In local show business, one name has quietly built a reputation for his unique brand of humor, which he calls “inspirational entertaintainment” or “intertainment.”
Michael Angelo Lobrin has been around for awhile, playing roles in Tsuperhero (2016), Padre de Pamilya (2009) and Magpakailanman (2012).
What he is most known for, however, is his TV show #MichaelAngelo: The Sitcom, which airs on GMA News TV every Saturday at 5 p.m.
For 12 going on 13 seasons (starting 27 January 2019), #MichaelAngelo has been entertaining viewers while keeping them inspired with humor bearing practical life lessons.
Michael Angelo recently shared that the show has been gaining audiences steadily, proof of which has been the increasing number of partnerships he has forged with advertisers, including Bounty Fresh Food Inc., which has a segment in the show that teaches viewers how to be more enterprising.
The public speaker, actor, brand endorser and author of best-selling book Laugh With God Today announced that the show he conceptualized is now “the longest-running sitcom on GMA News.”
They have consistently received good ratings, he related, and their Lenten Special last year, in fact, beat the rating of a popular love team’s movie showing on the rival network on the same timeslot.
Inspired, the #MichaelAngelo team is currently preparing for another run of a Holy Week Drama Special this year. In addition to the show’s timeslot, they will have replays in the evening as well as another segment in the morning for an hour of Lenten reflections and teachings, called “#Michael Angelo Holy Week Reflections.”
“We are also lining up new characters for the show. Among them Rep. Henry Ong of the second district of Leyte, who will help magnify the public service angle of the show. His character will portray someone involved in the advocacy of public service,” he said.
Michael Angelo obviously enjoys relating to people, whether it be one person or a roomful of people. He loves to talk, his energy palpable. It is difficult not to react to his puns and funny anecdotes.
One thing that becomes clear right away is his spirituality that peppers his conversations. What makes him different is that he is able to bring the topic to a relatable level — not a sermon, but a friendly jibe, perhaps.
It is no surprise to learn, then, that he used to be a seminarian. He was almost at the brink of priesthood when he decided that he had a different calling. “After I left the seminary, I ventured into public speaking. Then I had a chance to be friends with some people in showbiz. I started to be invited to guest in some of the TV shows. Eventually, I ventured into having my own shows,” he tells the Daily Tribune.
Recently, he established the Michael Angelo TV Productions, showing that he no longer thinks about going back to priesthood.
A nose for business
In a previous interview a few years ago, he revealed, “I realized I had personal issues that I had to confront then. I thought if I had such baggage on my back, I wouldn’t make a good priest.”
After leaving the seminary, Michael Angelo began to teach Philosophy and Theology subjects at De La Salle University, Manila Doctors College and at St. Paul Quezon City. It was during a motivational talk he was giving one time that a GMA Network executive, impressed by his style of entertainment combined with wisdom, approached him for a stint on TV. He quickly made friends in the industry — AiAi de las Alas, Dingdong Dantes and broadcaster Mike Enriquez — and they helped him enter show business.
Recently, he shared, “After prayer and discernment, I realized God is leading me to serving him in another way through public speaking and entertainment.”
Aside from his innate talent for speaking and entertaining, Michael Angelo has a nose for business. He proved this by creating his own show, knowing that he would not be able to compete in the usual acting routes. So he cooked up the concept for the show, looked for sponsors himself (which was not easy, he admits) and prayed fervently throughout.
God, he said, always answered his prayers, giving him a set of loyal cast members including Derrick Monasterio, Betong Sumaya, John Feir, Maey Bautista, Arny Ross and Lovely Abella.
He also revealed plans of coming up with a game show sometime this year.