FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano

Kapamilya Channel: Mother Ignacia’s Interim Replacement


OH, YOU SNEAK. The Kapamilya Channel will launch this Saturday (June 13) where the terrestrial broadcast of the main channel, ABS-CBN, left off before broadcast stoppage upon receiving the cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission after their legislative franchise expired on May 5, 2020

FIVE WEEKS has passed since Channel 2 went off the air.

The Congress — who was primarily responsible for the fate of the network’s franchise renewal — has just adjourned and they won’t reconvene for their second regular session until late July.

Kapamilya fans and independent-thinking ordinary people knew the obvious politicking maneuvers. While many pointed out, making connections, to the sitting administration: few of the supporters are becoming repentant over the choices they made, a part of them pointed out in the end that there is a lack of safeguards that open up loopholes of abuse in the current form of our government.

While others moved on and embraced its fate — even though not final and executory — that commenced the Philippine media’s “new normal,” many still yearn for their return — even if it’s a near-resemblance.

Well, wait no more.

Beginning this Saturday (June 13), most of the programs that were loved and left off during the free-to-air era will be covered on to the Kapamilya Channel on cable.

 

High in Demand, Many in Disadvantage

This cunning and a very legal announcement will be set on most cable companies as part of their minimum basic package. They will be available on Sky Cable, Cablelink, GSat and other cable companies who are members of the Philippine Cable Television Association, Inc. (PCTA) nearest you.

This will not be available for the cable companies affiliated with Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines (FICTAP), where they objected to the franchise renewal of Mother Ignacia, and whose interview on GMA’s 24 Oras on the night of their major competitor’s cessation ended up with damaging reception (not just from the fans of ABS or GMA who sympathizes with the rival but also technical professionals, primarily the electronics communications engineers).

This news signaled a high demand — never mind if they will shell out hundreds of pesos monthly as they would say, “but it’s worth it” — but it would lead to 9 million TV Plus users to deprive access of their beloved programs. Also, some Cignal users, whose provider is neither affiliated by PCTA nor FICTAP, that are solid Kapamilya fans or a fan of any ABS-CBN show before the pandemic-cum-cease and desist order.

 

The KC Lineup: What’s Left Off, Axed and Something New?

The most essentials that will be provided on the Kapamilya Channel is the news, particularly Umagang Kay Ganda. The weekday morning talk show that follows, Magandang Buhay, will resume where it left off.

Entertainment essentials like It’s Showtime, ASAP and The Voice Teens 2 will continue where it left off. The mainland Chinese remake of Meteor Garden, which reran on the week of the FTA stoppage, will recommence. Weekly anthology program, MMK, remains on the “best of” mode.

While FPJ’s Ang Probinsanyo and A Soldier’s Heart in then-Primetime Bida will continue where it left off, Make It With You (starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) didn’t make it because most salient scenes had to be taped outside of the country (they were set in Croatia).

Meanwhile, two new programs will be aired in this interim cable channel: Iba Yan! (a talk show by Angel Locsin) and Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan (presented by Judy Ann Santos). The World of a Married Couple and Familiar Wife will be the first two Koreanovelas to air on this makeshift channel (with the former being originally slated on Dos).

Selected programs in KC are available on simulcast on TVPlus.

Since it will be on cable, they can run 24/7 with movies from Movie Central to fill up the early hours of the morning.

 

Afterthoughts

Had not the executives take advantage of a technical loophole, it would not cushion the sharp fall of revenue lost from the free-to-air broadcast cessation.

While this endeavor serves a temporary measure, it could become a permanent institution if the free-to-air channel won’t be back by August 1 (where part of their 11,000-strong workforce will be given the pink slips after the benefits are dried up as announced by their boss, Carlo L. Katigbak). From that date, this could be converted into a more high-brow channel akin to South Korea’s JTBC (the successor of Tongyang Broadcasting Company, whose free-to-air operations ceased in 1980 under the regime of President Chun Doo-hwan but could no longer return to its pre-shutdown state).

With regards to sportscasting that was aired on S+A, it is already carried over to LIGA.

For the loyal fans, they just hope the government won’t notice this before they will receive an ultimatum to shut down operations once and for all similar to Venezuela with RCTV after their free-to-air transmission ended in 2007 and the broadcasts of any kind three years later.


Consequences are bound to the choices you make. You can have your choice, but you cannot choose your consequence.

Ravi Zacharias (1946-2020)


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Corporation / Rappler

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.

GMA

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.

Radio

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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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.com

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.

Why is the World of Dance Philippines Not Airing Yet?


[NOTE: This is inspired, but not requested, by JC Domondon and dedicated to Sairen]

WHEN Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Season 2 (where the TNT Boys unsurprisingly became the champions) on ABS-CBN was about to end, the trailer plugs of World of Dance Philippines were promoted to the small screens during the commercial breaks, making viewers look forward to their immediate replacement.

Instead of that, the currently-running replacement is an original concept, The Kids’ Choice, enjoying a 28+ rating (Kantar) as the top show of the weekend primetime slot.

The last-minute replacement (current) show’s overview was explained by Ralph of From The Tube:

What if the kids are the judges of a reality talent show?

In a role reversal of sorts, ABS-CBN will give its young child stars an opportunity to play the part of judges on ‘The Kids’ Choice’.

x x x

Every week, the Just Kids League will discuss and evaluate the performance of four “Fambatos” or non-celebrity families brimming with talent. Being the youngest of the bunch, expect these kids to be more spontaneous with their comments.

Despite the receipts (for regular “non-millennial” term: proof) from social media, it seems the primary and agreeable reason is WODPH is not on the taste of the masses as they did not get over from YFSFK 2’s repercussions.

To those who were disappointed, scammed or pinaasa (given false hopes) who auditioned particularly for that show through Star Hunt, the Turf understands the deep sentiment over the network’s last-minute drop and we try to go deeper.


The Supposed Replacement Show in Concept

In their country of origin (the United States), the World of Dance — which just ended its second season on NBC is divided into four divisions, regardless of their dance styles: Junior (groups of 1-4, under 18), Upper (groups of 1-4, 18 and older), Junior Team (groups of 5+, under 18) and Upper Team (groups of 5+, 18 and older).

The elimination process of the competition proper has four sequential rounds: the Qualifiers (where contestants have to qualify with at least 80 points to survive), the Duels (where the contestants choose their opponent starting with the highest scorer from the qualifiers), the Cut (where mentors are assigned to each division to prepare the contestants for their performances; the top three scoring acts in each division move on to The Division Finals) and the Division Finals (where mentors still support the contestants from each division but the top scoring act in each division will become division champion and move on to The World Final)

The World Final is the grand finale where all four division champions battle it out for the grand prize of US$1,000,000 (~PHP 53.92 million).

The points system are judged by five (5) categories of equal weight — 20 points each for performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation — for a perfect score of 100.

Possible Application for PH’s Setting

Unlike Dance Kids, WoDPH’s qualifications are wider: participants must be at least 8 years old and are open to both amateurs and professionals.

The process would likely be the same.

Challenges and Threats

Going back to the main question, even though the show’s auditions have been recorded and edited in the post as the set is already up, the delay has been impliedly justified with other two following factors, aside from the taste we primarily said at the star. First is the hectic schedule of supposed judges and second is the presenter must be from the experienced Trinity — Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford or Robi Domingo. (The man in the middle hosted YFSFK2 and thus needs to rest. Luis still hosts I Can See Your Voice, which will tackle a bit later and Robi is currently hosting TKC)

A season of any weekend competition show over Mother Ignacia, regardless if franchised or original, lasts at least 2.5 months (about 11 weeks or 22 episodes).

That being said, after The Kids’ Choice, WODPH might have to wait until at least mid-November but then, even more, popular franchised competition shows on the network’s backlog might possibly overtake, especially the return of Little Big Shots 2, The Voice PH or Pilipinas Got Talent 7.

Another franchised competition show that is still running on Dos is I Can See Your Voice. ICSYV‘s gameplay and direction are different from the South Korean original; in our setting, instead of releasing as a digital single, the SEE-nger has a quick ticket to enter Tawag ng Tanghalan on It’s Showtime — yes, that staple segment that is walang-kamatayan (never dies) and enabler of the pushing other shows late.

The show now runs a bit more than a year but its first season is not yet finished but user Alpha on that FTT article warned that Pinoy Big Brother will be the projected replacement once it ends.

Contractual Implications, Solution & Reality Check

The contract between Nuyorican Productions (one of the production companies behind the U.S. version, owned by Jennifer Lopez) — or its exclusively local yet unnamed distributor — and ABS-CBN (owned and chaired by another-but-obviously-not-related-to-Jennifer, Mark Lopez) is ostensible but definitely not publicized.

Nonetheless, if the network still fails to materialize if they did not settle the requirements and conflicts within, Nuyorican could simply rescind the contract, due to the network’s internal constraint of programming and constant pandering to the demands of the masses.

Reigniting the Spirit of the Turf‘s Advocacy

The Turf already made the solution four years ago on the case of broadcast programming grid reform four years ago on fixing TV season, in addition, the gradual reduction of teleseryes’ frequency from five to one or two to accommodate other genres.

Overall, there is another strong benefit of defending in light of the matter: lessening the breach of contracts with outside producers and/or local distributors.

Reality: The Unavoidable Deadweight

It can be done but as always, reality check hampers our constructive criticisms to be pursued as the business model of Mother Ignacia remains smartly yet monstrously rich while caring less about the quality of programming and its discipline.

As Ralph said, the long delay “could cost” the supposed show’s rating. He could not wait for the network to arrive forever on WODPH or it could be GMA’s gain.

To be honest, Kamuning is not even keen on acquiring franchises and their stars are too hard to be scouted as mentor judges (well, there’s Mark Herras and if only they have learned very hard from The Clash.)

Not just on weekends but on weekdays too (Afterthought)

The case of delay by the network can also happen on teleseryes. Last year, The Promise of Forever, set mostly in the Czech Republic, was pre-produced after a year of filming. It was delayed due to their response to the appeals of Koreanovela fans over Love in the Moonlight which consequently costed the ratings due to demotion as part of the Kapamilya Gold (their afternoon block).

The equivalent will apply for The General’s Daughter, the prepared replacement of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, which will turn three (3) years old by next Friday (28th). Despite the hinted posts of artists involved via their respective Instagram accounts — especially Angel Locsin and Ryza Cenon (for the second acting stint but first full time after jumping the fence) — and significant and substantial saturation of viewers from watching him over this feat, Cardo Dalisay’s saga is far from over.


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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).

Premise

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.

Controversy

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.


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‘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.


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The Turf’s Midyear Report 2018


THE FIRST HALF of 2018 is nearly ending but before we head on the second half, it’s time for a midyear recap of the nine noteworthy and hidden-now-amplified moments of Philippine media.

Why nine? It’s the half of 18, obviously.

These stories are arranged in no particular order.

New League, New Crowd

MPBL 2018 logo

Initiated last January 25, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League – a spiritual successor to late 1990s Metropolitan Basketball Association — was participated by 10 teams, all hailed from Luzon.

Despite no intention to be a competitor to the PBA, the geographically based basketball league drew much crowd from the professional league of corporate teams.

Since June 12, the league expanded almost thrice to 26, divided between the Northern and Southern Conference, making it difficult for S+A to cover and at the same time, crushing the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

As of press time, they are now currently playing in the Datu Cup.

Loss of Billboard PH

bbph

The last update of the localized Billboard charts was on January 15 – the same day, overshadowed, the SEC revoked Rappler’s registration.

While there is no official explanation for that inactivity, the probable reason is the breach of contract between Billboard USA and Algo-Rhythm Communications for undue obligations. Some, ludicrously, said that it was intended with the rise of Ex Battalion (which “Hayaan Mo Sila” charted No. 2 in Philippine Top 20) and IV of Spades.

Their website domain that holds it is now vacant; their loss is gain for FM radio station’s biased charts and third-party socmed-based chart aggregators.

End of the Road for Two Things

2nd Avenue logo

Solar Entertainment’s 2nd Avenue parked at the dead end on June 5 (until Saturday for provincial) after 12 years. On the free-to-air territory, it marked the restoration of original RJTV and at the same time, its analog transmission finally shut down, marking it as the second channel to go digital after Light Network 33.

Nonetheless, Solar introduced their encrypted digital TV box, competing against ABS-CBN TV Plus, called Easy TV Super Digibox.

Cable Shakeups and Online Streaming

Cord Cutter

The first half of 2018 trembled the local cable industry — both on cable channels and providers.

On the cable provider, Dream Satellite TV, the pioneer direct-to-home satellite television service since 2001, closed shop with mounting debts and unpaid fees.

On cable channels, fate was done in different methods:

  • Renaming. After almost 19 years, Lifestyle became The Metro Channel last April 2.
  • Specialization downsizing. Last May, Bloomberg Philippines’ programs were downsized and integrated to One News after their license expired.
  • Shutdowns. On New Year’s Day, Jack CT (Solar) shut down. ABS-CBN closed Tag and their Regional Channel on January 15 and at the end of that month, Hero finally bade farewell for anime fans. Toonami SE Asia followed suit two months after.

While GMA did not venture further into cable, it launched its Online Exclusives (ONE). Ex Battalion did not join in the fray until last June 11.

It’s Overtime

Last February, ABS-CBN did an unthinkable tactic to kill Ika-6 na Utos’ popularity before the near end of the early afternoon teleserye that lasted a year and three months. They forced to go overtime in It’s Showtime — particularly on Tawag ng Tanghalan — with Vice Ganda spending time with his/her comedic bantering over the microphone. The tactic affected other shows that come after with GMA fought back by extending their early evening newscast (24 Oras) or Wowowin. The practice of setting time on the airing of the shows, including imposing the digital clock in GMA’s news program, was omitted.

The antics from ABS continue, trying to compete Contessa, but to no avail were better in ratings.

After IANU concluded, it’s one of the leading ladies, Ryza Cenon, jumped ship to Mother Ignacia, joining FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Mekeni, Mekeni, Maraming Controversy

baganiABS-CBN’s primetime fantasy series Bagani faced criticisms before its premiere on March 5. On casting, it was particularly over Liza Soberano (hold her “sinigang” quip) and on the portrayal of the namesake came from historical societies, indigenous groups and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). While it is too late to change casting for the former, to appease the latter, a disclaimer was incorporated to recognize the indigenous peoples using the term and drew inspiration.

Despite its derivation from Philippine mythology, the show currently did not end up as serious as other fantaseryes — either here or its rival – which drew Suzette Doctolero, the head writer on GMA, to a boil, particularly on portraying Babaylans.

Nearly Forgotten

Remember Brillante Mendoa’s Amo that was promised on TV5 (now, The 5 Network) last year? The show was nearly drowned out due to the sporting deal with ESPN and fixing their identity.

Brillante Mendoza Amo

The network signed the deal with Netflix to distribute it over the streaming service platform to the global audience in April 9 as the first Filipino series. However, not everyone is pleased due to the message it delivers but Netflix — having an array of original and borrowed series — gives anyone choices.

After almost two weeks in the global premiere, the network finally aired the series every Saturdays.

105.9 FM: The Cursed Radio Frequency

If you’re in the Metro Manila market, you have heard about the recent change over that radio frequency.

The radio station, as Like 105.9 FM, dressed for the sixth time (fifth in the blocktimer) as an Adult Top 40 station, “trying to beat Mellow 94.7” (JRDV, 2018) without prior notice on May 26-27 weekend — not even in social media.

Ominous signs why they concelead their announcement happened since November: downsizing of DJs, the significant rise of neighbors’ recognition which translates to unsatisfied performance and unpaid debts from the last blocktimer as RETRO.

The Turf initially called it the IBC 13 of FM Radio while Kim Martin, a resident commenter of From the Tube, called it a Lindsay Lohan.

PTV under fire

People’s Television Network (PTV) caught on spotlight last April when the Commission on Audit found out in the GOCC’s audit report that 60 million pesos worth of ad placement from the Department of Tourism to Ben Tulfo’s media outfit (being a blocktimer for the network) had no proper documentation.

It made Jules Guiang, one of the network’s talents who is principled but politically different from the echo chamber, outraged. Because of that emphasis, the issue of conflict of interest between then-Secretary Wanda Teo and her brothers surfaced.

While Wanda was finally sacked, her brothers temporarily left from the limelight and returned in radio in the Philippine Broadcasting Service, covering on the television, still doing the thing they do best (or worse, depending on one’s standpoint): worshipping Duterte in high heavens. The money is never returned, despite being said.

For PTV, they are planning to air shows from mainland China as China Theatre, dubbed in Filipino, come August.

Special mentions:

  • ABS-CBN News going full HD
  • Launch of ANC X
  • Changes in ABS-CBN regionally produced shows due to DTT: ending Agri Tayo Dito and Mag TV Na (Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka on the weekend) and consolidation TV Patrol regionals next week
  • GMA’s 24 Oras went over a week-long “dressing room” change in character generation
  • Sherlock Jr., despite the criticism from the title and the style of the trailer, actually deviated from Arthur Conan Doyle’s adaptation or from the BBC.
  • MNL48 formation on It’s Showtime (and underlying controversy from fans)
  • Launch of LIGA
  • One billion YouTube views of Wish 107.5’s YouTube channel
  • Departure of DJ Gino Quillamor from Monster RX 93.1

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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

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

DTBY

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.

FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano @ 2: On Its Longevity and On Its Despondents


TWO YEARS for a primetime teleserye is a rare feat in the chronicles of Philippine television.

Today, September 28, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano is attaining that milestone; during the course of the 20-year-old-film-turned-teleserye, we have traveled along to the saga of SPO2 Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) in the Philippine National Police.

Length comparisons & contrasts

One may think that the immediate TV Patrol lead-out series is as long to this decade’s daytime counterpart, Be Careful with My Heart. Well, by tonight, FPJAP will air its 519th episode and according to their recent announcement of ending up by January 2018, the series might wrap up with 605 episodes (assuming if ending on January 26) – but it’s still 17 short of BCWMH’s 622. In such terms, it could be better said that FPJAP can be called the 2010s’ equivalent to the original Pangako sa ‘Yo.

The motives behind

While some viewers defected to the rival giant over their repetitive and lengthened plot, GMA’s seven counteroffers failed to defeat Kuya Cardo’s engagements, according to Kantar. What FPJAP drives them so successful?

  • Injecting and integrating the sense of realism. Even though mostly rated SPG, the show was able to hook up due to the picturesque from the moderately paced setting of ordinary people and fast-paced action of Cardo. In the midst of the scene, is timely with current events (such as what is happening in Marawi) or within the season (e.g. Christmas, Holy Week, Back-to-School). Finally, they give real-life lessons (a.k.a. Ligtas Tips) on how to be alert in dealing with relatable situations.

  • Star building for the young and for the fallen. During the earlier course of the show, two child stars became part of the ensemble – Simon Ezekiel Pineda (Onyok) and McNeal “Awra” Briguela (Makmak) as the supporting roles. Their significant moments in the spotlight helped raised the roof of social media attention. Although the former went away to normalize his childhood, the latter pursued to take the risk with Wansapanataym as Amazing Ving. This is where GMA’s artist management failed in nurturing child stars. Aside from the young, the fallen stars from its rival were also given a chance to shine. Remember what happened to ex-Starstruck Aljur Abrenica. After his contract expired, he entered Star Magic due to his contempt with the persistent favorable treatment to veterans (No offense, Marian Rivera.) and gave him immediately the first break there.
  • Acceptance of simple elements. The theme song “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” (by Gary Valenciano) and its signature zoom-in dramatic shots have been immortalized due to netizens’ humorous purposes – be it politics or any forms of pop culture. For the production crew, they take it with a grain of salt and compliment it as flattery.
  • Passionate production crew. Throughout the last two years, it seems the production crew, amidst tiresomeness, was satisfied in contributing to the success of the series. However, critics are showing concerns on their collective health concerns following the case of Francis Pasion’s passing just days after directing On the Wings of Love last year.

Over all, it won different television awards from the major award giving bodies (e.g. PMPC Star Awards and Box Office Entertainment Awards), the Anak TV Seal, the Church via the Catholic Mass Media Awards, different college student bodies across the country and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) for its Golden Dove Awards. It was also given a special citation from the CIDG.

There’s the nub

While we understand that the politically keen’s standpoint of Kuya Cardo’s efforts could not be replicated under the actual PNP’s org chart due to general distrust, the real nub of this article is for those who are despondent with the show and called it “cancer.”

Initially, considerable psychological factors of tuning out and short attention span of the typical Filipino masa, an average teleserye last from 3-6 months depending on the flow of the story. It can be extended as they wish if they fared successfully. The Turf already made several proposals and a quick post to make primetime television’s lineup better without posing too much health risks for producers and artists and consumers (i.e. you, dear viewers) the freedom to choose whatever show they want to watch but then, the Big Bosses of the Duopoly are too reluctant to materialize because as of most of you would say, money talks.

Nonetheless, for the fed-up viewers, you still have to wait for four months for the agony to finish — unless an extension is announced.


Timow’s Turf would personally like to thank John Rodrigo Diaz Valdez for supplying the count of challenging GMA shows.


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We Deserve Teleseryes Better


LAST MONDAY, GMA Afternoon Prime teleserye Haplos skipped the remainder of the episode to cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA). From the Tube’s Ralph Domingo wished that the remainder would carry over but instead they skipped the said episode entirely and moved on without the network’s public apology.

This recent incident, coupled with Albert Brian Gimao’s threefold request, made us realized why teleseryes are so relevant in the age of rising demands of quality.

The current landscape of our teleserye industry, specifically found in South Triangle, ranges from

  • Chronologically, late morning (Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin) to evening (A Love To Last)
  • Demographically, youth-oriented (Trops) to adult-oriented (Ika-6 na Utos)
  • Generally, fantasy (Mulawin vs. Ravena) to reality (Ang Probinsyano)
  • Specifically, romance (A Love to Last) to action (Ang Probinsyano, again)

Then, tried-and-tested conformity began to swoop in with clichés (e.g. slapping scene, amnesia scene, zooming in) and cast love teams at the expense of their creative freedom juices and the intelligence of the audience — all for the sake of bottom line.

Some of their finished products are probably rated SPG (per episode basis), which is inconsiderate to children whose classes are in different shift and both networks do not focus on other genres such as crime thrillers or professional kind of shows.

What are much worse were the production staff’s repercussions; remember what happened to Francis Pasion after directing JaDine’s On the Wings of Love last year? He died nine days after the finale due to cardiac arrest for overworking fatigue. This has led to the issuance of an advisory from the Department of Labor and Employment to limit the time for TV industry workers to 12 hours a day last year but the mother network, ABS-CBN, filed a temporary restraining order – a desperate act, in the eyes of critics, of greed.

With that, last month, Twitter user @sPAULArium was not pleased with the said quality based on aforementioned state and flooded her grievances in a thread.

She suggested that teleseryes, particularly in primetime, should go on a weekly basis from daily like those in the United States and in Japan. South Korean dramas practiced it as they grouped into two: Monday-Tuesday and Wednesday-Thursday. The Turf already proposed the gradual frequency reduction from the current weekdays until it reaches up to that frequency.

While netizens mostly praised Paula with civility, actress Bela Padilla defended the local industry as her projects made millions “happy.” To be honest, Bela may have more roles to be written in her resume but she should get real by opening her eyes, hearing the other side of the audience and stop living in the confined mediocrity.

What the giants in South Triangle did is overemphasizing the usual sector of their target market: female, 35+ and pang-masa (class CDE). They do not realize that trends and preferences continue to change over time, with or without predictability.

In the end, the common goal in this unavoidable and mediocre duopoly – as indeed expressed on the netizen’s thread — is their bottom line and ratings braggadocio. Hence, we termed it as “cancer.”

This status quo of teleserye led others to defect and to find an alternative modes of entertainment.

This is why James Ty III never looked onto it and rather focused on his favorite day, Sunday.

This is why Christian Arceo no longer entertained with them after 15 years and moved on to anime and sports.

This is why Kevin Trinidad renounced and ditched them unreservedly in favor of Netflix.

Indeed, we deserve it better but the question is, “When will it ever be heard?”


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