LAST CHRISTMAS… I gave you my heart… but the very next day… you gave it away…
INDEED, this is the last Christmas of the 2010s but for some ill-wishers, it could be the last Christmas for a notorious major TV network.
Whatever you perceive, our Yuletide tradition continues and you already know why it’s up. For those who are new or don’t understand this quirky culture, we are telling up what will happen throughout the season in Philippine (free-to-air) television.
This annual post will take place of the weekly media roundup. The scope will last from today (December 7, 2019) to January 8, 2020. (Don’t worry, this will be updated throughout the period.)
Major political events that we expect throughout the season:
- A joint session of Congress must be convened if Martial Law in Mindanao will be revoked or be extended.
- On December 19, the case of the Maguindanao massacre that happened 10 years ago will be handed down.
- December 21 is Armed Forces Day. Being on a Saturday this year, the ceremony will be celebrated the preceding day. Under normal circumstances, the President leads the ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo but it can be held at his option as PTV is always ready.
- Rizal Day (Monday, December 30) is another holiday that the President usually expects to show up at Rizal Park. No matter who will lead the rites, this will be the first time to be held under the local administration of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Specific Entertainment News
New Sunday Horror Series
On December 8, The Haunted will replace Parasite Island (starring Jake Cuenca, Denise Laurel and Shaina Magdayao) as the weekly horrorserye on ABS-CBN.
Battle of E-Commerce: Year-End Sale Edition
Last November 10, the countdown to the 11.11 sale of Lazada and Shopee happened live on the South Triangle networks. This time, it is on the 12.12 sale, Eat Bulaga promoted ahead of time. In the natural spirit of competition, the rival, It’s Showtime, should do likewise.
The End of Sunday PinaSaya
After more than four years, musical-comedy noontime variety show Sunday PinaSaya will bow out on December 22.
While lamentation is expected in the eyes of loyal viewers and eventual victory for ASAP on the other side of the fence, the real reason behind the pull is their non-renewal of the contract with APT Entertainment as the producer forged with an exclusive partnership with Cignal to form Buhay Komedya (BuKo) channel that will be launched in February next year.
Its replacement, All Out Sunday, will premiere on the first Sunday of the new decade (January 5, 2020).
- DECEMBER 14: The main competition of the Giant Lantern Festival in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga will be carried live on CLTV 36.
- During Christmas’ and New Year’s Eve, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will conduct its Lotto Draw in the afternoon instead of the evening to accommodate their employees to prepare their respective festive meals; there are no selling of ticket and drawing numbers the following day. Unlike last year, there will be no Mini-Sweepstakes.
- A taped Christmas special that is exclusive to their networks.
Last 2 of the Big 4 Beauty Pageants
Under usual circumstances, Miss Universe is the last to be crowned among the Big 4 international pageants but this year, it will be ahead of Miss World.
Gazini Ganados will compete with 92 other entrants in Atlanta, Georgia, the USA on December 9 (Philippine time) for the former pageant in finding Catriona Gray’s successor. The coronation will be carried live on ABS-CBN.
Meanwhile, Michelle Dee (the daughter of Melanie Marquez) will challenge the other 112 in London on December 14 (telecast is delayed on GMA, provisionally on Sunday morning) for the latter.
Will our crowning streak continue to its lucky 7th year or will it come to an end?
Metro Manila Film Festival
The 45th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will mark the conclusion of this Centennial Year of Philippine Cinema. While the selections are met unsurprisingly with mixed reactions, the dates of two events related to this annual affair are confirmed:
- December 22: Parade of Stars in Taguig City
- December 27: Awards Night (venue: TBA)
The broadcasting channel is awaiting confirmation. In case you don’t know: last year, Kapamilya Box Office (which is exclusive to TVplus) carried both events live.
Final Days of the Decade
Expect It’s Showtime and Eat Bulaga to reminisce the best of the year from December 26 until 31 as long both variety shows must be live by New Year’s Day.
The same shall be treated for public affairs programs and Sunday magazine shows.
The Last Day of the 2010s
While revelry will fill the air on New Decade’s Eve, three TV networks are certain in covering the turnover of the old to the new:
- ABS-CBN will have a simple Salubong 2020.
- CNN Philippines will cover a few minutes each hour on the transition of the year east of the country — starting from New Zealand.
- For GMA, the star-studded New Year Countdown — in its 17th edition — will party in SM Mall of Asia for the 13th time.
Traditional observers tend to celebrate the holidays through this genre. In chronological order:
- Simbang Gabi masses. This is ABS-CBN’s tradition that is broadcast on the Chapel of the Annunciation. Meanwhile, SVD-MCFI’s iteration is usually on S+A but it is unclear if they are airing this year, given that the regular Family TV Mass is on 5Plus.
- Midnight Mass. The televised liturgy in Mother Ignacia stays right after Bandila on the Christmas Eve broadcast day schedule. The one from inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City that happens a few hours later is reserved for the news channels.
- Urbi et Orbi (7:00 p.m.) The news channels are likely to cover the Message and Apostolic Blessing from the central loggia (balcony) of St. Peter’s Basilica in full since newscasts are ongoing.
- New Year’s Day Masses. This will be conducted immediately for ABS-CBN after the countdown and the 5 Network will do likewise from Tierra de Maria in Tagaytay by morning.
- DECEMBER 8: The PBA Draft takes place in Robinson’s Place Manila in Ermita and is usually carried live on 5. However, there will be conflict in broadcasting due to running prioritized events in the Southeast Asian Games.
- DECEMBER 11: The closing ceremony of the 30th SEA Games will take place in New Clark City Athletics Stadium, Capas, Tarlac. (Delayed telecast on S+A.)
- DECEMBER 26: It’s the NBA Christmas Day games. Falling on a Thursday, it is not possible for CNN Philippines (the temporary holder of the regular, selected weekend games) to broadcast.
- JANUARY 2: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. As it marks the end of the o-BER-loaded campaign for 5, this will be uncertain if this will be carried on the main network or on 5Plus.
Photos courtesy of Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), Rappler, ABS-CBN, GMA and KWIQ.com