Opinion

Program Visual Case Study: Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post should serve as a guide for graphic designers, web developers, video editors and social media team.]

KKMK logo

Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko will turn 42 on December 1.

KAPWA KO MAHAL KO is the currently the longest over-all and continuous public service television program in the Philippines since December 1, 1975, on GMA 7. Presented by Connie Angeles and Orly Mercado, it currently airs every Saturday at 5:30 a.m. for half an hour. This television program is very well known for its iconic sign language interpretation window.

As mentioned last month, this show is one of the living cornerstones for Timog Avenue and because of the promotion of this article, it seems their official website is conducting a feedback survey where The Turf took it willingly.

On its 42nd anniversary this coming week, Timow’s Turf investigates visually on the program and what flaws can we constructively resolve that are found intertwined on their TV program, their website and their social media handles.

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Why Don’t We Have Our Own ‘Jeopardy’?

(Dedicated to The Professional Heckler & So What’s News)

TODAY – tonight, rather — I Can See Your Voice’s (ABS-CBN) Sunday iteration will challenge the spiritually reviving karaoke-based game show, All-Star Videoke (GMA).

However, here on Timow’s Turf, we will neither talk on any of the two; despite both entertaining, they are not for stimulation, as it can be or is a form of escapism (depending on one’s personal philosophy).

Most of you might say, “Why not a trivia quiz show?” but some would raise a common objection because there is already Celebrity Bluff (GMA) but then answered back, saying that they need direct, ordinary – not indirect, celebrity – participation just like Jeopardy.

As exactly said on the tin, this special feature will find the answer to the situation but first, let’s delve into the related background before answering the question.

Show background

Currently running on its 34th season, Jeopardy is an American trivia show, presented by Alex Trebek. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in a form of an answer and they must respond in a form of a question.

The first two rounds

Contestants will have to pick a category and a clue value. After the clue is fully read aloud, any contestant may ring in, respond verbally in a form of a question; if the response is right, the corresponding value is added, get it wrong, and it’s deducted.

However, there is one “Daily Double” hidden in the first round and two in the second but before the clue is revealed, the contestant must declare a wager up to one’s current score. Get the response right and it adds value or otherwise, it’s subtracted.

Final Jeopardy

The contestants who have positive score after two rounds will proceed to the Final Jeopardy. There, the category is revealed before the commercial break. During the break, the contestants will enter their final wager (from 0 to their current score) in the electronic display. After the break, the host will read the final clue and then, they have to write their response within 30 seconds.

Afterwards, the contestants’ responses are revealed in order of their pre-Final Jeopardy scores from lowest to highest. Like the two rounds, if they respond correctly and properly, the wager adds the current score while incorrect answering, failure to respond or failure to phrase as a question deducts it.

The contestant that has the highest score wins and returns in the following match and will lead on selecting the first clue on the next match.

Jeopardy’s involvements with Filipinos

Fans of this show will remember Ken Jennings winning 74 straight matches in 75 appearances back in 2004 – the longest streak in the game show’s history but on December 8, 2014, a Filipino named Patrick Fernandez from Irvine, California participated but failed to defeat challenger Ann Conger, landing in second place.

Our country has been mentioned in clues ranging from lechon (food) to Alma Moreno (politics).

What are ‘complicated reasons?’

Now we go back to the main question: Why we don’t even have a localized Jeopardy?

If your answers were any one of these: network war culture, overemphasized pandering to the masses, or anti-intellectualism. You do have a point.

The likes of the Battle of the Brains or the Digital LG Quiz of the 1990s and early 2000s are now portable in our pockets but free data promos in mobile communication duopoly excluded websites that could enrich minds for understanding general and specific knowledge. Hence, we have a double-edged consequence of a very significant populace that is prone or at an irreversible point of disinformation and misinformation — making materialization an obstacle. In addition, the nature of the show will interest few despite the gradually rising share.

Interestingly, Jeopardy franchises were neither acquired nor materialized in Southeast Asia. Had done so, Singapore would have been the first but Indonesia claimed it — citation needed — but without any signs of the latter’s emergence.

Thought-stimulating experiment needing questions

Should a network acquired the local franchise; it would have been easy for ABS-CBN due to experience as GMA would go original and TV5 would always destine to fail. Of course, the main objection to this is the selection of contestants that are mostly celebrities at the expense of audience exploitation, which is contrary to their longtime philosophy of servicing the Filipino. Remember their version of Family Feud? Despite the ratings and clear classification as a thought stimulating show, it fared no better than its predecessor networks due to such treatment.

If they promise to come clean, the next in the checklist would be hosting. In the recent years, three men are well-renowned hosting franchised shows: Billy Crawford, Robi Domingo & Luis Manzano.

Most of you complained about the trending host rotation: Wala nga bang iba kundi sila? (Don’t you have another than them?) Currently, Crawford is still hosting Little Big Shots as Manzano is just getting started with ICSYV; so, Robi Domingo would have definitely been a no-brainer but of course, Robi is busy with University Town as part of the UAAP. Thus, we need a new one.

All right, assuming that settled it, the last thing is the time slot. When kids come back home from school in the afternoon, there is a good chance that they will turn on the TV – if they don’t have mobile devices and that’s why Jeopardy would serve better at that time. The sole benefit is one less slot for cringe-worthy, SPG-laced and cancerous teleserye in Kapamilya Gold but the offsetting drawback is always the never-ending resolution of the 5:00 p.m. dilemma outside Metro Manila.


What do you think? Is it time for a real Jeopardy Philippines?


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11 Shows GMA News TV Should Have Really Never Aired

NOT BEARING any further grudges, GMA News TV is supposed to be a news channel at par with veteran ANC and the younger CNN Philippines.

However, during the past 6.5 years, our expectations are far from materialization as critics began to see the flaw and became irritated with the inclusion and expansion non-essential programming composition in the middle-aged channel as if they are comparable to a tabloid newspaper than a broadsheet. Some of us called it QTV 2.0, GMA Balitakilya TV or GMA Sari-Sari TV than the current (mislabeled) name.

While most – but not all — newscasts, public affairs programs, and documentaries whether made for that channel or carried over from its older sister channel after original airing are essential, few of the programs and the non-essential genre should be relocated or terminated – at least, gradually.

Aside from the movie blocks, home shopping and Koreanovelas that are finished in Channel 7, here are the 11 specific shows GNTV should have never aired (as of press time).

NOTE: The list is not sorted in a particular order and is excluding programs produced and provided from ZOE/Light Network, as they are contractually committed.

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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

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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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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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.


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Photos courtesy of Facebook. Screenshot courtesy of the author.

Should the Philippines impose a license fee like the BBC?

[WRITER’S WARNING: This post may not be suitable for readers who have lack of certain academic merits and may cause political tensions. Serious yet friendly discussion is advised. Dedicated to Jerick Ilagan, John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez, Adrian Conoza and George Boone.]

bbc-studios

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is recognizable and reputable throughout the world but for the Brits’ point of view, it’s their public broadcaster and they pay for it to sustain through an annual fixed fee.

THE BBC in the United Kingdom will impose a hike after seven years of license fee freeze from £145.50 (~₱ 8,990) to £147 (~₱ 9,080), beginning April 1. Such fees from households will be used to sustain their public broadcaster. This iteration also applies to the rest of Europe. However, can you imagine if the Filipino households hold the same when it debuts? Time to share the Turf’s thought.

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Philippine TV’s Seven Deadly Sins

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Today is ASH WEDNESDAY, the first day of the penitential season of Lent.

For the simple yet observant faithful, it’s the opening salvo of the season of giving up luxuries, fasting and abstinence from meat (save fish and seafood). For the very pious, it’s also the heralding period to line up for confession and to seek repentance and reparation from such transgressions.

In the spirit, Timow’s Turf will tackle on this topic — the seven deadly sins — and how will it intertwine with the current situation on our television landscape.

The deadly or cardinal sins were inspired loosely from the Scriptures: Book of Proverbs (6:16-19) in the Old Testament and St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (5:19-21) in the New; Pope Gregory I codified the standard seven in AD 590.

For each sin, one or two network/s is leading and certain reasons are given why they’re qualified. However, some definitions of each vice are not to be taken solely from the ordinary dictionary’s interpretation but on spiritual reasoning as well.

Jump in for each revelation.

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