Star Music

The New Generation of P-Pop: The Story Behind, Beyond and Points to Raise Out

[Requested by MJH]

IN THE TURN of this decade, K-Pop seems to go up the ante like MOMOLAND, Blackpink, TWICE and the most globally-renowned of them all, BTS.

Inspired by these screams in social media by their fandoms and moots (mutuals, for short), our pop music, P-Pop, was born for the new generation amidst the accustomed marketability of classics and ballads performed by individual performers and duos.

The birth of P-Pop would be reminded by their fans that original Pilipino music (OPM) is pretty much diverse, alive and well. It will not only encourage the order to air our very own on traditional media as required by the prevailing laws and orders (most notably on EO 255, s. 1987, where at least four OPM songs must be played per broadcast hour), but it will also flourish the promotion of culture and the arts of the country.

But how did this new phase of our pop music come to be? What will be the future? What are the points of concern to consider?


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.


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 itsĀ  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.


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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Saving Mother Ignacia

[REQUESTED BY Miggy Tapuyao]

The franchise renewal of ABS-CBN must be discussed in the 18th Congress.

TOMORROW is the fight of Manny Pacquiao against Keith Thurman and it will be aired exclusively on ABS-CBN, the first to do so in 13 years.

But that’s not the focus of this post.

In fact, the following day, the 18th Congress will convene — alongside is the fourth State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While it won’t be discussed by any leaders’ speech (either from the executive or from any chamber in the legislative) come that day, as we have said in our post-mortem analysis of the recent midterm election, the network’s franchise renewal is — or must be — in the agenda as the expiration on March 30, 2020 is fast approaching.


After garnering the sweeping victory of the Administration’s slate in the Senate without any from the opposition, former singer-turned-government official Jimmy Bondoc became excited that the “biggest network would close down.”

This description directly referred to ABS-CBN and Angel Locsin, one of the current talents there, fought back in the online tirade. At the end of May, the network’s former and current talents and employees joined the fray by appending their employer’s anniversary logo on their social media accounts’ profile pictures with a matching hashtag, #LabanKapamilya.

President Duterte objected the renewal sporadically over his public speeches for the past three years. Often, he accused them with promiscuous claims such as borrowing hefty loans from the government banks and not paying their dues diligently.

However, according to the corporation’s annual audited financial report in 2018, although the composition of their total assets constitutes a majority on debt, not a loan agreement is currently involved with any state-owned banks (e.g. Landbank, DBP).

(SIDENOTE: PNB used to be a government bank until it was privatized in the late 1990s and such process was completed in 2007. Their loan agreement with the Network on the said statement commenced in 2010.)

Unfortunately, this is the part of the populist-cum-demagogue’s playbook in action: threatening institutions who are deemed against them (which is refuted ad infinitum) and always accept whatever he says or from their mouthpieces (spokesperson and their media) as “gospel truth.”

We cannot discount that there are others who are self-professed to be politically moderate or not a DDS but have reservations with ABS’ franchise renewal — mainly on programming operations. But we don’t need to enumerate further; we just want to keep this post straightforward.

Though, the franchise is for legal ownership of maintaining free-to-air transmission facilities (e.g. S+A, DZMM 630, MOR 101.9). It will not affect their film (Star Cinema) and music division (Star Music) but they would lose their primary means of promotion of their wares (other than online).

Nevertheless, the cyberspace worries frantically on the big picture — the fate of Mother Ignacia’s bread and butter (specifically: the potential job loss and downsizing of operations).

Composition: It’s complicated

The components within their core business are complicated.

When their “Blip” comes, there will be loopholes regarding other forms of transmission: on cable, on TFC and on TVPlus.

Albeit, the Kapamilya network already began producing its exclusive online content to iWant and started to diversify into the food business.

Authorities’ responses

When it comes to the related agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

They are silent about what to happen when that fateful day arrives.

Although the feared shutdown would not likely happen according to the latter organization on an interview on One News, both barely understand and exercise the meaning of contingency planning on a broadcast franchise expiration as either there are no clear, legal provisions about it or it’s a top secret.

Easy to act, hard to follow

How to avoid big uncertainty to let the President sign their renewal (or do nothing for thirty days after the Congress approve it like those from TV5 a few days ago)?

The obvious solution is divestiture of the business — either voluntary or through force.

In other words, the on-air and corporate names will be kept but the ownership would be transferred from the Lopez family to someone else.

This approach already happened in 1972 (through the Marcosian might) but as of now, they won’t budge into this. But is there another way?

Other franchise to the rescue?

This is an unorthodox approach and like the divestiture, the on-air identity and program making would continue but it’s on “guardianship” mode until the next president signs the renewal.

This is what the cunning corporate lawyers of Mother Ignacia would do if all else fails.

In the forums online, few candidates that are rumored to help the network, including:

  • Bro. Mike Velarde’s Delta Broadcasting System (DBS): Their franchise was renewed for another 25 years just last April but the news was bannered a month ago. Their television endeavor on Channel 35, as of press time, remains unknown after testing in 2016.
  • Zoe Broadcasting Network: The Jesus is Lord (JIL) -owned TV network just ended ties with GMA last June and their VHF channel frequency (Channel 11) would be open for new tenants. However, the rumor of talks with ABS-CBN began back in 2017 by Politiko and its sister site, Bilyonaryo.
  • Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). Historically, they had a tie-up with IBC 13 during the late 60s and launched Cinema Television (now BEAM Channel 31) in the 1990s. The franchise was renewed in 2016. Before this threat, they are the popular bet for the race on the ongoing privatization of IBC.
  • Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). Putting it in temporary care would almost feel their return of TV venturing since Channel 11 was shut down in 1972. However, objections would be raised as their current radio division has a long tie-up with a manufacturing company that dominates during their commercial breaks. They feared that they would do likewise for at least two years.

Afterthought (But I Digress…)

Until this presidential administration ends, those fanatics who enjoyed at least one program from this network would realize that once they are gone for the second time, they feel that they are given a punch in their visages.

In the end, uttering remorse will not save the network; they have to accept their fate.

For the remaining competitors in television who are enjoying their status quo right now, they have to prepare for the worst. However, such things will be discussed separately in another time.


Savor the moment while it lasts.


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Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer / ABS-CBN

Will 2020 be the new 1972 for ABS-CBN?

WARNING: This article will harass some people who will be slain and burned by the author. He is assured that he neither associates himself with the network nor he favors it. Reader discretion is so definitely advised.

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center was raided by the military in 1972 upon of the effect of Martial Law. Come 2020, will they repeat the same method in a different scenario?

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center was raided by the military in 1972 upon of the effect of Martial Law. Come 2020, will they repeat the same method in a different scenario?

44 YEARS AGO todayABS-CBN 2 was shut down without notice; viewers at that time became perplexed until that evening when President Ferdinand Marcos appeared and explained to his people; he declared Martial Law throughout the entire country ensuring safety from the preceding chronicles of rebellion and unrest.

However, such “quelling” was actually a forceful military takeover of their assets. Of course, it returned back to their pre-martial law owners in 1986 and nine years later, the franchise was granted by 9th Congress and ratified through Republic Act 7966 on March 30, 1995.

Everything is as good as it should be. However, the granted franchise has a provision that will last for 25 years or until March 30, 2020 — less than four years from now.

With that remaining time, extremely critical yet ignorant and irrational netizens are wishing Mother Ignacia bad karma without knowing the real process.

Here on Timow’s Turf, we will get to the bottom of this to determine the fatal path within Mother Ignacia.