Media Issues

SolGen Calida’s Quo Warranto Move vs. ABS-CBN and the Effect of Media Industry

[Requested by Ian Santos]

SolGen Jose Calida

Solicitor General Jose Calida

AS THE SAGA of Mother Ignacia’s reckoning continues with less than seven weeks until their Congressional franchise expires, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN yesterday to the Supreme Court personally by wheels.

He claimed that they had some foreign ownership (which is completely forbidden under the Constitution) through Philippine depositary receipts (PDRs) — the same reason he pitted against Rappler two years ago.

We have heard that Latin legal term when Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted from being Chief Justice and lost the official ordinal numbering back in 2018 over her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) — the same document that had her predecessor, Renato Corona, impeached and convicted. However, the quo warranto can also affect corporations since they are defined as a “juridical person” in our Civil Code.

During the running stint as the principal lawyer of the country, Calida accomplished over other pivotal, political events: the arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima, Marcos’ burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani and the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao after the battle in Marawi.

So what will happen if the Court heeds the call (despite the legal experts’ thought of outright dismissal)?

With the Supreme Court being majority appointed by the sitting President, it should not be a surprise if their handed decision is to void the franchise (or further, the corporate existence) of ABS-CBN before March 30 and the subsequent motion of reconsideration is quashed.

Should that happen, the deliberations in Congress regarding their specific renewal would be moot and moved onward with other businesses. The endeavors of the digital television transition could, therefore, be delayed or be mooted since it leaps onward to video-on-demand streaming. Aside from the hypothetical, individual scenarios, competitors might have to kowtow to their policies without questioning until the next presidential election or further, if the President’s anointed one (whoever that is) gets elected.

Ordinary citizens are powerless in fighting with the bad system and/or people that come into play. In addition, our collective short attention spans that hinder our remembrance are not helpful at all — putting it on ourselves to the permanent, stagnant mindset that we are labeled by the rest of the world today. That’s how we voted for and we kept it with pride: when a person does not like something because he is not doing a good job and refuses to accept constructive criticism, it becomes a permanent public policy and leaves a significant mark that will last beyond their term.

That being said, Calida is part of the planner of revenge against President Duterte’s pettiness against perceived enemies — be it from the strong persons in the opposition or from the institutions whose primary job is to be held accountable with their dealings as public servants.

When his coterminous term ends in 2022 alongside the appointer, his decisions, including this one, will definitely be a part of the real legacy of this administration (not the ones set up by the PCOO that was failed to be defended further — oh wait, wrong network!). However, the reversibility of any damage done will take more than one term to recover after leaving but as we said about attention spans, such things will become permanent into the history books.


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If There Is No More ABS-CBN Again (Part 2): How Will Their Competitors Respond?

[WARNING: This post contains insights that are whimsical; if you have different points, feel free to comment your differences. Read at your own risk.]


ABS-CBN Soundstage

One of the concerns if ABS-CBN stops broadcasting is how to maintain their Horizon soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Will they open up for their competitors to rake in potentially lost revenue?


IN THE FIRST PART, we determined the background behind their hatred against Mother Ignacia and the sacrifices and the ethical questioning behind their programming operations that lead to their success for the past 10 years.

The hanging question remains unsolved: What if the keyboard and mobile chauvinists have it their way?

The short answer: FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano would finally end at last after four years. No more It’s Showtime and no more GGV and that means, no more lollygagging from Vice Ganda.

But the long answer is somewhat complicated.

Despite the rise of video-on-demand platforms, traditional TV remains the most dominant medium for information and entertainment. In other words, the loyal Kapamilyas and even avid viewers of their selected programs will have to enter cold turkey instantly.

Without a mode of exposure, artists (especially, the fresh ones) will lose an opportunity to build their careers in their resume; as a result, there will be an oversupply.

Hundreds of exclusive artists will all be, in theory, freelancers but some personalities have backup agencies. For example, Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda and Sarah Geronimo are all VIVA talents and with that, VIVA’s boss Vic del Rosario has the right to ink a deal with any remaining network and they would still get TV exposure. Those talents who don’t have a backup agency would be out of luck unless they planned ahead to take up entrepreneurial ventures like KathNiel with their barbershop business.

Thousands of employees from news and sports departments could get reassigned or get the pink slips. Newscasts, including regional ones, would undergo as exclusively digital akin to Rappler.

Current multi-year contracts with this network when it comes to sports (e.g. MPBL, NCAA and UAAP) and entertainment (e.g. Miss Universe and PMPC Star Awards) will really need to find a new home.

Sure, there is iWant to carry over the remaining episodes and some of their finished programs are ready for syndication to their soon-to-be-former rivals.

The over-all analog switch-off might be delayed and the Full HD progress would be stalled. The network have done both feats very seriously and had they continue to operate, they will be the frontrunner in testing 4K UHD.

In terms of the TVPlus’ functionality, their encryption should come to an end and the apparatus would be treated as a regular DTV converter box or it would longer be useful.

It’s not just the TV frequencies that would be gone, so too would be their radio stations under their ownership like — in the case of Metro Manila — MOR 101.9 and DZMM 630. (No more DJ Chacha for advice and no more Dos por Dos for engaging commentaries for motorists in the afternoon rush hour.)

Other non-broadcast ventures like Star Cinema, Star Music and ABS-CBN Publishing will continue to operate. Their promotion would need communication of consent with other rival TV networks.

Their facilities outside Mother Ignacia like the new Soundstage in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan could be opened up to their competitors for rentals or for lease in order to make up the lost revenue.

Competitors’ Response

With Mother Ignacia suddenly disappeared, Kantar’s and Nielsen’s database for measuring TV ratings would change drastically and so are its entertainment reports in both broadsheets and tabloids.

Losing ABS-CBN for good (or for at least two years) can make a significant difference in the Philippine TV landscape.

Before their very eyes, what will happen to the rest of the competitors? Will they replicate the silver linings or successes in certain aspects that Mother Ignacia currently enjoys?

In a short answer, three rival entities (with four VHF channels) will have an individual, significant response; CNN Philippines is out of the picture and sectarian UHF networks are barely affected.


For the simpletons, the possibly-former rival will be the undisputed winner in the new TV ratings game as it would hold the virtual monopoly on general entertainment.

Financial-wise, this media company generated 15.236 billion pesos in revenue in 2018 (which is 38% of ABS’) with the asset composition being 62% equity compared to 42% equity from Mother Ignacia. Net income was 15.1% of revenue compared to ABS’ 4.7%.

When it comes to broadcasting divisions, GMA has almost everything that ABS-CBN has except for a full-time sports department.

As this year celebrates its  70th corporate anniversary, a grand homecoming would happen. Will GMA repatriate Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez and Ryza Cenon? Assuming they have returned, will the entertainment department give the displaced talents more exposure and better roles on their upcoming projects?

In the past decade, Timog Avenue’s reality competition shows tend to be “original.” Without ABS-CBN, their mindset should be changed gradually but let’s not be surprised if they are contented with status quo.

In terms of technical aspects, GMA has a varying, inconsistent application in Full HD. While their selected shows on mobile and online are in high definition and on 16:9, TV remains at 4:3. (To borrow Nadine Lustre, ano na, 2020 na!)


The 5 Network

In the eyes of its apologists, the Network from Reliance is perceived as a safe harbor for the displaced artists just because it’s on the nearest neighboring frequency (if you skipped PTV). This would help Jane Basas’ intention of reinstating entertainment programs. The only threat to this opportunity is the ire for insistent, immature anime fans and loyal sports aficionados in social media.

For the time being, TV5 will be No. 2 when Deuce is suddenly gone since entertainment programs have to be pitched first before getting the green light.

A network fan pitched a comprehensive overhaul of Big Brother if the current right’s holder is gone. To be honest, that program franchise is nearly at the declining trend (although we can still continue) but his favorite show, The Amazing Race, is already at that stage. Maybe it’s time to get a new, rising franchise competition show like Lego Masters or to live on the legacy, The Masked Singer.

As of this publication date, the best of Face to Face is airing in the afternoon after Aksyon sa Tanghali. Without Dos, Tiyang Amy Perez can resume her stint and it should be aired on their last timeslot in the late morning so as not to offend the current iconic personality of the network, Raffy Tulfo.

While ABS-CBN currently enjoys the two aforementioned technical advancements, 5 has yet to undertake them very seriously (In addition, their channels are not scanned consistently or at all in DTV set-top boxes — not even on TVPlus).


Government-Owned Media Networks

In aggregate, PTV and IBC generate a bit more than 250 million pesos in 2018. Comparing that to ABS, they need to exert 160 times more effort to earn the level of revenue. When it comes to net income, it’s in the negative (without PCOO subsidy).

While PTV can open up commercial advertisements in the amended charter, they haven’t been that successful to keep up. Why? Public’s reputation, internal network culture, and restrictive mindset. Let’s face it, both GOCCs are not successful cash cows; they are not like PCSO or PAGCOR.

We published a proposed license fee mechanism back in 2017 to generate stable levels of revenue since home shopping, long-time infomercials, long-time blocktimers and part of Lotto games are too varying and not enough to recoup the deepest costs but we admit that it wasn’t a popular measure.

An avid viewer of this network wants to put displaced talents who happened to be a VIVA talent into the network just like in the 1990s. But with this jammed default mindset, it’s asinine, impossible, since Vasra always prioritizes the old man in Malacanang.

Special Case for IBC

Under the governance of the Kabayan’s (Noli de Castro) daughter (Kat) last year, she inherited Old Balara’s financial position under the capital deficiency territory — which means that the measured liabilities are more than its measured assets. (This is much worse than the total assets of which the majority of it is in debt that ABS currently stands.)

Throughout the period, they started to improve its programming (thanks to SMAC Television Production) but the financial performance is yet to be seen.

Last year, two Star Magic talents starred on that channel: Ritz Azul acted in the teleserye Bukas May Kahapon and Heaven Peralejo (the niece of Rica) became the co-host performer of weekend variety show SMAC Pinoy Ito. This year, Awra Briguela (Makmak of FPJAP) will join in the Gen Z-casted noontime show, Yes Yes Yow.

When it comes to Old Balara’s technical aspects in digital television, they take their tests seriously than her sister network amidst a 480i (standard definition) resolution.

That being said, for the time being, Channel 13 cannot be replicated as the #1 network as it was claimed during the first shutdown half a century ago.


Without 101.9, the newest member, DJ Chico, could come back home to Energy FM 106.7. Their loss could also mark 105.9’s opportunity, which means, it’s going to be another rebrand and reformat.

Without DZMM, Radyo Patrol reporters will be scattered to other AM radio stations or create an independent media production.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there are moral lessons in this worst-case scenario of such intervention to glean on — there is a time to swallow on one’s pride and greed.

Shutting down the major media entity’s core business segment will never be enough for their satisfaction; it’s rather a beginning set by these vengeful keyboard nationalists of a bloody battle.

For the die-hard fanatics of this embattled network, their life is now facing danger.

The financial data that was used in the calculation were from their 2018 audited financial reports that are downloadable from their investor relations page (for ABS-CBN and GMA) and from the Commission on Audit website (for PTV and IBC). The 2019 figures are not yet available as they are currently under audit.

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If There Is No More ABS-CBN Again (Part 1): Faring Mother Ignacia’s Performance and Finding the Hatred

[WARNING: The author is not a hater of the media entity in hot water. With apologies to fanatics of this particular network but let’s face it, no media entity is perfect or sacred; every network has its flaws and successes. Please read at your own risk.]

IN the opening salvo almost two weeks ago, this year is the most crucial moment in the Philippine media industry; this is the year ABS-CBN is facing a make-or-break situation — the franchise renewal is at stake.

Six days from now, Congress will resume its plenary session and the bills regarding their franchise renewal are in the bind. Some solons like Laguna Representative Sol Aragones — who was a reporter of her previous employer — wanted to put this bill as urgent and priority before March 30 strikes.

For the past three years, President Rodrigo Duterte constantly objected for their renewal by playing different mind games. Recently, he wanted the network to be sold to his business friend Dennis Uy, the Villars or Manny V. Pangilinan — despite a mix of denials and interests — in order to dilute the Lopezes out of boardroom control anew. In a nutshell, as Ryan Ortega opined, these acts seem to generate “terrible optics.”

While media professionals and enthusiasts generally saw Mother Ignacia’s success in ratings and in business strategy, not everyone is pleased (and it’s not simply because they are hardcore loyalists from Kamuning).

What if the then-fringe, now-significant hardcore supporters of this administration got what they wished for — shutting ABS-CBN down for good or for at least, two years — despite little or no effect or even silence from both the telecommunications authority and their broadcasting associate for their non-renewal.

But before we answer that big question, we will delve into why that particular hate on the network grew and how did the network fare out for the past 10 years.

When did all the hate begin?

It all began after Cory Aquino’s funeral. MMK aired the two-part story of the couple on what would have been the former beloved President’s 77th birthday in January 2010.

Due to the airing, netizens criticized the airing as an indirect platform for their unico hijo, Noynoy Aquino to victory in the polls. At that time, certain personalities were active in the network during the period like Korina Sanchez (spouse of his running mate Mar Roxas) and obviously, her sister, Kris. However, not all personalities in the network endorsed him such as Willie Revillame and Dolphy who endorsed Manny Villar.

When Noynoy won the Presidency at the inaugural automated elections, Ricky Carandang and Manuel L. Quezon III from ANC became part of the Palace’s communications team. (The latter was responsible for making the Official Gazette in touch and informative with social media.) Thus, the weekly anthology series every Saturday became a tool to propel certain candidates into victory.

The year after (2011), a YouTube creator named PinoyMonkeyPride published a series of animated videos repeating buzzwords against the network as it was owned by “oligarchs” and their story “biased” in favor of the then sitting administration.  It may have paved the way for netizens’ inspiration to create their fan pages and blog sites to hate the then-President and its actions wholeheartedly. Their accusations, however, were a mix of truths and baseless claims; it did not pay much attention in the general social media news feed but it escalated as the next presidential election approaches.

During the last days of the election campaign in 2016, this particular network aired attack ads against two candidates in two separate positions. One of them was paid by then-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (who ran for Vice President but eventually placed dead last) attacking then-Davao City mayor. The other ad is by then-Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares (who at that time ran for Senator for the first time) who attacked against then-Senator Bongbong Marcos (wherein the latter ran but almost won the vice presidency).

After the clear and vindicated victory, the new President persistently made sporadic accusations against the network — from taking unauthorized loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines, unpaid ads and unpaid taxes despite being not true in their annual reports. These soundbites have been relayed over the cyberspace, without fact-checking and hearing the other side, and simply accepted them as gospel truth.

ABS-CBN in the 2010s

Casting aside the political colors, the 2010s on ABS-CBN made significant differences in their programming operations.

Free TV

Through cunning exploitation of absolute advantage, this network broadcast their acquired international franchises of competition shows and freely create their deviations for teens and kids like The Voice and Your Face Sounds Familiar, just to name a few.

As reality competition shows became all the rage and expanded back-to-back on weekend primetime, it pushed game shows obsolete. Regardless of that trade-off, those shows have repetitively been hosted in circles by what the Turf called, the Trinity: Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford and/or Robi Domingo. Speaking of game shows, their selection of players shifted to exclusive, non-committed stars in order to avoid defection to another network. (which became the Turf‘s first breaking point) Nonetheless, both types of shows have injected some comic relief for ratings.

Vice Ganda became the face of the network in the past decade as we see him every day of the week —  at least, on It’s Showtime and on Gandang Gabi Vice (sometimes, he performs on ASAP). His incorrigible, panlalait style of comedy has influenced his co-equals with their fans continuing to tolerate him. In the late part of the decade, his jockeying antics on their live noontime show continued without a sense of time (which became another turning point).

Throughout the past 10 years, this network was responsible for boosting up the “love team manufacturing and enhancing” industry. From their conception at Pinoy Big Brother, they ventured out into drama and anthology and without a doubt, it was successful. It’s no wonder that the reboot of Wansapanataym lost its zeitgeist as a fantasy anthology with moral lessons like the first incarnation into a springboard of kalandian. (Thank goodness, they ended it last September.)

With unified MTRCB ratings fully implemented since 2011, their network’s teleseryes were mostly classified into the SPG territory. The starting times of teleseryes every weekday shifted to pre-noontime since 2012, beginning with Be Careful with My Heart.

In 2013, during their 60th anniversary, they forge a deal with CJ ENM to broadcast O Shopping as an overnight blocktimer. It almost fills up ABS-CBN’s round-the-clock schedule except on Tuesday.

In 2014, Studio 23 became ABS-CBN Sports + Action (later shortened as S+A). In the same year, late-night newscast Bandila reported a mysterious flesh-eating disease in Pangasinan, which turned out to be false.

In 2015, their encrypted set-top box, ABS-CBN TVplus was introduced in the market and were sold hot like hotcakes; as of this publication, it sold 8.9 million units and just last year, they launch their mobile version, TVPlus Go, for commuters. On that same year, Boy Abunda’s The Buzz pulled the plug — putting an end of an era for weekend afternoon showbiz scoops. Meanwhile, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano premiered and still is the successful teleserye in weekday primetime.

The following year (2016), another TV program genre was put into the dustbins of history as Luv U was the last teen-oriented program to broadcast. Children’s programming (including cartoons and anime) was downgraded into one meager slot on free TV every Sunday morning as the rest were migrated to Yey! (their exclusive digital sub-channel)

In 2019, after 14 years, kiddie-casted sketch comedy show Goin’ Bulilit pulled the plug.

Cable Operations

Because of the trend of cord-cutters — wherein cable subscription is dropped in favor of cheaper or reasonable pricing of the promised offerings on video-on-demand platforms — ABS-CBN discontinued these cable channels within the decade: ABS-CBN Regional Channel, Balls (replaced with Liga), CgeTV, Hero (became a Web portal), Lifestyle (became Metro Channel), Tag (in favor of Cine Mo! and Movie Central) and Velvet.

Radio Operations

In 2013, the network unified the FM branding as My Only Radio (M.O.R.).

Other Ventures

ABS-CBNmobile, their exclusive mobile service provider, did not last that long; the service ran from 2013 to 2018.


If we were to step into their shoes, what will happen if ABS-CBN’s core broadcasting operations suddenly gone? Will their competitors replicate the success of all or certain aspects of Mother Ignacia? That will be discussed further in Part 2.

Timow’s Turf Opening Salvo for 2020: New Decade, New Uncertainty in PH Traditional Media

[WARNING: This outlook post contains visceral and offensive insights from the author’s perspective. We called a spade a spade and read at your own risk.]

THEY SAY the hindsight is 2020, yet, we are just getting started with the New Year.

While we transition into the new decade (rolling over to the year ending in zero), it must, therefore, sense a new chapter, a new paradigm, a new mindset, a new phase.

In this special opening salvo, we focus on the outlook of the traditional media not just for the head of the decade but for the next 10.


In three years, the National Telecommunications Commissions directs that all TV networks must be fully digital transmitted. In other words, it’s not a “sana all” but a “dapat all” by 2023.

This is the latest deadline set in all of Southeast Asia. Brunei already shut their analog transmission in 2017, Singapore and Malaysia recently shut their analog transmission last year, Indonesia will have their analog system switched off completely by 2022. While Thailand has no clear deadline set, they will be certainly ahead of us.

The truth is: This challenge can be done easier on national television networks than regional ones like CLTV 36.

Hence, this year should mean serious business or they might have to adjust to another 10 years.

March 30: Mother Ignacia’s “Day of Reckoning”

Media professionals and enthusiasts are going to be vigilant leading to this particular date of the year. It may sound like a random calendar date but this is the day when ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise to operate their telecommunications facilities from Congress expires.

Throughout the years, there are constant objections of non-renewal with a litany of both valid and false reasoning made by the die-hard supporters of the current Duterte administration and non-supporter skeptics.

Influential names in business are sprouting to invest to ensure a renewal of this embattled media conglomerate such as Dennis Uy, the Villar family and reportedly, Manny V. Pangilinan (from neighboring TV5) — though his media empire will not be involved. They are trying anything that forces the Lopezes to divest and/or to lose control in the boardroom.

By this time, many are imagining the landscape of our media industry without ABS-CBN for the second time. How will the 8.9 million sets of their TVplus function? Will their broadcast properties — including the Soundstage in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan — be willing to lease or rent to any entity (including their rivals)?

Sure, there will be lessons to be learned before their competitors and all these and more will be tackled on a separate, comprehensive, upcoming post.


GMA at 70

This year, the Timog Avenue Network will celebrate its 70th corporate anniversary.

Among the programs offered this year is the return of Sen. Bong Revilla with Agimat ng Agila — the potential replacement for Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko due to Gloria Romero’s compromising health or Dingdong Dantes’ Amazing Earth.

However, Revilla’s return to the small screen happened last September when his movies were pitted against FPJ on ABS-CBN on Sunday afternoons.

This news drew ire of the netizens and rightfully so, especially for fellow Kapuso talent, Janine Gutierrez.

The bottom line is this: It is a reflection of our collective soft, forgiving and forgetful culture (that leads to the combined damaged culture) when it comes to politicians — especially who is an exclusive actor by day job — with a tainted track record of corruption. In other words, the network cares about money over the implied consequences of morality and common sense.

Meanwhile, another series to watch out for in 2020 is the local remake of Voltes V.

In fairness to the terms of digital television testing, they are reportedly stable and clear in moving objects like a bus but it remains unclear for the stationary areas. The supposed encrypted apparatus as a response to TVplus is yet to be released in the market, despite the trademark registration. While the analog signal remains good, not all programs that air there are Full HD compatible.


The 5 Network

With Jane Basas steering on the ship, she pledges to return with entertainment programming this year.

While Cignal’s exclusive channels will get an improvement — particularly with the launch of the Buhay Komedya “BuKo” channel (under a partnership with APT Entertainment) this Q1 — their plan on the main free-to-air channel remains vague (i.e. no specific programs or genres).

Such vagueness is nothing new since it tends to be broken because they prioritize sports, due to the influence of her predecessor (Chot Reyes) and her superior (Manny V. Pangilinan). It will happen when the Tokyo Olympics in July when Dentsu, the exclusive rights holder of the Games in the Asian continent, taps this network as our country’s official exclusive carrier.

Yet, this network has not given a hint over digital television tests and they aren’t serious in making some of their running programs in Full HD.


Other Networks

CNN Philippines’ brand licensing agreement has extended until 2024. While the flagship American company is on the cross-hairs due to the hostile political climate (especially the formalization of the impeachment trial against U.S. President Donald Trump and the presidential election), our domestic counterpart was mainly due to recognition and acceptance by the general public who are tired of sensationalism rendered by major commercial networks. (Albeit, I shouldn’t forget that there are some people can’t be pleased due to the “impure” programming composition.) In terms of digital broadcasting, this channel’s broadcast can be rendered on Full HD.

While government media entities will not change their pro-incumbency and pro-executive editorial orientation, PTV’s DTV tests are low signal but rendering on 1080i.

In the past year, IBC 13 tried to be relevant again with new programming from SMAC Television Production and enhanced by bagging three PMPC Star Awards after a 12-year drought. Yet — with all due respect — the privatization process becomes a running gag. In their recent developments on that issue, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said that it will happen after the tax clearance and “when their franchise is renewed.” Based on their related legislation, their franchise will expire in 2025 (three years after Duterte will no longer be the tenant of the Palace); from that year on, it would mean the process would go back to square one and it won’t get done. In fairness to the terms of digital tests, they are currently on test broadcast, rendering in standard 480i.



While digital television is lurking on the horizon, the same should have been done for radio (HD Radio); unlike TV, no deadline is set for radio. So far, 10 out of 26 FM radio stations in the Metro Manila market has tested this endeavor.

DZIQ 990: Another Target

The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s radio station DZIQ 990 was officially launched on September 9, 2010. Their teleradyo counterpart is aired on May 9, 2016, as a digital subchannel of BEAM TV.

In recent years, it became a high target due to the perceived news angle against the current presidential administration. In retaliation, the government forced to sell the paper’s owners (the Prietos) in Mile Long property in 2017 and Ramon S. Ang would later buy out the paper. But this was far from over, the BIR slapped a complaint against the paper for tax deficiencies with the previous joint venture with GMA on and a few days earlier from that complaint, Victor C. Agustin, a former contributor of this broadsheet and one of the hosts of Cocktales in then-Aksyon TV, files a syndicated estafa against the Prietos.

The losses accumulate due to the complicated episodes surely affect the future operations within and beyond the print. Hence, we go back to their radio operations where it is shortened to 12 hours a day.

Unlike in Mother Ignacia, their franchise expiration is not much in the buzz on online forums and on social media. The Congressional franchise of Trans-Radio Broadcasting Corporation, the company behind DZIQ, is set to expire this July 6.

Other Radio Stations

For Manila Broadcasting Company’s group of radio stations, this will be a challenging year for recovery after the dreadful fire in Pasay City last October.

Just a few days ago, Crossover 105.1’s signature smooth jazz format was put to a stop around the airwaves after 25 years but they are still playing on their app. It signaled a full move to Internet radio. (It’s a plot twist.)

While the lessons at 105.1 are learned, neighbor DWLA-FM 105.9 MHz (we’re not using their current branding to avoid further jinxes) has to as the previous decade harnessed four (?) R&Rs (rebrandings and reformats). Perhaps, the resolution we can give to them is to stop their indecisiveness and desperation and realize their mistakes and shortcomings. The eyebrow-raising question is: Will they ever learn at all?



We don’t know what’s in store for this year and the rest of the 2020s as the timeless adage goes, “The past is history; the future is a mystery; today is a gift and that is why we call it a present.”

To end this opening post, let Princess Elsa sing the sentiment:

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The State of High-Definition Television in the Philippines and Its Future

[REQUESTED by JC Domondon]

SUPPOSED that you joined a raffle at the Christmas party in your office and you happened to win a flat-screen TV. Immediately or at the right time, you decided to install, adjust the indoor-outdoor antenna and scan any available channels.

Once the setup is done, you realize that the picture you receive was not as clear as what you have glimpsed on a window display in the appliance center. In addition, the picture seems to be stretched or zoomed.

You checked the box and the manual and they were consistently labelled. What went wrong? Isn’t what a high-definition television is supposed to be functioned?

A high-definition television (HDTV) is what said in the tin: it’s a TV set that renders a clear, refined widescreen picture and crisper audio than standard definition (those bulky CRT screens that are still rendered as nakikinabang).

Though it does not guarantee a key toward digital broadcasting as it needs digital encoding facilities, it is somehow a must to ensure the best transition.

There are three common formats of HDTV (all under 16:9 aspect ratio): 720p, 1080i (a.k.a Full HD) and 1080p. The number before the letter is frame resolution — the lines scanned from left to right stacked vertically; the but what’s with the i’s and p’s?

They’re interlaced and progressive scans. What’s the difference?

  • An interlaced scan is a technique for doubling the perceived frame rate of a video display without consuming extra bandwidth. This is the most common technique for TV broadcast.
  • A progressive scan is a format of displaying, storing or transmitting moving images in which all the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence. This can only be found whenever you watch a Facebook and YouTube video.

Back to the opening situation of expectation vs. reality, what could be the big problem? Probably, the fault of their distinctive responsibilities and lack of cooperation between manufacturers, broadcasters, and the responsible government agency.

Some TV manufacturers defy the standards set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). For broadcasters, not all of their equipment and inventory used are genuinely Full HD (hence, stuck in 4:3 SDTV) and not all of their transmitters — originating and relay — are  compatible to cover. In all respects, the regulatory authority were deemed not serious in implementation.

This is lamenting and they should be reminded that it is not a “sana all” but a “dapat all” come 2023 when digital television must be the exclusive means of broadcasting transmission.

Due to serious work ethics, most of the UHF networks’ programs have already converted into Full HD. Major ones, not quite; on the Big 3: one is trying but under threat of losing their franchise, one is inconsistent and one has not yet even started as some of the loyalists observe.

The Future

In the early part of the decade, the window displays in mainstream appliance stores  showed high definition TVs (up to 1080p on a 16:9 aspect ratio). As we are about to close, new brands with 4K UHD and curved TVs begin to sprout in the market.

What’s with the 4K and 8K sets? They are both are classified as ultra high definition (UHD) television. The former picture format is now on the mainstream market with very prohibitive pricing. Meanwhile, the latter is on development and field trials in Japan and South Korea; this experiment will be taken during the Tokyo Olympics come July by Japan’s state broadcaster NHK and Italian public broadcaster RAI.

By 2023, 8K-ready devices will account for 3% of UHDTV and their prototype continues working towards a 24K resolution.

With the fast pace of technology, what should be the response for the government and private authorities here?

Broadcasting organizations like the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and in collaboration with the NTC should set a goal to reach all programming at least in Full HD before the transition completion. In other words, intervention is a must.

If I were to set a goalpost, by the end of the first quarter or the first half of 2020, at least three hours per broadcast week must be in Full HD.

Of course, enforcing these things would mean losing competitors (most regional networks can’t afford it and some national ones) because a lot of money is needed and the NTC would have no choice to extend the deadline until God knows when.



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Timow’s QuOP No. X: Dead TV Program Genres

UNDAS may have been behind us and we are about to focus on Christmas decorating but at least we’re trying to catch up as we are occupied with the ongoing Swiping through the 2010s project, despite that this post will not be part of it.

Put on your scary expressions on a la Kabayan Noli De Castro and let’s begin finding out which of the programming genres in Philippine television are considered dead, as of this imminently ending decade.


How Can A Program Genre Consider To Be Dead?

To be considered “dead,” there must be no surviving, stand-alone program of a particular genre running as of press time.

Noticeably, the most dominant yet contemptible Philippine Movie Press Club’s Star Awards for Television has few categories that are discontinued to be awarded, which would be helpful for the development of this post.

So far, three categories are deemed no longer airing:

Game Shows

  • Last programs known: People vs. the Stars (original), Minute to Win It (franchised)

Game shows may be original or franchised but their goal, other than to entertain us, is to gain knowledge. For the Batang 90s, they will remember the Battle of the Brains, Digital LG Quiz, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (under Christopher de Leon) and Pilipinas, Game KNB? (under Kris Aquino)

As this decade progressed, the type of players of game shows shifted away from ordinary people to exclusive celebrities (who don’t have any committed projects or has free time) as a form of preventing defection to another network. This happened when the Turf observed and expressed over Family Feud under ABS-CBN in 2016.

Consequently, they moved on by capitalizing on other types of game shows that do not need stock knowledge (like MTWI) before being scrapped altogether for more teleseryes and expanding competition shows on weekends.

While they enjoy success in ratings and in the bottom line, it comes at a cost — audience participation and other functions of cerebral capacity. In other words, the accusations of promoting “escapism” and “dumbing down” the audience while the network execs fear of cheating since Internet access is now an easy reach to get the answers.

If there are any plans to revive this thing; well, good luck with that.


Youth-Oriented Programs

  • Last program known: Luv U (ABS-CBN)

For B90s and 2Ks, this genre used to be part of their weekend afternoon lineup usually before their respective showbiz-oriented shows. You may have watched Tabing Ilog, Gimik, T.G.I.S., Click, Joyride and Tween Hearts.

This particular genre used to exemplify the struggles of adolescence and how they coped with it. We guess it fell out of relevance with the generational divide due to the radical change of preference; Generations Z and Alpha would rather watch their suited shows on Netflix and other video-on-demand (VOD) platforms over television the earlier phases of Millennials harnessed.

Hey, what about Maynila? Despite some young thespians acting, it’s considered an anthology; sorry, it’s not counted.


Showbiz-Oriented Shows

  • Last program known: Startalk (GMA)

During weekend afternoons, we used to dedicate at least an hour for straightforward news and interviews from their exclusive talents. It ended in 2015 when The Buzz and Startalk pulled the plug and replaced it with comedy (Banana Sundae and Dear Uge, respectively).

They blamed it on the prevalence of social media. But then, the new platform is not as best as it’s perceived due to its angle on the netizens’ comments and ownership of online outlets. For example, LionHearTV was accused of aligning with ABS-CBN while Philippine Entertainment Portal happens to be a subsidiary of GMA Network, Inc.

Nevertheless, the pullout has made a big mistake.

Just last month, the scuffle of the Barretto sisters during the wake of their patriarch has set two separate days of exclusive interviews in TV Patrol by separate journalists (Karen Davila and Noli de Castro) to hear their sides, consuming significant airtime that should have been for more important items.

Hence, netizens are mulling for their revival. To be fair, why can’t they even learn from Entertainment Tonight?

ET is still alive for almost four decades, despite social media presence and competitors. A salient difference is that their show is syndicated and its editorial policy reaches beyond the borders of the media conglomerates, for which we are obviously lacking. (Sad to say, this is irredeemable to get out of that mindset.)


Not Dead Yet / Unclear

Gag Show

Bubble Gang is the only surviving show of this particular genre since Goin’ Bulilit bowed out last August. Unless their founder, Michael V, retires or leaves the network for good, the answer is NO for now.

Children’s Show

This doesn’t mean anime or cartoons; it’s an informative genre produced by the network or third-party producer that has an existing partnership with the network for the said particular group — think of it like 5 and Up (1992-2002) or Penpen de Sarapen (RPN, 1987-2001).

Today, the South Triangle Duopoly doesn’t care about putting this anymore*; the last program under them was Tropang Potchi (GMA 7, 2009-15).

Thus, it’s up for denomination-backed UHF networks to the rescue; no wonder, NET 25 consistently got Anak TV Seal Awards and with that, they plastered the Anak TV logo proudly during their episodes.

LITTLE FUN FACT: In the recent edition of the PMPC Star Awards for TV, the best of this genre and its hosts were awarded to Talents Academy of IBC 13.

*SIDE NOTE: While we said that the main channels of the South Triangle no longer airs, ABS-CBN’s exclusive digital subchannel for kids, Yey, has its own children show Team Yey! Yet, the PMPC has not realized it existed and thus, were not included in the four consecutive years of nominations.


Reality Shows

This genre is generic and unclear. Some shows are labeled “reality” (i.e. a misnomer) such as The Voice and Pinoy Big Brother; the former is considered a talent competition but we will elaborate a bit later on the latter.

But first, does anyone remember Extra Challenge that was once hosted by Paolo Bediones? After six years of hiatus, they rebooted as Extra Challenge Extreme (which was hosted by Richard Gutierrez) by from 2012-2013 but it aired on weekends and ended up in a dud.

PBB was a successful, franchise reality show — in terms of the unique style of chronicling — but this show’s initial purpose was defeated right after its first season. From then on, whoever wins (or almost) after each iteration will use it a springboard to stardom in the main network.


Are there other genres you considered to be “dead?”


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The Highs and Lows of TV5 Before and During MVP’s Era

[REQUESTED BY: Miggy Tapuyao. This post is dedicated to Lester Jeff Banatao, webmaster of]

[AUTHOR’S WARNING: This post may not be agreeable on what you believe. Please comment civilly.]


TV5 logo.png

This year’s PHTV anniversary special, we will tackle about TV5’s highlights and lowlights.


TODAY marks the 66th anniversary of television in the Philippines. Here on the Turf, this is the third consecutive year that dedicates this particular endeavor on this exact anniversary date.

On this year’s established publication, however, we will tackle neither on ABS-CBN nor on GMA but on the third national TV network: TV5 (formally, The 5 Network).

Particularly, we will tackle the highs and lows of the transactions and how memorable or forgettable the programs were before and after the acquisition by Manny V. Pangilinan.

5 B.M. (Before MVP)

Forging in partnership with MPB Primemedia Inc., TV5 was launched (read: rebranded from ABC) on Saturday, August 9, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. as an alternative from their currently, never-ending frustration within the Network War Culture of the South Triangle Duopoly (in today’s terms, that’s toxic).

Highs (Memorable)

  • The segment Word of the Lourd was born under TEN: The Evening News.
  • Gag show Wow Mali came back for the second time, which would carry over until 2015.
  • For the young at heart, Nickolodeon shows continued to serve as usual. In addition, AniMEGA started as a better, fresher alternative to the Duopoly’s repetitive classics.
  • Juicy! (This is a precursor to Showbiz News Ngayon.)

Lows (Forgettable)

  • Toogs (If you don’t remember that show, do you remember BJ “Tolits” Forbes? If you do, then he was one of the hosts.)
  • Children’s show Kiddie Kwela was presented by Bayani Agbayani. (No award-giving body recognized that the show existed.)
  • Lokomoko (It’s like Bubble Gang or Banana Split but at Sunday lunchtime.)

Their success in the “Shake Mo, TV Mo” era was spoiled when a lawsuit from GMA Network was filed as it is constitutionally prohibited of foreign ownership of any mass media entity, despite the company is registered as Filipino-run.

5 A.A.M. (At & After Acquisition)

When Media Prima generated losses, they announced their divestiture and Manny V. Pangilinan came to the rescue under the MediaQuest Holdings.

The acquisition was sealed in March but the formal identity did not come about until the evening of Easter Sunday (that was on April 4) with a new nickname as the “Kapatid Network” so as to get along with the Duopoly’s established names.

In December, they acquired 92.3 FM to become the first news FM radio station in Metro Manila. In February 2011, they launched Aksyon TV a week ahead of GMA News TV, operating round-the-clock until 2013.

As they want to offer direct competition to and/or alternative offerings against the Kapusos and the Kapamilyas, their sports block AKTV was transferred to IBC 13. The following year, TV5 acquired the rights to cover the London Olympics but their acquisition costs took the toll on the blocktimer marking its fate the following year.

While the New Media Center is inaugurated in Reliance, Mandaluyong City, its first full year (2014) of operation was the year of sports craving. They acquired and aired for the first time: the Super Bowl and NCAA (U.S.) March Madness.

Despite this, Wattpad got its own anthology series, adapting the stories by Filipino authors that are initially published from the Canadian-based story-sharing website.

Teleserye productions continued under their own entertainment department, save in 2015, where they experiment with their Korean drama adaptation. In 2016, their own production department vanished and they delegated it to Viva Television. This was the last time teleseryes and the overall entertainment on 5 was last seen.

In the same year, significant personalities like Martin Andanar, the Tulfo brothers (except for Raffy) and Cherie Mercado left to serve the present Duterte administration. Their engineering head was appointed as the General Manager of PTV.

As their sports acquisition overflows, AksyonTV came to their rescue, defeating their initial purpose as a news channel. Such moments cemented in 2017 when the network signed the deal with ESPN. To avoid the awkwardness, they renamed into 5Plus earlier this year.

Highs (Memorable)

  • Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
  • Barangay Utakan (Despite being produced by the News Department, this was the last true, blue the last, true blue, stand-alone, original quiz show.)
  • Face to Face (Including its successor Face the People, this is the most associated show with the main channel.)
  • T3 (The pre-newscast public service program by the Tulfo brothers before they left to PTV.)
  • Wattpad Presents
  • Pidol’s Wonderland (The first program under a new acquisition)
  • Madam Chairman (Sharon Cuneta’s only teleserye)
  • Batibot (Well, at least they tried.)
  • Artista Academy

Lows (Forgettable)

  • KIS Pinoy (Carried over the broken promises from PTV, the show abruptly ended due to the blocktimer’s bankruptcy after three episodes.)
  • Million Peso Money Drop (It lacked staying power than Millionaire.)
  • Jeepney Jackpot and Quiet Please!: Bawal Ang Maingay.
  • The Mega and the Songwriter
  • P.O.5 (Trying hard to crash ASAP and Party Pilipinas)
  • The Jose and Wally Show


Afterthought: Today’s State

Today, TV5 is under the current steering of Jane Basas and is under the O-BER-loaded mode.

Inside it is reruns of the best shows (which their former artists are not in conflict) and replays of shows from One News and One PH. For the Turf, this campaign is a temporary placeholder because of the forthcoming coverage of the SEA Games (there will be a special edition about that next month).

In order to make that channel “great again,” a gadfly media professional mulled in restoring entertainment programs (but not teleseryes or anime) to its pre-TV5 zeitgeist.

To be honest, who knows what they’ll bring; this media entity will be a key network as the new decade approaches. (Don’t worry tho, they had their franchise renewed.)

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Photo courtesy of 5 Network/Wikimedia Commons

Let’s Talk SMAC

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post may offend certain supporters or die-hard loyalists of any network or entity involved. For that, I apologize if it hurts but I have to stand on my perspective.]

SMAC Television Production

Five nominations from PMPC in two TV networks are associated with SMAC Television Production this year.

LAST MONTH, the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) announced the nominations for their 33rd Star Awards of Television. The winners will determine this Sunday (October 13) and its delayed telecast is expected to be at least on the following Sunday (October 20) on ABS-CBN.

With much of a surprise, for the first time since 2012, IBC 13 was nominated more than once — seven to be exact (excluding the Best TV Station):

  • ASK TV: Artihan, Sayawan at Kantahan for Best Variety Show
  • SMAC Pinoy Ito! for Best Musical Variety Show*
  • Cooltura for Best Travel Show
  • Talents Academy for Best Children Show
  • JB Paguio on Bukas May Kahapon for Best New Male TV Personality*
  • Kris Tiffany Janson and Pat Natividad on Cooltura for Best Travel Show Host
  • Fred Lorinz Bacay, Janella Glissman, Zandi Gabriel Miranda and Anastacia Paronda on Talents Academy for Best Children Show Hosts

Their nominations are now one more than TV5. Two of the aforementioned items in asterisk were associated with SMAC Television Production, which also produces three other nominations (classified under NET 25, though they no longer air there):

  • Bee Happy, Go Lucky for Best Variety Show
  • Klinton Starto for Best New Male TV Personality
  • Rayantha Leigh for Best New Female TV Personality

Brief History of SMAC

Okay, what does SMAC stand for?

It does not stand for SM Advantage Card but Social Media Artists and Celebrities. As it says on the tin, their talents are hired in the age of social media since 2013. In their official website, they also have their own charity program called Gawad Kabataan Pilipinas.

In its early years, their series was exclusively online through their YouTube channel Celebrity Channel TV (now defunct).

However, to further expand their presence and recognition, they had to sign a deal with a TV network. In 2018, they have a TV deal with Net 25. During their stay at the UHF network, their finished products include the Koreanovela-inspired teleserye “Prodigal Prince” and “Galing ng Pinoy.

Enter Ms. Kat de Castro as the boss of Old Balara earlier this year, the production company moved and christened a new slogan for the station as the Kaibigan Network.

In March, they aired the first teleserye in their new home called Bukas May Kahapon. Then, they aired reality competitions: My Ultimate Modelo and Artista Teen Quest. They also have a Sunday special there but not at the evening.

Without a doubt, SMAC’s portfolio is on local entertainment content and not sports nor foreign programming. (Please do not request for tokusatsu shows and animes.)

For those who missed any highlights of any of their shows, there is an official (current) YouTube channel.

Current Plans

New Noontime Show

SMAC is planning to air their own noontime variety show titled Yes Yes Yow, marking the revival of broadcasting that particular genre for Channel 13 since Chowtime Na! ended in 2006.

Last August 17, an audition post was published on their official Facebook page:

Later on, they are scouting other talents for named segments.

Deductively speaking, their noontime show will be hosted by Generation Z for Generation Z. They will premiere this Monday (October 14) and will air weekdays (i.e. no Saturdays) from noon to 1:00 p.m.

However, bear in mind the following warnings:

  • It may not be live. Their initial audition bill suggests that the show might be taped. If it is true, it is considered one sign of easy program mortality.
  • The potential hosts will have to adjust. Teenagers — especially, below 18 — who auditioned and are qualified by the talent scouting entity will have to balance their studies and work.
  • The TV network airs at low power. The ongoing financial and operational crunch in the network has led to transmitting power to be downgraded since April 2017. In addition, some cable providers delisted IBC 13 from their lineup, even though it would violate the must-carry rule. For sure, they could do a live stream on their official handles.
  • There is barely public recognition. If you tell the general public about this program, they will just shrug dismissively since the respondents — even on its intended market — are almost all accustomed to belong in either of the two of the South Triangle Duopoly. In addition, running this show in an hour affirms another greater risk of program mortality since the giants’ end theirs at 2:30 (for GMA) and 3:30 or later (for ABS-CBN). (Although, the latter sentence is excusable due to their capability.)

Whatever it takes, whatever it happens, we wish them the very best.

Other Shows

Other offerings of SMAC happening this month include:

  • Sayaw Pilipinas (premiering October 19, every Saturday, 4-5 p.m.)
  • Pare Kuys (also premiering on October 19, every Saturday, 5:30-6 p.m.)

SMAC Pinoy Ito returns on its third season in a new timeslot every Sunday, 5-6 p.m. beginning October 20.


Although they may certainly not win the nominations this Sunday (we’re not going to say any further reasons), we hope that their nominations are good enough as badges of their honor.

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Photo courtesy of SMAC Television Production/

Swiping through the 2010s: 2016

I KNOW many of you have traumatic memories about this specific year. For sure, these phrases will be known: celebrity deaths, political upsets, disinformation, terrorism you know… a dumpster fire.

While we should not enumerate further on celebrity deaths, let’s get on with the rest of this rollercoaster…

National Politics

Road to Election 2016

  • About $81 million of stolen funds were stashed in an RCBC branch as part of the Bangladesh Bank heist. The Senate probe was presided by Sen. TG Guingona with Serge Osmena present in at least one of the hearings. Both presence in the hearing and their absence in their campaign costed their re-election.
  • For the first time in 24 years, the presidential debates were materialized between COMELEC and the Big 3 networks. The sole VP debate was broadcast by CNN Philippines.
  • COMELEC data breach
  • The demonstrated farmers in Kidapawan were shot on April 1.

The Counting

  • Duterte won the race of the presidency, making history as the first Mindanaoan and the oldest to do so. He won more than 16 million votes but garnered 39% of the share of the vote (3% less than Noynoy earned back in 2010).
  • During the first glimpse of the unofficial quick count, Senator Bongbong Marcos was leading until past 3:00 a.m. of May 10 and was overtaken by Congresswoman Leni Robredo.
  • In the Senate race, Risa Hontiveros was successfully elected after three attempts. Joining her in the roster of newcomers are Manny Pacquiao, Win Gatchalian and Leila de Lima. Richard Gordon, Francis Pangilinan and Juan Miguel Zubiri returned to their seats.
  • The canvassing from Batasang Pambansa (the official counting) finished on May 27 puts the race of the Vice Presidency to be the closest with Robredo (marking the first time that someone from Bicol to hold the next highest position) winning against Marcos with more than half of 1% margin. Marcos was undeterred to file an electoral protest (which is ongoing as of press time).
  • For the first time, the inauguration of both highest positions was held separately.

The New Administration

  • Twelve days into the presidency, the Philippine won the case against China over the territorial claims from the Permanent Court of Arbitration but set aside the ruling to appease the adversary three months later when he visited Beijing. (signaling a great disconnect and the geopolitical shift)
  • On September 2, Davao City’s night market was rocked by an explosion.
  • On November 8, the Supreme Court allows the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which was materialized 10 days later.



  • In the second year of the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry, Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals of the year in Game 7. (This game effectively ends the weekday morning block for animes on ABS-CBN.)
  • We ended the Olympic medal drought after 20 years with a female weightlifter. Her name is Hidilyn Diaz.
  • After eight years, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel became champions of PBA Governor’s Cup.
  • After 108 years, Chicago Cubs won the World Series — missing Back to the Future’s prediction by one year.

International Geopolitics

  • Panama Papers was leaked in April, containing 11.5 million confidential documents on offshore companies.
  • On January, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) elects Tsai Ing-wen as President, the first female to hold such office.
  • On June 23, The United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union, 52-48, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation.
  • In the United States, Donald Trump — the most controversial and the most tuned candidate — won the presidency in an upset via the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote. (This is the fourth time the system produce this paradox in 16 years.)
  • Brazil ousted Dilma Rousseff while South Korea impeached Park Geun-Hye in December.
  • Terrorism happened in Belgium, Turkey and France.

Other Achievements/Concerns

  • In April, Diwata-1 became our first microsatellite to be deployed in space.
  • As part of a continuing streak of beauty queens, Kylie Versoza was crowned as Miss International.
  • The Zika virus became the talk of the town in health concern for the year.
  • Internet challenges: Running Man, Mannequin and Water Bottle Flipping


After suffering a humiliation of the second half of the previous year, It’s Showtime responded by returning the classic competition show Tawag ng Tanghalan as a segment.

Luv U ended this year, marking an end of youth-oriented, weekend afternoon series that flourished in the 1990s.

Kris TV pulled the plug last March, marking the end of small screen appearances of the former Presidential sister.

Wowowin shifted from a Sunday show into a weekday show.

Anime on weekday mornings were moved to digital sub-channels (for ABS-CBN) or reduced (for GMA).

As part of the reform of the Duterte adminsitration, presidential coverages will be supplied by PBS-RTVM with corresponding watermarks.

Significant Teleseryes

  • Be My Lady: While FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is ongoing, this was the longest teleserye for ABS-CBN.
  • Sa Piling ni Nanay: GMA’s longest teleserye for the year.
  • Encantadia: This fantaserye served as a sequel to the iconic 2005 series.
  • Alyas Robin Hood: This Telebabad teleserye was criticized for being a copycat of The CW’s Arrow.
  • Ika-6 na Utos: The Afternoon Prime premiered in December became the talk of the socmed town.
  • Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?: This is one of the last two teleseryes to be aired TV5 — albeit produced by Viva Entertainment.


Notable Musical Performers

  • Anne-Marie
  • Drake
  • Alessia Cara
  • Halsey
  • Piko-taro (the singer of the one-hit wonder, “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”)
  • Ex-Battalion (debut)


Notable Films

  • Trolls
  • Moana
  • Train to Busan
  • Imagine You and Me
  • Barcelona: A Love Untold
  • The lineup of Metro Manila Film Festival this year was a deviation from the usual blemish of commercialism. Despite the low revenue, Die Beautiful was the most popular entry despite Sunday Beauty Queen was awarded as the Best Picture. With some entries tagged with petty contention and a senator crying foul as his brother’s film did not make the cut. The new criteria did not last long.
  • The MMFF Rejects: My Super Parental Guardians, Enteng Kabisote 10, Mano Po 7


Episode 8 (2017) will be released on October.

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State of Emergency Broadcasts, Disaster, and Calamity Reportage




On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy submerged Metro Manila. Ten years on, have we really learned anything about it?


THIS MONTH — on the 26th, to be exact — will be the 10th anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) that submerged Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Ever since this storm passed, we tend to show resiliency but some of us shouldn’t be contented with just that.

Geographically speaking, our archipelago is in the unfortunate double whammy in natural phenomena; we are situated both in the Typhoon Belt and in the Pacific Ring of Fire (where we are at prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). Because of that, it is important to be prepared and listen to relevant authorities before, during and after either disaster strikes.

In this post, we address the current state of three related things in our media sphere.


Emergency Broadcasts

As we gear up towards full digital television transition, we already knew which standard and why it is adopted.

We adopted the Japanese-Brazilian ISDB-T International standard back in 2010. This is fitting, according to the National Telecommunications Commission, as this system has a distinctive function of alert broadcast where receivers could notify that there is a storm or an earthquake coming.

However, the materialization is slow and unclear because of the lack of cooperation between the agencies and the networks. Regarding the former, we already have Doppler radar in detecting and tracking storms but we don’t have seismographs that trigger signals to the nearest cell tower and broadcast transmitters. In terms of the latter, well, it’s obvious: commercialization, the area of coverage and unsurprisingly, tribalism.

In the first sub-reason: it’s no wonder ABS-CBN TVplus has just added a new feature: INFOPlus. The new feature contains alerts that ordinary citizens needed (e.g. weather advisory, class suspensions, traffic advisories) “without the need of an Internet connection.”

In the second sub-reason, we already tackled about the incorrigible centralized broadcasting. In the ISDB’s country of origin, Japan, they have some broadcast devolution but early earthquake warnings are projected across the country, they would see which localities are affected and newscasters on standby advise not to panic until the tremor stops.

Imagine if we apply to that over what happened last April 22 at 5:11 p.m. when a 6.1 earthquake struck Luzon, the government television network could have done that excusable regular programming disruption and the stoic newscaster read the script. Commercial broadcasters would superimpose the warnings in the ticker.

The third sub-reason does not need explanation anymore.

Disaster Reportage

This specific chapter is very risky for media professionals but it sure will be memorable to be added in their curriculum vitae.

Anyway, it is usual for newscasts to have live points where the disaster will strike, is currently or about to strike or has just struck.

In all three grammatical tenses, this is good for the fairly predictable phenomenon (e.g. typhoons and floods). This means, PAGASA is on standby. In addition, class suspensions are easily determined and displayed on the screen as effectively as when the newscaster reads the same thing from paper.

This is near — if not — impossible when dealing with the earthquakes since it could emanate in the land, in the seabed or near the volcano. Minutes after the quake, PHIVOLCS will issue the magnitude of the quake, the depth of the quake and the location of the epicenter as Disaster Risk Reduction Management offices observe any damage within their area and determine the intensity.

Calamity Reportage

After the disaster, live reporters usually continue to stay in their position to assess and to report the aftermath from authorities. They relay the declaration of state of calamity issued by the governors and mayors in the affected areas, which mean class and work suspensions would remain displayed until it is stricken off.


Conclusion and Digression

However, there will be watchdogs sniffing their move on this topic. For one, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) checks and publishes its journalism review; their conclusions should not be ignored for the room for improvements.

In regard to this topic, isn’t that during times of adversity, public service should not serve to just one network?


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