By Popular Request (BPR)

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?”


Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Of Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3 FM and of the Anti-Pirate Radio Law

[Requested by Ian Santos]

[DISCLAIMER: This post is neither associated with Radyo Kontra Droga nor with the National Telecommunications Commission. It is for information and educational purposes only.]

Ron Cruz (sitting, in white) is the mastermind behind Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3 FM in Manila. The station was acclaimed as pirated upon receipt from the PHRadio Group.

IS THE WRITING on the wall happening for a pirated radio station?

According to a post shared in the PHRadio Group this past week, a letter from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was received dated April 19. However, the originating post from the Facebook account (not as a page) obscured the content of the letter. Members of the group answered it either as a note of final warning or a letter of cease and desist (C&D) order.

Patrick Chin shared this post from Kontra Droga (as an account) showing the letter from the National Telecommunications Commission.

However, the exposed preliminary parts of the letter were given the suspicions. The recipient was addressed to a certain Mr. Ron Cruz who owned “Radyo Kontra Droga” 98.3 FM in Paco, Manila. The e-mail address obviously used those from his actual business, Ultralite Solar Power Hauz, on with the same location, which was promoted in Unang Hirit (GMA) and Bandila (ABS-CBN) more than two years ago.

Delving on the web, the Metro Manila’s FM frequencies are all occupied and 98.3 MHz is not even registered and licensed to permit by the NTC, not given a legitimate franchise from Congress and no publicity was ever recognized to the public.

The Turf reasoned deductively that when their daytime operating hours of the solar panel establishment is done, they would be converted into an underground radio station, commencing daily operation from 9:00 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning.

According to Ian Santos, he believed that they are not classified as a low-power station (≤20 watts) as he estimated the transmission power of 250-500 watts.

In short, they operate a clandestine pirate station. They are illegal under Act No. 3846 and it may interfere their neighbors’ frequencies. In this case, it may affect Home Radio 97.9 and the classical music station DZFE 98.7.

So, how will they stop and taste the arm of the law?

Learn from the news item from UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita last July 8, 2013.

The police and the NTC will raid and padlock the premises and confiscate their equipment. If the erring personnel have been named and have been known, they will be fined 300 pesos and will be sentenced for three months in jail.

In this case, so much for being the die-hard supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte (or DDS) like Mr. Cruz that they can’t even discipline themselves, especially in complying the common broadcast laws. That said, their new slogan upon their hopeful prevailing justice will be taunted vocally, “Kontra droga pa man, pirata pala naman” or possibly place a cardboard written in a permanent marker, “Pirata ako, ‘wag tularan.”

However, the Turf is not done just yet, because we need to share the thoughts on how that anti-pirate radio law is working this year:

It’s lamentable how the said penalty imposed a ridiculous amount and term is fined and served right now since it was passed back then: P 300 before is worth thousands of pesos in today’s terms and three months — classified under arresto mayor — is rather a short sentence for an imprisonment over this nominal delict.

Although the Congress has the constitutional right to amend the existing law to impose even more stiff penalties on radio piracy, the author thinks that they have to serve progressively up to prision correcional (up to six years).

Nevertheless, the monitoring of unexpected happenings in the radio spectrum shall not cease after this case is solved.


Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Photos courtesy of Facebook. Screenshot courtesy of the author.

That Thing Called Dubbing (and Why Some People Hated It)

[Requester: Albert Brian Gimao (2nd time). Before introducing the article, personally and seriously, this topic may have been familiar to everyone and The Turf won’t budge further into it.]

The Legend of the Blue Sea is a K-drama that is currently on the air on ABS-CBN since yesterday. It airs every weekday at 5:00 p.m. (Metro Manila) and the following 9:30 a.m. (for RNGs).

AS WE are in the final three-and-a-half weeks of summer vacation*, most of the children who are done with their summer workshops are trying to find some entertainment back into the living room.

When somebody had an interesting show to look forward to, he or she will tune the TV. However, after watching for a few minutes, they feel uncomfortable, scratch their heads and ask themselves: “Bakit Tinatagalog ang palabas ko?”

That thing is called dubbing.

Currently, on free TV, the genres that commonly employ that form of include:

  • cartoons (including anime) (Big 3),
  • Koreanovelas (Big 2 and PTV),
  • US TV series (TV5) and
  • Foreign flicks whether Hollywood (Big 3) or Eastern (GMA) films

However, this annoyance is further summoned to the social media battlefield with two major camps – those who are in favor of dubbing and those against it. Those who are in middle ground are deemed in the backlash zone and whatever side one belongs, they will always lead in the wantonness of civility through trade of tirades.

Japan’s dorayaki and our hopia may taste good but they are obviously not the same delicacy.

If you fit in the requester’s shoes, you will definitely gnash your teeth with a common motive. They accused the Filipino (Tagalog) dubbing for “dumbing down” the integrity and culture behind the program. Languages, indeed, define and distinguish the cultures of different group of people. For example, do you remember watching the anime classic Doraemon and find stumbled of what his favorite food is? In its original Japanese, it is called dorayaki (a pastry filled with red beans) but here in the Philippines, we translated it as hopia — a rough counterpart when it comes to texture and taste, but it is not the same.

What will happen if you switch on the defender’s shoes? Their counterclaims dared the rival to answer the questions such as “Paano mo yan maiintidihan ng mga tao?” (How can people understand it) or added with a rebuttal like “Hindi kakagat ‘yan ng masa.” (It will not be consumed by the masses). Sometimes, they also make anti-intellectual and irrational backlash such as “nosebleed.”

Last January, James Ty III already made an entry on his blog Streak Shooter, detailing this issue expounding his favorite topic, particularly on films that aired on his favorite day, Sunday, over the Big 2 and later nag such things on his Twitter to one user. He observed that other countries, aside from USA using Spanish, have done the same method.

His justification is elaborated and excerpted:

“In the past, these networks would air their movies in original English audio but dubbing them has been a way for them to attract viewers especially with the proliferation of locally produced soap operas…

Networks like GMA and TV5 air these dubbed movies as a way to save money especially with their locally produced shows not rating well and getting cancelled, resulting in huge financial losses. Dubbers are also paid the same rates as those who dub the Korean, Spanish and Japanese anime shows.”

He concluded that if “they can’t beat them, join them…” but that will not do for those who persistently resist.

Is there a solution to subside the hatred of dubbing?

Well, yes. There is already a closed-captioning law that took effect last July — Republic Act 10905.

However, without its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that needs to be crafted by concerning associations and relatable government agencies — in this case, those from Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)  —  they cannot be materialized at once.

If the IRR is ratified, there will be in-house layoff on dubbers and/or transfers into subtitle typists. In financial perspective, it will improve their networks from being economically burdensome; such an upshot will mean more dividends for shareholders and more investment for their maintenance and expansion.

Until that day comes, better watch it on an online streaming site for the original language but if you don’t have one, tough luck. Perhaps, we should not be surprised if some network has the guts to acquire and dub the sensational and controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.


*The dating is based on the academic calendar for Academic Year 2017-18 released by the Department of Education (DepEd). Their classes begin on June 5. Private schools may not need to follow the required date to open their classes but they mustn’t start after August.


Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook!

[Photos courtesy of BoxAsian/SBS/Wikimedia Commons]

Radyo ng Bayan to get an AM makeover this June

[Requested by Jared Kenneth Ferrer]

Beginning June 1, Radyo ng Bayan (DZRB 738 kHz in Metro Manila) will become RP1.

RADYO NG BAYAN is getting a cosmetic makeover next month.

Beginning June 1, the branding of DZRB-AM 738 kHz (for Metro Manila) will be face-lifted as RP1.

The initials RP — a former two-letter initial for the formal name of our country — actually stands for Radyo Pilipinas, which also shares the name of their overseas shortwave radio station.

This move is part of Martin Andanar’s master reorganization plan for the state-owned media; it is obviously patterned after their FM counterparts: FM2 (DWBR) 104.3 MHz and the upcoming FM1 87.5.

Using that logical reasoning, the remaining stations under their current holding agency, Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), might treat the current Sports Radio DZSR 918 as RP2 and Radyo Magasin DZRM 1278 as RP3. The Turf’s aforementioned deductive renaming is speculative until Andanar himself will officially announce the rebranding balance.

With such identity change impending, one of their programs will be in the big question. Will the all-out simulcast of Radyobisyon — since 2014 — be affected over that renaming row? Mostly not, as it will just be a cosmetic change over the master script.

Aside from Radyobisyon, Ben Tulfo, a very popular TV and radio personality yet a rock-solid President Duterte apologist that has a significant fandom of its online counterparts, will reportedly have his own eponymous show “unfiltered” this month.

Despite that move and the reorganization under the proposed yet potentially lasting People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), their services will remain the same when it comes to delivering pro-administration news not just only the Palace’s press conferences but also acts as the driver of initiatives from their government agencies.

In short, they are still publishing political propaganda whatever the sitting President pleases, which is a contradiction of their master plan of turning their media to be editorially independent and credible.

Such prime example was the #RealNumbersPH forum yesterday. They clarified the related significant figures from the concerned agencies regarding the War on Drugs and the associated extrajudicial killings (EJKs) such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) from “fake numbers” that was reported on the common media outlets for 10 months.

That being said, the step of renaming Radyo ng Bayan into RP1 will not affect their generally established taste and preference of AM frequency listenership either on a short or on a long term.


Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Photo courtesy of PBS/RadioNowOnline.com

The Quest of Lost Broadcasts and Archiving

IN A BLINK of an eye, the year’s 2017.

If you’re reading this right now, you probably read it on the trinity of mobile technology that you own at least one — laptop, smart phone and/or tablet. Whenever you watch your favorite shows, just turn on the WI-Fi and you’re good to go. However, not all shows are provided to suit your needs, especially when you visit the wayback (or throwback) machine.

Throughout 64 years of television in the Philippines, some shows have episodes — fragmented or comprehensive — that are no longer found for public exhibition. Personally, as a TV enthusiast and researcher, it’s really lamenting how such important programs at their time were no longer around to see but let us list down the significant roles that lost their own reels.

(more…)

Philippine Television in the World of “Posts”

Mocha Uson's membership on MTRCB incited cringe and disgrace over social media.

Mocha Uson’s membership on MTRCB incited cringe and disgrace over social media.

(Requested by Bryan Calvin. If you’re him, please read the italics after the context.)

POST-TRUTH. That was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year last year and we’re just getting started to live with it.

In post-truth, evidences, grievances, merits and morals no longer matter in shaping up policies and/or selecting people whether big as in a government or small as in a television network. Expect some neologisms ahead that begin with the prefix, post-.

(more…)

By Popular Request: Teleseryes Angering Anime Fans?

This Monday, January 9, will be the relaunch of TV5 AniMEGA.

This Monday, January 9, will be the relaunch of TV5 AniMEGA.

I know some of you are looking forward to the third generation of TV5’s AniMEGA on Monday.

Since last Tuesday, I have set up the new request policy in order to keep this blog alive. With that imposed, the first popular request comes from Albert Brian Gimao and he asked me, “Why teleseryes anger anime fans?”

To me, this question initially sounded too baseless and too childish. Then, I reconsidered from shelving it so that there must be an answer to end all that haka-haka (ratchet) in the cyberspace for the last time:

(more…)

Anyare, IBC 13? Quo vadis, DBS 35?

(Requested by: Gregory Maximinian)

WARNING! This article can cause some readers to get butthurt. The author does not demean his faith but to know better about the situation. Read, reflect and react cautiously.

THE TRUTH shall set us free. This is the Biblical concept that is mostly agreeable and applicable in our daily living — whether religious or not — but at the same time, we also believe in the secular philosophy about the concept of truth: it does hurt.

IBC and DBS

In this article, we will tackle and apply such aspects to two distinct television networks — IBC 13 and DBS 35 — and know the status of their whereabouts and find their common ground.

(more…)

Of Morning Cartoon Blocks and TV5’s AniMEGA Removal

TV5 had a toon block… E, I, E, I, O. And suddenly it disappeared… Oh no, oh no no.

ONE OF THE Facebook fans in this blog, Yesung Tak Gu, asked to tackle TV5’s AniMEGA removal. Despite of the author-admin’s unknown idea that the said cartoon block existed aside from the current Big Two, he will try to do his best to research and to conclude the reason behind the disappearance of TV5 cartoon block. (more…)