Paolo Bediones

Revisiting DepEd TV


OH BOY, the country’s public school system begins its school year this Monday (September 13); it will be another school year without face-to-face interaction as COVID-19 continues to spread violently with various variants while our vaccination efforts lag. (The rest of the world is resuming face-to-face instructions with minimum health and safety protocols in place save Venezuela and us.)

Last year, parents and teachers were concerned about their children’s ability to continue their education in the face of the pandemic, as Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones desired. Furthermore, due to the President’s premeditated and petty motive, access to the most popular educational TV channel in the country was lost or limited because the company that made that channel lost its broadcast franchise.

At last, a solution was found; DepEd TV was born. 

In this blog post, we will revisit the state-sanctioned distance learning program: What went right? What went wrong? Are there any localized options?

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


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

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

 

How Can A Program Genre Consider To Be Dead?

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

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

So far, three categories are deemed no longer airing:

Game Shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Youth-Oriented Programs

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

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

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

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

 

Showbiz-Oriented Shows

  • Last program known: Startalk (GMA)

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

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

Nevertheless, the pullout has made a big mistake.

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

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

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

 

Not Dead Yet / Unclear

Gag Show

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

Children’s Show

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

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

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

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

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

 

Reality Shows

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

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

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

 


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


 

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Timow’s QuOP No. 6: Thoughts on TV Networks’ Approaches of Philanthropy


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and Citizen Jake director Mike de Leon had uttered something in common last September.

While visiting Itogon, Benguet to assess the damage of landslide after the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) in the middle of that month, the former uttered at the press conference that donations would rather go to humanitarian organizations rather than those owned by major television networks.

Solid network fans seemed to defend the initiatives made by their loyal networks. They assessed — either naively or with critical thinking — that they do a better job than those done by the national government.

After less than two weeks, an annual star-studded affair called the ABS-CBN Ball (formerly the Star Magic Ball), was hosted. Their affair appended its exclusive stars in blue ribbons for the benefit of Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

While love team fans go crazy over their idols over social media, Mike de Leon rebuked in writing via Facebook as “bread and circuses.”

This got the Turf thinking: “Is any media entity really worth trying to be altruistic with their foundations?”

Per network

In this QuOP, we identify four networks that have their respective significant public service arms.

ABS-CBN

They established their foundation arm in 1989 in the Lingkod Bayan segment of TV Patrol. They are responsible for producing educational shows that we know and see by heart.

In 1997, they established Bantay Bata 163 hotline with its signature coin banks found in department stores and bookstores in major malls. Then, they formed Bantay Kalikasan with the emphasis of continuing rehabilitation the La Mesa Watershed and Pasig River (via fun runs).

GMA

Moving on, GMA Network has their Kapuso Foundation two years after ABS’ (then as separate entities of Bisig Bayan Foundation and GMA Foundation).

One of its signature projects is the Sagip Dugtong Buhay blood-letting program. It is administered twice a year: in February for love month (hence, the nickname of the network) and in August for the birth month of its founder, Mel Tiangco. The project is coordinated in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross.

TV5

We should never forget that TV5 also has a philanthropic arm called the Alagang Kapatid Foundation.

Founded in 2004, it was once called Operation Tulong Bayan but it went on hiatus in 2007 after a massive layoff. When Manny V. Pangilinan came to acquire the network from Tonyboy Cojuangco, it was reorganized to its present name, after the health program.

Unlike ABS and GMA, TV5 has its own rescue division (Rescue5) spearheaded once by Paolo Bediones, now hidden from limelight due to a scandal.

UNTV

This sectarian UHF network banners “public service” as their living mantra. Unlike the Big Three, they didn’t have to create a separate organization.

Their advocacies ranged from rescue ops (Tulong Muna Bago Balita), legal counseling (Law Center ni Kuya), mobile clinic (Clinic ni Kuya Daniel), alternative learning education on wheels (Dunong-Gulong) and deserving scholarship for unfortunate to La Verdad Christian College (its affiliated school).

Common Ground

It’s hard to determine the common ground among the four networks. But the Big 3 have organized annually before a new school year is about to begin, their charitable organizations have packed and prepared the school supplies for select unfortunate students in select schools as part of the Brigada Eskwela.

Another Reason

Individualities of their initiatives aside, there’s another reason why this QuOP was written. It’s about telethons — another way to promote their noble causes.

However, we understand the initial rebuttal that it should leave it to the developed countries.

Sure, in the United States, Jerry Lewis had done this over Labor Day weekend for people with muscular dystrophy in September from 1966 but it ended in 2014 as a benefit concert.

This Friday, the BBC of the United Kingdom will have their own annual edition of Children in Need. The 7-hour-long charity telethon was once spearheaded by Sir Terry Wogan from 1980 until 2014, missing the 2015 edition until his demise in January 2016. The annual show continues since then.

However, there are specific Latin American countries that hold their annual telethons: Chile (since 1978), Honduras (since 1987), Mexico (since 1997) and Brazil (since 1998).

Telethons in PH

Here at home, they’re conducted on the rare and one-off basis (after major disasters and incidents with significant loss of lives and livelihood).

The best cases of one-off happened last year when ABS-CBN set up in ASAP after the liberation of Marawi City. On their side, non-performing celebrities are answering telephone calls for pledges.

Back in 2012 and 2013, Alagang Kapatid Foundation made their own by means of entertainment and simulcast on their channels, pre-empting regular programming, to raise funds for the victims of the respective typhoons (Pablo and Yolanda).

We also cannot discount the fact that there is an annual basis but they’re sporadic just like our media awards. The best example is when CBN Asia — the organization that produced their 700 Club Asia — conducted a weeklong telethon that airs live both on GMA News TV and on the Light Network.

The valid, logical refutation to go further is the placement and sacrifice of their scheduled programming.

Still, the big advantage would definitely be on the overflowed exclusive artists who have no committed and/or running projects in the network and use their star power to convince viewers to donate.

For those who wished a multi-network telethon like Stand Up to Cancer, this would require coalescence with their charitable organizations and talents — a gentlemen’s agreement — and setting aside the differences for that certain moment.

Afterthoughts and Conclusion

On the Bantay Bata 163 (the intended intitiative of the ABS-CBN Ball), ill-wishers (especially to the supporters of the sitting President) would call this initiative out for “hypocrisy” with receipts of child stars. They wished that DSWD should take over their hotline once their network’s franchise expires in 2020 in which the President vowed to block its renewal during his ad-lib engagements.

Nonetheless, the point here is entertainment remains a primary sphere and mission of national television. However, this mode can be used to save and improve lives.

Yet, with all the controversy regarding philanthropy as a corporate social responsibility brewing, it would be better to be informed on where our proceeds go and placed properly.


In your opinion, do you think TV networks should give up the arm of philanthropy or simply review and reflect their actions?


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The Turf’s TV Zeitgeist 2014: TV5


THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 5 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on TV5 and its sister channel, AksyonTV.

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