ATE VICE AND COMPANY: With such ease and comfort, cohost calls out to the country’s leading comedian and box office star thus, ‘’Ate Vice!’’
Everyone on the “It’s Showtime” set calls Mr. Vice Ganda, Ate Vice. No one seems to mind, especially not the man himself.
Considering Ganda’s feminine look, hair and make-up, style of dressing and fashion sense, calling him Ate Vice seems to follow all forms of logical thought.
No surprises there. Ate Vice is just one of many other appellations and terms of endearment commonly used in the world of show business.
By calling coworkers ate or kuya, tito or tita, one feels a certain affinity to the concerned party. The idea is to establish closer connection among members of the same tribe or community.
SENSE OF FAMILY: Such affectionate name calling also fosters a sense of family.
Thus, you have boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen calling weather expert and Trivia King Kim Atienza Kuya Kim on and off his TV programs, “Matanglawin” and “TV Patrol.”
Boy Abunda is Kuya Boy, taking after Kuya Germs. Remember him, the Master Showman German Moreno?
Among actresses, Ate Guy and Ate Vi are popular short cuts while addressing Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, respectively. It doesn’t matter that they have turned into senior citizens and are actual lolas in their own right.
Ate Shawie is Sharon Cuneta.
Tita Mel is Mel Tiangco.
One lady stands out in her unique title, Ma’am Charo. That’s reserved for Charo Santos-Concio, the first woman president to head a media conglomerate in the Philippines, ABS-CBN.
OLD MEDIA PRACTICE: Way back when, Filipino media personalities presented themselves to the public as representations of their relatives.
There was Dely Magpayo, one of the pioneers on Philippine radio broadcasting who was Tia Dely to her many followers. Her radio career ran from the 1950s to her death.
Tito Joe was short for Joe Quirino, newsman and irrepressible host of long- running TV variety show “Seeing Stars with JQ” in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
A popular movie editor in the same period was Leonardo Charvet, known as Tito Nardz, editor of leading movie magazine at the time, Kislap.
Inday Badiday, the controversial showbiz talk show queen of the 1970s, was known to one and all as Ate Luds, after her real name Lourdes Carvajal.
Ike Lozada, or Kuya Ike, of “Big Ike’s Happening” fame, was her contemporary along with Kuya Germs.
In the 1980s, along came the mothers of showbiz. Blazing the trail for trendsetting films was Lily Yu Monteverde, known as Mother Lily in and out of show business.
The mother of another movie mogul, Robbie Tan, was called Mommy Seiko, after their film company.
There was a Mommy Rose (Flaminiano), who produced mostly sexy films that launched young girls into momentary stardom.
However, the original movie mother was ‘’Mama’’ Nene Vera-Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, wife of 1950s and 60s star maker Dr. Jose R. Perez.
NANAY LOLIT: In step with advancing years, members of media have similarly joined the name tagging. Enduring columnist and radio host Lolita Solis loves to be known as Nanay Lolit not only to the actors she manages but also to the general public.
And so does Cristy Fermin, who responds well to Nanay Cristy.
Then, there’s hair and make-up czarina, Ricky Reyes, who loves being called Mader.
On the other hand, the patriarch of the SM empire who passed recently is known as “Tatang’’ Henry Sy.
A CULTURAL THING: Under the veil of closeness and affinity, do you ever wonder why TV networks brand themselves either Kapamilya (Channel 2), Kapuso (GMA-7), or Kapatid (5)?
Wonder no more, Kuya, Ate, Tito and Tita, Nanay and Mother.
It’s a cultural thing. Such name calling is a sign of respect for elders inculcated among young Filipinos from childhood.
Can you imagine if the same culture obtained in Hollywood, the heart and soul of movies? Then, we should all be addressing our idols as Kuya Brad (Pitt), Ate Gwyneth (Paltrow), Tita Glenn (Close), Ate Lady Gaga, or good heavens, Lola Meryl (Streep), Lola Barbra (Sreisand), and finally, Lolo Robert (Redford).
Finally, whatever happened to my Lola Glenda Jackson?