the TVJ trio (Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon), talked to him after the show.

Tito also had a career in the entertainment industry prior to entering politics, eventually becoming a senate president.

Some of the legislative measures he authored or approved include the Overseas Absentee Voting Act, the Seat Belt Use Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Family Courts Act of 1997, among others.

Meanwhile, Llamelo refuted a claim made by an online user on X (formerly Twitter) platform who commented that Tito “probably gagged” in the summa cum laude’s comment about showbiz and politics.

“Ay, hindi naman po. After the show, kinausap po ako ni Tito Sen,” the fresh graduate said in response.

“Genuine po ‘yung plan ko na mag-artista kasi kung papasok ako agad sa politics, ‘di naman ako kilala, wala rin akong makinarya. So matatalo lang. Mindset ba, mindset,” Llamelo added.

The UP grad also addressed comments about his talent, should he consider entering the entertainment industry.

“May balak mag-artista pero ano raw talent ko? Gurl, hindi kami pinag-role play at talent show linggo-linggo sa public school for nothing, hahahahhaa. Kayang-kaya namin gumawa ng skit in just 20-30 mins [minutes] hahaha,” the topnotcher posted.

Llamelo’s valedictory address previously went viral as he gave his fellow graduates a reality check, unlike the common inspiring and motivational speeches people usually hear.