Accidental TV Host
(December 10, 2002, The Philippine Star, Entertainment Section)


   How does one get his or her own show?  If you're Robert Alejandro, it could be as easy as counting to three.  1) Become an artist.  2) Participate in a successful arts and craft business, in his case, Papemelroti.  3) Host television's multi-awarded public affairs program, The Probe Team.

 Art Is-Kool   When he is not creating designs for clients or covering a social issue for The Probe Team, Robert is probably busy cutting, pasting, coloring, and recycling for his latest children's show, Art is-kool, ang pambatang art workshop sa TV.

    "It was totally unexpected," Robert grins.  "Cheche (Lazaro, president of Probe Productions, Inc.) asked me to submit a children's program proposal to GMA 7, but I never thought I'll end up being its host!"  His inspiration for Art is-kool stems from Disney Channel's Art Attack, wherein the host teaches fun and easy art to kids.

    "I was thinking that a show like that would be perfect for Filipino kids since we Filipinos excel in art.  I wanted to encourage kids to imagine and creat art as an alternative to video games or anime."

    It seems that being a host in The Probe Team for almost three years has not yet cured Robert of camera shyness.   "I was so nervous on my first Art is-kool shoot!  I've been creating art all my life, but never in front of the camera."  But he hopes that the show will be a success.  "What sets Art is-kool apart is that we use mostly recycled materials."  Its first few episodes will feature making a Christmas tree from a rolled-up newspaper, and designing animal masks from old cardboard.

    Art is-kool takes place in a studio designed as a bodega filled with junk, which according to Robert, is an exact replica of his bedroom.  "Everything you see on the set is mine.  That's how my workplace really looks like."  He is also happy that he is doing something for kids.  "I like kids!  I've taught art from preschool to college students, and the best teaching experience I've had was with preschool kids," Robert Alejandro ends with a grin, adding away that he is a kid-at-heart himself.

    Art is-kool will air every Saturday 9:30-10:30 a.m. at GMA 7, starting December 21, which incidentally is Robert's birthday.



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