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Joel Dacut Wong Palencia, better known as Joel Palencia, is a Filipino television host, dancer, model, and actor. He is a member of Eat Bulaga!'s all-male resident dance group That's My Bae. He was a Dabarkads from 2015 to 2019.

Before becoming a Dabarkads, Joel worked as a call center agent. He also frequently joined pageants, with his most prominent achievement as the Ginoong Antipolo 2015. After a couple more local pageants and a ban later, Joel looked into joining television.

Joel joined That's My Bae: "Twerk It" Dance Contest as a contestant on 14 July 2015. After sailing through the elimination rounds, he became one of the seven grand finalists of the competition, but lost against Kenneth Medrano. After the contest, the seven grand finalists continued to appear and perform together on Eat Bulaga!, appearing in segments such as ATM with the Baes and Hotline Bae. During their time as resident dancers on Eat Bulaga!, the seven grand finalists gradually became an actual dance group which became known as That's My Bae.

Joel was 23 years old at the time he joined the noontime show.

From his early days as a kontesero, Joel has earned a rightful spot as one of the country's ultimate baes. Although he is banned from joining pageants in his hometown and its surrounding areas, Joel has nevertheless succeeded to infiltrate and become part of every Filipino's noontime habit across the globe.

Early life

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Joel Palencia and his family

Joel Dacut Wong Palencia was born on 7 March 1992 in Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines to Alberto Palencia Jr. and Mercy Dacut Wong. He is the second oldest of five children. His siblings are sisters Arianne, Andrea, and Micah and brother Jemuel Jared.

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A 19-year-old Joel

In 2010, Joel graduated from Mayamot National High School in Antipolo, Rizal. He then finished his Tourism Management degree at the Antipolo campus of Our Lady of Fatima University.

After college, he worked as a call center agent at Teleperformance Philippines.

According to an October 2016 interview in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, Joel claims that he was bullied in school while growing up because he was dark and skinny. He credits his newfound self-confidence to an ex-girlfriend who inspired him to become his better self as well as join pageants.

Prior to Eat Bulaga!

A bae in the making

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The winners of the Lakan at Lakambini ng Cupang 2014

Growing up, Joel aspired to be a singer. While Joel only joined one barangay amateur singing contest, he was given several opportunities to compete while working for a call center agency. He represented his account in company singing contests as part of the agency's employee engagement program, winning several times. He also became a member of his call center's dance group.

After leaving the call center company, Joel attempted to join pageants due to his desire to try modeling. In May 2014, Joel competed in the annual Lakan at Lakambini ng Cupang pageant held in his hometown of Brgy. Cupang, Antipolo. Joel represented his sitio and victoriously claimed the title of Lakan ng Cupang at the end of the pageant.

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Ginoong Antipolo 2015

After his victory in the local pageant, Joel went on to represent his barangay in the citywide male pageant Ginoong Antipolo 2015. In addition to receiving the People's Choice Award, Joel won the pageant and claimed the rown. His victory meant that he could no longer join any pageants around Antipolo.

As a result, his handlers made him compete in other cities in and around Metro Manila, such as Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and Makati. He won up to eight titles from different cities as the grand winner, which includes Mr. Pogi ng Mandaluyong 2015, Gandang Lalaki ng Malabon 2015, and Mr. Guapito 2015.

From local pageantry to national TV

It came to a point that he was getting banned from joining pageants in other cities. His Facebook supporters then suggested to try joining contests on television. Fortunately, Eat Bulaga! recently premiered That's My Bae: "Twerk It" Dance Contest, a new segment based on the viral "Twerk It Like Miley" Dubsmash videos which featured good-looking men with dancing skills.

At the time, Joel was not well aware of the segment. He started watching the segment during its third day when Miggy Tolentino was performing. He immediately auditioned the following Saturday and passed the screening.

As an Eat Bulaga! Dabarkads

As a contestant

Rehearsal of Joel Palencia and Ray Catalunia III

Joel Palencia and Ray Cataluna III rehearse for the contest

On 14 July 2015, Joel Palencia first appeared on national television as a contestant of That's My Bae: "Twerk It" Dance Contest. As part of the contest, the contestants danced to the 2014 hit single "Twerk It Like Miley" by Brandon Beal while showcasing their talent and looks. Joel was 23 years old at the time he joined the noontime show.

He was pitted against Mister United Continents Philippines 2015 Ray Cataluna III. Their dance battle ended in a tie, the very first in the daily competition. After sailing through the eliminations, Joel became one of the competition's grand finalists.

The seven grand finalists were Gab Bayan, Kim Last, Kenneth Medrano, Joel Palencia, Tommy Peñaflor, Jon Timmons, and Miggy Tolentino. The grand finals of the dance contest was held on 29 August 2015 where Kenneth Medrano was declared as the grand winner of the competition.

As a member of That's My Bae

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That's My Bae

Subsequently, Joel and the six other grand finalists made regular appearances on Eat Bulaga! as a dance group. Originally, they were simply referred to as That's My Bae grand finalists. Eventually, the group became officially known as That's My Bae. To further give them exposure, That's My Bae was given its own segment entitled ATM with the Baes. At this point, they were considered as resident dance group of the noontime show.

The dance crew was still composed of seven people until the quiet departure of Gab Bayan in December 2015. Since then, That's My Bae has been a six-member group.

The members of That's My Bae began appearing in other segments of Eat Bulaga!, including Hotline BaeDancing in Tandem, and Kalyeserye. Soon, each of them was included in the annual Eat Bulaga's Lenten Special.

As a Dabarkads

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Patricia and Joel in #Dabarkads Goals: The Ultimate Battle

In November 2016, the members of That's My Bae battled against one another in the "Mr. Diva" challenge of the segment Challenge Accepted, which required the baes to wear heels while dancing. The tandem of Joel Palencia and Tommy Peñaflor won against the other two tandems of Miggy-Kenneth and Jon-Kim.

In 2017, Joel Palencia participated in the segment #Dabarkads Goals: The Ultimate Battle as part of the noontime show's 38th anniversary celebration. He was paired with co-host Patricia Tumulak and was accompanied by Le'Go Fam Philippines; their group was dubbed as Team Laban. Together, the team danced to the song "Xanadu" (from Eat Bulaga!'s 1981 segment Queen of Xanadu). The group won the daily and the weekly rounds, but lost against Ryan Agoncillo and Maine Mendoza's Team Ramen in the grand finals.

On 15 July 2018, Joel's clan was invited to perform in Broadway Singer Citizens: Celebrity Edition. They lost against Kenneth Medrano and his family.

Beyond Eat Bulaga!

Television and film appearances

Trops title card

Title card of That's My Bae's first television series, Trops (2016)

Prior to Eat Bulaga!, Joel Palencia had a cameo appearance as one of the students of Pendleton High School in Viva Films' Talk Back and You're Dead, a 2014 teen romantic-comedy film topbilled by James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

The members of That's My Bae also had a group cameo appearance in Vic Sotto's 2015 MMFF film entry My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore. Television guest appearances include Juan Tamad (2015), Sunday PinaSaya (2016), iBilib (2017), and Pepito Manaloto (2017).

Together, the six baes were finally given their own television show entitled Trops, a dramedy-romance series that aimed to delve into various issues concerning today's generation-- peer pressure, friendship, rivalry, generation gap, and more. The pre-noontime series is the debut lead acting role of the group. They were joined by Benjie Paras, Irma Adlawan, Ina Raymundo, Krystal Reyes, Shaira Mae Dela Cruz, Toni Aquino, and Taki Saito. The show ran for almost a year from October 2016 to September 2017. Joel played the role of a clumsy nerd gamer named Joel Santos.

A party with the baes

Joel's light-up performance during the concert

Joel's light-up performance during the concert

That's My Bae was scheduled to have its first ever solo concert on 16 December 2016 at SM City North EDSA Skydome. However, the concert was cancelled after one of the major performers sustained an injury days before the show. The concert was rescheduled on 24 March 2017 and is titled #TropsGoals: Party with the Baes.

Special guests included Jireh Lim, Toni Aquino, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Alden Richards, and Maine Mendoza.

Talent in singing

Joel Palencia used to join singing contests before joining the noontime show. While he became more focused in dancing after becoming a regular performer on television, Joel created a YouTube account to upload cover songs, such as Moira Dela Torre's "Malaya" and Ed Sheeran's "Dive".

Personal life and trivia

  • Joel's celebrity crush is Marian Rivera.
  • His height is 5'8''.

Segments

Eat Bulaga's Lenten Special

Year Episode Role
2016 "Walang Kapalit" Carlo's friend
2017 "Prinsesa" Ato
2018 "Haligi ng Pangarap" Mark


Notable roles within Eat Bulaga!

Year Segment Role
2015 Kalyeserye Santa Bae
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