GMA

Siphoning Political Livestreams: It’s A Post-Truth Thing

[Dedicated to Ralph Domingo]

LAST WEDNESDAY, the Senate probe on purveying fake news was a newsworthy story for the digitally savvy millenials in the toughest political age.

Mocha Uson in the Senate

Mocha Uson was grilled before the Senate last Wednesday for proliferating and purveying fake news.

In the said hearing, the senators, especially Nancy Binay, grilled Presidential Communications Office Assistance Secretary Mocha Uson and RJ Nieto (the webmaster of Thinking Pinoy) for proliferating disinformation and degrading opposition politicians while serving in their respective government positions. Other personalities present were Atty. Abigail Valte (the deputy spokesperson of predecessor Noynoy Aquino) and few representatives from the legitimate media.

The next hearing over the said topic will be announced later.

Being a legislative hearing of interest, livestreams from media outlets will definitely be the part of the drill. Anyone connected from social media will notify you real-time.

For its diehard supporters, it was an opportunity to siphon such sources and claim it as theirs without proper attribution.

Whenever some are so busy with important things throughout the day but they want to know what really happened to the country, they can simply search on to YouTube and voila!

Its search engine, the terms you input might land on diehard pro-administration YouTube channels than those from legitimate media outlets and that is a serious business.

How to spot a YouTube video from a die hard?

While fake news sites are obstructed through third-party web browser extensions, its YouTube channels, sadly, are not and thus, are definitely shareable in most social media platforms. However, it’s not difficult to spot a YouTube video that was created from a diehard supporter. Here are the five common signs.

Screenshot (38)

A screenshot of the famous Senate hearing last Wednesday. Look at Rappler’s (a verified YouTube channel); compare that to Tawanan at Balita PH or other similar channels.

  • The custom thumbnail abuse. This feature is one of the primary ways of deception. They take a screenshot, paste it on a graphics software, add some WordArt and it’s all set for publishing.
  • The loudmouth title. Most searches in caps lock (LIKE THIS ONE) in order to provoke and to grab their attention. The titles were usually defending pro-administration officials and shaming the opposition. Adding “PANOORIN” is not necessary but it is a decisive factor for their view count.
  • The consistent description structure. Most of the video descriptions usually follow the same structural formula as with their related uploads. That also includes the lack of any proper attribution.
  • The channel is not verified. A verified YouTube channel are those with a check mark and the prerequisite: they must have at least 100,000 subscribers. Thus, pro-administration channels might not reach that number and consequently, might not be verified.
  • The video content usually includes the titles. They are usually located at the top and/or bottom (in the letterbox format) or lower graphics (intentionally obscuring those from media outlets) rendered from their desktop-based non-linear editing software.

Aren’t they supposed to be prosecuted for infringement or are they exonerated and called it a legal piracy with state-sponsored blessing? This is where BusinessWorld’s article last November drives us now. Whatever they have done was credulous or simply in Filipino, nauto.

The Turf’s Insight

Siphoning off content from legitimate media organizations (such as ANC, GMA, Rappler, Inquirer, CNN Philippines, etc.) is somehow an indirect way of delegitimizing and discrediting its professional journalists in order to pursue their absolutist agenda without any checks and senses of right or wrong and to undermine his political opposition as “enemies of the state” with all their minds, hearts and souls.

Sadly, their eyes that were dictated by hasty generalizations, treated the press, which is considered the fourth estate, at par with terrorists (like the Maute Group) as the “enemy of the state.”

As mentioned last November, the culture of impunity did not just happen the traditional outside of goons, guns and gold but also in the cyberspace with keyboards, trolls and coins. Well, a study in Mexico finally holds true as our country was ranked worst over-all in such terms in their Global Impunity Index report from Universidad De Las Americas.

Think about it. According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), the Philippines is ranked 127th of 180 in the 2017 Press Freedom Index, which is situated at the “difficult situation.”  Given the social media age and the current circumstances, where will our country – that is significantly contributed to the global post-truth era – land in a few years that we asked and deserved?


P.S. For those readers in the United States who happened to have the same sentiment, you’re not alone.


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Photo courtesy of the Philippine Star. Screenshot grabbed by the author.

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FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano @ 2: On Its Longevity and On Its Despondents

TWO YEARS for a primetime teleserye is a rare feat in the chronicles of Philippine television.

Today, September 28, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is attaining that milestone; during the course of the 20-year-old-film-turned-teleserye, we have traveled along to the saga of SPO2 Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) in the Philippine National Police.

Length comparisons & contrasts

One may think that the immediate TV Patrol lead-out series is as long to this decade’s daytime counterpart, Be Careful with My Heart. Well, by tonight, FPJAP will air its 519th episode and according to their recent announcement of ending up by January 2018, the series might wrap up with 605 episodes (assuming if ending on January 26) – but it’s still 17 short of BCWMH’s 622. In such terms, it could be better said that FPJAP can be called the 2010s’ equivalent to the original Pangako sa ‘Yo.

The motives behind

While some viewers defected to the rival giant over their repetitive and lengthened plot, GMA’s seven counteroffers failed to defeat Kuya Cardo’s engagements, according to Kantar. What FPJAP drives them so successful?

  • Injecting and integrating the sense of realism. Even though mostly rated SPG, the show was able to hook up due to the picturesque from the moderately paced setting of ordinary people and fast-paced action of Cardo. In the midst of the scene, is timely with current events (such as what is happening in Marawi) or within the season (e.g. Christmas, Holy Week, Back-to-School). Finally, they give real-life lessons (a.k.a. Ligtas Tips) on how to be alert in dealing with relatable situations.

  • Star building for the young and for the fallen. During the earlier course of the show, two child stars became part of the ensemble – Simon Ezekiel Pineda (Onyok) and McNeal “Awra” Briguela (Makmak) as the supporting roles. Their significant moments in the spotlight helped raised the roof of social media attention. Although the former went away to normalize his childhood, the latter pursued to take the risk with Wansapanataym as Amazing Ving. This is where GMA’s artist management failed in nurturing child stars. Aside from the young, the fallen stars from its rival were also given a chance to shine. Remember what happened to ex-Starstruck Aljur Abrenica. After his contract expired, he entered Star Magic due to his contempt with the persistent favorable treatment to veterans (No offense, Marian Rivera.) and gave him immediately the first break there.
  • Acceptance of simple elements. The theme song “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” (by Gary Valenciano) and its signature zoom-in dramatic shots have been immortalized due to netizens’ humorous purposes – be it politics or any forms of pop culture. For the production crew, they take it with a grain of salt and compliment it as flattery.
  • Passionate production crew. Throughout the last two years, it seems the production crew, amidst tiresomeness, was satisfied in contributing to the success of the series. However, critics are showing concerns on their collective health concerns following the case of Francis Pasion’s passing just days after directing On the Wings of Love last year.

Over all, it won different television awards from the major award giving bodies (e.g. PMPC Star Awards and Box Office Entertainment Awards), the Anak TV Seal, the Church via the Catholic Mass Media Awards, different college student bodies across the country and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for its Golden Dove Awards. It was also given a special citation from the CIDG.

There’s the nub

While we understand that the politically keen’s standpoint of Kuya Cardo’s efforts could not be replicated under the actual PNP’s org chart due to general distrust, the real nub of this article is for those who are despondent with the show and called it “cancer.”

Initially, considerable psychological factors of tuning out and short attention span of the typical Filipino masa, an average teleserye last from 3-6 months depending on the flow of the story. It can be extended as they wish if they fared successfully. The Turf already made several proposals and a quick post to make primetime television’s lineup better without posing too much health risks for producers and artists and consumers (i.e. you, dear viewers) the freedom to choose whatever show they want to watch but then, the Big Bosses of the Duopoly are too reluctant to materialize because as of most of you would say, money talks.

Nonetheless, for the fed-up viewers, you still have to wait for four months for the agony to finish — unless an extension is announced.


Timow’s Turf would personally like to thank John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez for supplying the count of challenging GMA shows.


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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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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

Moving Out of Broadway is the Hardest Thing to Do…

Broadway Centrum has been the home of Eat Bulaga for 22 years.

(This post is dedicated in memory of my paternal grandmother, Nanay Miriam Paragas, who passed away last Wednesday night.)

LAST MAY, my paternal family went to Antipolo for the annual summer outing. We passed over Broadway Centrum to and from the destination and it triggered me about a discussion of a transfer from it for a noontime variety show last year on PHTV Facebook Group where I am currently sitting in as an administrator.

In time for the 38th anniversary of Eat Bulaga, Timow’s Turf will neither discuss about the current trends of their segments nor their dabarkads but on the fate of the studio building that housed it and its difficulty of letting it go. (more…)

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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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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)