Come 2015, the voice you’ve been hearing for the past 18 years on the morning radio will cease to wish you a good morning – instead, The Flying Dutchman (FD) will probably still be in bed.
Declaring on GOLD 90FM this morning (Dec 30) that he will be hosting his last show tomorrow, FD, whose birth name is Mark van Cuylenburg, spoke to xinmsn minutes after he signed off for the second last time on-air. Hearty congratulations punctuated the air even before stepping into the interview room two levels below the recording studio.
“We’ve kept this under wraps really well – it goes to show that we can keep a secret if we want to!” FD chuckled of his imminent departure. The 58-year-old shared that he has been contemplating his departure for the past six months but only decided to break the news this morning. His partner-in-crime on The Gold Breakfast Show, Vernetta Lopez, only knew about his decision nine days ago.
Her first words to him: “How dare you?” What followed those three words, he continued, “is not quite suitable to be repeated”. The entertainer, however, went on to add that “she took it a lot better than I thought; she’s stronger than I thought she would be (…) I expected either tears or a fit of anger but there was none of that; she’s taking it like a real trooper.”
No special guests will be joining them in the studio tomorrow but he let on that the show will be one to “reminisce on all the good and bad times I’ve had on radio. There’s probably going to be a lot of the bad tomorrow,” FD grinned.
On his reasons for leaving radio, he shared that his two main reasons are his other businesses and his family. “Traveling is only one part of it – it’s a promise to my wife. It’s meant to be her 50th birthday present and I need three weeks to tour South America. We’re trying to figure out (when we’re leaving) right now. It could be the end of January or it could be March – it all depends on all the other businesses that I’m running,” he chortled.
“The other day, someone called me a serial businessman. There’s TFD, the events company; TWE, the wedding planner; there’s artiste management that manages me; there’s a company called The Emcee Academy by The Flying Dutchman where we train the next generation of emcees to do more than what emcees do now,” he confessed.
Just when we thought that summed up his seemingly full plate, FD continued, “I also have interests in a flying club in Bintan; I’m building a three-storey bar in Bintan that will open in March and I have interests in an internet company in Jakarta that may see work in Manila as well.”
The reason behind his multiple businesses is clear: “I said to myself that I’ll retire at 63. I want to be drinking piña colada on a beach somewhere and I need the time to shore up all my businesses. I have a certain lifestyle and I’m not going to change it when I retire.” he declared.
On questions whether his health is part of the reason why he is taking a step back from the limelight, he assured that he is “in the pink of health” and that “it’s not an issue for me right now”.
Taking on a more serious note, FD confessed to “feeling sorry towards my wife, who has had a part-time husband all these years. I wake up at 4.30 every morning to do the show and it’s just not fair to her.” The short-term plan for the multi-hyphenate is to “step back and smell the roses up till Chinese New Year. I’ll be waking up at 11 every morning, staying up as late as I want to and going out late with whoever I want to.”
Does that mean that we will never hear his voice on our airwaves again? “I’ll never say that it’s an outright no – but even if I do come back to radio, it’ll probably be a part-time stint,” FD declared. We’ll keep our ears peeled on the airwaves till then.