HISTORIAN and ACADEMICIAN Michael Charleston Briones Chua a.k.a. Xiao Chua will bow out of PTV without anticipation after 641 editions of his Xiao Time segment on PTV News this week.
Announced Tuesday, he respected the decision of the pullout from the network’s management. His current episode was the history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a run-up to its summit — being as a host country for the region’s Golden Jubilee — in Metro Manila this weekend.
Xiao Time was given a lease from Channel 4 on their afternoon and evening news program — as News @ 1 and News @ 6 — during the latter half of the (Noynoy) Aquino administration. Not only a patch of their respective newscasts can he be seen, he was also a guest presenter with Kathy San Gabriel during the live commemoration of historical events (e.g. Araw ng Kalayaan, Rizal Day, etc.) during the said presidency.
His unexpected news after four and a half years coincidentally happened on the same part of the day the Supreme Court handed down the unexpected ruling, favoring the continuation of construction of Torre de Manila. The controversial building that obstructed the skyline of the Rizal Park in Luneta was the center of attention after a few years of standoff between his Knights of Rizal and the erring construction company, DMCI.
Xiao has no hard feelings on what considered to be his double whammy today and this week. What comes on his future after PTV will be his choice in life — whether completing graduate studies, teaching in universities, holding seminars or creating an online series — and it must be respected.
In this post-truth era, TV enthusiasts and critics are now questioning what comes next for Visayas Avenue and their news departments as the vacant slot might be used in favor of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s lackeys and facts, arising from science and history, are deemed irrelevant in shaping up public policy and how to present them like Xiao did as academicians are in the crosshairs by irrational and wild fanatics in the social media ready to be shot down.
And that was the makasaysayang story of Xiao Time. *mic drop*
Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News