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PTV’S HOMECOMING, OUR WARNING: Thoughts on Their Return to Cover SEA Games and More

[Dedicated to Gab Ferreras, Kevin Estrada, Ivan Saldajeno of Dugout Philippines and the fans of Philippines Football League]

Few sporting competitions may have begun this week but this Saturday will mark the Opening Ceremony of the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. PTV will come home to cover but the Philippine sporting community is alarmed with their return.

ALTHOUGH few sports began their competition this week, this Saturday will mark the opening ceremony of the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on People’s Television (PTV), after 10 years, putting back the glory days as the Philippine sportscasting authority.

However, the sporting community is very wary of their solo return.

What’s so alarming and why we should be? It may not be myriads to reason out the concerns but let’s jump in.

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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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Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2017 (Part 1)

WE ARE OFFICIALLY in the midpoint of 2017 and for the past six months, the Philippine media landscape changed faster than anyone could have guessed.

Here on Timow’s Turf, we will focus on the moments that transpired the first half of the year. Welcome to

Welcome to the Turf’s Midyear Report 2017.

Because of the widened rate of deviance that needs to be recorded as possible, this series is divided into three parts. This article marks the first part of the said series.

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“MathDali” pushes “G Diaries” half an hour late

Robi Domingo and the gang will greet tomorrow morning and every Saturday to teach children some new Math skills with MathDali on ABS-CBN.

(Updated as of 1:34 p.m., June 16, 2017)

AS K-12’s inception and implementation are complete in the recently opened school year, an educational program is going to the main channel.

Starting tomorrow, Knowledge Channel’s MathDali will push over former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Gina Lopez’s “G Diaries” original time slot by half an hour.

Presented by Robi Domingo, Igi Boy Flores, Vic Robinson and the Agpangan twins (Joj and Jai) from Pinoy Big Brother, the program originally serves as an offering of the educational cable channel’s 17th anniversary last year.

MathDali will trigger sentimentality for the Batang 90s with MathTinik and its admirable cast (Charlie, Sheila Mae, Patricia, Joey & Miss MathTinik) that discusses topics on the primary and intermediate level. However, the new program will tackle new strategies and techniques specifically tackle on the Grade 4 level.

With that, some media critics like Marco Jonathan Rossi and Ed Ching, will arouse (no malice intended) the attention over this development and ask themselves if this move will see the restoration of the dignity of Channel 2 for being child-friendly in the extremely changing age of Philippine television — at least, during the daytime.

MathDali premieres tomorrow, June 17, and airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on ABS-CBN.

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Detailing the “Lupang Hinirang” music videos found on PHTV

[Dedicated to Jenine Shiongshu and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)]

Balik-eskwela na! Tayo’y po magsitayo at awitin natin ang Pambansang Awit.

ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR has just begun.

Schools around the country usually begin their first day with the flag ceremony. When a teacher moves the hands and/or the accompaniment is played, everyone will stand tall, will face the flagpole and will place their hand over their heart — save those in Scouting and/or CAT uniform as they will salute — and will sing “Lupang Hinirang.”

In television and radio operations, they are required by law (Republic Act 8491) to play it during sign-on and sign-off on their broadcast day. As long as the lyrics, the tempo and the melody are compliantly concerned, when it comes to the visual concept — for television, obviously — it is a different story.

In the spirit of Araw ng Kalayaan as well for next week, Timow’s Turf will tackle over that aspect in detail for each network. Bear in mind that this does count MVs that is aired for seasonal purposes such as Women’s Month provided by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) last March. (more…)

Pabasa ng Philippine TV for Holy Week 2017

Ecce Homo (1871) by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891)

IT’S SO HARD to believe that Holy Week is next week — the first on the nine-month-old Duterte administration and yes, the Turf understands it as a political aspect of Calvary we’re harnessing.
Anyway, in this penultimate and pious week of Lent, many words emanate to our psyche: reflection, journey, sacrifice, panata and self-penitence.

As part of the countdown to 500 years of Christianity, this year (2017) is designated for the Year of Parish as the Communion of Communities.

As part of the preparation of the Quincentennial of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, each year within the nine-year novena (since 2012-13) has a certain designation. This year is dedicated as the Year of the Parish as the Communion of Communities. So, expect this theme to be integrated throughout the following days.
During the week, operating hours on malls and establishments are expected to be reduced — if not closed — on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday but they may resume full-time on Black Saturday.
On television, particularly, free to air, some networks either reduced to special programming or signed off. In the Turf’s annual tradition of heralding the events, the whole week will be divided into four (4) chronological groups with six (6) specific periods. In this distinctive insight, some channels and programs within the week will give notice if they’re in conflictin need of attention and something to watch out for.
Bear in mind that such insights are unpredictable.

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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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Countdown to Coronation (Part II): The Current Arrangements

This Timow’s Turf special report will be dedicated on the 65th Miss Universe where the Philippines will host the grand coronation this Monday, January 30. The views and opinions expressed in this second and concluding installment of two-part special do not reflect those of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO).

President Duterte posed with DOT Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

President Rodrigo Duterte posed with Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday during the courtesy call in Malacanang. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

ON THE FIRST part, we tripped down memory lane on the past two editions of Miss Universe in 1974 and 1994. In this second of two parts, we will tackle the highly anticipated current event.

Just like the Papal Visit and the APEC Summit back in 2015, the first major event of 2017 involving high-profile foreign dignitaries must need a high profile security in which indeed President Rodrigo Duterte practiced religiously as he trusts too defensively to the military and the police.

But how did the organization for the third hosting came to be and how is the progress of broadcasters concerned?

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