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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:

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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.

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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.

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Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Data table created on Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

Graphs provided by Desmos graphing calculator