Now on his tenth year in show business, Luis Manzano feels so blessed to be hosting Pilipinas Got Talent, Kapamilya Deal or No Deal, and Minute To Win It all the same time on ABS-CBN. Looking back, he’ll always be grateful to MYX where he jumpstarted his career as a VJ. “Sabi ko nga sa final (a special to mark his 10 years as a MYX VJ), sa lahat ng na-achieve ko, kahit papaano I’m very lucky nakakatsamba ako sa awards. Sila (MYX) yung unang-una na nagka-faith sa akin. It was a long and growing process. Each and everyday I make sure I learn something. So in those 10 years, siguro may nagawa akong tama kahit papaano.”
Luis clarified that he didn’t actually quit hosting for MYX, adding that the more appropriate description is that he graduated from being a VJ since his target market requires a more mature audience this time around. If anything, he enjoyed watching the AVP of how he developed as a host on the local music channel. “Dyusko, ‘pag nakita niyo yung ipinakita sa MYX nung finale, nung nag-Star MYX ako, hindi pa ako artista feature, ni hindi ko maintindihan sinasabi ko, ako na yun ha? Parang napaka-gangsta ko, kulang na lang sa akin, ‘Wassup, west side!’ Yung gumaganon. So my evolution as a host, yun ang evidence na kahit papaano, from a simple VJ kaya ko maging reality talent show host, nasubukan ko na rin maging game show host, variety show host... Para sa akin in 10 years I’ve tackled different aspects of hosting.”
When asked how he feels that young stars such as Robi Domingo look up to him and want to follow in his footsteps, Luis humbly stated he has faith in the new breed of stars who want to make a career out of hosting. “Palagi nagsasabi niyan si Robi. I even posted a tweet for Robi. I have my fair share of achievements pero definitely si Robi will surpass each one of those. Nagkataon lang siguro mas nauna ako ipinanganak. Pero lahat ng mga nagagawa ko ngayon, yung mga kabataan, Robi and all other hosts will surely surpass my achievements.”
The fact that he was a newbie once and was then unsure whether or not he could surpass his dad (formerly dubbed as game show chairman) Edu Manzano’s accomplishments as a host is something that humbles Luis to this day. “Sana [kahit papaano naabot ko na yung katulad ng sa kanya] kasi kung paano ako tinitignan ng mga kabataan ngayon, ganon ko din tinitignan si daddy. Even up to now, ‘pag iniisip ko paano atake ni daddy sa mga game show, I will forever look up to him. There will never be the next Edu Manzano. I can only aspire to be half of what he has achieved. It’s very flattering.”
Edu has never interfered with the way Luis handles his showbiz career. “I’m very happy sa daddy ko. Hinahayaan niya ako. Looking back, wala pa nga siya atang binibigay na advice sa akin. Pero deep inside I know he's observing and he wants me to learn and grow on my own which is the best way to do it. Siguro I can come to ask him for advice, dun niya ibibigay yun yun. Pero there's no better way than watching me learn, grow, make a mistake, bounce back. But even up to now kapag nagkakataon kaming dalawa ang magkasamang nagho-host sa corporate events, minsan natitingalngal ako, pinapanood ko lang siya. Ang sarap manood. I can talk for how many hours, pero once my dad starts talking, nagbibigay ng punchlines, nanahimik lang ako. Ang sarap.”
As for his acting career, Luis further shared that he doesn’t aspire to be the next John Lloyd Cruz or other prime leading men in the Kapamilya network. As it is, he knows himself enough to know what’s the best career path for him to take. “Siguro naman I’m obviously a better host than an actor. Yung histura ko ‘di naman ako pang-leading man talaga. Ang haba ng mukha ko… Ang puhunan ko lang sa industriya ay makulit ako. Hindi ako parang Piolo (Pascual), Lloydy, or Coco (Martin)—gwapo ‘yang mga ‘yan tapos siyempre undeniable talent [ang puhunan]. Ako yung mahabang mukha na kayang mangulit. Hindi ko sinasabi na nakakatawa ako. There’s a difference between makulit and nakakatawa. Siguro nagkataon lang na four out of 10 na mga hirit ko pwede pumasang nakakatawa. That happens more when you host. Hindi naman ako gwapo, tanggap ko naman na hindi ako leading man material.”
Don’t miss Luis’ birthday special on Kapamilya Deal Or No Deal with his dad Edu Manzano as the celebrity player on April 27, on ABS-CBN.