What is on for Christmas?

Two weeks to go before Christmas and five days left to the start of Simbang Gabi.

As of press time, two weeks to go before Christmas and five days left to the start of Simbang Gabi.

WE ARE NOW two weeks left until Christmas Day and you may ask the Turf, “What’s on free TV this Christmas season?”

Early December

On the first day. “Give Love on Christmas” began as a transitional testing ground on ABS-CBN after the 2-year-old late morning teleserye “Be Careful with My Heart.” During the first week, the viewership of the three-in-one Christmaserye slumped 1/3 less than the last day of BCWMH’s record, according to the entity’s favorite audience firm TNS Kantar, but continued to improve as they move on. Meanwhile, the rival network, GMA sets a special time off their regular weekday Astig Authority with the Christmas cartoon specials.

Recent developments this week. Despite of the onslaught of Typhoon “Ruby,” the Christmas special on ABS-CBN will continue in the studio instead of Araneta Coliseum and will be televised this weekend. Meanwhile, 9TV (soon, CNN Philippines) commenced the countdown to the Papal Visit last Sunday, December 7, with a vignette of prayer and preparation for Pope Francis’ arrival to the Philippines next month. They also carried the special primer of the visit with an interview of Cardinal Chito Tagle, the following day – fitting within the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Last Tuesday, December 9, the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League (SGVL) commenced its telecast on PTV to fill in the weekday afternoon gap. As the Turf was written before, it will tentatively last until Christmas Eve for the NCR leg.

Developments this weekend. This Saturday, December 13, the regional network, Central Luzon Television (CLTV 36) will carry the 2014 Giant Lantern Festival in their home at the City of San Fernando, Pampanga live. On GMA, the two-part Himig ng Pasko Christmas musical will be carried before Celebrity Bluff, replacing the six-month variety dance show, Marian. This Sunday on GMA, it will carry Miss World 2014 on the SNBO, considering the time zone in London but the special for the Holy Father’s 78th birthday, Pope Francis: The Pope of New Nations, will be carried on noon before Sunday All Stars. However, it is up to James Ty III for the finalization of this Sunday schedule, either the post is confirmed or vice-versa or the Pope Francis’ special will be moved to GMA News TV.

Climax of the season (December 16, 2014 – January 4, 2015)

Continuing incorporating one of our Filipino Christmas traditions, ABS-CBN will carry the Kapamilya Simbang Gabi (since 2007) beginning this Tuesday until the 24th in the early morning.

On December 21. The 79th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday, December 21, will be televised either on Friday (19th) or Monday (22nd) on PTV at Camp Aguinaldo. On this day, during Sunday All Stars, the winners of GMA’s Kapuso Milyonaryo will be announced. The battles of Sunday magazine show beats their drums against Rated K and Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho with their Christmas specials. The late Sunday night specials feud is settled with ABS-CBN’s “Hari: The Making of Da King,” about the story of Fernando Poe, Jr. on his 10th death anniversary but GMA has not made any decision yet but expect MP Featuring Sports Science or a dubbed Hollywood film to air.

Christmas Eve. The Lotto Draw on this day will be right after News@1 on PTV in order for the employees of PCSO to prepare for Noche Buena; no draws and sales will be transacted the following day and will resume on the 26th. Despite of the transitional academic calendar shift this year, the University of Santo Tomas’ Paskuhan continues to shine with their 12th Christmas Concert Gala held last December 4. The invitational concert, incorporating the theme of the papal visit, will be carried on IBC 13 this Christmas Eve and hopefully on PTV 4, the following day. On GMA, expect on 24 Oras, expect the Christmas party for the unfortunate children outside their studios in Timog Avenue. After Bandila, the Christmas Midnight Mass on ABS-CBN will definitely push through in the studios.

Christmas Day. In the early morning, the Vatican will say Mass on the Midnight Mass but the Big Three will carry it as an inset as they are focusing on their morning shows. Last year, PTV offered a Christmas party on the day itself on Balitaan for the children-victims of Typhoon “Yolanda” but will this happen again for the children-victims of Typhoon “Ruby”? Wait and see. GMA will carry the Vatican Midnight Mass but it will be on the final program of the Christmas broadcast day with the Urbi et Orbi blessing but expect PTV to carry the liturgy right ahead, tape-delayed using the EWTN feed. TV5 may carry the PBA on this day like last year and again, there are no Christmas day special games unlike NBA as they are facing on the semifinals of PBA Philippine Cup.

Within the Christmas octave. At the last Sunday of the year, December 28, there will be a year-end review on the Big Two. GMA titled it “#TB2014: Throwback 2014” while ABS-CBN has not yet received any working title, as of press time. Before the primetime, PTV will draw the last sweepstakes as part of the 80th anniversary of PCSO at noon. On Rizal Day, December 30, PTV will cover the ceremony of the national hero’s martyrdom at the discretion of the President while the rest of the networks continue with their preparations of the New Year.

On New Year’s Eve. On the afternoon, like Christmas Eve, the Lotto Draw will be conducted on PTV 4 at 2:30 p.m.; no draws and sales will be transacted the following day and will resume on January 2. ABS-CBN will solely carry the countdown within Bandila while GMA will face TV5 on the New Year’s Countdown. The 12th timer GMA will face TV5 on their first entertainment countdown at the Quezon City Memorial Circle as a promotional stint for Reliance’s 2015 programs. PTV made a first try of joining the countdown last year via Panahon.TV with a subtle beginning. It is unclear if they will do it again or not. After the countdown, Mother Ignacia will continue the New Year’s Day Mass.

On New Year’s Day. PTV may carry a tape-delayed EWTN feed of the Vespers of Thanksgiving and few religious programming will cover in most free VHF networks. However, the Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila warned that the Vienna New Year’s Concert was never aired on free national TV. He mentioned the populace’s love of music like K-pop, Billboard Top 10s and even old “pang-masa” hits, except classical. Based on the preference of the audience, it will not be materialized the 2015 edition, even on state-owned networks.

Special note: ABS-CBN Sports + Action will remain in question of the special schedule this Christmas since the renaming last January from Studio 23 and it will be recorded and reminded by one of our fellow Turfer, Bado Ofilada. 

Post-Christmas season footnote

The New Year’s Vin d’Honneur 2015 in Malacanang will be carried on PTV (with a simulcast on IBC) but the date should be within the second week. In order to prevent the coincidence of the feast of Black Nazarene, the Palace should set the traditional toast either on Thursday, January 8 or on Monday, January 12.

Here are the possible schedules this Christmas season. Have a blessed Christmas to all!

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[Photo courtesy of travelfreak.com]



  1. Instead of a Aksyon Tonite special, TV5 will be having a countdown special at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on December 31 featuring the stars of the upcoming TV5 shows.

  2. GMA is airing a documentary on Pope Francis tomorrow on SNBO. It will be dubbed in Tagalog and hosted by Jessica Soho. Not sure if GMA is airing the Miss World 2014.

  3. I predicted that ABS-CBN Sports+Action will be replayed some of the major sports events this Christmas season. (including UAAP Finals)

  4. The year-end special episode of PTV’s The Veronica Chronicles will be aired shortly.

    It is unknown where Ed Lingao of Aksyon Tonite will go (QC Memorial Circle?) for his reporting for the newscast on December 31.

  5. At saka Tim, iaair din sa New Year’s Eve sa Net 25 yung countdown mula sa Philippine Arena.

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