Of It’s Showtime and of Our Traditional Media’s Time Consciousness

[Requested by Albert Brian Gimao]
THEY SAY, time is of the essence.
However, in the past weeks, ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime went into overtime as late as almost 4:00 p.m. and consequentially pushed the remainder of the day’s lineup later than usual after Wildflower finished airing.
This case was beyond the two reasonable excuses why some programs start late or were ditched, such as a fast-pacing game going overtime (e.g. the triple overtime in PBA between Ginebra and Rain or Shine) and rollercoaster-cum-circus of political engagements — logic-spinning Palace press conference, grandstanding congressional hearings and off-the-cuff presidential remarks in that order.
While we point the fingers to Vice Ganda over excessive bantering as other include the inferences of more ad loads (even though a true member of KBP) and the accounting of agonizing rush hour traffic in Metro Manila, another reason of that “experiment” was an attempt to derail the successful afternoon teleserye across Timog Avenue, Ika-6 na Utos, which ends this coming week.
Another claim that ABS’ attempt to stop the network war is TV Patrol‘s futile match to 24 Oras due to the stamped bias by President Rodrigo Duterte but this can be reasonably dismissed as ludicrous and then, the latter fought fire with fire.
While time check is obviously a must for radio to its listeners, that’s another story on television.
Historically, RPN wore the iconic digital clock on the bottom left of the screen with “0” in the hour instead of “12.” Currently, PTV wore the clock when the program is running; GMA 7 displayed the time on an hourly basis for a minute while its sister channel, News TV, wore their watch when a news program or an extensive news event is covered. On cable, ABS-CBN News Channel displays it on their ticker when a program or a live special coverage runs.
On May 15, 2013, then-President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10535 as the latest step to curb the chaotic timekeeping. While the law remains in force, his successor did not exemplify the spirit of the law by arriving late before his aforementioned engagements, given his body clock expressively as a night owl.
The sad truth of the implementation is that it only complies synchronization with the atomic clocks over PAGASA-DOST and over Greenwich but not it does not instill our people’s importance of discipline on doing away the inherent age-old habit of tardiness.
Back to the case of It’s Showtime, the network management, Direk Bobet Vidanes and the Showtime gang resolved the issue in an “emergency meeting” but then, it restored to its old (recent) ways. As Holy Week is lurking in the horizon — where their Lenten drama specials would be aired in lieu of all entertaining segments save Tawag ng Tanghalan — we should not be complacent.
While the seasonal noontime drama’s running time is fixed, the live singing competition would offset and end up to the same state of ending at merienda time.

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Featured photo courtesy of Regular.li


Ladies and Gentlemen, the Philippine Broadcasting Station Notice

How do Filipino radio stations and television channels close down for the night and say hello to the new broadcast day? This article provides a Philippine framework for ideal station notices

Collaboratively written by Timow (Timothy John Paragas) at Timow’s Turf and Dzhenina (Jenine Shiongshu) at Ingliserong Hermana

WHEN GRAVEYARD-SHIFT* workers come home and finally turn on their TV or radio, they could hear a voice-over saying it’s the end of the broadcast day–and the worker can miss out their opportunity of programming. They could hear the national anthem or noise this time. Technically, it’s termed “station notice” that happens during “closedown/startup” (British termed) or “sign-on/sign-off” (American termed, commonly used).

In third-world countries and elsewhere, channels and stations do not broadcast 24 hours a day, thus, it is obligatory to them to air an announcement about signing on or off at a fixed time. This is also a good time for viewers and listeners to change channels or turn off their TV and radio.

Below, this collaboration article provides a Filipino framework to station notices and rituals when beginning and ending broadcasts.

Common traits

A Philippine broadcasting station’s sign-on and sign-off sequence typically have essential segments, though not in exact sequence, below:

  • Dead air, static slide, or test tone (test card on TV)
  • Station identification (including the call sign and the frequency), top of the hour ID, jingle, or corporate song
  • Program schedule
  • Technical information (transmitter and studio location, power output and list of electronic communications engineers and first class radio-telephone operators)
  • Authorized NTC permit number (BSD-xxxxx-xx) and expiry date
  • Affirmation of programs’ compliance with the Movie and Television Rating and Classification Board (TV only)
  • List of affiliate stations
  • Actual, recorded station notice (mandatory on radio, but may not be read aloud on television)
  • Morning or evening prayer (specifically, Muslim prayers in some Mindanao stations)
  • The choral, instrumental or combined rendition of the Philippine National Anthem


Other TV and radio stations can incorporate or deduct other elements other than the core ones. Let’s investigate in each mode.

On Radio

Some radio stations can air official provincial and city songs, in addition to the national anthem. For example, in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, RW 95.1 FM plays the choral version of “Imno ning Kapampangan” (“Kapampangan Hymn”), while Davao City’s Radyo Ukay 819 AM broadcasts the Davao Girls’ Choir rendition of “Tayo’y Dabawenyo” (“We’re Davaoeños”).

While commercial radio stations follow the aforementioned standard formula, some frequencies may deviate. One such example is the government-owned Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS).

On the AM side, Radyo Pilipinas 1 (738) and 2 (918) Metro Manila simply cut to the National Anthem after some music or station identification as they leave the air at night and when they come back as day breaks. Their sister shortwave station, Radyo Pilipinas Overseas Broadcast that runs 1½-hour Filipino and English services, reminds its listeners on the time of broadcast in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and a station notice that cites the frequencies and broadcasting source where the channel’s in. An a cappella singing of the National Anthem is appended before (at sign-on) and after (when leaving the air) the announcement.

On the FM side, FM2 DWFT-FM (formerly DWBR) 104.3 MHz perhaps has the best example. Listen:

As provided by an aircheck dated February 3, 2017 — after their first and formal full day of rebranding — they did not disclose a roster of professionals; either the Agency knew that the same personnel manned the operations of PTV, or they are just merely lazy.


On Television

One of the best signature accessories is ABS-CBN, when Peter Musngi made this announcement for sign-on: “Ladies and gentlemen, in a few seconds, we will be on simultaneous nationwide satellite broadcast. Please stand by.” This was followed by a patriotic message encouraging every Filipino to wave their flags in their homes and workplaces. It has been Channel Two’s tradition since 2002. Note that ABS-CBN seldom signs off recently due to O Shopping.

Another accessory would be a video montage of the station can be played with an easy or noticeable background music. For examples, former American-targeted Far Eastern Network Television (FEN) in Clark and Subic and BEE TV 7 in Butuan City.

*In provinces, a few daytime workers. Certain stations outside Metro Manila sign off between 5pm and 10pm and resume broadcasting at daybreak.

The Turf’s Insight on Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

After 30 years, South Korea is hosting another Olympics but this time on the other season.

THREE DAYS from now, the sporting eyes of the world will fixate on South Korea for the 16 days of glory in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

While it may not be in the Filipino sporting aficionados’ attention due to the geographic consideration as a tropical country, it is a noteworthy moment for two athletes that will partake and will banner under the Three Stars and a Sun.

THE ROOKIE AND THE VET. Asa Miller (left) will participate in the Winter Olympics as the alpine skier while Michael Christian Martinez (right) will be given another chance to shine in figure skating.

Asa Miller, the 17-year-old rookie, despite his residence in Oregon, will be the first alpine skier to compete for the Philippines in 26 years. Meanwhile, 21-year-old skater Michael Christian Martinez, despite failing to make the qualifying cut on the CS Nebelhorn Trophy, finally gets another chance to shine after Sweden relinquished the spot due to the unsatisfied performance level of Alexander Majorov by their national Olympic Committee.

In addition, this edition of the Winter Games will make the debut of two Southeast Asian nations: Malaysia (with alpine skier Jeffrey Webb and figure skater Julian Yee) and Singapore (with short track speed skater Cheyenne Goh).

Promotion Bluff

Last January, the promotion of the Winter Games was aired over ABS-CBN, presuming that their sports channel, S+A, would cover the games for the first time. However, the speculation bubble was popped out as TV5 – for the fourth overall, second in the concerned season and the first time under the ESPN5 brand — is confirmed to cover  exclusively, according to SportsCenter Philippines.

Conflict in ceremonies, clear in competition

With the confirmed news, both ceremonies that begin and end the Games will face conflict on the main channel and might be consequently covered live on AksyonTV.

The opening ceremony on Friday, February 9, will begin at the same time (7:00 p.m. Philippine time) with the traditional PBA evening game – in this case, NLEX Road Warriors vs Meralco Bolts. The closing ceremony on February 25 will coincide with FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifier game against Japan in our home court.

That said, it wouldn’t be surprising as TV5 will favor both games of hoops over both showcases of the artistry of the international multi-sport event.

Competition journey

On the bright side, when it comes to the competition proper for our contingents, there is no problem in live coverage, in terms with TV5, as they will take place in the morning – as we are one hour behind South Korea. Provided, they will delay the NCAA (U.S.) basketball.

Miller’s debut will take shape from this Sunday (February 11) until February 22 if his first-time performance is exceptional.

On the other hand, Martinez’s two-day competition will kick in on February 16 – fortunately, both holidays on both nations (Lunar New Year or “Seollal” in Korea) — with the short program and followed by the free skate.

Unfazed by unavoidable

While one or few said that TV5’s return to cover the Olympics is where they rightfully belong, not everyone is convinced.

For them, it could be a repeat of what happened back to Rio in 2016 where they fail to commit full-blown coverage despite the live streaming on the network’s YouTube channels.

To be honest, ABS-CBN (through S+A) would have been a bit worse in cover the Winter Games since they are preoccupied with NBA, UAAP and NCAA volleyball tournaments, English (Premier) and Spanish (La Liga) football and the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). It’s new cable-exclusive sports channel, Liga, wouldn’t apply as they don’t have football or basketball in the competition.

On the other hand, PTV would be the worst if they cover their first Winter Olympics; both ceremonies would cut any significant 20 minutes each due to Lotto and the competition proper could be disrupted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s daily press conference and by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

Anyway, the Turf wishes both of our athletes the best in their respective journey in South Korea — amidst the lack of support from both the government and the Philippine Olympic Committee — and also to the rest of the athletes of the world.

Just a little throwback Tuesday…


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Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, International Olympic Committee (IOC), KGW and Ilustrado Magazine

Timow’s Quarterly Open Pit (QuOP) No. 3: Cable Closures & Cord Cutters

IF ONE of your New Year’s resolutions is pledging personal financial responsibility, then this QuOP might be the place for you.

Cable Closures

While we kicked in 2018 with blasts of firecrackers, our cable and satellite companies greeted it with the blasts of closures.

Ralph Domingo’s From the Tube mentioned the first wave on its opening salvo post last January 3 where Solar’s CT channel ended its service after the big hit of the carriage dispute against SkyCable last year while Dream Satellite TV ceased operations after 16 years due to bankruptcy (in legalese, under court rehabilitation) and stiff competition.

Next two waves

The next two waves all happened from Creative Programs Inc., the subsidiary responsible of pay TV channels made and maintained from Mother Ignacia.

The second wave will happen two days from now where Tag and ABS-CBN Regional Channel (ARC) will close down. The former’s redundant backlogs and responsibilities might be transferred to Cinema One but the latter would mark the second failed attempt to run a regional channel since 1996.


However, the third wave grabs the most attention, perhaps for young ones and feeling young. HERO, the round-the-clock anime channel, will pull the plug come the 31st (Wednesday) after 12 years of service.

4 Reasons Why

Emphasizing on the latter’s stunning announcement, four reasons were clearly defined for the X-ed factor:

  1. Dwindling subscribers (from boycotts) which converts to lesser earnings,
  2. Expensive acquisitions on new animes (even in seasons),
  3. Denigrating dubbers by actually watching from pirated sites, and
  4. Tight yet threatening competition from its rivals (e.g. Animax and Aniplus)

Consequently, HERO‘s impending and imminent loss will be TVPlus‘ gain, particularly in YeY‘s programming.

Other cable channels from CPI will remain intact. While ANC will maintain as it is due to sustainable support, Lifestyle might be reimaged to “metro.style” to match with their similarly-themed-and-named magazine and its corresponding website. (Take note of the word ‘might.’)

Cord Cutters

Perhaps, you are unfazed by this move as you contemplated it and end the service early in favor of your laptops and mobile devices to save some dough. Then, you are classified as a “cord cutter.”

Cord cutters are former cable viewers that ditch entirely or limit their hours in favor of available over the Internet due as such content can be either free or significantly cheaper than the same content provided via cable or satellite.

That reminds the Turf of Kevin Trinidad — graphic artist by trade and education, pop culture geek by heart and passion. While we mocked him for his immature and weird persona, some of his tweets posted prior to deleting his Twitter account, alongside his political rants, were dedicated on binge-watching Netflix originals — which has to be the best-implied example of how a cord cutter behaves.

So far, we have yet to conduct a nationwide survey on cable ownership and plans on canceling their subscription to get the formal picture.

South Triangle’s Response

The trend of cord cutting from the States triggered ABS-CBN’s forward-thinking approach to launch iWanTV video-on-demand (VOD) service in 2010, eight years before those aforementioned cable channels’ demise.

Meanwhile, just a stone’s throw away, GMA Network began rolling theirs this year with GMA ONE ONline Exclusives since they don’t own and operate at least one cable channel of their very own from the very start – automatically excluding GMA Pinoy TV and Life TV since it cannot be provided domestically unlike its gigantic neighbor.

The three pioneer programs premiered last New Year’s Day are Adulting (Atom Araullo), #Goals (Gabbi Garcia) and Fact or Fake (Joseph Morong).

Do you have other cable news that will happen this 2018? Don’t hesitate to comment.

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Featured image courtesy of Digital Trends, logos courtesy of ABS-CBN/Wikimedia Commons

Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017: The Petmalu Events of Philippine Media (Part II)

For Part I, click here.

Another year has gone by but before it flips on to 2018, let’s look back on the colorful, unpredictable (or as we say, petmalu) events in Philippine media on Timow’s Turf Zeitgeist 2017.

For this year, the Zeitgeist will be similar to a Facebook news feed with like and five reactions that you might side on with the Turf‘s probable reasons.

Charting the New Horizons

On June 12, Billboard Philippines initially launched four charts after nine months of formation:

  • Philippine Hot 100 for local and international popular hits
  • Philippine Top 20 for local popular hits,
  • Catalog Chart for local popular hits lasting more than 3 years, and
  • K-Pop Top 5

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Love: Some music lovers saw the Charts as a form of knowing and motivating their local performers. Acting as the yardstick of fair airplay would also mean fewer biases from FM radio stations’ respective charts.

Breaking Silence

The closing year marked the tipping movement of sexual harassments calls from entertainment (from film producer Harvey Weinstein), on the news (Matt Lauer, NBC’s Today main presenter) and to politics (Roy Moore, the defeated candidate for US Senator in Alabama).

The Philippines has the similar case to this.

Jensen and the Flips’ frontman Jensen Gomez and guitarist Sam Valenia were were allegedly sexually harassing several women. In light of that claims, the band was dropped from several gigs.

The band was one of the featured artist of Coke Studio Philippines, the weekly music show on TV5. (YouTube clip of one of  their performances below)

Aside from Jensen and the Flips, some members of other indie acts MilesExperience (sometimes referred to as Msex) and SUD were also called out for the same reason.

Possible Reaction & Reason:

  • Angry: Either on bandwagon mode or not, violence against women is a serious issue in the light of uncouth and crass global leadership. (Ahem.)
  • Haha: For anti-feminists and pro-patriarchy apologists, it’s gone too far and asks them to go home and make a sandwich.
  • Sad: To sum up, “Where did we go so low?

One Sound, One Blow

JAM 88.3, WAVE 89.1, MAGIC 89.9, 99.5 PLAYFM AND 103.5 KLITE joined forces five times this year from June 30 to November 17 for #OneSoundPH to promote OPM.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: The advocacy behind #OneSoundPH aspires more on unity than on division.
  • Wow: One can say that it marks the beginning of temporary resistance to tribalism in radio industry.

PH Wants Their (Own) MTV

Coinciding the 36th anniversary of MTV in America, this sixth incarnation (MTVph) is a collaboration of Viacom and Solar Entertainment.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: For music lovers, obviously, and those who love to tune in their reality shows.
  • Haha: Too bad, there’s no worried reaction but if they have one, it’s because of the survivability of this incarnation amidst YouTube and audio streaming services (e.g. Spotify).

Atom Araullo Goes Over the Bakod

On September 15, Atom Araullo announced his departure from ABS-CBN on Umagang Kay Ganda. A few hours, DZBB hinted his return, which was realized the week after.

When this news broke out, they are questioning the network if there is a non-compete clause in his contract. In contract law, a non-compete clause is which one party (an employee) agrees not to enter into a similar profession in competition against another party (the employer).

Despite this, his departure was done voluntarily and amicably. His first documentary in his new home in Kamuning was “The Philippine Seas” aired last November 5; as a result, he joins I-Witness.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow: Alternative for shocked, of course, this announcement initially stunned the Big Two’s base.
  • Sad: Of course, solid Kapamilya fans were shocked to see him go from the institution for 15 years.
  • Love: For Kapuso diehards, this marks the reunion since his inaugural presence on 5 And Up that shaped up the career in journalism.

Choosing Courage? More like Choosing Destiny via Carelessness

TV5 went on a sporadic mode throughout 2017 under the short-lived “Choose Courage” campaign by its ambitious head-cum-coach Chot Reyes.

AniMEGA came back after the full year hiatus but their flow of programming is completely disrupted as with dubbed US TV series and few third-party produced local entertainment programs (Brillante Mendoza Presents, Lakbai, Coke Studio Philippines and the Philippines Next Top Model: High Street) due to the hard time to say “no” to sports.

In the News & Public Affairs Department, they tried Turning Point and Manindigan but didn’t last for the same reason, along with the department’s constant inattention. Not to mention, the scuffle between Ed Lingao and the two Tulfo brothers last June worsened the damage despite reinstatement of the Word of the Lourd segment.

The network’s tipping point happened on October 12, while the National Football League’s regular season were put into play for the first time, TV5 signed the deal with ESPN for more sporting content.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Wow or Love. For sports aficionados, ESPN5’s prospective new offers (such as NCAA U.S.) are worth something to look forward.
  • Angry. The non-sporting sectors are not happy with their deal due to the slated sporadic non-sports programming. Not to mention, undelivered offers were washed out (e.g. Brillante Mendoza’s Amo, Travel 360 & Bloggers TV).
  • Haha. Critics are unsurprised because TV5’s destiny is consummated. Some of them called out this permanent deal as a waste of money. (Bigyan ng Worst TV Network of the Year Award yan!)
  • Sad. Realistic pessimists knew what has happened — TV5 is deemed beyond repair. Aksyon sa Umaga, despite winning a Catholic Mass Media Award, was cancelled in order to accommodate live and/or delayed coverages of other sports due to time zone difference. On the other hand, Aksyon Tonite’s running time was slashed in half.

Fulfilling Their Promises, Going Even Further

CNN Philippines fulfilled all their titled promises for this year from their trade launch last December 2016 – namely, Political Insider, Hoop Nation, My Philippines, Trippies and Harvest.

Yet, they have done more than just that.

Throughout the year, they expanded newscasts on weekday midmornings (as Newsroom Ngayon) with Ruth Cabal and weekends at lunchtime – born out of circumstances (e.g. Marawi standoff) — with Mai Rodriguez, together with Sports Desk and revitalized the early evening weekday newscast with News Night.

  • Love or Wow. For media newsers, CNN Philippines fulfilled everything than the Big 3 that just keeps on breaking. (Bigyan ng Best TV Network Award ‘yan! May nanalo na!)
  • Haha. Gilbert Remulla engaged a Twitter war from netizens and then, his show was axed. (Karma is not a liar; she keeps receipts.)

The Honorable, Dishonorable, Mixed & Sad Mentions

Honorable Mentions

  • TV Patrol turned 30 and its public service caravan.
  • CBS’ Madam Secretary punched the fictional Philippine president in the face.
  • Voltes V and Daimos’ released its new dubs on GMA.
  • RX 93.1 dethroned Love Radio 90.7 in KBP Golden Dove Awards.
  • Star Movies and Star World were replaced with Fox Movies and Fox Life in June and October respectively.

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Miguel Belmonte. The Radyo5 head neglected his duties to reform 92.3 News FM due to his commitments on The Philippine Star.
  • Harry Roque. The human rights lawyer turned into the compromised Presidential mouthpiece.
  • Mocha Uson. No need to explain as her acts caught on camera and on social media speaks for itself.

Mixed Mentions

  • CNN Philippines’ personalities. They come (Ruth Cabal), go (Nicolette Henson and Mico Halili) and come back (Menchu Macapagal).
  • James Deakin. The CNN Philippines’ motoring hero who braved the senators in the hearing of granting emergency powers on traffic last August had some kryptonite. According to an observer in PHTV Group, his show, The Service Road, does not mention NLEX, SCTEX or SLEX due to indirect influence of the dominant advertiser San Miguel Corporation on the network.
  • Xander Ford. Many considered him the Jake Paul of the Philippines, although much older and experienced. His name will forever be remembered as the epitome of our non-political sensationalism this year.
  • CBCP’s radio & television franchise expiration. The House of Representatives did not act upon the renewal of franchise for the CBCP due to the clashing standoff with President Duterte. While Radyo Veritas remains unaffected due to extension signed by predecessor Aquino, the expired franchise (since August 7) did not affect their online radio operation. This move is feared to be the prelude for ABS-CBN come 2020.
  • Martin Andanar. He may be a visionary in broadcasting reform but his political quips and antics within his office (e.g. blunders in the Philippines News Agency) are not amused.
  • Aljur Abrenica. After years of limbo with GMA, he jumped ship to ABS-CBN.
  • Lloyd Cadena. The YouTube celebrity turned DJ of Love Radio 90.7 replacing Papa Jack.

Sad Mentions (those who passed away)

  • Nikka Cleofe-Alejar (one of PTV anchors) — last July due to wasp sting.
  • Amelyn Veloso (the swooning CNN Philippines mainstay) — last August due to liver metastasis.
  • Hashtags member Franco Hernandez drowned in Davao Occidental last November.
  • Isabel Granada
  • Direk Soxie Topacio

A(n e)motion of thanks

That being said, 2017 was a year of predicaments in the media industry. Other specific events are not mentioned because the Turf focuses beyond entertainment (try visiting From the Tube) as politics are lessened due to assumption that everyone knows what just happened. Other specialized colleagues, such as Media Newser Philippines will have to wait until middle to late January for their consensual judgment of who are the winners and losers in the news industry of the imminently closing year.

Whatever comes in 2018, Timow’s Turf will still document the happenings and continue to share the insights.

Aside from the usual supportive patrons, we would also like to thank the following people that debuted and made 2017, specifically, Paul Justin Baloloy of Chakuy Productions, Jojo Bailon of View on the 3rd and Kevin L. Estrada.

 Until then, have a pristine and serene New Year.

It’s The Most Werpaful Time of the Year (Philippine TV Christmastime 2017-18 Insights)


  • December 17 @ 13:03. Confirmed details on Manila Clasico and MMFF.



The most wonderful time of the year is here, but Filipino…

Per tradition, Timow’s Turf heralds the annual holiday programming primer for the fifth time, spanning from today (December 6, 2017) until possibly January 2, 2018.

As it is the first Christmas in the age of Trump, this year, it will be classified according to appropriate categories but not necessarily on periods as in previous editions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eves both fall on Sunday this year, primetime lineups will definitely have to adjust, especially to ABS-CBN on both cases and GMA on the latter as PTV 4’s main Lotto Draw are forced to be scheduled early at 2:30 p.m.

During this span, teleseryes will normally be scheduled but there are usually no finales and its premieres during the very Christmas/New Year festivity fortnight while trade launches from the South Triangle Duopoly (S.T.D.) and CNN Philippines are happening for the upcoming year (as long as they keep their promises or else).

What else is in store? Jump in for more.

NOTE: Inaccuracies and updates can happen throughout this post.


Why Are Our Late Night Talk Shows Afraid to Take A Dig on Our Politics?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is written in anticipation of U.S. President Donald Trump meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte from tomorrow until Tuesday (November 12-14). This is also a comprehensive response to Joshua Jimenez’s Banat entry last July 21. Due to expected vitriol, readership discretion is SERIOUSLY ADVISED.]


From tomorrow until Tuesday, US President Donald Trump will meet President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines after APEC Vietnam 2017.


LAST APRIL, the news and opinion site Vox tackled about comedians, particularly in late night shows, becoming “rock stars” for chiding incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictable predicaments and praised them for outsmarting free-to-air and cable news reporters for their low tolerance of bull.

For the internationally conscious rising Filipinos, one can admire the shade throwing of John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers with less effort via YouTube — if they cannot afford monthly cable or any video-on-demand subscriptions. Some wished it could happen here with the similar-minded leadership and similar-minded hyperpartisan divisiveness but many asked why it barely or never happens in reality.

In America, the jurisdiction of concerned agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is clearly defined and unattached, thus, independently attached from any branch of government. Hence, it’s not easy for Trump to just revoke the license of NBC after getting butthurt over a late night show and demanding “equal time” in his mere personal tweet.

Our counterpart, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is under the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) – which the term “independent agencies” is legally nonexistent here – but the functions are similar to those in the U.S.

However, the primary answer to the question on where our similarities end and a difference begin would be — as few libertarians would say — our near-absolute historically shaping government/State intervention that leads us to cowardice and unconditional submission.

This is why our talk shows decided to interview most, if not all, showbiz celebrities and non-politician newsmakers and taking digs is diminished as a segment just like the reinstated Word of the Lourd on then-balanced TV5 as its offshoot standalone program, Kontrabando didn’t last.

Imagine if ABS-CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice was like HBO’s Last Week Tonight, President Duterte would get even more insane to spew more threats of non-renewal of the network’s franchise without end; even though, he did not know he was, ironically and ungratefully, the guest of that show back in 2015 just before his candidacy. (This can also apply to Trump’s ungratefulness to NBC during The Apprentice.)


Banat mentioned diminishing audience interest after the initial huge following but notice that the demographic trends are assertively changing and rising (from our millennial generation onwards) – choice seems to be their consensual plea over networks’ profit.

Another question that might be asked if there is enough supply of comedians that takes any dig. To be honest, we do have enough supply – slightly oversupplied — but we don’t see all of them on TV taking such a magnitude of verbal slay.

We don’t hear Allan K talk on that specific topic in Eat Bulaga because of his fear of the admin ally Senator Tito Sotto; Boobay could but can’t due to her regular commitment as a bluffer on Celebrity Bluff (which is not a talk show) while Ethel Booba – the Charot Queen – is barely seen on TV but she’s actively slaying up on Twitter.

Sadly, the last resort of roast throwing would possibly be on comedy sketch programs.

In the past, we do have political spoofing, ironically, in a government-owned network with The Sic O Clock News but not much externally and internally nowadays. Last year, GMA’s Sunday PinaSaya made a spoof of Duterte (portrayed by Jose Manalo) meeting with Trump (portrayed by Mike “Pekto” Nacua).

However, its rival, Banana Sundae, was not able to duplicate it.

Why is it easy for Americans to do them?

Simply, Americans are natural risk-takers; we are not.

While their presidential administrations come and go, their shows still go on despite different presenters once the new season — not necessarily coterminous with their term — kicks in; ours tend to cut short due to their butthurt reactions and spewing threats of the ax before their term ends.

Don’t get it wrong, our comedians can be great talk show hosts to chide as Vice Ganda would but its internal conservative mindset and the eternal network war culture hinders them to take bigger possibilities (i.e. diversity of programming for the networks and diversity of the comedian’s portfolio).

That being said, let’s not give the prospectively returning Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A. any ideas on his new home on PTV this month as unconditional compliance is still king over defiance. Not to mention, his show might be disrupted in favor of their true star.

Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

Easier Said than Done: Looking on the Philippine TV’s Undelivered 2017 Offers

[Dedicated to Ed Ching, Anjho Ezekiel Reyes and Jason Aquino]

TWO MONTHS remain now in 2017. For individual persons, they are rushing in to live up their own resolutions, plans or goals whatever they have written for the said year.

For television execs, that is a different story. Some backlogged programs were: (1) returned to its original configuration, (2) delayed to another year, (3) substituted with another similar program or (4) may be scrapped.

With the trade launch season coming; let’s look back on four (4) major TV networks and their own current backlogs.


The ticket to stardom before PBB would have become a segment of It’s Showtime this year but Tawag ng Tanghalan still eclipsed it.

Batang 2Ks will remember Star Circle Quest (2004-11) as an instant ticket to stardom before Pinoy Big Brother wrestled it out. Last March, they pledged to revive SCQ as a segment of It’s Showtime. Despite the setup and the auditions, months even before that announcement, their efforts and dreams were down to drain as they just continue with Tawag ng Tanghalan.

MNL48 inks with ABS-CBN for their first Talent Search but the network’s intervention in the music material would prove its fate.

Another aspiring ticket that is on their bucket list is the MNL48 talent reality search. However, the audition process disappointed the fans of 48 girl groups (48GGs); aspirants must require performing within the allowed music material (containing most, if not all, of their network’s current exclusive talents). With that damage done, some of them might reconsider the audition and worse (or better for their standpoint), it might be scrapped, as it is easily forgettable in favor of masa-induced programs.

Pilipinas Got Talent (season 6) is highly unlikely to catch up in the final months of the calendar due to I Can See Your Voice and Little Big Shots but it may carry on in 2018 like the previous season (in 2016 for 2015) since auditions began to kick in (hopefully) and find whoever current show would finally wind down the earliest and call it a season.

Unfortunately, it’ll be a slim to no dice for Team Animazing block to resume, considering their unresolved 5 o’clock crisis and the advancement of viewer demographic and technological trends.


Celebrity Bluff was part of their program goals and did resume on the airwaves last June 3 but it maintained on the regular Saturday night lineup and not on a daily basis as promised because of the masa’s solidified base in Wowowin.

Other than that, Eat Bulaga dabarkad Ryan Agoncillo was to have his own show titled Ryan’s Playlist but instead it was given to the Lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros) for The Lola’s Beautiful Show.

Other series that were left behind in Kamuning/Timog include Text Serye and Project Achieved. The former might sent to failure and the latter was not achievable yet the closest substitute they currently broadcast would be GRIND: Get Ready, It’s A New Day.

Lip Sync Battle Philippines would have been on the third season but with exclusive stars defected to the other network due to non-renewal of contract or their displeasure in service, it may not continue to set sail, not even next year.


Brillante Mendoza, the famous indie film director, already aired Brillante Mendoza Presents in the first half of the year. However, its awaited masterpiece, Amo, a series focusing on both sides of the relentless Drug War, has been consistent in promotion but its premiere kept on delaying from August and then to September but not a single episode was aired as of this moment.

Other than him, Bloggers TV and Travel 360 were supposed to be premiered on late July weekend but instead, Manindigan and Turning Point took its places. According to Mitch Isip, a representative from The Bloggers Magazine, they had to reshoot in order to produce the best quality they want to emanate. So far, not a word of promotion was emanated both in the small screens and in the social media.

However, with the deal with ESPN — as ESPN5 — solidified last month, it can easily drown out any of the said programs without recourse.

CNN Philippines

Lastly, the sole news channel on free TV has some backlogs as well. Media Newser Philippines (MNP) has detailed an article about the upcoming programs this 2017 last December.

So far, all of their nominal programs were aired according to plan — including Political Insider where it was axed after its host, Gilbert Remulla, engaged in an unprofessional Twitter battle — except My Philippines, a local travel program, which has yet to be promoted and to be materialized.

Unnamed programs mentioned in MNP would be a standalone daily entertainment program and a business newscast.

The former could not be developed due to the simple, single reason: their entertainment news policy is more on Hollywood and less on exclusive stars predominantly found on the networks of South Triangle Duopoly (STD). While the latter can be easily figured with three reasons:

  • It cannot find their “A” person —  a matching challenger — to compete against ANC’s Cathy Yang.
  • They have to sacrifice both the morning version and the afternoon (Global) of Newsroom to coincide with the opening and closing bells of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • Given the unexpected predicaments from political engagements, its patchy political coverages could hamper the flow of the said newscast.


With 2018 looming into the horizon, the four — or three abled — networks should revise their plans to keep its promise before their respective trade launches take place so that its loyal and prospective advertisers have the best worth of their money and earn a goodwill or it will end up merely in what Ed Ching believes to be “false hopes.”

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Photo courtesy of:

  • Philippine Showbiz Republic (psr.ph)
  • Hallo Hallo Entertainment, Inc.

Timow’s Open Pit No. 2: PHTV@64: Of Living Legends & Legacies

TODAY, October 23, 2017 marks the 64th anniversary of Philippine television and here on Timow’s Turf, we opened the second Open Pit on a matter related to the very significance of the number.

The number 64 is a perfect square number – in this case, a square of 8 (a number that is very auspicious in East Asia). In games, it’s the total number of squares of a board in chess and checkers. Baby Boomers have The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the Batang 90s have a Nintendo 64. In personal computers, some of them run on a 64-bit architecture.

On this article, we will discuss about our program’s living legends and legacies.


Swishing on the New Season: NBA Will Go Early but PBA Will Go Messy

The new NBA season will tip off on Tuesday (Wednesday, Philippine time) — two weeks earlier than scheduled. Pictured here is the new secondary logo of the league.

THOUGH WE ARE two months and 10 days away ‘til Christmas, it will be three days until a new season of National Basketball Association (NBA) formally tips off – two weeks earlier than normally scheduled.

The opening salvo will be on the two warring teams from the previous season’s Finals last June: in the Western Conference, defending champion Golden State Warriors will challenge Houston Rockets and in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland Cavaliers will play Boston Celtics.

In the local broadcasting standpoint, despite the recent legal and exclusivity standoff between BTV (Solar) and S+A (ABS-CBN), both entities will still cover the league. The latter will continue to roll onto the hype machine as the former discreetly laments, ponders and questions the rival’s legal motives.

Here at home, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is currently playing on its Finals between Meralco Bolts and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel of their Governor’s Cup – the final conference of this 42nd season but some of us are hoping for the new season to come on the holiday season.

The period of the newness of both major league of hoops we loved is worth writing here in The Turf but the latter is expected to be rough and needs to be detailed here.