[NOTE: This post will be updated as more developments come in until Saturday, April 13. Observers and recorders during this week are already designated and they already know what to do.]
Christ in Gethsemane, Heinrich Hoffmann (1886)
DESPITE our committed projects this year, the Turf is finally here to herald the insights for this Holy Week.
This respite serves as an opportunity of rest, reunion and self-reflection during the scorching heat. On that period, it is an unsurprisingly annual opportunity for maintenance of rail transits in Metro Manila — one of them will suspend its operation due to the degraded condition.
This is also the time of the year when a media monitor criticizes their subdued programming (read: sleeping) while here and the other parts of the world are on fire when they need certain attention (whether it is about their leaders’ antics or threatening natural disasters).
- During the Triduum, free-to-air channels, particularly on the VHF, have subdued and special programming or they can sign off (CNN Philippines is on during cable but not on FTA). There are no newscasts but are supplied with longer news advisories.
- Aside from subdued program schedules on free-to-air channels, advertising is also limited during the Triduum (expect, the ad nauseam repeat of Nissin, Executive Optical, etc.). In addition, no political ads are allowed to be aired on the first two days minimal but the networks would do it all three.
- Sectarian-owned UHF networks don’t usually sign off (save UNTV for the first two days). In some of their active newscasts during the period, the term “Holy Week” is considered taboo to utter for certain denominations and is substituted with another.
- The year 2019 is designated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as the “Year of the Youth,” as part of the Quincentennial in two years.
- This might be ABS-CBN’s last, as their franchise will expire next March that coupled with President Rodrigo Duterte’s consistent tirades and pledge to object their renewal with varying (and mostly, absurd) justifications.
Palm Sunday (April 14)
The rest of the networks will continue with their usual schedule while the NBA Playoffs begin, which is no big deal for current rights holders (S+A and BTV).
Fr. Jerry Orbos, who inspired the faithful with his Moments column every Sunday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is present every year during the Palm Sunday recollection on PTV.
The annual live family recollection from Meralco Theater in Pasig, organized and sponsored by the Mission Angels, will still broadcast on PTV 4. The main celebrant, Fr. Jerry Orbos will show up this year and we are certain that he will make an anecdote in light of his recent diagnosis of stage 2 lung cancer and the subsequent chemotherapy last November. (We hope to God to give him strength throughout his endeavor.)
The Weekdays (April 15-17)
Variety Show’s Response
Noontime entertainment shows would steer aside their primary purpose for a more serious (and sometimes, wholesome) Lenten drama.
For Eat Bulaga, the progenitor of this initiative since 1981, their annual presentations this year come with a twist; the posts in social media (from their page, the Dabarkads or their staff in TAPE) have hinted that their offerings are shot in Mountain Province, in General Santos City and in Japan.
For transparency purposes, the Dabarkads were drafted on which assigned day they will be stared.
Asia’s Next Top Model 5 winner, Maureen Wroblewitz, is admitted as a Dabarkad in Eat Bulaga last year. This means she will show her prowess in drama acting for this year’s Lenten special.
Tito Sotto is inclusive in the draft but he will not join due to his stint as Senate President.
Anjo Yllana, who is eligible for his third consecutive term as councilor for the 5th district in Quezon City, did not run this year — his brother, Polly, will. Thus, he will act on Holy Tuesday. Had he done so, his exposure during the campaign period could violate the Fair Elections Act.
For Maureen Wroblewitz, this is her debut — her first time — to shine in such drama acting. She will be with Anjo for “Biyaheng Broken Hearted.”
It’s Showtime will do likewise sans the transparency process. Their Tawag ng Tanghalan segment will be recorded; thus, they would end at their original (non-normalized) time of 3:30 p.m. On the other hand, Wowowin, their essentially one-upped rival, will obviously not partake.
As always, newscasts on these days will cover the exodus from the Metro and the traffic situations in ports, expressways and thoroughfares of attractions.
At this moment, no teleseryes are premiering or wrapping up during this week. Pinoy Big Brother Otso is now under the first merged batch chapter but the question is: What will happen to them during the next three days when they are not on the air?
Last year, Shalom’s Live 3-Day Retreat was supposed to air on IBC 13 but they decided to shift their broadcast to YouTube at lesser or no cost. Will they continue with their new platform this year or go on parallel with the old and ongoing rehabilitating network?
The services during the Triduum (i.e. The Mass with the Washing of the Feet, the Veneration of the Cross and the Easter Vigil) from SVD are broadcast on ABS-CBN.
Maundy Thursday (April 18)
Last year, TV5 reaired the previous day’s edition of SportsCenter Philippines but they did not cover anything throughout the holiday. It is more likely to follow this year.
Maxine Blanco, the 19-year-old UST student who succumbed to bone cancer, will be the subject of the interview by Fr. Orbos. The special will be aired this Maundy Thursday on ABS-CBN (before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper).
At 4:00 p.m., Fr. Orbos’ interview of Maxine Blanco, the struggled 19-year-old University of Santo Tomas student who succumbed to bone cancer last March 23, will be aired in the special “My Suffering is My Offering” on ABS-CBN.
By this evening, GMA would run with the best of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.
Good Friday (April 19)
TV5 (and its sister channel, 5Plus) is off throughout the day.
For the past few years, before the 7 Last Words, GMA airs the annual special of Power to Unite. Recently during the preceding quarter, the aforementioned religious program of Sis. Elvira Yap-Go is aired on IBC every weekday morning — which is deviation of what previous broadcasters, PTV and TV5 had practiced every week — as part of the revitalization under the auspices of the network president, Ms. Kat De Castro.
Would PTU continue their annual contractual obligation with GMA or be done at the same time with IBC?
At noon, the Seven Last Words will be discussed in detail for three hours. We should expect these discourse to emphasize or introduced by the youth (see the aforementioned main point).
On ABS, they will be delivered live at Christ the King Mission Seminary (exclusively under the Society of the Divine Word/Verbites) while GMA delivers it also live at Santo Domingo Church (exclusively under the Order of Preachers/Dominicans). IBC 13, which is solely taped and inclusive to any religious orders, already announced their 32nd annual iteration before Lent begins.
From midafternoon, the Jesuit Communication’s annual Holy Week tradition on ABS-CBN continues with “Sumasampalataya Ako,” presented by Cardinal Chito Tagle.
By near evening, CBN Asia presents, on their 25th anniversary, their Holy Week special: “Kublihan” on GMA.
Black Saturday (April 20)
As malls and some establishments opened on a regular schedule, religious programming in the morning and afternoon on that day are no longer present until the evening.
UNTV signs on again.
ABS-CBN’s NBA SabaDOS will not be aired this year; thus, this day will serve more of a movie house.
TV5 will resume to its original programming but there would be neither any games to exhibit nor SportsCenter Philippines.
By tonight, APT Entertainment will wrap up all the Lenten dramas for the year on GMA. This year’s drama is titled “The Journey,” starring Alden Richards and Max Collins.
While ABS wraps up the set of Triduum services, GMA’s last annual religious telecast is on the Way of the Cross from the Colosseum (spearheaded by Pope Francis) as IBC usually go overnight with El Shaddai’s Easter Vigil.
However, inside sources report this year that El Shaddai will deliver the healing message from Bro. Mike Velarde followed by the Liturgy itself.
That being said, ABS will not sign off throughout the early morning as they segue into O Shopping.
Easter Sunday (April 21)
Everything will be back to normal with some exceptions.
The Holy Week special from Bro. Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma TV that aired on ABS-CBN* will be re-aired on IBC.
At noon, ASAP and Sunday PinaSaya are usually pre-recorded since some mainstays are still on vacation. When they come back, the live performances resume next Sunday.
At 4:00 p.m., the Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican will be covered live on ANC, CNN Philippines and PTV. The Urbi et Orbi message and blessing immediately follows; CNN Philippines will continue to air this before delivering the first evening newscast since the Triduum. GMA will carry this as their last program for their broadcast day.
By this evening, IBC will usually wrap the broadcast day and this whole week with the inspiring sermons and hymns of joy and praise from the special edition of “Music and the Spoken Word.”
For ABS-CBN, it also marks the start of the new competition show — Idol Philippines — the third network to hold the Idol franchise and the second franchise to transcend three networks after Family Feud.
~ We hope that the observance of Holy Week will be in splendor and in serenity. ~
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Photos courtesy of CBCP News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, GMA Network, ABS-CBN