Establishing the links, knowing the relations: a musing on an event host in Davao

Lord Vincent Van Mendoza
January 4, 2021

If you have ever heard of Kikonnections, I was actually the one who gave birth to the brand name. Behind this is the eloquence of a man known to many Dabawenyos as "Papa Kiko".

Let me be honest. If it's hosting, it's Papa Kiko who makes it so different on every single occasion. When he's on stage, he gives it all. Every single word counts. It makes any event way better if it's he the one who delivers spiels.

Anyhow, let's get to know him up and personal in this blog.

The first "ladies and gentlemen"

Franklin Cuadrillemo, or simply, Papa Kiko, had always wanted to take up Mass Communication and become a radio DJ. He believed that hosting is one way to practice and enhance his communication skills and build connections. True enough, "| was able to do both; man my radio program and do hosting on the sidelines that expanded my reach to more people, events and event place through out-of-town gigs", he explained.

Ever wonder who named him "Papa Kiko"? We can learn straight from his words:

I used to be called Papa Frankie (from Franklin), but When Radio GMA decided to rebrand to unify the stations nationwide. The closest name is Francis (Magalona), and since he is also known as "Kiko", might as well take advantage of such popularity, and "Papa" as the withstanding brand for all GMA DJs nationwide; thus, the name " Papa Kiko" was born.

I asked him, "Can you narrate the first hosting stint you had? What type of event was it?" His reply was, "My 1st ever hosting was a coronation for Flores de Mayo. It was fun that I really wrote a script even if I only have [sic] a very limited audience— kids and parents alike just for me to have the feels of how was it to be on stage." He even added that he struggled to read his scripts that he should have sounded as if he's only talking until he finally learned the art of reading conversationally, with eye contact with the audience and a couple of gestures to reinforce a message he wanted to get across.

The support and inspiration

Papa Kiko had such a supportive network in his life as he was pitched by them. "I got referrals from friends with P100 as my starting TF, then P300 for barangay events like Mutya, but when I finally gained momentum and enough confidence clients are good to assume that my TF was 1k way back 2000s", he said. He also got paid even at his sisters' weddings. "I really believe that doing hosting for free is really bad luck for business", he added.

Papa Kiko has been an avid listener of Don Gonzales and has been following the hosting blogs of Paul and Cherry (hosts) of the "Light Rock Favorites of the Week". He noted that "it's with them that I learned to host conversationally; the hype is not a matter of raising your voice to emphasize something but more on the manner of delivery to set the mood of the party".

Emceeing reflections

Talking about the best hosting stint he had, he shared that "as for weddings, I have 2 favorites; one is with French guests that I also had to speak (at least a few) French words and the other one is the wedding I had in Digos that we had to customize; the bride didn't have any idea about the flow to keep the element of surprise."

He further shares that he also had to host with Manila artists like Viva Hot Babes. According to him, the most challenging hosting of all was the Mindanao leg of Tanduay 1st five with the biggest and most unpredictable crowd.

Into the depths of emceeing

Q: What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?

A: To always give your best and take every event as if it's your first and last. You will always have the same spiels and adlibs and even the same guests from one event to another; but regardless of what occasion (wedding, birthday, anniversary, etc) always make the clients feel it's the best time of their lives, so even if you are doing it over and over again, you also have to feel excited.

Q: What was the hardest decision you ever had to make while fulfilling your hosting duties?

A: When I have to change the flow as per the client's advice even if I know I can still pull it off in own pace. Also, not to bring your personal problems at work; we all have our highs and lows, and even if I'm down, the stakes are high that I have to keep up with my client's expectations.

Q: If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?

I guess it would be for all hosts that every hosting should be at par with excellence to also standardize the professional fee: each host has its own caliber; that nobody would say he or she has higher TF because he or she hosts better and tenured in this industry. At the end of the day, it's the same program flow. Hosts may have individual styles but the objective is the same: making every client and guest happy and event memorable.

Final thoughts

Having learned from his insights, I was still thirsty for more words of wisdom and so I asked him, "What advice can you give to those who are aspiring to become a Master of Ceremony?"

This was his reply:

Just enjoy and literally bring "life to the party". It won't feel "work" at all of you also enjoy doing it. But of course, in doing so you also have to focus on your responsibilities as a host, be human with emotions to react under certain circumstances like grief, tears of joy, ecstatic happiness yet also learn to maintain composure.

It's not just on how you properly pronounce the words but also say it with feelings; that when you say "I am happy for you both"( for weddings) you really mean it, even if you met them for the very 1st time, it's not just the couple but believing in the magic of love.

Papa Kiko now

Papa Kiko is undoubtedly Menorosa Events Management Services' star host. He has emceed for the company since 2019. We've worked together for corporate events and even mounted a concert together. In his 20 years of service being a Davao event host, he has already afforded smiles to countless couples, debutantes, and guests.

Just a personal note: I learned some art in emceeing through Papa Kiko. And, I fell in love with music because of him. As a matter of fact, we've been a tandem as a host and spinner for almost 4 years now. This has been Lord Vincent Van Mendoza. I hope I have the pleasure of your time. Well, actually, that's his signature spiel! Haha!

HTML5 Icon


Lord Vincent Van Mendoza is a content marketer and event host based in Davao City. He helps small business owners and service providers drive quality content for their brands. Since 2018, he has been emceeing for social and corporate events in the metro.
Please click here to check out his portfolio.