PTV’S HOMECOMING, OUR WARNING: Thoughts on Their Return to Cover SEA Games and More

1st UPDATE (10:47 p.m.): The 2019 SEA Games’ hosting will push through.

[Dedicated to Gab Ferreras, Kevin Estrada, Ivan Saldajeno of Dugout Philippines and the fans of Philippines Football League]

Few sporting competitions may have begun this week but this Saturday will mark the Opening Ceremony of the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. PTV will come home to cover but the Philippine sporting community is alarmed with their return.

ALTHOUGH few sports began their competition this week, this Saturday will mark the opening ceremony of the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on People’s Television (PTV), after 10 years, putting back the glory days as the Philippine sportscasting authority.

However, the sporting community is very wary of their solo return.

What’s so alarming and why we should be? It may not be myriads to reason out the concerns but let’s jump in.

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One Radio Network Must Go (and Another Must Gain)

[AUTHOR’S NOTE AND WARNING: The annual Big Reveal or the August Roast this year is on TV5. Initially, it was supposed to be about Sports5’s broadcast overlap with FIBA Asia Cup tomorrow and the 29th Southeast Asian Games on the 19th but due to PTV’s return to cover the latter after 10 years, it was shelved and it will be focused on TV5’s radio counterpart. As usual, this banter might be offensive; reader’s discretion is advised.]

Whose radio network is getting rekt this year?

RECENTLY, a fad in the national social media landscape titled “One Must (or Has To) Go” asked respondents just one of the choices – whether food or a thing – would be abandoned for the rest of their life. Of course, The Turf won’t beat out of this.

If there’s one radio network that has to go, according to the Boses ng Madla poll since July 17, most of them responded that they would ditch those from TV5 (i.e. Radyo5) with 38.71%.*

Indeed, this is how Ralph Domingo, the webmaster of From the Tube, perceived and described after few years of concerned monitoring as his constructive criticisms fall on deaf ears.

Since 2010, Radyo5 defied the typical FM landscape of being all-music by adding news, talk, and public affairs. Throughout their running lives, they catered to the public utility vehicles (especially the LTFRB-defending taxi drivers) and established their Taxi Squad but as of now, we are unsure of the latter’s whereabouts.

Last year, their programming began to change as some famous personalities were displaced to serve the Duterte administration and their important news coverage related under this Presidency were downplayed.

This mishandling and dismal performance let station manager Gladys Lana-Lucas accountable and hence, surrendered to The Philippine Star President Miguel Belmonte’s hands. Ralph made a laundry list for him but sadly, none of them is implemented, as he is still preoccupied on their family-owned newspaper company.

He lamented Reliance that they are heavily “living on borrowed time.” Hold that Cueshé’s song for a moment.

It is no wonder that Kevin Trinidad, Ralph’s former blog visitor, who used to believe in all TV5’s divisions as an alternative to the duopoly, now boisterously mocked over it and abandoned that patronage after realizing their constant failures.

This begs a comprehensive question, “If Radyo5 finally gave up, who will take its place?

One of my colleagues, John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez suggested that his hometown broadcaster, Brigada, should be its prospective replacement.

Doing some background checks, the tri-media organization was founded by former Bombo Radyo anchor Elmer Catulpos in 2005 in General Santos City as a daily tabloid newspaper for Mindanao. Two years later, he diversified to health-line products and in 2009 to the radio (a year before Radyo5’s turn). Shortly after the airwave inception, it became Top 2 radio station in the GenSan market. It was not until 2013 when they expanded across the country and a year after, the Mega Manila market’s inauguration made it as a rising powerhouse ready to compete with their Manila-based giants.

THE RISING RADIO MOGUL. Elmer Catulpos is the CEO of Brigada Mass Media Corporation.

I would agree with JRDV, as I was able to hear my local Brigada station – Brigada Pampanga (DWCL 92.7 FM) – a few times beginning this year.

So what makes Brigada a better choice to replace Radyo5? There are four reasons I can enumerate.

First, although they are strikingly similar in programming structure and somehow amicable to the Duterte administration or concerning authorities in terms of news slant, they have more radio stations nationwide with 34 (six more to be aired in Palawan) running stations against Radyo5’s seven (7) – almost 6 to 1.

Second, in Mega Manila alone, Brigada’s DWEY 104.7 have the same transmitting power as Radyo5’s DWFM 92.3 with 25 kW but the former has better and consistent effective radio power (ERP) with 127.66 kW over the latter’s 75-120 kW.

Third, despite their national office in Makati City and the transmitter in Batangas City due to limited FM spacing in the metropolis, it has led to inaudibility and inaccessibility for car and cell phone radios during rush hour; still, Brigada took advantage by creating a free Android app that can live stream any of their FM stations – anywhere, real-time.

Last but not the least, instead of scouting third party advertisers – which is risky if the commercial radio prospects continue to fail – Brigada decided to sustain their own revenue by selling and promoting, as mentioned earlier, their own products such as Power Cells, DriveMax, Guard-C, Panamed and Aero Lube.

That being mentioned, I reaffirmed that Brigada is a viable candidate to succeed a major radio network with a myriad of unresolved disgraceful records. For now, it is just a dream as only time will tell if Manny V. Pangilinan finally decides to wave the white flag over the division and to divest that segment entirely to Mr. Catulpos.


*The other results of the initially established BnM poll were as follows: MBC with 21.51%, GMA with 13.98%, ABS-CBN with 11.83%, PBS with 5.38% and others (including Brigada) with 8.60%. Adjustments of the other responses will be posted.


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Photo credits:

  • Electronic Design
  • MindaNews / Rommel G. Rebollido

Moving Out of Broadway is the Hardest Thing to Do…

Broadway Centrum has been the home of Eat Bulaga for 22 years.

(This post is dedicated in memory of my paternal grandmother, Nanay Miriam Paragas, who passed away last Wednesday night.)

LAST MAY, my paternal family went to Antipolo for the annual summer outing. We passed over Broadway Centrum to and from the destination and it triggered me about a discussion of a transfer from it for a noontime variety show last year on PHTV Facebook Group where I am currently sitting in as an administrator.

In time for the 38th anniversary of Eat Bulaga, Timow’s Turf will neither discuss about the current trends of their segments nor their dabarkads but on the fate of the studio building that housed it and its difficulty of letting it go. (more…)

We Deserve Teleseryes Better

LAST MONDAY, GMA Afternoon Prime teleserye Haplos skipped the remainder of the episode to cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA). From the Tube’s Ralph Domingo wished that the remainder would carry over but instead they skipped the said episode entirely and moved on without the network’s public apology.

This recent incident, coupled with Albert Brian Gimao’s threefold request, made us realized why teleseryes are so relevant in the age of rising demands of quality.

The current landscape of our teleserye industry, specifically found in South Triangle, ranges from

  • Chronologically, late morning (Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin) to evening (A Love To Last)
  • Demographically, youth-oriented (Trops) to adult-oriented (Ika-6 na Utos)
  • Generally, fantasy (Mulawin vs. Ravena) to reality (Ang Probinsyano)
  • Specifically, romance (A Love to Last) to action (Ang Probinsyano, again)

Then, tried-and-tested conformity began to swoop in with clichés (e.g. slapping scene, amnesia scene, zooming in) and cast love teams at the expense of their creative freedom juices and the intelligence of the audience — all for the sake of bottom line.

Some of their finished products are probably rated SPG (per episode basis), which is inconsiderate to children whose classes are in different shift and both networks do not focus on other genres such as crime thrillers or professional kind of shows.

What are much worse were the production staff’s repercussions; remember what happened to Francis Pasion after directing JaDine’s On the Wings of Love last year? He died nine days after the finale due to cardiac arrest for overworking fatigue. This has led to the issuance of an advisory from the Department of Labor and Employment to limit the time for TV industry workers to 12 hours a day last year but the mother network, ABS-CBN, filed a temporary restraining order – a desperate act, in the eyes of critics, of greed.

With that, last month, Twitter user @sPAULArium was not pleased with the said quality based on aforementioned state and flooded her grievances in a thread.

She suggested that teleseryes, particularly in primetime, should go on a weekly basis from daily like those in the United States and in Japan. South Korean dramas practiced it as they grouped into two: Monday-Tuesday and Wednesday-Thursday. The Turf already proposed the gradual frequency reduction from the current weekdays until it reaches up to that frequency.

While netizens mostly praised Paula with civility, actress Bela Padilla defended the local industry as her projects made millions “happy.” To be honest, Bela may have more roles to be written in her resume but she should get real by opening her eyes, hearing the other side of the audience and stop living in the confined mediocrity.

What the giants in South Triangle did is overemphasizing the usual sector of their target market: female, 35+ and pang-masa (class CDE). They do not realize that trends and preferences continue to change over time, with or without predictability.

In the end, the common goal in this unavoidable and mediocre duopoly – as indeed expressed on the netizen’s thread — is their bottom line and ratings braggadocio. Hence, we termed it as “cancer.”

This status quo of teleserye led others to defect and to find an alternative modes of entertainment.

This is why James Ty III never looked onto it and rather focused on his favorite day, Sunday.

This is why Christian Arceo no longer entertained with them after 15 years and moved on to anime and sports.

This is why Kevin Trinidad renounced and ditched them unreservedly in favor of Netflix.

Indeed, we deserve it better but the question is, “When will it ever be heard?”


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The Turf’s Guide to 2018 Philippine Holidays

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!

Timow’s Turf is returning back to herald the tradition where everybody is looking forward to: the nationwide holidays for the upcoming year.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 269, dated last Monday, for the official nationwide holidays for 2018.

The timing’s a bit earlier than the usual but it’s all worthwhile for employees to file their vacation leaves as early — and as maximum — as possible.

Travel bloggers will seize this opportunity to showcase and to assess their trips. Non-travel, specialty bloggers like this one and From the Tube could use these days when they will not post any content.

The Turf will not present the holidays in a standard post like in the past years but on a slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Insights

Some ka-DDS failed to push for the repeal of February 25 and August 21 as official holidays. As I said for last year, such moves are not a priority measure.

 

ImmaCon.jpg

The Immaculate Conception’s feast day (December 8) — despite a Catholic holy day of obligation for the Philippines — is not yet a holiday.

 

Regarding the status of December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, as a special non-working holiday, the news so far — according to Manila Bulletin last May, it was approved in the House of Representatives in all three readings. They need to be passed in the Senate with the same process and then, the signature of the President to become an official law.


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Photo credit: Cheryl Baldicantos / MANILA BULLETIN

Slideshow: Made by the author using PowerPoint 2016

Anyare sa Ating Alamin? (and How the Palakasan System Killed It)

Kabayan, kilala mo ba siya? Ang palabas niya’y isa ring biktima rin ng sistema ng palakasan.

[This post is dedicated to Team ex-PTV & former Philippine Broadcasting Service talents.]

LAST JUNE, as People’s Television (PTV) dressed anew, one of its personalities was axed after 11 years. Ms. Kathy San Gabriel was fired through a text message without giving her the chance to say goodbye in front of the camera.

Her colleagues on the firm went on different approaches: Xiao Chua (who was given the sack with honor two months before) comforted her over the unprofessional dismissal and called on justice through different social media platforms. Snow Badua triggered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the network two years ago (between him and Alberto Marbella) and harangued insanely all over Facebook and Twitter. Atty. JJ Jimeno-Atienza kept hushed, as she is not much in the spotlight. However, Kirby Cristobal resigned quietly and voluntarily prior to the publicized scandal. In his resignation letter, he exposed the hunch that the internal “palakasan” system was revived within Visayas Avenue’s workplace culture.

This gave the Turf the reason to reflect Cristobal’s exposé but it will focus on one of the TV programs than the personalities of the station for another case.

Look at the example of Ating Alamin – the 36-year-old agricultural, livelihood and entrepreneurial show that crisscrossed four TV networks by Adolfo “Ka Gerry” R. Geronimo. How is the show now and how it became a victim of the palakasan culture?

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Timow’s Open Pit #1: SONA 2017

pdu30-sona

President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his second State of the Nation Address next Monday, July 24.

ON JULY 24, President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City.

As the name implies, this political event will be about the conditions that transpired around the country and after a year since he delivered in his dais in the plenary hall last year, everything happened faster than we can ever imagine. (more…)

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2017 (Part 3)

WE ARE OFFICIALLY in the midpoint of 2017 and for the past six months, the Philippine media landscape changed faster than anyone could have guessed.

Here on Timow’s Turf, we will focus on the moments that transpired the first half of the year. Welcome to

Welcome to the Turf’s Midyear Report 2017.

If you missed out Parts 1 and 2, click on the following parts before wrapping up to Part 3.

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Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2017 (Part 2)

WE ARE OFFICIALLY in the midpoint of 2017 and for the past six months, the Philippine media landscape changed faster than anyone could have guessed.

Here on Timow’s Turf, we will focus on the moments that transpired the first half of the year. Welcome to

Welcome to the Turf’s Midyear Report 2017.

If you missed out Part 1, click on the link before continuing to Part 2.

(more…)