A good half a year since Robin Padilla left their show, Toda Max star Vhong Navarro admitted he still feels regretful that his “idol,” with whom he started the show with, is uncertain about returning to their show.
Attesting to the previous reason why Robin left their almost two-year-old Kapamilya sitcom, Vhong, via a recent set visit, revealed to the press what they were told about Robin’s departure. “Ang huling nasabi samin, magco-concentrate muna siya sa drama at movies, pahinga muna siya sa comedy,” he shared of the actor.
However, Vhong said he understands the fact that the famed action star would have to prioritize his movie commitments, some of which he produced himself like the biopic “10,000 Hours” which was based on Senator Panfilo Lacson’s life.
“Hindi ako sumama ang loob pero siyempre nung una nakaktampo kasi ‘bakit naman siya umalis?’” he clarified and then added, “Tsaka ang ganda na eh. Ang ganda ng rapport namin, ang ganda na ng samahan. Nalungkot ako actually hindi nagtampo.”
Despite Robin’s earlier revelation as to the true reason why he left, rumors still persisted that conflicts within the Toda Max set is what reportedly strengthened his resolve. Among them was the fact that Vhong is reportedly getting a higher purse than Robin, something which the It’s Showtime host fervently denied.
“Kayo ba naniwala kayo don? Hindi totoo ‘yun na dahil sa TF kasi si Idol nga wala naman pakielam sa pera ‘yan eh. Pinapamigay pa nga niya ‘yung pera niya eh,” Vhong said.
Then there’s the issue that Robin, who was now replaced on the show by comedy concert queen Ai-Ai de las Alas, was reportedly given less priority on the show as proven by the inability of the crew to find a suitable love team for him.
“Hindi naman sa ganon kasi una sa lahat may love team siya eh na dapat na pumasok. Nagkataon lang na ‘yung ka-love team niya na una si Cristine Reyes, si Cristine nagkaroon ng soap so pinull-out din sa amin. ‘Di na nakatuloy. Tapos si Valerie [Concepcion] na nagkaroon rin ng conflict. Siyempre hinahanapan rin natin ng magandang leading lady si Idol sa sitcom. Kasi may Angel [Locsin] tayo eh, siyempre meron rin tayo dapat na isasabay natin kay Ms. Angel. Tsaka naglalaro naman kasi talaga ang istorya nun eh si ‘Tol, si Idol eh talagang family man lang,” Vhong explained.
As proof that there’s no bad blood between them, Vhong shared that he and Robin were actually able to maintain their communication online via Instagram.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the cast changes and controversies off late, Vhong said he is very thrilled that their show is turning two years old this coming November. “Nakakatuwa kasi ang Toda Max kasi ang pagbabalik sitcom natin sa ABS na matagal namahinga. Kumbaga experiment. Ang nakakatuwa kasi ‘yung mga manonood, ‘yung mga tumangkilik eh sinuportahan kami until now na sana kahit may nawala na mga characters, kahit may mga pumasok na bagong characters eh andyan parin sila,” he related fondly and added that he hopes Toda Max will air for more years.
Asked what Toda Max’s edge was, Vhong proudly replied, “Well nakakatuwa kasi meron tayong nakakagulat na si Ms. Angel (Locsin) eh nakakatuwa kasi first-time niyang nag-comedy eh. So nakapasok siya dito, natanggap siya ng tao na si Ms. Angel pwede rin palang maging comedy.”
Watch out for Toda Max’s second anniversary special this coming November.