Alden Richards

[The New PHTV Order] GMA Network Still Requires a Major Change of Heart

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second of the two-part series. Although January is behind us, the plan for 2021 remains.]

THE OLD ORDER of things has passed away and Philippine television is no exception.

After the decades of heated head-to-head rivalry in the South Triangle of Quezon City, they concluded not just from a planned fall of a pioneering giant but also by a global pandemic.

With the New Normal now adapted, we also witnessed a New Landscape of this traditional media. It will be a test between the triumphant giant, GMA and the momentum-gaining challenger, TV5.

In the second part, we will tackle the Kapuso Network — fittingly right in the month of hearts — but did they win the hearts of the public as they are finally earned the No. 1 spot? Let’s find out.


Timow’s QuOP No. 14: How Long Should Christmas Station IDs Last?

UPDATED: November 18, 2020 @ 09:33 (UTC+8)

[This post is dedicated to the former and current employees of the Creative Communications Management Division of ABS-CBN and the competitive counterpart of GMA.]

AT THIS TIME of the year, normally, we would see the two national TV networks in South Triangle pitting out each other through Christmas station IDs (CSIDs) to lure viewers. These materials determine which production value is the most eye-catching and is the most earworm. In addition to their show of altruism, this is where they show their star power and personality recall. After each song was performed, the sound trademark of their respective network is integrated.

However, this year is different due to the two heavily-defined events with oxymoronic expectations. First, the lingering pandemic and reeling recovery from the destruction of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) and Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) would mean a somber yet guarded mood but the second, loss of a trailblazing player’s license to free-to-air broadcast would translate the other competitor to rub it in.

In this quarterly open pit, we will relive the track record. Our goal is to determine the regression model and find duration on their respective official song and music videos that could be earmarked in the future.


The Track Record of South Triangle’s CSIDs


The production of their renowned CSIDs lies in the efforts of their Creative Communications Management Division, in which the workforce was decimated from 170 to 15. While their campaign began in 2002, the continuing streak of musical CSIDs started in 2009. Here are their annual Christmas songs from that year onwards:

  • 2009: Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko. This is the most inspiring and the most popular slogan, based on the post-TV Patrol primetime drama May Bukas Pa. It delivered a motivating message of reeling from Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).
  • 2010: Ngayong Pasko, Magniningning ang Pilipino. Performed by Toni Gonzaga and Gary Valenciano backed by the UST Singers, this is the first Christmas song of the 2010s with a sun in the Philippine flag appending their lantern (perhaps, associated with the first automated election that landed the victory of Noynoy Aquino as President — one reason of controversy that leads to the downfall of the network today). The music video has appended the chorus of the preceding year’s official Christmas song.
  • 2011: Da Best ang Pasko ng Pilipino. This holiday song is performed by Maria Aragon, a then-11-year-old Fil-Canadian sensation who covered Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.”
  • 2012: Lumiliwanag ang Mundo sa Kwento ng Pasko.
  • 2013: Magkasama Tayo sa Kwento ng Pasko. Part of their TV’s 60th anniversary, their CSID was released two days before Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) lashed out at Eastern Visayas. After the storm, their lyrics are modified and uploaded to the Pagbangon version.
  • 2014: Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo. Named after the carol that was sung by children after receiving loose change or small treats, they were performed by The Voice Kids Top 12 finalists about the acts of generosity at the year of recovery.
  • 2015: Thank You for the Love. This song was performed and emphasized by their network’s love teams.
  • 2016: Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko. The song was performed when The Voice of the Philippines was at its peak.
  • 2017: Just Love Ngayong Christmas.
  • 2018: Family is Love.
  • 2019: Family is Forever. Their final CSID on the owned-and-operated era contained a mashup of at least three songs of their CSIDs past. The theme was the longest and, in hindsight, subtle before the network’s contrived fate the following May.



On the other hand, GMA didn’t catch up to the trend until 2015 when Kalyeserye on Eat Bulaga was at its peak.

  • 2015: MaGMAhalan Tayo Ngayon Pasko. Interpreted by Alden Richards.
  • 2016: Magic ng Pasko. Interpreted by Julie Anne San Jose, there is no corresponding official music video but they are separated into three animated IDs, which is a very distinct feature.
  • 2017: MaGMAhalan Nang Buong-Puso. From this year, the official music video is longer than and separate from its recording session counterpart. The former video is introduced by Jessica Soho before the song proper.
  • 2018: Ipadama ang Puso ng Pasko. 
  • 2019: Love Shines. The music video includes the staff from GMA Regional TV.


Data collection

We obtained data through a YouTube search. However, caution is made to record the real duration of both the official song and the music video as ABS took advantage of the features in YouTube video uploads (e.g. end slates playing the chorus of their song for up to 20 seconds) while GMA did not (save 2016).

Factoring out the YouTube features, we have this treated data table for the two TV networks:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Finding a Reasonable Regression Model

There are several regressional models to choose from to determine the duration of future editions. To choose a reasonable regression model, one must determine the fate of extrapolation. In this post, we decided to examine three regression models and examine the disadvantages:

  • Exponential regression is the worst model to use to predict the future duration of CSIDs in both forms. As the year passes, the duration grows with a certain percentage that they will reach 30 minutes (a minimum running time of a TV program) soon.
  • Linear regression is a better option whereas the years go by, few seconds are added but it won’t stop and reach the maximum someday.
  • Polynomial regression could give more coefficient of determination (R-squared) but the downside is that there would be extreme points of calculated duration. Their extrapolated prediction will sometimes reach more than 24 hours; sometimes, negative, which both are impossible. Therefore, it has to be ruled out.

What’s the best regression model?

Logistic regression is another regression model where it determines the asymptote — in other words, the minimum and/or maximum duration of both materials. This will require more effort than the preceding three that are found on Microsoft Office Chart. In that case, we use the Desmos graphing calculator.

Plotting the points on the data table above, this model has proven the strongest coefficient rating as proved in the tables below. Therefore, this will be the model for extrapolating the future.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


How Long At Least? At Most?

Here is the output graph of each network on each product (the song and the music video).

Legend: The dashed color lines are the regression models: red for logistic, blue for linear and green for exponential. The purple vertical line represents the current year.

  • ABS-CBN:
  • GMA:

Had ABS granted another lease in life on free-to-air broadcast, the official song would last at least 5.461 (5:28) minutes — rounding at the half-minute intervals, 5 1/2 minutes. However, the official music video should last at most 12.946 (12:56) minutes or in the nearest 30-second intervals, about 13 minutes. Extrapolating for 2020, we would’ve expected their official music video to last about 12:22 (not counting the end screen).

For GMA, their Christmas station IDs in the future shall have a calculated minimum limit of 3.308 (3:18) minutes or 3 1/2 minutes. In their MV counterpart, the calculated maximum limit would be 8.472 minutes (8:28) or 8 1/2 minutes. Extrapolating for 2020, we would expect to listen for about 5 minutes for the pure song and almost double that duration for the official video. With the rescheduled premiere yesterday, the official MV this year was clocked in at 7 and a half minutes; the official song uploaded on their official YouTube channel four hours later from our initial publication lasted 5:27 minutes.



With ABS out of the league on its core operation but continued its Yuletide tradition online, GMA dominated with its creative juices without any virtual competition (on free-to-air). Had the tragedies not happened, the dominant network would still rub it in further at the expense of the former rival.

Meanwhile, momentum-gaining TV5 didn’t revive their own CSIDs after being frozen in the mid-2010s. They might not even have one, even if they have two (soon: three) waves of local entertainment blocktimers running in the bag. As of this publication, “Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko,” their official song was officially released hours ahead of GMA’s rescheduled premiere; the official video is yet to be released.

But we digress, if a local supermarket (i.e. not like SM, Robinsons, AllDay, WalterMart or Shopwise) played at least one of the previous editions in the speakers of supermarkets, it means they still have an impact on its patrons or it is in their discretion of the management. Had the Giant Lantern Festival continued to be held normally in my hometown of San Fernando, Pampanga, at least one competing barangay would integrate it at the individual round.

Whoever network got the most plays in the establishments, well, they earned the general reputation.


I guess we all know who is that media giant.

Nevertheless, the model offers motivation for the creative department for producing the annual audio-visual masterpiece.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Data table created on Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

Graphs provided by Desmos graphing calculator


South Triangle Duopoly’s Early Christmas Specials with Top E-Commerce Platforms

CALL IT an early Christmas TV special for the South Triangle Duopoly but unlike the usual pre-recorded annual show, both of the shows will happen live tomorrow night but with a bold, new experiment.

Both ABS-CBN and GMA have tied up exclusively with the top two e-commerce platforms — Lazada and Shopee, respectively.

In both online shopping platforms, they strategically and competitively bring down their prices on selected — if not all — items with free shipping with little or no minimum spending.

On both particular specials, their respective platforms will have the livestream of the said event. Their televised specials will start from 10:30 p.m. to midnight of their culminating day’s eponymous sale.

So what are the differences between the two, you might ask?

Lazada 11.11 Super Show (ABS-CBN)

Lazada 1111.jpg

Lazada’s 11.11 is considered a one-day event. To promote them further, their Super Show will broadcast from Sofitel Tent, Pasay City but the livestream will start half an hour ahead of the television broadcast.

They will star Vice Ganda, James Reid, Maja Salvador, Karylle, Billy Crawford and Maja Salvador with performances of Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber and other Kapamilya stars.

Shopee 11.11 Big Christmas TV Special (GMA)

Shopee 1111 TV Special.jpg

On the other hand, Shopee 11.11’s promo lasted almost a month — well, since October 15.

For this year, Senator Manny Pacquiao is their brand ambassador.

Like Lazada, Shopee will star the Kamuning counterparts with an emphasis on top celebrities like Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza and Heart Evangelista. They will join last year’s ambassador — the Mr. Pinoy Christmas himself — Jose Mari Chan, where he will perform exclusively the latest jingle of this e-commerce platform.

Unlike the rival, there is no specific place where their live performance; thus, we assume that it will broadcast within the Network Center. Also, there is a bonanza of exciting prizes within the show including a motorcycle, a car and a house and lot.

NOTE: GMA’s Christmas Station ID will be released ahead of the show during or before Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. (Consider this as a bonus.)

Smelling a New Tie-Up

That being said, the tie-up could turn into an opportunity for network executives’ chance of exclusivity for the holiday seasons to come. (Well, if one’s franchise will survive next year.)

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Photos courtesy of Lazada/ and Shoppee/TheSummitExpress

The Weekend Roundup (September 14-15)

TODAY is first Friday the 13th of the year and this is the 299th post of Timow’s Turf — just one short of the monumental 300.

To be honest, I had no idea what to write for a specific topic with this only free slot for the month.

As today is payday, there are three ways you could spend your hard-earned dough:

  • Go to your favorite mall that is on the 3-day sale;
  • Go to their cinemas and watch your favorite film as it is the opening day of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, or
  • Go to SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia for the ongoing 40th Manila International Book Fair.

But what if you rather just stay home and save from the hassles outdoors?

Well, there are five notes happening on Philippine television — purely on the Duopoly — this weekend.


Out Goes ‘Love You Too,’ In Comes ‘The Gift’

Tonight will conclude “Love You Two” on GMA Telebabad, which will count into 104 episodes. The romantic comedy teleserye starred Jennylyn Mercado and Gabby Concepcion.

The Gift” (not to be confused with the similarly titled iWant original movie) will succeed in that time slot, starring Alden Richards (from Victor Magtanggol), Jean Garcia (from Ika-5 Utos) and Jo Berry (from Little Nanay).


Coke Studio Philippines 3

After several postponements that prolongs the agony of OPM lovers, the said music program returns to ABS-CBN for the third season.

For this run, 15 OPM acts were featured, ready for collaboration.

The postponement until tomorrow was deliberately intentional so that it will end before NBA’s new season in October.

Unlike the previous season which premiered before ASAP, this season’s timeslot is on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Why on a different timeslot? Two things:

  • KB Family Weekend films are arbitrary.
  • It cannot happen in the afternoon where their public affair shows are too popular. In addition, no loyal viewer would start the show at an arbitrary time.


The ABS-CBN Ball

ABS-CBN Ball.jpg

Also happening tomorrow is Mother Ignacia’s Met Gala.

Formerly called the Star Magic Ball, it was renamed last year in order to include Kapamilya talents who are not exclusive to Star Magic. That edition has led Regine Velasquez to return to the network.

This year, the Ball will be hosted in Shangri-La — not in Makati this time, but in the Fort — and the dress code is Modern Filipiniana, to coincide the network’s 65th corporate anniversary.

About 500 stars are expected to attend the event — can be both inside or outside of the network — but let’s not be surprised if a politician or a beauty queen will be on the red carpet. This means Alden Richards could go to the Ball and meet the “Hello, Love, Goodbye” partner Kathryn Bernardo, albeit that she still has Daniel Padilla to accompany to the red carpet.

The ball’s proceeds will go to Bantay Edukasyon of Bantay Bata 163 (one of the late Gina Lopez’s initiatives).

For sure, ANC, The Metro Channel and KBO will have a blow-by-blow red carpet coverage but not the party proper itself.

Envious ill-wishers from the other side of the fence who have not hosted their counterpart since 2011 would just complement, “Enjoy while it lasts.” (The motivating rationale does not need explanation.)


Starstruck 7’s Final Judgment

At the earliest, this weekend will conclude GMA’s iconic artista search. For sure, it’s going to be live to give suspense in determining who will be the Male and the Female Survivor.

On the last weekend, the Final Four were announced:

  • Allen Ansay (16; Camarines Sur)
  • Kim de Leon (19; Batangas City)
  • Lexi Gonzales (19; Sampaloc, Manila)
  • Shayne Sava (17; Binangonan, Rizal)

The winning survivors will be given a management contract. Need not to worry, the second placers and the avengers could someday be part of the GMA Artist Center but they have a slimmer chance to be part of any teleserye project.


G Diaries Renews for Another Season

Beginning this Sunday morning, travel and lifestyle show G Diaries will return for its fourth season on ABS-CBN.

Following the demise of Gina Lopez last month, her brother Ernie (who serves as the chief of the publishing arm) will take her place.


That is pretty much is what happens for this weekend. What about on other media platforms?


Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Rappler

2018 Christmas Station IDs

[Request revived by Paul Justin Baloloy, originally proposed by Bryan Calvin]

Updated: December 6, 2018

IT’S EXACTLY four weeks before Christmas.

That means in PH media industry, it’s the showcase of the joyous, seasonal identification for the networks — both on television and on radio.

The main thing about it is that Christmas station identity keeps on changing every year with a very common, timeless message. Thus, they are non-recyclable.


Battle in South Triangle

Both ABS-CBN and GMA officially released their seasonal music video last November 18 on their respective afternoon variety shows instead of the following, usual Monday after their early evening newscasts (blame Vice Ganda’s blabber on It’s Showtime for that).

This is considered to be the latest in terms of the date of release and both respective titles are obviously based on their nicknames.

ABS-CBN: “Family Is Love”


Performers: All talents of ABS-CBN* (such as TNT Boys and recently with emphasis, Regine Velasquez), UST Singers, AFP Chorale, ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, Ramon Magsaysay High School Chorale – Manila, Koro Bangkal Magbikin

Durations (excluding the 20 second YouTube outro):

  • Lyric video (released the previous day) — 4 minutes 43 seconds (shorter by one and a half minutes than last year)
  • Music video — 13 minutes 6 seconds (longer by almost four minutes than last year)

Like the preceding years, it’s an emphasizing juxtapose of different life stories of the passing year — such as the brothers of soldiers who fought in Marawi in 2017, Asian Games skateboarding gold medalist Margielyn Didal and her family and a foreigner doctor — with repetitive, ear-worming chorus.

According to’s commentary, it highlighted a new definition for family: inclusivity.

GMA: Ipadama ang #PusoNgPasko



Performers: Established and surviving singing talents (e.g. Julie Anne San Jose, Alden Richards, Christian Bautista and Aicelle Santos) and The Clash competitors with its grand champion Golden Cañedo


  • Lyric video (released two days after) — 4 minutes 22 seconds (longer by a minute)
  • Music video — 7 minutes 55 seconds (shorter by one and a half minutes)

The message, according to, captures the belief that Christmas is for sharing and giving.

Introduced by news pillar Jessica Soho, the music video circulates the acts of charity and humanitarianism. In the final shots of the video, Atty. Felipe Gozon and key officials and employees greeted zooming out the multi-colored GMA Network Center.

Other networks

The 5 Network did not emulate due to lack of entertainment talents. Coach Chot decided not to scout Gilas Pilipinas, PBA players and other sporting personalities, alongside the vestiges of the news department, to take part of the campaign.

This year, it is Tis the Season of Winning.

Government-owned PTV have theirs, as proven by PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan and the network’s personality Jules Guiang, albeit short for excusable reasons.

Like in ABS, they show the presence of the personalities but they don’t sing along and in GMA, they end up with their physical facilities — in this case, the transmitter.

The embattled, vegetative IBC 13 rendered their CSID simply on a 30-second animation.


While the major broadcasters that owned major television frequencies can adapt for their radio counterparts or add jingling bells to their own station ID, it’s rare for non-major players to create its music video.

One of them is Brigada News FM. The embedded video below was rendered and played for the 2016 holiday season as this year’s iteration is not officially posted.

*Not all talents, for one, Luis Manzano and his girlfriend Jessy Mendiola vacationed to Okinawa.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook


Victor Magtanggol to Defend Against FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano

THE ALDUB NATION will troop back on GMA primetime after a year but this time, only male half of the duo (Alden Richards) will challenge as Victor Magtanggol, the 10th adversary against FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Directed by Dominic Zapata and originally titled as Mitho, the drama action-fantasy series is inspired by Norse Mythology, specifically on Thor (portrayed by Conan Stevens).


As the Ragnarök draws near, Thor will order his son, Magni to hide his Mjölnir (hammer) until there’s someone right to inherit it. Magni will go to the world of mortals to wait for the new taker of Mjölnir where he will meet Victor Magtanggol, an OFW based in Canada who is looking for his lost mother, Vivienne (Coney Reyes).

Victor eventually must learn how to use the Mjölnir to protect the world and his loved ones from Móði (Pancho Magno), another son of Thor, who is upset of not inheriting the weapon and Loki who plans to spread chaos in the mortal world.

With the help of Magnus (John Estrada) and Sif (Andrea Torres), the former wife of Thor, Victor will embrace his fate as the new defender while being an honest and exemplified member of the family.

Cast Members

In addition to Richards, Torres and Estrada, Janine Gutierrez will be Gwen Regalado, a field reporter. Supporting cast includes Al Tantay, Yuan Francisco, Chynna Ortaleza, Dion Ignacio, Lindsay De Vera, Kristofer Martin, Reese Tuazon, Benjie Paras, Freddie Webb, Eric Quizon, Maritoni Fernandez, Lucho Ayala, Fabio Ide, Miguel Faustmann, Christian Bautista, King Badger and Flow-G of hip-hop group Ex Battalion.


While it will be emanated in 1080i, the theme song is performed by ExB featuring Richards. But that’s not the point…

While the ADN went into full force in promoting the teleserye, former or non-ADN netizens were not happy as they compare with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) of the ambitious yet successful Marvel Cinematic Universe — the same motive and style for calling out Alyas Robin Hood for plagiarizing The CW’s Arrow back in 2016.

Like in ARH, VM’s creators defended the iteration as this part of Norse mythology is on public domain and the premise is deviously different from the MCU.

Will this scandalous comparison redeem Victor and save this run against Cardo Dalisay?

We’ll find that out when Victor Magtanggol premieres this Monday, airing weeknights after 24 Oras on GMA.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Want your topic discussed here? Drop us a line.

Our survey will close soon; please answer, it’ll take less than two minutes of your time.

‘The Cure’ Fails Its Experiment To Subside FPJAP Supervirus

A CAT may have nine lives but GMA’s such a numerical attempt failed to beat down the unstoppable supervirus of Mother Ignacia (i.e. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano).

By Friday (July 27), The Cure (dir. Mark A. Reyes) will close out with 65 episodes with, unsurprisingly, no signs of finale fanfare from social media handles.

Here is an except from From the Tube‘s on the series:

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn [Mercado]), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom [Rodriguez]), a clinical research associate in a pharmaceutical company, are living a happy life with their daughter Hope (Leanne Bautista), until Greg’s mother Agnes (Irma Adlawan) is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Agnes is given an experimental drug, but her health got worse as she is infected with MVD.

That drug, in turn, was discovered by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro (Jaclyn Jose), who works in the same company as Greg. With MVD continuing to wreak havoc across the country, it is up to Charity and Greg to find the necessary cure and prevent the inevitable.

The Cure’ also stars Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Jay Manalo, Ronnie Henares, Glenda Garcia, Diva Montelaba and Arra San Agustin, with a special participation from Ken Chan.

Kantar registered The Cure‘s recent rating, from July 17 to 20, 2018, ranging from 15.5-16.6 while their adversary took advantage with 42.1-44.4 when at the latter’s primary storyline, the vow of Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) and Alyana (Yassi Pressman) was renewed.

Like their eight attempts since September 2015, the “Cardo Curse” triumphed. In other words, they are not immune to fight against an institution amidst a very devious storyline and genre.

Its replacement, the 10th competitor, Victor Magtanggol (starring Alden Richards, dir. Dominic Zapata) will be tackled in the Turf later this week.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

Want your topic discussed here? Drop us a line.

Our survey will close soon; please answer, it’ll take less than two minutes of your time.

Thoughts on Journalists as Product Endorsers

NOTE: The following emergency blog post does not follow the usual mechanism of By Popular Request due to From the Tube’s two-week blogcation. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those on McDonald’s Philippines and other affected companies.

YESTERDAY, McDonald’s branches across the country celebrated National Breakfast Day from 7 to 8 a.m. with a free Burgerdesal if you were queued.

The annual promo was easily followed over traditional and social media. Celebrities like Alden Richards (in Sta. Rosa, Laguna branch) and Maine Mendoza (in her fully-owned Sta. Clara, Sta. Maria, Bulacan branch) attract most customers, especially if one belongs to the AlDub nation.

While entertainment celebrities as endorsers are a normal way, one of the endorsers is a renowned journalist. Atom Araullo teamed up with his 5 And Up colleague, Chynna Ortaleza, in Madison, San Juan branch.

Coinciding with the event, Atom alone endorsed McCafe with the YouTube video provided below.

Ric Jayson Lucas relayed not one but two questions from ex-TV5 talent Joseph Holandes Ubalde: Isn’t it unethical for legitimate journalists to be product endorsers? Has this changed now?

The answer, according to Danton Remoto, depends on the network policy. While GMA and other networks do not prohibit their journos, the neighboring ABS-CBN explicitly prohibited it as set and reinforced by then-head and now head of the now-embattled news site Rappler, Maria Ressa.

That ruling made Mel Tiangco shift after endorsing Green Cross with Jay Sonza in the 1990s.

Ironically, Ubalde himself used to endorse a not-so familiar clothing brand.

On the second question, does the policy changed through the wind? So far, it’s too low to blow it away — it varies from network to network — but in the end, an individual journalist must be aware of the ethical implications if it were to endorse their potential products.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

With thanks to Guien Garma, Rey Refran and Ymman Jake Biaco

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.

11 Shows GMA News TV Should Have Really Never Aired

NOT BEARING any further grudges, GMA News TV is supposed to be a news channel at par with veteran ANC and the younger CNN Philippines.

However, during the past 6.5 years, our expectations are far from materialization as critics began to see the flaw and became irritated with the inclusion and expansion non-essential programming composition in the middle-aged channel as if they are comparable to a tabloid newspaper than a broadsheet. Some of us called it QTV 2.0, GMA Balitakilya TV or GMA Sari-Sari TV than the current (mislabeled) name.

While most – but not all — newscasts, public affairs programs, and documentaries whether made for that channel or carried over from its older sister channel after original airing are essential, few of the programs and the non-essential genre should be relocated or terminated – at least, gradually.

Aside from the movie blocks, home shopping and Koreanovelas that are finished in Channel 7, here are the 11 specific shows GNTV should have never aired (as of press time).

NOTE: The list is not sorted in a particular order and is excluding programs produced and provided from ZOE/Light Network, as they are contractually committed.