(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.
Broadway Centrum was completed in 1987 (30 years ago) and was originally owned by GMA Network Inc. The property housed their live variety shows such as Lunch Date, That’s Entertainment, Vilma! and GMA Supershow. When GMA inked the deal with Television and Production Exponents (TAPE), Inc. on airing Eat Bulaga last January 28, 1995, the Eastside studios had to be renovated for seven months before settling in. They temporarily transferred to the other side of Broadway for the first two months of 2010 before going back to the home base. On the same year, TV5’s lease with Broadway began and occupied the West Side.
In 2012, Empire East — a subsidiary of Megaworld — bought the property for developing a residential condominium and a lifestyle mall but they promise to include a more improved studio for the longest noontime variety show. Two years later, TV5’s lease was expired, the West Side Studio was shut permanently and EB survived.
Right now, Eat Bulaga reckoned their stay for almost 22 years, which is a majority (57.7%) of their running broadcast.
The Moving Rumor
Since 2015, speculations expanded about the plans of transferring from Broadway Centrum to APT Entertainment Studios (formerly KB Entertainment Studios) in Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal to accommodate more people to meet their dabarkads, to greet guests and to appreciate contestants. For them, Broadway’s physical interiors and exteriors are deteriorated and are situated near Ermitaño Creek. The press did not brought up that speculation until next year by the Manila Bulletin and Sun Star.
Weighing in and mapping out
Despite the lack of technical sense to architecture and aside from audience accommodation, the possible advantages I can enlist include:
- More stage and storage space,
- Wider passageways,
- Very acoustic padding and
- Fresher ambiance for the studio audience’s comfort
For there are advantages, there are also disadvantages:
- No outdoor parking (speculated to be underground), and
- Producers’ inconvenience to and from TAPE Office in Xavierville Avenue
Tale of the tape
Speaking of inconvenience, thanks to Google Maps, the current travel time from and to TAPE for the two studios:
Broadway Centrum, Quezon City (current studio)
- From TAPE: ~28 minutes for 6.3 kilometers (via Aurora Blvd/R-6)
- To TAPE: ~27 minutes for 5.7 kilometers (via Aurora Blvd/R-6 and Kamias Rd)
- Total: ~55 minutes for 13.0 kilometers
APT Studios, Cainta, Rizal (prospective studio)
- From TAPE: ~15 minutes for 7.5 kilometers (via Marikina-Infanta Hwy/Marilaque Hwy/R-6)
- To TAPE: ~32 minutes for 6.8 kilometers (via R-6)
- Total: ~47 minutes for 14.3 kilometers
The new home will be a hassle for studio audience and contestants as the site, apart from being also near a creek — in this case, Balanti, though a bit far — is also near a school (Morning Dew Montessori II) and the LRT 2 East Extension project currently underway (Estimated Time to Accomplish: April 2019). The traffic flow will be a bit heavily congested than its former site.
Indeed, Eat Bulaga did last successfully to go and to reach out of the walls of the studios by visiting on to their barangays and our homes, unlike its rival’s (It Showtime’s) default confinement.
Yet, moving out of their own after a very long time for another is really heartbreaking and is very sentimental for Filipinos from all walks of life — be it a balikbayan family, officemates, schoolmates or excursionistas (who are not chosen in Juan for All, All for Juan on that specific day) — as they are getting used to go to that place.
Just like the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto that is considered the “Cathedral of Ice Hockey” engraved in the hearts of Canadians, Broadway Centrum in Quezon City would be considered as a “Cathedral of Noontime Entertainment” that is and will be etched in the hearts of Filipinos.
Sometimes and somehow, we have to move on to a new chapter and adapt to a new environment but we should never forget the memories it enshrined before.
If not today or the remainder of the year, when will they even move out? Could be it next year or in 2019 for their ruby (40th) anniversary? Who knows.
Photos courtesy of The Urban Roamer (Karl Aguilar)
Screenshots courtesy of Google Maps, juxtaposed using PowerPoint 2016