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 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.

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.


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.


In Light of IBC 13 Privatization Attempt, Few Rooster Shows Fly Out but UCBL Tips On

DURING THE DELIBERATIONS of the 2018 Budget for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) last August 15 in the House of Representatives, Undersecretary George Apacible told the solons that privatization process of the beleaguered Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) would begin next month with the bidding price of P 4.2 billion.

According to his superior, Secretary Martin Andanar, the net proceeds – after paying unsettled obligations such as taxes to BIR and the aggregate (current, separation & retirement) pay to employees – would go to the pending People’s Broadcasting Corporation that will supervise both PTV and PBS (Radyo Pilipinas) radio stations.

While most concerned netizens are excited for the fifth attempt (according to their count) to materialize since sequestration but for the Turf, we’re still doubtful about that.

Speaking of which, the movement of IBC 13’s programming shifted in light of the very long persistent pronouncement.


Few sabong shows fly out

Whenever we think of IBC 13 today and not of the golden age that triggers yearning nostalgia (from the 1970s until 2003), it is mostly composed of vast nothingness but a sea of home shopping, infomercials, and cockfighting.

Due to the aforementioned impact, three sabong shows: the consistently returning Thunderbird Sabong Nation, Bakbakan Na and the oldest running Tukaan were affirmed to leave the channel.

In Bakbakan Na’s Facebook page, their loyal fans sought it as a good measure as they weren’t able to receive the program due to the signal reduction since March but from the perspective of the outgoing channel, it’ll be a loss of their sustaining income.

While Sabong Nation came back in S+A, Bakbakan Na and Tukaan will premiere on its new home on TV5 this weekend.

The remaining cockfighting programs are Chicken Talk, Salpukan 360 & STV: Ang Sabong TV ng Bayan.

A new season tips off

UCBL 2 Contract Signing

SEALED THE DEAL. UCBL President Franklin Evidente, ACA Raise President Josephine Arboleda and ATC Executive Vic de Guzman placed their right hands after signing the contacts for the new season of IBC’s sole college basketball league tipping off this week.

On the bright side, the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) will return to Old Balara for its second season Thursday (September 7) in partnership through Asian Television Content (ATC).

This new season will debut a new team, the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) – Batangas, which is somehow following the footsteps of the sister campus in Intramuros in NCAA. The young collegiate league did not only admit a new school but also admitted a new marketer, ACA Raise, in order to cover all games as possible.

While some things are new, other elements remain the same — from the same venue (Olivarez College), to the same league frequency (Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays) and to the same delayed primetime telecast (from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight).

Program comebacks

Other programs that went back since the last time the Turf tackled about IBC were Gabay at Aksyon (possibly from PTV’s massive, hyper-partisan overhaul last June) and Fr. Archie Guiriba’s Shalom. If the two shows came back, amidst the difficulty of the falling network in all aspects, then, it would really be nice if Ka Gerry Geronimo’s Ating Alamin would also make their return to this network after eight years.

That being said and whatever the events will happen, the all-out surveillance still lingers on over the embattled Broadcast City upon Capitol Hills as we will continue to keep update here on Timow’s Turf.

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Photo courtesy of UCBL Universities and Colleges Basketball League official Facebook page


Philippines Football League both to kick out UFL, off tomorrow

The new and legit national professional football league was launched last April 21 at Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City.

THE IDENTITY CRISIS and legitimacy of our national, top-tier and professional football (soccer) league is finally over.
Beginning tomorrow, the new (and de jure) league called Philippines Football League (PFL) will kick out the de facto United Football League (UFL) in the early 2010s.
What went wrong with the latter league? Are there any changes in the competition? What will be the inaugural game plan? Who will be the broadcaster?


Is AksyonTV becoming TV5’s News TV and S+A?

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but quickly erodes its standing purpose.

AksyonTV turns 6 years old today but it quickly erodes its initial purpose.

SIX YEARS ago today, while viewers are awaiting for GMA News TV’s launch, TV5 jumped in unannounced over Channel 41; AksyonTV, the first news channel on free TV, was born.

They used to air round the clock as a slap of Channel 11’s broken promises to live their mantra, “Oras-oras, alam ko” but karma struck back in 2013 due to cost-cutting measures by the management as well as NTC’s rules and regulations for affiliated free-to-air TV stations.

The identity crisis

The era of being a homogeneous news channel began its decline when AKTV on IBC ended on May 31, 2013 by carrying over their committed sportscasts as they also covered the Sochi Winter Olympics a year after.

Recently, News5’s public affairs programs airing on AksyonTV became merely reruns with no motive to create new episodes. Since last year, EZ Shop and Shop Japan joined in the diversification of programming portfolio to lessen their lameness.

During the seven-month-old Duterte administration where long Senate probes and/or Presidential activities (Palace press conferences and speaking engagements) bear weight in shaping the public’s skeptical psyche, the channel didn’t move a muscle and caught the attention of the Turf‘s neighboring blog, From the Tube.

Ralph redressed their grievances and formulated proposals. However, when the priority Congressional hearings resume, they were abruptly cut — much to his ever-growing dismay — due to the simulcast of Raffy Tulfo’s Wanted sa Radyo on 92.3 News FM. Despite the radio show’s demanding popularity, he dubbed the Tulfo brother as the “Kris Aquino of Radio“.

Recently, Supernatural and Arrow reruns from TV5 eventually satisfied one of his demands as their main channel was too irresistible in covering the ongoing PBA’s Philippine Cup playoffs. But then, the PHTV Group forum founded out that move to be a hodgepodge rival to ABS-CBN’s S+A and News TV.

That said, AksyonTV’s initial purpose was defeated and was lopsided, leaving CNN Philippines (if you are in the free-to-air territory) and ABS-CBN News Channel victorious. 

What comes next for AksyonTV is now in Miguel Belmonte’s manual intervention.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/TV5

Christmas sa ‘Pinas: The 2016-17 Holiday TV Primer

The glimmers of parol this Christmas will definitely trigger homesickness and sentiments.

The glimmers of parol this Christmas will definitely trigger homesickness and sentiments.


As The Turf approaches its 3rd anniversary this coming Wednesday — we will report the traditional annual holiday primer for the 4th time on what will be on television in the Philippines. This year’s Christmas Day and the coming New Year’s Day (2017) will both fall on Sunday — James Ty III’s favorite day of the week — and it’ll be the first Christmas for President Rodrigo Duterte.

This holiday primer will span from today, December 10, 2016 until January 1, 2017 and it will split into seven (7) chronological phases.

Please bear with us because sometimes, not everything will go on as planned or expected.


On Pacquiao’s “Comeback” Bout


TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Manny Pacquiao will challenge Jessie Vargas to regain the WBO Welterweight title Saturday night in Las Vegas (Sunday morning in Manila).

LAST APRIL 10, sports aficionados savored Manny Pacquiao’s “final” bout before his “retirement” after 18 years of professional career with eight world divisions in order to focus as a legislator but it sounds too good to be true as this Sunday, November 6 (Manila time), he will face Jessie Vargas but this time, under a different set-up and situation.

But before that, let’s go back where Pacquiao began briefly.