Noynoy Aquino

The Turf’s Thoughts on ex-P-Noy’s Passing


Rest well, statesman.

AS YOU HAVE heard and confirmed from this morning, former President Benigno S. Aquino III has passed away; he was 61.

By now, this heartbreaking news has triggered a turning point — mostly, turning to a feeling of nostalgia — in dealing with the final year of his successor and what to do come May 9, 2022 (less than 11 months from now).

And I know, some of you remained indoctrinated to negate and disown him with all your hearts, minds and souls through the news feeds. You probably have demonized him by emphasizing his negative engagement during his tenure from the bus hostage in Manila to Mamasapano.

Let’s set straight about him amidst all of this. 

Former President Noynoy Aquino continued to enhance the growth of our economy after the Great Recession and put the Philippines brightly on the map as he persistently believed.

Noynoy may not have been a good legislator but as President, he signed significant, consequential pieces of legislation such as Reproductive Health Law, K-12 and the Cybercrime Prevention Act. He even signed a sin tax that imposed a levy on vices like his — cigarettes; which served as a precursor and model to other tax laws (like TRAIN and CREATE) now in force. He made a better peace process in Mindanao by replacing ARMM with the Bangsamoro Basic Law (now Bangsamoro Organic Law); he could’ve done it ahead of time had it not been for Mamasapano. He would have pushed the Freedom of Information Act — for fair and reasonable transparency in dealings with the government — but it always left out on every SONA he delivered. 

Speaking of SONA, his use of graphics — made by his social media team under his chief, Manuel L. Quezon III — was professional and awesome to behold. The Official Gazette on Facebook wouldn’t be the same without his team. 

Many of you have remarked on him for immaturity — primarily due to finger-pointing his predecessor for the faults that he had inherited. Unlike the ruling incumbent, he knew how to behave with other heads of states and governments and earned much respect from the international community. If you want proof, look at the time when we hosted APEC Summit on his final full calendar year (2015).

It was he who established the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2014. It was intended to monitor and prevent, at that time, Ebola and MERS-CoV from entering our shores; it was successful and more respectable than the present composition and their current handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lastly, if any positive attribution can we agree about him on, it’s about dealing the sovereignty in our territorial waters against a hegemonic, trying-hard superpower. He sent the claims to an international court and we won. The lesson from that is we must uphold it and go beyond.

During his six years, our news coverage was not as tumultuous as we have now. His spokespersons didn’t gaslight or spin every day so that Joseph Morong wouldn’t have a problem crunching bullet points with it. Given the environs of this blog, the national television industry under his watch was very peaceful: less intervention, no major player shutdown (that he didn’t like) and manageable dealing of chaos within and without the walls of the networks.

If you’re not convinced of what I’ve written, you would probably admit this: Your political worldviews and principles — no matter where you’re with him or against him back then — would not be formed and probably solidified without him.

Here at Timow’s Turf, I joined with the rest of the Filipino people in expressing sincere condolences to the Aquino family in these times.

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.

The Filipino Decides 2019: On the Policy of Holidays


TOMORROW, the four consecutive days of rest will happen in our country. It’s no wonder why the media primarily covers the crammed hubs of transportation (expressways, airports and seaports) in order to go home to the provinces.

 

Holy Week exodus

The usual scene during the weekdays of the Holy Week: the long queue at the bus terminal in order to come home to the provinces.

 

At present unitary regime, national holidays are declared by the President and/or passed by Congress. For the provincial or regional level counterparts, they can be declared by the aforementioned national-level branches or by their governor and/or their Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Many would remember the controversial “holiday economics” policy under then-President and outgoing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo where civic holidays are moved to Monday or Friday, depending on the original date’s falling for that year. It may benefit the tourism industry, lessen the use of vacation leaves for employees and lessen the downtime for production, but not the historians.

Her successor, Noynoy Aquino, essentially scrapped most of it and restore to its original place, save the configuration of National Heroes’ Day (last Monday of August). Presently, President Duterte isn’t restoring back the holiday economics and is hesitant to do so.

Nevertheless, if the holiday falls on Sunday or with another fixed holiday, tough luck, no substitution unless a proclamation provides. This is what happened last year when Eid al Adha fell on Ninoy Aquino Day and next year when Holy Thursday and Araw ng Kagitingan will coincide.

In August last year, the Turf conducted the survey on how do they observe and released the results on August with the release of this year’s national holidays. From our survey, we should have reduce it to 15 but at least 8.

But before reiterating and further clarification, how could other federations promulgate their holidays?

Comparing and contrasting holiday policies

Common Aspects

  • AUTHORITY: Usually, the promulgation of holidays are issued by national and subnational units. However, Mexico and Russia’s subnational units don’t do such things.
  • NUMBERS: India has the most number of holidays with 21 while the least is Mexico with seven.
  • Each federal country has at least one national day (due to declaration of independence or creation of the modern nation).
  • Most federal countries and its divisions celebrate Christmas (except Nepal, Pakistan and UAE) and New Year (not observed in Comoros, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan).

Per Country (Selected)

  • In India, three of their national holidays are civic: Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15) and Gandhi’s Birthday (October 2). Religious holidays and civic holidays depend on the states and territories. Because of the large number, it could hamper their economic activities to a great extent. There were plans to reduce the number or let an individual decide, irrespective of one’s belief, but both options remained unacceptable, fearing a loss of popularity, and remained stuck with the humongous batch.
  • In Malaysia, some nationwide holidays which are religious and cultural in nature are celebrated for two days instead of one. Each state or territory designate at least one holiday for them (particularly, their Sultan’s or Governor’s birthday). On the four states that have Friday-Saturday weekend, if a public holiday falls on their weekend, the next weekday that is not a holiday becomes the substitute.
  • In Canada, all nationwide statutory holidays (New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labor Day and Christmas) are applied in the provinces. Thanksgiving (2nd Monday of October) is also observed.
  • In the United States, the federal holidays are observed on their federal institutions (e.g. post office) and when their holiday falls on the weekend, it will be observed on the nearest weekday; however, the federal government cannot compel the state governments to do so. State governments may add, subtract or offset in respect to those holidays but the treatment on holidays on weekends vary.

What about here? (Our own conclusion)

As we reiterate from our result post, once the new constitution is ratified, the Administrative Code and the Labor Code would need an overhaul to be compatible and clear with the new mode of governance.

The eight holidays (including Good Friday) are secured into the new federal codes. The seven national holidays that are classified in limbo — including Maundy Thursday and Black Saturday — from our conducted survey last year would be up for discretion for the regional or state governments. The four should let it go.

Just like Canada, regional governments should observe the federal statutory holidays. Regional governments can declare a holiday that apply to their territory. For example, Davao Region could celebrate July 1 (when the old provinces is split into three in 1967) or May 8 (the date on the same year where RA 4867 is signed that lead to the split) as Cordillera Region could celebrate their own on July 15 (the date when the region is created in 1987).

For the cities and towns, they should be limited up to two holidays for themselves. For one, Quezon City can celebrate August 19 (the birthday of Manuel L. Quezon) and/or October 12 (their foundation day).

As long as no locality within the country must not reach above 15 holidays.

Regarding the fixed-date holidays falling on the weekend or on another holiday, well, that will depend on each level of government. If the federal says there will be a substitute, then, it should be applied to all.


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Have a safe trip, everyone.


Photo courtesy of Rappler

Swiping Through The ’10s: 2010


THE START of the 2010s mark the unfolding of influence of Facebook and Twitter into our daily lives while the governments of the world are constantly planning and monitoring their plan of recovery from the Great Recession.

The viral video of the year is the Double Rainbow while in the middle of the year, the 2204355 meme (the gif of a KFC guy superimposed over the rainbow background to the tune of the chiptune of ALF theme). Rage comics, with the signature troll face (U Mad?), remains the mainstream funny of the cyberspace.

Jejemon is our own response of embracing the new culture — from text messaging, fashion and even on our media (Eugene Domingo’s JejeMom and Dolphy’s Father Jejemon). This trend seems to be a fad as the style is discouraged by our Department of Education.

The most discussed teleserye of that year is Agua Bendita (ABS-CBN) as Bruno Mars stands on his own musical path.

But how did the year 2010 unfold in the Philippines (including media)?

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Malacanang’s Nationwide Holidays for 2017


calendar

EVERY YEAR, Timow’s Turf traditionally publish the nationwide holidays that are promulgated from Malacanang Palace for the coming year. As we said over again, those holidays supersede those of the permanently printed ones in blue and red. President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 50, applying the holidays for the year 2017, his administration’s first full calendar year.

The holidays at a glance

Regular Holidays

Workers who work on those holidays paid twice on that day.

  • January 1 (Sunday): New Year’s Day
  • April 9 (Sunday): Araw ng Kagitingan
  • April 13: Maundy Thursday
  • April 14: Good Friday
  • May 1 (Monday): Labor Day
  • June 12 (Monday): Independence Day
  • August 28 (Monday): National Heroes’ Day
  • November 30 (Thursday): Bonifacio Day
  • December 25 (Monday): Christmas Day
  • December 30 (Saturday): Rizal Day

Special Non-Working Holidays

Those who work on such holidays will pay 30% more or otherwise, no pay.

  • January 28 (Saturday): Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster)
  • February 25 (Saturday): EDSA People Power Anniversary
  • April 15: Black Saturday
  • August 21 (Monday): Ninoy Aquino Day
  • October 31 (Tuesday): Special Non-Working Holiday
  • November 1 (Wednesday): All Saints’ Day
  • December 31 (Sunday): New Year’s Eve

Muslim Holidays

Like the previous years, Muslim holidays are not published in the Proclamation but such proclamation will be declared within 1-2 weeks and both of them are legal holidays. The dates below are based on Islamic authorities and Southeast Asian neighbors.

  • Eid’l Fitr will fall on June 25 (Sunday) but may be declared on 26th (Monday to create a long weekend).
  • Eid’l Adha on September 1 (Friday)

 

Insights & issues

Maximizing the holidays

This coming year will have a galore of long weekends ending Monday; thus, lessening vacation leaves to be filed. Having October 31 as an additional special non-working holiday will be a benefit of passengers’ exodus to their provinces during All Saints’ Day.

Employees can maximize their vacation leave on October 30, November 2 & 3 to have a week off lasting nine (9) calendar days. Aside from that, they can file a VL on December 1 to get a four-day weekend.

Issues on the holidays

Holiday maximization and analysis aside, there are some notes that may irritate some sectors in cyberspace.

The holidays associated with his predecessor, Benigno S. Aquino III — People Power Day (February 25) and Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21) — remained in the proclamation. Some desperate keyboard warriors (especially to those born after 1986) wanted to repeal those holidays to disassociate them from the past “six lost years” of himself and his mother’s, but they should realize that the designation of Ninoy Aquino Day came from legislation, Republic Act 9256, back in 2004 — under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The only way to repeal it is to follow normal legislative process — file a bill, get through three readings in both houses of Congress and the President’s signature — from taking any further prospective effect.

Like him, he neither applied the “Holiday Economics” policy (RA 9492) enacted by then-President Macapagal-Arroyo for the sake of historical basis. The only way to compensate the “holiday-on-a-Sunday” issue like this year is to repeal the “Holiday Economics” and emulate the holiday policy to those of Singapore or Hong Kong — if a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following business day will be considered the compensating holiday.

So far, the 17th Congress is reluctant to do such proposals because of their legislative priorities and lame alibis.


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[Photo courtesy of Huffington Post]

Anyare, IBC 13? Quo vadis, DBS 35?


(Requested by: Gregory Maximinian)

WARNING! This article can cause some readers to get butthurt. The author does not demean his faith but to know better about the situation. Read, reflect and react cautiously.

THE TRUTH shall set us free. This is the Biblical concept that is mostly agreeable and applicable in our daily living — whether religious or not — but at the same time, we also believe in the secular philosophy about the concept of truth: it does hurt.

IBC and DBS

In this article, we will tackle and apply such aspects to two distinct television networks — IBC 13 and DBS 35 — and know the status of their whereabouts and find their common ground.

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For PTV 4, Change is Coming


Can the Duterte administration make PTV an everlasting impact in the Philippine television industry through a lasting, major overhaul?

Can the Duterte administration make PTV an everlasting impact in the Philippine television industry through a lasting, major overhaul?

This post is dedicated to Jerick Ilagan (ramones1986).

CHANGE IS COMING. Those three words is a slogan of Rodrigo Duterte during his campaign. Now that he is our President of this country for 11 days, this slogan is currently putting in to practice on its six-year plan nationwide.

In the Philippine television industry, the Big 3 will not affect the operation under the new Presidential administration when it comes to entertainment, religious and sports programming. The Big 3’s news departments are trying to be fine-tuned on covering the remaining 89 days (to complete his first 100 days) and the rest of his term (i.e. until June 30, 2022) that may impair their respective definition, scope and limitation of objectivity in journalism. Nevertheless, there is only one TV network that will affect the most among the VHF occupants: People’s Television Network (PTV 4).

Why is PTV 4 in the spotlight of this article? How extensive is his change in Visayas Avenue? The short answer we can assess is very extensive and the Turf will tackle this into deep detail.

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