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That Thing Called Dubbing (and Why Some People Hated It)

[Requester: Albert Brian Gimao (2nd time). Before introducing the article, personally and seriously, this topic may have been familiar to everyone and The Turf won’t budge further into it.]

The Legend of the Blue Sea is a K-drama that is currently on the air on ABS-CBN since yesterday. It airs every weekday at 5:00 p.m. (Metro Manila) and the following 9:30 a.m. (for RNGs).

AS WE are in the final three-and-a-half weeks of summer vacation*, most of the children who are done with their summer workshops are trying to find some entertainment back into the living room.

When somebody had an interesting show to look forward to, he or she will tune the TV. However, after watching for a few minutes, they feel uncomfortable, scratch their heads and ask themselves: “Bakit Tinatagalog ang palabas ko?”

That thing is called dubbing.

Currently, on free TV, the genres that commonly employ that form of include:

  • cartoons (including anime) (Big 3),
  • Koreanovelas (Big 2 and PTV),
  • US TV series (TV5) and
  • Foreign flicks whether Hollywood (Big 3) or Eastern (GMA) films

However, this annoyance is further summoned to the social media battlefield with two major camps – those who are in favor of dubbing and those against it. Those who are in middle ground are deemed in the backlash zone and whatever side one belongs, they will always lead in the wantonness of civility through trade of tirades.

Japan’s dorayaki and our hopia may taste good but they are obviously not the same delicacy.

If you fit in the requester’s shoes, you will definitely gnash your teeth with a common motive. They accused the Filipino (Tagalog) dubbing for “dumbing down” the integrity and culture behind the program. Languages, indeed, define and distinguish the cultures of different group of people. For example, do you remember watching the anime classic Doraemon and find stumbled of what his favorite food is? In its original Japanese, it is called dorayaki (a pastry filled with red beans) but here in the Philippines, we translated it as hopia — a rough counterpart when it comes to texture and taste, but it is not the same.

What will happen if you switch on the defender’s shoes? Their counterclaims dared the rival to answer the questions such as “Paano mo yan maiintidihan ng mga tao?” (How can people understand it) or added with a rebuttal like “Hindi kakagat ‘yan ng masa.” (It will not be consumed by the masses). Sometimes, they also make anti-intellectual and irrational backlash such as “nosebleed.”

Last January, James Ty III already made an entry on his blog Streak Shooter, detailing this issue expounding his favorite topic, particularly on films that aired on his favorite day, Sunday, over the Big 2 and later nag such things on his Twitter to one user. He observed that other countries, aside from USA using Spanish, have done the same method.

His justification is elaborated and excerpted:

“In the past, these networks would air their movies in original English audio but dubbing them has been a way for them to attract viewers especially with the proliferation of locally produced soap operas…

Networks like GMA and TV5 air these dubbed movies as a way to save money especially with their locally produced shows not rating well and getting cancelled, resulting in huge financial losses. Dubbers are also paid the same rates as those who dub the Korean, Spanish and Japanese anime shows.”

He concluded that if “they can’t beat them, join them…” but that will not do for those who persistently resist.

Is there a solution to subside the hatred of dubbing?

Well, yes. There is already a closed-captioning law that took effect last July — Republic Act 10905.

However, without its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that needs to be crafted by concerning associations and relatable government agencies — in this case, those from Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)  —  they cannot be materialized at once.

If the IRR is ratified, there will be in-house layoff on dubbers and/or transfers into subtitle typists. In financial perspective, it will improve their networks from being economically burdensome; such an upshot will mean more dividends for shareholders and more investment for their maintenance and expansion.

Until that day comes, better watch it on an online streaming site for the original language but if you don’t have one, tough luck. Perhaps, we should not be surprised if some network has the guts to acquire and dub the sensational and controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.


*The dating is based on the academic calendar for Academic Year 2017-18 released by the Department of Education (DepEd). Their classes begin on June 5. Private schools may not need to follow the required date to open their classes but they mustn’t start after August.


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[Photos courtesy of BoxAsian/SBS/Wikimedia Commons]

State of the Philippine Television Address 2016

(Note: This address serves both as part of the 63rd anniversary of Philippine television and as a thank you post for reaching 50,000 hits last Tuesday.)

MY DEAR READERS:

Timow’s Turf was made for insights on Philippine television programming whatever possible as a complement to other bloggers. Lately this year, I made some changes for a more comprehensive thinking and sentiments — that’s why I posted roughly every two weeks with thousands of words.

Moving right along, I am addressing today to untangle the perennial complicated cesspool that indoctrinated us to follow the false dilemma fallacy and senseless and triumphant fanaticism that contributed the endless decades-long competitive hostility.

Such symptoms do not only happen right now in our Government — particularly, under the new administration — but it happened since time immemorial in this different field. In short, the state of Philippine television is adverse.

Words cannot be said kung bakit sinasabi ko na “adverse.” Maraming reklamo at may karapat na tugon. I can enumerate some of them.

Noong Abril, nalipat ang Family Feud sa Dos at ang host ay si Luis Manzano. Maganda nga sana pero puro celebrities ang naglalaro unlike those in then ABC-5 and GMA. Sa mga gustong sumabak sa Family Feud, tough luck. Hanggang audience ka na lang. This is not new for young Manzano’s game show hosting; remember Deal or No Deal and Minute to Win It? Usually celebrities ang contestant at nananalo. Are you treating us as mere pawns? Are you stereotypical that ordinary Filipinos are mismanaged with finances after receiving cash prizes? I hate neither the player nor the game; I hate the treatment. Mahiya ka naman, hindi na ka-level sa tatay niya (Edu) noon bilang host sa Pilipinas Game KNB kapalit ni Kris Aquino.

With that, we will NEVER have the chance to have our own franchise of Jeopardy. May intelligentsia pero hindi condescending dito sa mundo pero sad to say, lumalaganap dito ang herd mentality on smart-shaming.

Last month, nagtaas ng kilay ang mga netizens at si Stephen Amell na bida sa Arrow over Alyas Robin Hood sa GMA before the premiere. Character similarities, props (especially a toy water gun for flamethrower) and computerized effects proved us for a call of reformation in the entertainment division and programming. We are sick of carbon-copy concepts and relying old guns for them and at the same time, excessive cliché and banking tandems in a relatively same genre and story arc model for another.

8List is good on this enumeration and few bloggers have been spoken especially For the Love of Pop who has a frank hope to improve but would Ma. Lourdes Santos (COO, Star Creatives) and Lilybeth Rasonable ever listened to us or kept us dumb down?

Getting it real, our South Triangle-based entities disregarded our better ideas for their original catering audience, the masa, with their marginal mindset — an economic adjective that defines their short-term thinking, shallow reflection, temporary satisfaction and no penchant for patience.

They tend to disregard the trend of the burgeoning millennials’ taste in programming and listened only to themselves and the masses. Though, I can forgive ABS-CBN with certain conditions. Yung mga millennials na may laptop, pwedeng panoorin watch Netflix o via torrent containing new and existing U.S. shows and chill.

Nasobra na tayo sa teleserye mula late morning hanggang gabi, every weekday. May proposal naman ako na for new soaps after approving the pitch: reduce teleserye airings from weeknight basis to two days gradually. Afternoon soaps may remain on weekly basis. Friday nights will be dedicated for more specials and films.

Give more projects with varying genres for new ones or those who are well rested. Kamuning, take note. Maraming talents ka pero wala namang papel. Na-una ang mga matatanda kaysa sa baguhan. Ayun, walang or madalang na advertisements na galing sa inyo ang nag-endorse.

Speaking of talents, exclusive mentality is unfortunately mandatory for thespians and not at their option. Picture this, I never heard of J. Lo or any Hollywood artist signing an exclusive contract with any US television network, only the music label independent from any broadcaster’s influence. Sadly, this doesn’t apply here — kung Star Music artist ka, ABS-CBN talent ka rin hanggang magsawa ka.

Let’s set aside with the never-ending war between ABS and GMA and focus on TV5. Anyare? Tapos na ang Olympics at malapit na ang pagtatapos ng PBA season. Anyway, you’re no sacred cow to everything — well, in entertainment and in news. The former needs no explanation because on how MVP favor sports — no wonder, Coach Chot Reyes is heading his media network — and dissolved local entertainment but the latter needs an explanation.

Most of the news correspondents have been hired to the Duterte government from Martin Andanar, Cherie Mercado, and recently Mia Reyes. Aside from that, Ralph Domingo observed that you snubbed the coverage on committee hearings in both houses of Congress related to War on Drugs within a month now on AksyonTV. He questioned so hard than what News TV’s response just last week.

You just favored your News FM programs than the most important coverage and Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Gladys Lana-Lucas deserved a lot of explanation and complaints.

I heard LCV will get an Excellence in Broadcasting Award? Sa PiliPinas Debates, I can give that a yes but in management and editorial policy especially right now made me shrug in doubt.

As long I don’t want to resort more in the Big 3’s problems, I am also displeased that with this never-ending war comes neglect in the rest of VHF frequency, and I need to expose it — save CNN Philippines.

PTV is constantly unpredictable; it always has been. Pinangako ni Digong na gagawin ito into a more editorially-independent public broadcaster noong unang SONA. It’s good to hear and to identify the revenue generation but one question, though. What TV specials will the Visayas Avenue ever do aside those from government coverage?

Meanwhile, her sister IBC 13 began another amateur college basketball league called UCBL with Asian Television Content Corporation. Pero based on historical transactions with ATC, it will not last long after this inaugural season dahil sa lumolobong utang. Speaking of utang, sinabi ni PCO Sec. Martin Andanar na 956 billion pesos na sweldo ang hindi nabayaran. Tapos, anong available na pambayad: 10 milyon?

In case you don’t know,  nakabinbin na ang kapalaran ng Broadcast City: either privatize or transform into a Lumad channel. Not to mention, ililipat ang transmitter to an undisclosed location costing 150 million pesos. Apektado ang analog receivers kung nangyari. Pero nakakahiya talaga, naisip ko tuloy sa nangyari sa Hong Kong na hindi ni-renew ang franchise ng ATV dahil sa mga unsettled claims at mahinang reputasyon. Kung sana ganyan ang tularan sa KBP at NTC, OK na ako diyan but then again, our administration barely cared about economics and competition.

Dito sa UHF, may sari-sariling specialization for certain niche of audience. But one of them is just giving us empty promises and vain hope, especially on Channel 35. He promised for a relaunch pero walang alam kung kailan. Ilang taon na tayo ang hihintayin bago talagang mangyari? Hihintayin ba tayo na terminated na ang analog television dito come 2020? If so, napako na ng pangako ni Bro. Mike; walang pinagkaiba sa mga pulitiko.

Overall, we all want internal and lasting reformation in each one of them and to another. Sa Amerika, kahit oligopoly ang broadcast industry, may respeto naman sila sa karibal. Pero dito sa Pilipinas, kung anong mali o krisis ng ibang istasyon, ibinubulgar at dinedemonize. Kamakailan lang po, nagkaroon ng two presidential debates that is moderated by at most two from different entities in different means. Kung sana ganun nangyari noong kampanya, OK sana. Kaso, nakalipas na at wala rin, eh — exclusivity mentality triumphs.

Lastly, we will go on to the inner circle’s judgment on who wins. I would like to give rise to this.

The Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) will award the 30th Star Awards for Television next Sunday. Pero alam ko, nagsawa na kayo diyan kasi sa pinapaborang istasyon dahil nandyan ang trails of cash. Hindi katulad ng dating gawi sa Channel 9 at 13 noong dekada 90. Two years ago, I made my case for a rotation of broadcasters similar those in Emmy’s but because of such trail in Mother Ignacia, parang worthless ang suggestion. No wonder, Mr. Sunday knew that club’s influence lead us to their favoritism.

To Chairman Fernan de Guzman, the cesspool of yours will be your very last. If our President can’t change his behavior and style anymore, then change must come for the better for the organization. Do us a favor; give a more independent officers and members a chance.

That said, libre talaga lang mangarap pero malaki ang balakid na walang hanggan napapatayo kaysa matutumba. Ang daming good intentions na planned out to see the real “change is coming” for the better in this industry to start with — pero dahil tuloy ang bingi-bingian at bulag-bulagan.

We are not here only to share experiences and insights but we are here also to untangle the tentacles that complicates.

We have so many solutions but with the growth of smart shaming herd, we will all be defeated and make our efforts go to waste. If they never listen, whatever happens in another year and until the digital TV transition completes — God forbid our kismet — a bigger ripple and domino effect can give us even more loss of words.

Thank you and may you have a hopefully better day ahead.


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