AS MANY FAITHFUL go back to their normal routines after four days since Pope Francis departed the country, the effect of the visit remains stuck in their minds, mouths and hearts. Not only the faithful got the “Papa Mania” but also the networks. Let’s look back at the five days on how all VHF networks fared in covering the five significant days.
During the Holy Father’s stay, the attire of presenters were donned in Barong Tagalog or as Ralph Domingo called it, they are well dressed for the wedding. The network feed was unified, even to Sports + Action, DZMM TeleRadyo and ANC.
ABS-CBN’s precious assets on the momentous days were eight performers of this network singing to their heart’s content before the Pope, especially non-Catholics. Aside from Jamie Rivera who sung the theme song, “We Are All God’s Children”, The Voice Kids’ champion and runner-up, Lyca Gairanod and Darren Espanto executed the performance of the 1995 song, “Tell the World of His Love” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena and the University of Santo Tomas, respectively. Not only that, the network’s pool of showbiz talents topped the success with the responsorial psalm of the final Mass in the Quirino Grandstand, sung by Erik Santos.
However, Mother Ignacia’s coverage is not pure especially on its credibility. Korina Sanchez, who was supposed to take a break, presented first for the coverage with her first quip that Pope Francis was hailed from a “warm country,” thus, having a “warm personality.”
Like ABS-CBN, they wore in Barong and Filipiniana but only in the studios. Like what loyal viewers of Timog Avenue, credible news is the aim. However, the network used a separate feed for the sister channel News TV caused many drawbacks. Such drawbacks include (1) the carrying of reruns of Misteryo last Thursday while the papal motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature was ongoing and (2) carrying normal programming of the same channel last Sunday while the final Mass in Quirino Grandstand is ongoing, carrying the big brunt on the main channel instead of sharing it.
TV5’s presenters wore T-shirts from Francis M. Clothing Company, as Domingo heckled as if they were in a political rally. The Reliance network, using the parallel feed with AksyonTV, defied the interior design with informality, similar to Aksyon Sa Umaga, decked with the pictures of Pope Francis. However, the rap music as their TV theme drew much criticism from liturgically meticulous Catholics.
During the start of the coverage, 9TV decked the graphics similar to CNN in the United States, signifying a transition to CNN Philippines next month. The attire is simply in business suits, or as Domingo said that, they are in a seminar. The advantage of 9TV, aside from the credible news, is the control of emotions of journalists unlike the Big Three. The sole disadvantage is the entertainers masquerading as journalists (EMAJs) such as Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal.
Media ng Bayan
Viewers may have snubbed Media ng Bayan but like 9TV, they are in business suits. The advantage of MNB is the full-blown coverage for five straight days but the disadvantage, other than simplistic graphics from Adobe Systems and slow broadcasting equipment procurement, is Snow Badua, the sports anchor of PTV.
Nonetheless, all VHF networks will remember these worthy days in the history of Philippine television. They learned something than it happened 20 years ago: the paradigm shift from exclusiveness to inclusiveness just like the Pope’s character. The theme song itself proved that all network are like “God’s children;” they are “all the same” with the purpose to serve.
Which network is best broadcaster?
Which is the worst?
Have any other reasons than what is written?