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

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.

United for the Crown

Wurtzbach Mittenaere

Television tribalism on the Big 3 stopped temporarily since two years ago when on January 30, the 65th Miss Universe was held in the Mall of Asia Arena in which Miss France Iris Mittenaire succeeded Pia Wurtzbach in the title. The next edition, where Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned, on November 27 did not do the joint pooling.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love & Wow: It was a rare moment for the Big 3 to unite for a common purpose, aside from certain events such as the annual State of the Nation Address.
  • Sad: Local bets Maxine Medina landed at Top 6 (January) and Rachel Peters landed worse at Top 10 (November).

Government-Owned Radio Overhaul

PBS2017The first full year of the Duterte presidency saw the staggering process of state radio reform under the Philippine Broadcasting Service.

Envisioned by PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and supervised by Bong “Sonny B” Aportadera to match those from the BBC in the UK, they launched their brands anew, chronologically: FM2 104.3 MHz, RP1 738 kHz and RP2 918 kHz. Since November 1, FM1 87.5 is currently under test broadcast and now waiting for the formal launch.

Possible Reactions & Reasons:

  • Love: FM2 104.3 knocked out Retro 105.9 as the “classics authority.”
  • Wow: As part of the reform, the refurbishment of radio equipment was able to compete with commercial counterparts. Not to mention, in both AM and FM, their radio representation reached Top 10 (according to Nielsen) as of 3rd quarter this year.
  • Angry: Die-hard icons of the President became part of the roster of personalities such as the three of four Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos on RP1. Well, what can you really expect from a state-owned media enterprise?

To be fair, FM2 would have been the Turf’s Best FM Radio Station of the Year but due to some flaws, it is classified No. 2 on the books; better luck next time. Speaking of state-owned media enterprise

Para sa Bayan o Para sa Pangulo?

PTV logo 2017 (without wordmark)

As part of state-owned media reform, this year, PTV made substantial operational and programming changes:

  • While awaiting the reorganization of PTV as promised on the first State of the Nation Address last year but they fulfilled one specific goal: Salaam TV was launched as a digital TV subchannel last July.
  • On the main channel, they aired the CGTN block, which reflects the archetype of President Duterte’s foreign policy pivot.
  • As the presidential propaganda station, they covered just one episode of Mula Sa Para, Para Sa Masa presented by Rocky Ignacio, which is replaced with Sa Totoo Lang with Erwin Tulfo.
  • In the public service aspect, Damayan returned after a seven-year hiatus as Damayan Ngayon with William Thio and Emily Katigbak.

By April 2018, PTV is announced to air NHK educational TV programs.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Love: In the eyes of the subservient herd, their feelings/emotions are unconditional.
  • Haha: For the rationalists, PTV’s reforms are still very different from being a fully-fledged public broadcaster like the BBC. During the ASEAN Summit last November, Sass Sasot made a scene against BBC correspondent Jonathan Head but got her airtime from PTV. The colleagues were also given a show months prior on this network. Not to mention, Vasra has a lapsed marketing division. (CLUE: Look at the billboard provided here; it’s directed to Erwin Tulfo’s social media handles.)
  • Angry & Sad: With overhaul comes with the cost; Xiao Chua and Kathy San Gabriel were formally and informally discharged while replacing it with lackeys like the Tulfo brothers and Alex Santos.
  • Sad: Philippines Football League fans were disappointed with the televised coverage within two months of the inaugural season due to the usual Presidential engagements.
  • Wow: Sports fans were shocked to see the return of SEA Games coverage on this network after 10 years.

Light Network goes Digital


In light of the Digital Television Summit led by former DICT Sec. Rodolfo Salalima that extends the analog shutdown to 2023, Light Channel 33 formally ceased analog transmissions on February 28 and began its digital transmissions the following day.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: NET25’s loyal base was shocked that an underdog beat them after years of DTV experimentation.
  • Love: DTV enthusiasts were enthralled by their move and hoping that the rest of the channels would catch up.

Destined to Lose Fans


Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza – the duo that formed AlDub in Eat Bulaga – advance their showbiz career together from noontime to primetime with Destined to Be Yours.

While the AlDub hype train beefed up, the performance was mixed. While AGB Nielsen reported a big gain on them on the premiere, Kantar published otherwise with ABS-CBN swept on their first day. Like all other 24 Oras lead-out teleseryes, they didn’t last and conceded to FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

After DTBY, in November, Maine published her open letter stating that she and Alden are “just friends” but it elicited negative responses by heartbroken and speculative fans.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Angry: In DTBY’s premiere, ADN was furious with the Kantar ratings. With the open letter, the chunk of fandom enters their stage of denialism.
  • Sad: Upon reading Maine’s open letter, it seems AlDub Nation’s support was waning and the fans grieving — some were quick to speculate with spreading rumors but some kept the faith by staging a “white rally.” (They wore white shirts and thus, they are very not related to the controversial Charlottesville rally last August.)

A Wish Finally Comes True

Wish 107.5

Wish 107.5 is a radio station associated with UNTV or its religious group, Members Church of God International that produced Ang Dating Daan. Like its AM counterpart, La Verdad 1350, their mobile radio booth, dubbed the Wish Bus, is where bystanders can see performers.

In March, they reached 1 million subscribers in their YouTube channel containing Wishclusive performances, which consequentially earned commercial sponsors in their subsequent auditions, recognition in newspapers and further innovate (e.g. Wish Card) for convenience at faster growth.

Suffice to say, The Turf considers this as the Best FM Station of the Year.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow or Love: For its loyal base (aside from the MCGI adherents), they were flattered with appreciation from foreigners’ reaction videos. Such reactions and innovation enhance the reputation of the radio station that goes beyond their walls (of the bus, for that matter).

Inept Basket Case but Not Digitally Behind

The vigilance on IBC 13 remains a staple here on the Turf.

Since March, its free to air coverage is in low power mode, which ended up losing half of the cockfighting shows such as the longest-holding Tukaan.

At first, critics (including the Turf) initially assessed and considered the moribund network as a pariah in terms of digital television transition due to the aforementioned observation, alongside general mismanagement and slow updates on privatization process until last October when they test on Channel 26 and disclosed the said frequency for the first time — much of mixed emotions of chagrin and relief.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Like or Love: For sabong fans, IBC’s loss of half of its concerned programs is TV5’s and S+A’s gain.
  • Wow: El Shaddai members were stunned by the development, their home for 25 years, while their own Channel 35’s progress is stagnant. (Anong masasabi ninyo, mga ka-DBS?)

Ika-6 na Utos sa Ika-6 na Araw


The idea of GMA’s famous afternoon kabitserye to extend to Saturday was thought to beIANU an April fool’s joke for the viewers but it was real. Its expansion was successful in knocking out the competitors from Mother Ignacia. The rival did not answer back for It’s Showtime lead-out teleseryes.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Wow: Fans of the show were at first happy with the expansion but some shows concern of burnout for lead stars Gabby Concepcion, Sunshine Dizon and Ryza Cenon.
  • Sad or Angry: For the morally upright, it’s a disappointment. For the critics, it can be summed up in one word: cancerous.

Fantaseryes Pa More

GMA Fantaserye

GMA Telebabad in 2017 marked the sprout of fantaseryes as the 24 Oras’ lead-out show.

After the successful Encantandia requel in 2016 came another with Mulawin vs. Ravena.

Then came the second season (book) of Alyas Robin Hood (portrayed by Dingdong Dantes), the controversial fantaserye that copied CW’s Arrow, premiered and finally, Super Ma’am (portrayed by his wife, Marian Rivera) took over the timeslot thus forming a conjugal back-to-back fantaserye block until ARH’s shorter season ending.

Possible Reactions & Reasons

  • Haha: Repeatedly, critics already made the verdict: aside from relying on old guns, fantaserye spending would take the toll on other rooms for improvement in Timog Avenue, such as digital television testing.
  • Sad: In DongYan’s seryes, it would have been nice if the couple crossed over to make the best story to satiate new taste but it’s just mere wishful thinking since crossovers are not part of the Philippine television culture unlike those in America.

Radyo Kontra pero Pirata

Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3

In May, two suspicious radio stations were DXed in the Metro Manila area, Radyo Kontra Droga 98.3, and Radyo Kontra Weeaboo 107.1. The latter is reported to be split into two in Metro Manila with 89.5 on the North — affecting the frequencies of Wave 89.1 and Magic 89.9.

Possible Reaction & Reason

  • Angry: We have called out NTC for lack of attention and its powers to stop both suspicious stations, the easy payment of fines and light sentences. The solution seems so obvious: well-defined regulations, stiffer fines, and penalties on the concerned laws against such radio piracy.


Part II of the series will continue on Friday. Stay tuned.


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.


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…)

For PTV 4, Change is Coming

Can the Duterte administration make PTV an everlasting impact in the Philippine television industry through a lasting, major overhaul?

Can the Duterte administration make PTV an everlasting impact in the Philippine television industry through a lasting, major overhaul?

This post is dedicated to Jerick Ilagan (ramones1986).

CHANGE IS COMING. Those three words is a slogan of Rodrigo Duterte during his campaign. Now that he is our President of this country for 11 days, this slogan is currently putting in to practice on its six-year plan nationwide.

In the Philippine television industry, the Big 3 will not affect the operation under the new Presidential administration when it comes to entertainment, religious and sports programming. The Big 3’s news departments are trying to be fine-tuned on covering the remaining 89 days (to complete his first 100 days) and the rest of his term (i.e. until June 30, 2022) that may impair their respective definition, scope and limitation of objectivity in journalism. Nevertheless, there is only one TV network that will affect the most among the VHF occupants: People’s Television Network (PTV 4).

Why is PTV 4 in the spotlight of this article? How extensive is his change in Visayas Avenue? The short answer we can assess is very extensive and the Turf will tackle this into deep detail.


Philippine television through the 2nd Aquino years (2010-16)

PNoy and Digong

IN AND OUT. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (right) is the apparent successor of the outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III (left) after winning the May 9 election with less than 40% of the votes.

THE FILIPINO has decided; Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the apparent winner of this election and will become the 16th President of the Philippines come June 30.

Before we move on to the next chapter of Philippine history, we will look how our channels on free-to-air television progressed so far throughout the six years of the outgoing administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III. (more…)

#PHTVzg2015: Other Networks

Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the rollercoaster moments of significant UHF networks (not counting ABS-CBN Sports+Action and Aksyon TV).

NET25 and INC-TV 49

#IAMONEinCoverUps (July 22 to present). As the centennial of Iglesia ni Cristo draws to a close, Angel Manalo, the younger brother of Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, exposed the scandals of the Church Administration on his and his mother’s (Cristina “Tenny” Manalo) excommunication by a YouTube video. This scandal surfaced over the cables and the domino effect of the INC drama — which is obviously real and not found on an ordinary teleserye — just began with expelling and arresting ministers (such as Isaias Samson, Jr. and Lowell Menorca) and their show-of-force rally in EDSA and the Department of Justice last August. During the Iglesia crisis, their networks NET 25 and INC-TV 49 began using the hashtags #IAMONEWITH25 and #IAMONEWITHEVM, respectively in order to downplay Bro. Angel Manalo and expelled ministers’ opposing voices as well as to glorify the Executive Minister and to deliver their news that favors the Church Administration. Hence, the bias is excessively obvious to spot.

UNTV Life (Channel 37)

On August 26, UNTV became UNTV Life with a fresh identity but programming mix remains the same.

On December 3, during the Awards Night of the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television in KIA Theater, UNTV bagged three awards in two shows: The KNC Show for Best Children’s Show and Host and ASOP (A Song of Praise) Music Festival (hosted by Richard Reynoso and Toni Rose Gayda) for Best Talent Search Program.

The cousinhood founders (Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon) of this channel were also involved in two political standoffs through social media. First, when President Aquino was endangered after his involvement with the Mamasapano clash last January and the pressurizing act to resign. Second was when former Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was threatened by the Iglesia ni Cristo following the decision to investigate the expelled ministers.

Outlook for 2016

As 2016 is an election year, it will not be surprising for NET 25’s religious owners to induce its membership to vote their particular candidates (bloc voting) as part of their “doctrine of unity” despite objections of some of its flock due to an individual’s questionable issues of corruption. The Turf will not be surprised to set up RED ALERT status over the network’s biased coverage.

The same shall apply for SMNI 39 of Apollo Quiboloy. His mandate to the “Kingdom Nation” will emulate similar to Iglesia ni Cristo. The Turf will also issue a RED ALERT.

Following such involvement, the UNTV Life’s indirect influential religious group, the Members Church of God International, will not bother their members or niche audience on choosing their leaders and representatives. However, the Turf issues the YELLOW ALERT (which is a caution alert and not a political one) for any significant acts on any political participation. By the New Year, Channel 37 will complete and open their new network center in EDSA.


from Timow’s Turf!


29 points to watch out on this Star Awards on TV

IN TWO WEEKS, we will see who won the best (or is it?) in each category of the oldest award for Philippine television by the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC). However, as time marches on, controversies tend to erupt even more and to cry foul for biases.

The Turf will not get the full predictions unlike last year but here are the 29 points to watch out for on the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television.


Examining and reconsidering two shows of PTV 4

THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS The Turf will tackle comes from People’s Television (PTV) 4.

They are both aired at the same time (10:30 a.m.) with the same duration (30 minutes) within the weekend. The Saturday show is titled “Tito the Explorer” and the Sunday counterpart, “Gabay at Aksyon.”


Ngayong Buwan ng Wika, ano ang balita sa telebisyon sa darating na linggo?

Manuel Quezon

Pangulong Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, Ama ng Wikang Pambansa

BILANG PAGGUNITA NG Buwan ng Wika ngayong Agosto, ang nilalalaman na kasulatan nito ay gagamitin ng malalim at mayayamang salita ng ating Wikang Pambansa.

Sa mga nagsaliksik ng pambansang telebisyon, ayon sa kanilang kuro-kuro at karanasan, mas pinapalaganap pa ang pagyayaman ng leksikon ng Pambansang Wika sa NET 25 kaysa sa Malaking Tatlo (ABS-CBN, GMA at TV5) o sa mga istasyong pang-pamahalaan.

Pero, huwag na tayong masyadong paligoy-ligoy at sisimula natin ang mahalagang detalye. (more…)

Could PTV 4’s ‘K-Pop Idol Search’ save the network from a second Korean launch failure?

REMEMBER SANDARA PARK or Mina? If you can remember the former, you’re in luck, she is an Korean expat who was given the national spotlight in the Star Circle Quest of ABS-CBN and made a compatible duo with Hero Angeles but repatriated in 2009 as one of the members of the girl group 2NE1. If you can remember the latter, she is well known for the song, “Answer the Phone” during the year 2002 which became a hit in the radio stations in the Philippines. If you know both of them, then you are a die-hard K-pop fan.

If you idolized them so bad and have the skill of performing on stage, you’re in luck. Last February 7, a news item from News@1 of the government-owned People’s Television Network (PTV), delivered by Kirby Cristobal said that the network would be committed to air the talent search titled K-Pop Idol Search: Pinoy Edition (shortened as KIS Pinoy).

The talent show sounds helpful to the interest of the youth’s taste buds on K-Pop to live their dreams. Yet, pessimists and critics of the 40-year-old, government-owned station doubt about such a pressing engagement to the commitment of the network to air the talent show.

As Philippine TV monitors, we may ask ourselves two questions:

Will KIS Pinoy save the network from the horrors of the first failure?

If KIS Pinoy really happened, what will be the optimal timeslot for the show?