Why Boy Abunda is not running in 2022: 'I have no fire in my belly!'

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2021 12:04 AM | Updated as of Sep 28 2021 01:10 AM

TV host Boy Abunda. FILE/ABS-CBN
TV host Boy Abunda. FILE/ABS-CBN

MANILA — ‘Tis the season again for celebrities seeking elective positions but count Boy Abunda out of the circus.

The talk show host said he refused offers for him to run for senator in the 2022 elections. 

“I have no fire in my belly!” Abunda told ABS-CBN News in a virtual conference Monday night, explaining his lack of fire and passion in seeking a national position.

“Sabi ko, ‘In all humility, hindi ako handa.’ You need an on-the-ground level political organization and logistics. Wala ako nu’n!” 

In a practical sense, he is also not ready to risk his money in a long and costly campaign. “I have my own money pero galing ‘yun sa dugo at pawis ko!” 

Instead, Abunda is taking a background role as supporter of the Ang Probinsyano party-list. “I said yes because it’s part of my core, probinsyano ako, taga Borongan, Samar ako, maraming galing sa kahirapan at aligned ang values namin sa buhay — pamilya, pagkain, edukasyon, trabaho, kalusugan,” he said, also citing his collaboration with JM de Guzman in Ang Probinsyano’s outreach programs.

“His family and I are long-time friends,” he said. “Gusto ko rin the fact that JM is family oriented. I’m happy working with him.” 

Abunda also lauded the latest batch of stars trying their luck in politics as first-timers, including Claudine Barretto, who will run for a council seat in Olongapo City; and Ejay Falcon, as prospective vice governor of Oriental Mindoro. 

“Claudine is a good student who’s willing to learn, same with Ejay Falcon who’s open to new knowledge,” said Abunda, who also emphasized the importance of creating a distinctive mark for a candidate. “Dapat clear ang messaging ng candidate and what he believes in, at dapat iingatan ‘yon.” 

Abunda also bats for respect in the use of social media during the election season. “Let’s be kinder. Let’s debate and comment with civility on our differences and commonalities, hoping that these can make us better people.”

Along with his online show “The Best Talk,” streaming via the FYE Channel on the media app kumu every Saturday, Abunda continues to thrive with his podcast “Who Are You When No One’s Watching” on Spotify and “The Interviewer” on The Boy Abunda Talk Channel on YouTube. 

Come October, he will leave for New York to host The Outstanding Filipinos in America Awards (TOFA) at the Carnegie Hall on the 7th, which also marks his advanced birthday celebration.

Abunda also looks forward to his new interviews in the US, including with rapper EZ Mill; and a new one-on-one with LJ Reyes, now based in New York after her controversial separation from Paolo Contis.