My SunStar Weekend Cover Story – January 2014

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Intrepid charmer makes presence felt with hosting gigs

By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
IT’S quick to loosen up in the presence of Apollo Santos. One of those whose outgoing and cheerful personality livens up any conversation, he also has the wit and humor to match—making him someone easy to warm up to and who after meeting, you certainly won’t be forgetting soon.

No wonder the 23-year-old has found his home on the stage. With a microphone in hand and the spotlight at him, he charms his audience with his hosting talent that’s natural and animated, and hardly with any pretense.

He has been hosting for as long as he can remember, he said. He started with org fairs and events in school, and later on was even invited to host in a television show based in his hometown Zamboanga. Apollo studied mass communication at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Making the rounds

Nowadays he hosts private and corporate functions. Apollo has also been making the rounds all over Cebu as host of Monday Game Night in Port Seafood Restaurant, and as one of the mainstays of Slogos Night, a biweekly quiz game that’s been gathering a huge following locally.

A variation of “pub quiz” nights done abroad, it quizzes the audience on slogans, logos and pop culture. Mostly students and young professionals participate in the activitiy, which Apollo has been part of since day one.

In Cebu, Slogos Night has been popularized in Sprockets Café by its in-house team composed of game master Rachel Arandilla, himself and his fellow host/facilitator Ella Sarmago. He said it began as a weekly entertainment activity for café patrons in October of 2012, and over the past year it just grew.

TEAM PLAYER. Apollo, along with game master Rachel Arandilla, and fellow host/facilitator Ella Sarmago, helped popularize Slogos Night in Sprockets Café.

On his own

Born and raised in Zamboanga Sibugay, Apollo arrived in Cebu three years ago, now revealing that his intentions at that point were a bit rebellious in nature, having wanted to be away from the comforts of home and strike his luck independently.

“I gave up my life there because I wanted to go on an adventure and take the risk,” he said. It was his first time to visit Cebu then, had only a couple of friends based here, and as he recalled, “It was a 360 degree turn in my life.”

Yet he persevered. He found work in a private company, and eventually was able to make something out of his stay in Cebu, which he now happily calls his second home. “That experience taught me that you should grab every opportunity no matter how hard it is,” he said.

More than a game

Slogos Night, he said, is partly a reason for deciding to stay in Cebu.

“I’m happy and thankful I was invited to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s a great avenue for people to have fun while testing their knowledge on different topics, and at the same time, meet new friends.”

The game is now held in the main branch of Sprockets Café every Wednesday, in Cable Car Cebu every Tuesday, and will soon be launched in Sprockets’ Talamban branch this month. “We’re looking at more venues,” said Apollo, “and hopefully we’ll reach more this year. We want to make it bigger.”

On a personal note, it allows him to do what he enjoys most. “I know I’m not the best speaker,” he said. “I’m still developing myself and I know there’s still room for improvement. But I really love talking to a crowd. It’s my passion and it also allows me to connect to people and make them happy.”

Using the game mechanics as reference, he added, “My love for hosting and for entertaining people will never have a time limit, and I will always be raising my board for everyone who believes in me.”

Photographer: Nawe Corvera
Locale: Sprockets Café (Talamban) | Cable Car Cebu