Vice Ganda

[LGBT Month Special / Pitch] ‘Drag Race’ in the Philippines: Is This Fetch Going To Happen?


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: In honor of LGBTQIA+ Month, Timow’s Turf will publish a prominent show that you may or may not have heard of. If you’re not interested in pop culture or not comfortable about their community, you may sashay away from this post.]

I STUMBLED UPON an article from PhilStar Life last April that the Fil-Am drag queen Manila Luzon (born Karl Philip Michael Westerberg) participated in RuPaul’s Drag Race on its third season in 2011 and became a runner-up and continued to participate in two All-Stars editions. In that article, he wished that we could have our version. 

Let’s face it, we would have not realized the existence and awareness of that show without Netflix. 

In honor of a specific community’s Pride Month, we would investigate if his wish could ever be materialized.

(more…)

A Different Christmas: The Traditional, Unofficial PHTV Holiday Programming Guide for 2020-2021


LONG BEFORE the surreal and baffling RC Cola commercial, a public service advertisement that forever etched the minds of childhood said that after a tumultuous year, the country needs a “different Christmas.” In that ad, the drawing of Santa Claus at the start was erased and replaced with significant details to become Jesus Christ.

That concept was made somewhere in December 1997 — at the height of the Asian financial crisis but the message remains applicable now with the global pandemic.

To our dear readers, this is the first Christmas of the new decade and yet, this is also the first under a new violent shift in Philippine television.

The events you always looked forward to during the Yuletide season might not happen this year. Despite that, the Turf’s tradition continues to chronicle the insights for the outlier.

This year, we will classify them into categories that will transpire from today (December 11) until January 3, 2021.

The Programming Situation Right Now

After a few years’ hiatus, the Christmas Cartoon Festival Presents on GMA is back, serving as a comfort show for kids and kids at heart akin to the Yule Log and classic holiday specials in the United States. On weeknights, Paano Ang Pasko becomes TV5’s first Christmaserye, as part of Primetime Todo (the third wave of the network’s local entertainment renaissance this 2020).

12.12 Sale Super Show

The two super shows from two leading e-commerce platforms (Lazada and Shopee) are in one national TV network — GMA. (Duh, do we even have a choice?) Tonight, Lazada — despite Kathryn Bernardo (a local brand ambassador but a Kapamilya) and Lee Min Ho (the regional ambassador) — will have a star-studded special counting down to the big day (in place of Bubble Gang?) while Shopee will go all out in the late morning on that big day before Eat Bulaga!

Two days ago, Kris Aquino — the other ambassador for Shopee — appeared on TV5’s Lunch Out Loud to win prizes for solid Kapatids. (Is that a hint for next Christmas that TV5 will take Shopee while GMA gets Lazada?)

Shows Ending

One local show will end at the two-week holiday period wherein they are generally not concluded. The local adaptation of the Korean drama Descendants of the Sun on GMA — whose production was stalled but resumed last November — will wrap up on the night of Christmas Day.

 

Categories in Concern

Entertainment Gatherings

Due to the community quarantine regulations under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), mass gathering events during the holidays — from network Christmas specials to New Year’s revelry — are forced to be canceled, downscaled or go fully virtual.

At this usual time, the annual Kapamilya Christmas special in Smart Araneta Coliseum would’ve drawn a spectacular audience with enthusiastic screams from fangirls holding up their fan signs as their favorite love teams performed. Now, the media conglomerate fell down and the Big Dome is dead silent. It continues in their Broadcast Center and will be aired online and cable on December 20 but not in A2Z. (Had it not for COVID-19, GMA could’ve done that in their own backyard while TV5 is still on revival mode.)

This year’s Giant Lantern Festival, which is the only live non-news telecast of CLTV, is scaled down digitally with seven barangays participating this December 16 (the first day of Simbang Gabi).

Meanwhile, traditional and the grandest star-studded New Year’s countdown on GMA, held usually on the grounds of SM Mall of Asia, may be forced to lock into their headquarters in Kamuning.

The 46th Metro Manila Film Festival

For the first time in 45 years, the country’s Yuletide film festival goes online through Upstream PH.

This year, they, three stars — Vic Sotto, Coco Martin and Vice Ganda — of opportunists are NOT coming to the very first fully digital iteration. The first one is a senior citizen, the second doesn’t have enough time to do so due to taping protocols and the last one didn’t finish the film on time despite the organizing committee’s approval. All of them impliedly realized that running movie houses below full capacity meant less revenue in their pockets as loyal fans can’t go out due to the fears of the virus. Not to mention, the last two lost their means to promote their wares had the contagion not happened.

Therefore, the lineup of 10 films (including four originally slated for what would have been their inaugural Summer edition) would be deemed the next best since the 2016 edition.

The two major events of the festival: the Parade of Stars and the Gabi ng Parangal (Awards Night) will go virtual. The Awards Night usually comes on the third day of the festival (i.e. December 27) is, fortunately, falling on a Sunday; it would mean TV5 has some free time on primetime (they can substitute Onstage).

Religious Gatherings

This is Quiapo Church last Friday (Dec. 4) for the final First Friday Mass of 2020. The devotees outside the church complied with physical distancing protocols. If this can be done, then what more from December 16 to 24? (Photo courtesy of GMA News / Danny Pata)

Even though the whole country is mostly under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) — Metro Manila is at a higher level (GCQ) — religious authorities still take no chance when it comes to dealing with the pandemic and religious gatherings including the unique tradition of Simbang Gabi.

In pre-COVID and the old Philippine TV network rivalry, ABS-CBN was the leading network when it comes to airing the novena Masses for those who can’t come physically to their local churches (in addition to the Christmas Midnight Mass and New Year’s). Now, under a limited reach and in fading memory, they cannot be aired on A2Z due to religious stipulations with Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc. but it can be done on their Kapamilya Channel on cable and satellite, it may be aired on Kapamilya Online Live.

For those who don’t have cable or satellite or the luxury of livestreaming but you own at least a digital TV receiver, TV Maria, under RJ DigiTV, is there to cover but often, their digital coverage (the signal and quality) is not satisfied. Therefore, TV5 must take the initiative but they have to go before the daily Word of God Network program or in substitution thereof, which in turn comes before Ted Failon and DJ Chacha sa Radyo simulcast (on weekdays) and cartoons (one Saturday). One can be determined through a hint in their movement music video, which is deemed sufficient as a Christmas station ID for the network.

In the Vatican this year, due to the severe second wave, you will neither see a jam-packed public audience inside St. Peter’s Basilica nor outside at St. Peter’s Square to see Pope Francis saying the Mass (early morning, Christmas Day, our time) and receive the Apostolic blessing later in the noon (7:00 p.m. local), respectively. Normally, CNN Philippines covers these two events live and GMA does it combined and taped-delayed before they sign off for their broadcast day. Will both networks continue the tradition?

Sports

PBA has just finished its 45th season with one conference — the Philippine Cup — where Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated TNT Tropang Giga in 5 at the AUF Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Angeles City (serving as the league’s bubble).

Meanwhile, NBA’s slightly reduced regular season (72 from the usual 82) will kick off on December 23 (our time) for the first time on the Kapatid network. The traditional Christmas Day games will continue with, fittingly, one game on the main channel as it falls on Saturday and another on One Sports.

Commemorations and Situations Re: the Country

Commemorations involving the country like Armed Forces Day (December 21) and Rizal Day (December 30) would be downscaled or be canceled. Generally, PTV is responsible for coverage as long as the main star — President Rodrigo Duterte — is present at the ceremony wherever he may be.

However, his focus will be the declaration of community quarantine status throughout the country for the first month of the New Year. This will likely be announced on the last Monday of the year (December 28) — during the weekly late-night session.

In the old normal, the primetime Lotto draws on the eve of Christmas and the New Year comes early so that PCSO employees and lottery agents can come home to prepare and to spend with families as no sales and draw are conducted the following day. Will this arrangement happen even in the new normal?

 

Year in Retrospect?

From December 26 to 31, a retrospect of this year would normally be made in certain programs as having a network’s year-in-review special on a Sunday night is a thing of the past. Given the heavily-defined circumstances that transpired this 2020, some programs (and some bloggers and other outlets) will be skipped but others (including us) will strive to continue.

For one, Atom Araullo Specials on GMA will present Dos Mil Bente this Sunday (December 13) afternoon but the saying “Expect the unexpected” will resonate with the two and a half weeks remaining of the year.

 

What We Can All Agree? What’s Next?

Despite our differences, we can all agree that this Christmas is not the same as it was before with our old habits and scenes we are used to like traffic rush, crowded malls and packed hangouts. Moreso, our TV landscape has the same atmosphere.

Can the next year’s holiday programming insights be better under the post-new normal arrangement? We’ll all see.


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Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Other photos are courtesy of GMA

A2Z: Will It Save ABS-CBN from the Debris?


[Requested immediately by Inna Kim]

WELCOME HOME? A2Z Channel 11 launches today, signalling a somewhat return of ABS-CBN after their franchise renewal was denied and their frequencies were revoked.

TODAY is the unique date combination that happens in our lifetime and it will never be repeated. Moreso, today marks the return of the talked-about media entity this year on free-to-air television after five months.

Well, somewhat.

The reaction to the launch of A2Z Channel 11 is generally elated since streaming online – whether on Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube or iWant-TFC – is a hassle. Of course, some people are skeptical and extremely unhappy with this news.

But how did we end up with this development?

 

The Contingency Game Plan

In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte began to sputter constant vendetta against the media giant in public engagements for different reasons. In response, ABS-CBN and ZOE Broadcasting Network reportedly talk about the possible airtime lease if the former loses the franchise renewal, which happened last May 5 and reaffirmed exactly three months ago today when the House of Representatives rejected it.

The gossips in news sites heighten with September 28 as the launch date but missed the specific date. A few days later, Vice Ganda announced on It’s Showtime that the rumored deal will finally happen.

 

Programming on Offer

As part of the blocktime agreement, A2Z will primarily include selected ABS-CBN programs and movies. Moreover, A2Z will feature content from ZOE TV’s sister channel Light TV and content partners CBN Asia (where Superbook reboot is) and Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The noontime variety staples like It’s Showtime and ASAP Natin ‘To are airing this opening weekend. The former has to enforce a more careful approach with this brokered deal, particularly for Vice Ganda.

As of press time, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, Ang Sa Iyo ay Akin and Walang Hanggang Paalam will go on marathon airing before setting to weekday primetime.

Two programs launched in Kapamilya Channel will be included in this roster like Iba ‘Yan and Paano Kita Mapapasalamatan? Knowledge Channel programs will be included as blended learning in public schools has just formally started.

On October 26, Bagong Umaga will be a new teleserye under this arrangement.

 

#MajorDowngrade

While it is good news for most viewers who are yearning for its return, the big disappointment comes from digital terrestrial TV enthusiasts and from outside Mega Manila.

Before the materialized deal, ZOE TV was able to test digital broadcasts with a test card on digital TV receivers (e.g. TV Plus, Affordabox) but with this news, A2Z downscales to pure analog. Therefore, it is not available for wide access; you have to get cable or satellite (that includes Cignal) to reach it.

 

With Loopholes beget Violence

The quasi-return on another frequency meets with hostility from die-hard supporters not only from the former media rival but those in the government, particularly to the solons (Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and the Gang) who demolished Mother Ignacia during the 12 prolonged hearings in the House of Representatives.

Such people invoked the calls of “usufruct” or shutdown ZOE. Unknowingly, the legislative franchise of ZOE was renewed in 2016 (expiring in 2041) as it was lapsed into law without the President’s signature due to the recent change of hands. Nevertheless, they will go the extra mile by hurling the offensive against the Villanueva’s or CIBAC Partylist and convinced their peers not to vote for any of them in 2022.

 

Conclusion

With the formerly dominant media giant lost 3 billion pesos this first half of the year from the loss, this quasi-return could cushion further losses but because of the limited reach, we don’t know until the periodical financial highlights are publicly announced next year. We can’t say about the percentage that ABS and ZOE agreed on because of the non-disclosure agreement.

Former competitors in the VHF, like TV5 (where a part of Kapamilya talents are heading now in two production companies), are admitting their deficiencies from the now-former benchmark but are facing some threats before their new programs roll in a week.

In other words, will it save ABS-CBN from any prolonged damage? Well, that depends on you.


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN Corporation, ZOE Broadcasting Network and The Summit Express

Timow’s Turf Midyear Report 2020


[AUTHOR’S WARNING: Some of the content include indirect and/or inflammatory opinions that can hurt significant sectors. Please understand and read at your own risk.]

THE FIRST HALF of this first year of the 2020s is overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic — giving a big timeout from regular programming.

Viewers are stir-crazy without live sports, new teleseryes and finding out the winners in the ongoing reality competitions; some new shows’ scheduled premieres are thwarted.

Also, the cease of free-to-air operations of ABS-CBN (including S+A) due to the lapsed legislative franchise last May 5 signaled the start of the Philippine media’s own “new normal.” Meanwhile, GMA has just launched its competitor digital TV receiver, the Affordabox.

Nevertheless, both the “Great Pause” and the “Moment of the Truth” should serve the surviving broadcasting executives to reflect and rethink their programming but alas, their attitudes seemed to be irreformable.

Anyway, some moments happened in the first half of the year that wasn’t published much here on the Turf containing the events, programs, channels, and personalities.

What Happened on H1 2020?

The Events

Annual

  • UAAP and NCAA. Both Metro Manila collegiate leagues have been terminated their 82nd and 95th seasons respectively due to community quarantine. While we don’t know when their new season (83rd and 96th, respectively) will kick in, both the executive boards would start thinking about broadcast deals since their free-to-air partner, S+A ceased operations while the Congressional hearing over the mother corporation’s franchise becomes a circus.
  • NBA. From a Utah Jazz player tested positive with the virus has turned the league’s play development into haywire. During the season, the national TV deal since the Solar-ABS dispute last September 2019 remained in limbo, leaving the fans starving for hoops action. CNN Philippines came to rescue but they pay half a million pesos per broadcast of one game on each weekend from November last year until February (until their All-Star Game). The league will resume play at the end of July in Orlando but the local airing remains unknown.
  • MPBL and PBA. Before the lockdown and the FTA stoppage, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League was determining their conference championships. Meanwhile, the Philippine Basketball Association has just kicked in their new (45th) season with one opening game; they are planning to kick off their 3×3 league. To be frank, MPBL is too accomodating as they have 31 teams (one more than the NBA’s 30). Meanwhile, PBA will neither have an All-Star Weekend nor have an import to play this year as they will resort to one conference or force cancellation.

One-Off

  • The 24th Asian Television Awards. Last January, the Asian counterpart of the Emmy Awards took place in the country for the very first time. Since the then-running South Triangle Duopoly refused to cover, TV5 took the honors. During this pre-COVID event, Manny V. Pangilinan’s award for “outstanding contribution to Asian television” became a point of ridicule, even though the comments in social media are not related to his TV ventures.

Channels

  • ONE Sports. On March 8, 5Plus became this channel to be consistent with Cignal’s “ONE” branded channels. It resumed three months later despite no live sports from across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Jack TV. On April 1, the pay-TV channel that offers multi-genre programming plugged off for real; it was not an April Fool’s prank. Today, Jack TV becomes a Web portal (similar to HERO back in 2018) as “Your Online Playground.”
  • One TV. Originally scheduled to launch on April 13 but is rescheduled on the 20th of this (i.e. as of press time) month as a rebrand of TV5 as a result of the pandemic. Alas, before the initially scheduled premiere, the usual change of leadership in Reliance happened in February with Roberto P. Galang succeeding Jane Basas as the network’s head honcho. During the delay, frustrated fans on that Facebook page have gone gaga demanding the return of Babaeng Hampaslupa rerun which they were heeded. (As a run-up to this new channel, the upcoming article will tackle all about their distinguished names.)

The Programs

Aired and On Broadcast

  • Wish Ko Lang (GMA). After almost 18 years, the wish-granting public affairs program every Saturday afternoons that was hosted by Vicky Morales ended. They used to be straightforward with the background story of letter senders but as it progressed further, it shifted towards dramatization.
  • Ilaban Natin Yan (GMA). The replacement reality-drama program that is also hosted by Morales tackles on societal issues.
  • Wowowin Primetime (GMA). On February 15, Willie Revillame expanded his variety show empire into Saturdays.
  • Gandang Gabi, Vice! (ABS). After eight years, Vice Ganda’s Sunday late-night talk show finally pulled the plug. While it was sad news for his fans, the good news of this ending was that he will not be overexposed every day of the week. His supposed replacement show, Everybody Sing, will be tacked in a bit.
  • Make It with You and Pamilya Ko (ABS). Two teleseryes were declared victims of both the pandemic and the shutdown.
  • Tutok to Win (GMA). Without the studio audience that is essential to Wowowin, Willie Revillame quickly adapts his own timeslot at his home at Wil Tower. (Salamat, Shopee!)

Slated but Stalled

  • Everybody, Sing! (ABS). This game show’s pilot episode would have been an immediate replacement to GGV but due to the community quarantine, it was inappropriate to be aired because of the crowd (even though it’s taped before the lockdown). The network’s FTA stoppage and non-inclusion in the Kapamilya Channel may increase the chance that the program will be shelved.
  • Yes, Yes, Yow (IBC). This SMAC Television Production show was supposed to premiere on April 4 on as a revival of the channel to have a noontime variety show in almost 15 years — until the pandemic entirely thwarted out of the schedule in favor of the hookup of PTV’s daily #LagingHandaPH public briefing with at least one item reserved for Senator Bong Go. While indefinite postponement is understandable due to “no crowd allowed” rule, we should not be surprised at all if this program — along with their other promoted shows that would be aired on BEAM TV and GMA News TV — will be scrapped entirely without seeing the light of day on the small screen.
  • Running Man Philippines (GMA). Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the South Korean variety show from SBS, this would be aired on the Kapuso Network. With the pandemic pushing this ambitious plan to next year, this would be the best time to think about whose personalities they will put in or there will be some backlashes.
  • Alamat ng Agila (GMA). This is another Kapuso show that they would look forward at the first half but it won’t please viewers — and one of their exclusive talents. Sen. Bong Revilla’s show would have been launched by the first quarter as the first post-newscast Sunday show replacing Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko. Perhaps, the delay is the silver lining of these unprecedented times as the leading and exclusive talent is obviously well known for the tarnished political scandal. (Most of the readers are not forgetting.)
  • Ang Sa Iyo ay Akin (ABS). This teleserye was supposed to premiere on March 23 but it was postponed due to the lockdown and network’s shutdown. One of its leading stars, Iza Calzado, was tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25 but she was fully recovered five days later. Possibility of shelving and/or deferral: who knows?!

Personalities

  • Rico Hizon. If you remember what the Turf wrote back in 2018, the former BBC anchor stationed in Singapore has repatriated and began his stint on CNN Philippines since March 30. Three weeks later, he is currently the anchor of CNN Philippines’ last newscast for the weekday, The Final Word.

What’s Next?

In a Short While

In five days from this publication, Fox Filipino will cease broadcast after almost eight years out due to redundancy, lack of advertising support, and cross-cutting measures.

For the Next Six Months

The second half of 2020 will manifest the implementation of the “new normal” guidelines when it comes to taping shows. Also, this remaining half-year must be the time to go up the ante for the remaining networks by establishing deficient divisions, acquiring and employing high definition equipment, and going full commitment to digital terrestrial television.

Meanwhile, the members of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) will go into panic mode since the majority of their member-publicists have ties with ABS-CBN. Without the media giant and the pandemic persistent, the 34th edition of the Star Awards for Television might give GMA the Best TV Station (to equalize Mother Ignacia’s wins, inclusive of ties) and they may have to adapt for a virtual awarding since they are not allowed to hold the awards outdoors — or it could be jettisoned altogether and carry over the criteria to next year (Who knows? They’re NOT transparent with the eligibility criteria as far as I’m concerned.)

Did I miss anything? Put it in the comments section.


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Timow’s QuOP No. 11: Community Quarantine


INSTEAD of publishing the intended topic that will be scheduled for next Friday, the Turf would like to tackle about tomorrow and the month to come.

As you have heard a few days ago, tomorrow (March 15) will commence the 30-day community quarantine in Metro Manila to contain from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. There and in some parts of the country, schools are suspended until further notice — which, following the June-March calendar, effectively ends the school year in a sour note (i.e. without final examinations, saying goodbyes, and graduation).

Television Response

Initially, television programs that involve a studio audience — live or taped — are not allowed to enter for safety precautions.

Then, teleserye tapings are also called off. That being said, movie blocks will fill the void. The Turf cannot think if their classics will be aired just like TV5 does. Vice Ganda’s new comedy-game show Everybody, Sing! is also pulled from its premiere tomorrow.

Speaking of TV5, PBA has been suspended again after their Season Opening Day last Sunday — including the scheduled inaugural 3×3 counterpart. Sports Desk, the flagship sports news program of CNN Philippines, is also off the air in light of cancellations of major sports events.

PHTV for the Next 30 Days

What we’re certain

What we’re uncertain

  • While NCAA season 95 ended in termination, UAAP season 82 might follow likewise if this period did not improve the situation. If it improves, the playoffs might have to be reduced. MPBL, which is now on their Division Finals, are also on hold.
  • Meanwhile, the weekly noontime variety show of IBC 13 under SMAC Television Production, Yes Yes Yow, is slated to air on April 4 (Saturday). While this program is taped before the declaration, the success and the path of recognition are in jeopardy. We cannot be surprised if this will never premiere in favor of this serious public health emergency.

Other Measures & Afterthoughts

Regarding the running April post proposals, I am calling it off until everything comes back to normal.

While this pandemic will pass, some of our old ways — even those in the media industry — will never go back to the way it was before: be it big, small, beneficial or baneful.

Until then, stay safe, practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

Until we talk again.


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LEAP DAY SPECIAL: Why Is It So Hard to Align The TV Programs?


[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The first Leap Day of this blog’s existence was in 2016. Unfortunately, it fell on a presidential election year; hence, we went on The Filipino Decides mode. Hence, this second Leap Day of existence will be our first Leap Day special. The requested topic barely contribute anything.]

Feb 29

EVERY FOUR YEARS, February will contain 29 days instead of the usual 28. Well, not all years divisible by four are leap years; any year that is divisible by 100 are not leap years (e.g. 1900 and 2100) except if it is divisible by 400 (e.g. 2000).

While it may not be a big deal for others — except those who celebrate their actual, rare birthday today — the objective of having the conditional rules of a leap year is to align within the Earth’s seasons for thousands of years.

Speaking of the astronomical complexity for the sake of alignment, I have thought about why I publish this on a rare day.

No offense to the readers who are diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but I kept asking: why is it so hard to align things in a certain period? Is it just because I am pedantic towards perfectionist or rather, stringently structural when it comes to scheduling things?

The answer is: maybe…

 

TV Needs Alignment

In the present reality of television programming, I found out some individual cases in different parts that would need an alignment. If I were in the shoes of the programming department or a showrunner, I would not just craft the program or its lineup within the 24-hour period but further on a 7-day, a 4-week or even a 12-month period.

Will the following be rectified and doable? But let’s delve in…

 

Case #1. Regional Newscasts

Remember the 5 o’clock problem in the blog From the Tube in 2016?

At that particular time of the day from Mondays to Fridays, regional newscasts will take place in their respective regional channels of the South Triangle Duopoly. It would miss the Koreanovela that is airing in the Metro (which can catch up on the following weekday morning except for the last episode) on one and the first part of Wowowin (which it won’t recover) on the other.

There is neither a Metro Manila editions of TV Patrol nor 24 Oras to separate from their main national newscast to end the annoyance of probinsyanos — especially when it comes to crime reports happening there. It would be costly to get separate newscasts but worthwhile in terms of consistency but alas, neither news departments will ever take that initiative.

 

Case #2. PBA

The previous (44th) season of the Philippine Basketball Association lasted a bit more than a year after facing the following disruptions: Gilas Pilipinas’ qualification and the fumbled campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China, the Southeast Asian Games and the unavailability of the main venues during the holidays.

Tomorrow (March 1) would have been the start of the new (45th) season but with the lingering scare of COVID-19, it will be postponed to next week (March 8).

One thing is for sure, it is definitely too late to change the three-conference format. Had it done to speed up the season will destroy 5’s plan of restoring entertainment programs on primetime or it would start at 9:00 p.m. on weekdays (8:00 p.m. on weekends).

 

Case #3. Tawag ng Tanghalan

The current iteration of the classic singing competition becomes a segment in It’s Showtime since 2016. While some don’t watch them due to the banters and antics that Vice Ganda did to the contestants, what fascinates on that segment is how its year is divided: per quarter.

Since a year is roughly 52 weeks, it can be cut into 13 weeks long.

End of story, right?

Well, not quite; in our practical broadcast calendar, we have to deduct Holy Week and the last week of the year (for the recap of the passing year) to get 50 available weeks.

Since 50 is not divisible by four, the remainder or fraction has to be disregarded; therefore, we should have 12 possible weeks (72 days) of the competition proper per quarter. It would be better if we would deduct one more week to get 11 (66 days) in order to catch some break for the judges.

The procedures of the quarterly championship will be up to the segment producers but then, the “inevitable” — as the solid network haters wish to happen — comes in a month or so.

 

Afterthought

After presenting three cases and the possible solutions, I think we have to be honest: none of them would even work or implement because the networks’ programming department is invoking the “flexibility” card.

But to be honest, are we just too flexible even though the external, cyclic environments — the climate and the calendar — are nearly defined?

 


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Photo courtesy of Encyclopaedia Britannica

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.

South Triangle Duopoly’s Early Christmas Specials with Top E-Commerce Platforms


CALL IT an early Christmas TV special for the South Triangle Duopoly but unlike the usual pre-recorded annual show, both of the shows will happen live tomorrow night but with a bold, new experiment.

Both ABS-CBN and GMA have tied up exclusively with the top two e-commerce platforms — Lazada and Shopee, respectively.

In both online shopping platforms, they strategically and competitively bring down their prices on selected — if not all — items with free shipping with little or no minimum spending.

On both particular specials, their respective platforms will have the livestream of the said event. Their televised specials will start from 10:30 p.m. to midnight of their culminating day’s eponymous sale.

So what are the differences between the two, you might ask?

Lazada 11.11 Super Show (ABS-CBN)

Lazada 1111.jpg

Lazada’s 11.11 is considered a one-day event. To promote them further, their Super Show will broadcast from Sofitel Tent, Pasay City but the livestream will start half an hour ahead of the television broadcast.

They will star Vice Ganda, James Reid, Maja Salvador, Karylle, Billy Crawford and Maja Salvador with performances of Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber and other Kapamilya stars.

Shopee 11.11 Big Christmas TV Special (GMA)

Shopee 1111 TV Special.jpg

On the other hand, Shopee 11.11’s promo lasted almost a month — well, since October 15.

For this year, Senator Manny Pacquiao is their brand ambassador.

Like Lazada, Shopee will star the Kamuning counterparts with an emphasis on top celebrities like Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza and Heart Evangelista. They will join last year’s ambassador — the Mr. Pinoy Christmas himself — Jose Mari Chan, where he will perform exclusively the latest jingle of this e-commerce platform.

Unlike the rival, there is no specific place where their live performance; thus, we assume that it will broadcast within the Network Center. Also, there is a bonanza of exciting prizes within the show including a motorcycle, a car and a house and lot.

NOTE: GMA’s Christmas Station ID will be released ahead of the show during or before Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. (Consider this as a bonus.)

Smelling a New Tie-Up

That being said, the tie-up could turn into an opportunity for network executives’ chance of exclusivity for the holiday seasons to come. (Well, if one’s franchise will survive next year.)


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Photos courtesy of Lazada/LhyzieBongon.com and Shoppee/TheSummitExpress

#Zeitgeist2018: The Timow’s Turf Year-End Special (Part II)


ANOTHER EVENTFUL YEAR will be over. But before moving forward to 2019, we will look back on the events that shaped 2018 over the Philippine media.

This is the second of two-part series, containing 18 stories are arranged in no particular order. (See Part I here.)

For this year’s twist, the Turf appended the GIF reactions to each moment for the appropriate reaction for certain people or situation.


The Top (Random) Nine

#9. PH Cable Wave

The first half of 2018 triggered a big wave over the Philippine cable industry by either closure or rebranding of certain channels. Some reasons why that happened is due to redundancies, the rise of cord cutters, unsatisfied return of investments and changing preference.

Local channels

On January, ABS-CBN Regional Channel and TAG were pulled off but HERO, the sister anime channel, became the most notorious after 12 years. Never forget that they also launched LIGA on that month as a reincarnation of Balls. On April 2, Lifestyle became The Metro Channel.

Last May 28, Bloomberg Philippines — the sole specialty channel — became ONE News Channel after bearing three years of licensing rights.

Foreign channels

Another children’s entertainment channel, Toonami, folded its Southeast Asian iteration last March. By the end of this year, AMC and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be pulled out not just from SkyCable but to all cable operators nationwide.

In a nutshell, this is our GIF reaction:

Surf's Up.gif

#8. Like gets Disliked

Last May, DWLA-FM 105.9 in Manila changed its brand and format without publicity both on air and on social media, save the observation in the PinoyExchange forum months before their imminent fate.

After four years, DCG’s Retro 105.9 became Like 105.9 after failing to settle its debts and issuance of pink slips. The format shifted from classic throwback hits to Adult Top 40.

Although the frequency owner (Bright Star Broadcasting Network) got their franchise renewed, instability and internal dissatisfaction remain the haunting issues.

Meanwhile, Brigada Mass Media Communication be like:

Mr Burns Excellent

#7. New (Encrypted) Competitor

EasyTV-Super-DigiBox-with-box.jpg

On June 5, 2nd Avenue parked for the very last time — marking another Solar Entertainment’s blow. The following day, RJTV 29 restored and shut down its analog transmitters, becoming the second channel to be fully digital after Light Network 33.

Nearly at the same time, Easy TV Super Digibox was publicly announced — even though it was launched on the market about two weeks ago. Similar to TVPlus, it is encrypted in favor of Solar Entertainment Channels with two UHF channels (22 and 30) containing 16 subchannels (including AniPlus and Basketball TV).

Now that TVPlus is extending the second channel until February, Tieng brothers were like (amidst the legal stadndoff on BTV):

I'm trembling.gif

#6. Meme-ification of Police Reports

Police Reports Memes.jpg

Crime reports in Mega Manila that are projected in national newscasts is really annoying for viewers in the provinces.

But in the time of trust issues with the police and the government in general, netizens would really need to kill time. This year, it made a mark by lifting up from this specific genre for comedic purposes — specifically on the interview of the suspect.

Their phrases, like “advanced akong mag-isip” and “paano mo nasabi“, become part of the ordinary parlance, part of TV sketch comedies and witty opportunity for the marketing departments (Hint: Search MayWard McDo commercials on YouTube).

Some elders were shocked by this trend. For them, it is not right to poke fun at convicted criminals and not to emulate them on their wrongdoings…

Obvious ba.gif

#5. It’s Showtime’s Domino Effect

Since February, the daily noontime show ended a bit longer than the scheduled 3:20 p.m. affecting other shows that follow, due to Vice Ganda’s long tsismis and antics on the live broadcast. Even if Vice is out, his colleagues has influence.

Throughout observation, this show ended as late as 4:00 p.m.

Despite the success in raking more advertising revenue and catching up for Metro Manila viewers, it affected other viewers who are not loyal to the noontime show — particularly on the surviving regional newscasts in the Regional Network Group and TV Patrol’s Noli de Castro. In addition, DZMM is affected since they have to simulcast TVP.

Because of the heated duopolistic competition, Wowowin responded to make it even.

What Vice Ganda has now is what Kris Aquino had in the earlier part of the decade — the influence which leads to the management to chill and leave him alone while sacrificing other stars. Unlike Kris, Vice Ganda is exposed every day.

In the eyes of the management, self-control means this:

Not Impoerant.gif

The positive karma is that neither himself nor his shows won any of this year’s PMPC Star Awards for Television.

Publicists’ psyche were like:

The light is coming.gif

 

 

#4. GMA’s Extraordinary Dramas

While ABS-CBN’s drama remains successful in ratings and in social media engagements (ehem, Halik) amidst a domino effect from It’s Showtime that tackled just earlier, there is not much distinction in terms of the teleseryes’ character development, premise and plot.

Sure, GMA has the same problems with Ika-5 Utos for being a “continuation” of the Ten Commandments series (aside from both directed by Laurice Gullien) and Victor Magtanggol for being unoriginal as Alyas Robin Hood  back in 2016.

However, there are two currently running dramas on Kamuning that shed some positive light amidst the cliches: Onanay is a drama regarding the struggle of a mother with dwarfism (played by Jo Berry) while My Special Tatay is, as said on the title, about a father who has a mild intellectual disability (played by Ken Chan).

Oscars Applause.gif

 

#3. PTV’s Muddled Year

For 2018, this government TV network was flagged with three events.

In April, the Commission on Audit flagged the station in their audit report over the P 60 million ad placement of the Department of Tourism (headed by then-Secretary Wanda Teo) to Bitag Media of her brother, Ben, without proper documentation. Because of the siblings, it eventually led to the Secretary’s voluntary dismissal and Ben’s program (Kilos Pronto) to be axed. Although Ben came back with the usual praising the administration and bickering against his enemies on the other program, the money has not returned yet (or possibly, they will not return at all).

In August to September, three Tagalog-dubbed programs from Mainland China — two dramas and one children’s series — were aired but critics served it as propaganda. In other words, they are projecting the President’s effective foreign policy, which was witnessed in last November’s visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This month, instead of cash bonuses at their Christmas party, contractual employees and talents were given retrenchment letters — an irony to the administration’s initiative to end contractualization — with an employee vented out of her frustrations.

Overheard at PCOO on these issues:

Collar tug

Don’t feel bad for them. The only positive thing that they have done this year was the Lotto Draw. On October 14, the Ultra Lotto jackpot reached the largest prize to date — almost P 1.2 billion — which won by two bettors.

 

#2. Mr. Imbestigador’s Health Watch

The pillar of GMA News and Radio division made a big announcement after a much prolonged absence this year.

He underwent medical leave for his kidney medication and heart bypass surgery.

During his absence (inclusive of allowance of his recovery), Atom Araullo became his pinch hitter on the weekday edition of 24 Oras before his return in October.

With this year of meme-ification, he will remembered for the slip of the tongue in his segment as the “Sumbungan ng Hotdog” (rather than Hotline).

Take it away, Guy Fieri:

hotdog

 

#1. Rappler’s Struggle

Since January 15, the online news site struggled to cover amidst the revocation of SEC registration to tax evasion charges as a result of publishing critical yet comprehensive articles of the present administration.

With that, their Palace correspondent (Pia Ranada) was barred from entering the Palace complex and further covering the President’s activities and press conferences.

poy-guardians-ressa.jpeg

With the hashtags that support and defend the site since then after series of posting bail, its CEO, Maria Ressa, became one of TIME Persons of the Year as “guardians” in the “war on truth,” alongside assassinated Saudi Arabian columnist Jamal Khashoggi, two Reuters journalists from Myanmar for covering the Rohingya massacre and the staff of a Maryland newspaper got involved in the shooting.

The heads of the DDS fanatics and apologists were like:

Kingsman head explosion

 

Special Mentions

  • GMA Online Exclusives
  • Reinvigoration of iWant
  • Return of Precious Hearts Romances on ABS-CBN
  • Studio 7
  • Government radio stations on Top 10 (FM1 87.5, FM2 104.3 and RP1 738)
  • Alleged palakasan and privacy violations by Manila Broadcasting Company on sacking DJ Aira and Kara
  • Billboard Philippines’ sudden demise
  • Wish 107.5 rolling a new mobile bus in America
  • Gino Quillamor’s departure from Monster RX 93.1
  • Gretchen Fullido’s harassment case
  • The decrease of ABS-CBN’s regional programming in for their centralized HD conversion and digital television testing.
  • The meme-ification of augmented reality in 24 Oras.
  • Self-acclaimed (Di umanong) paranormal expert Ed Caluag on KMJS Gabi ng Lagim
  • Net 25 achieving three new PMPC Star Awards (two for Children’s Show & Host and one for Musical Variety Show due to ASAP’s hall of fame status)

Postscript

After five years, 247 Facebook Page likes and 100,000 hits, it has been a long journey.

I would like to thank the following, specific people (stans) that made the Turf this 2018: Rexdel Yabut Mallari, Charles Miguel Tapuyao and of course, the most loyal of them all, Gian Paolo de la Cruz.

The 2018 blogging season is sealed; let’s call that a year.

From Timow’s Turf, we greet everyone with an exuberant…

happy-new-year-colorful-fireworks-over-city-animated-gif

Continue liking our Facebook page. Follow also on Medium.

Photos (not counting GIF) courtesy of: Inside Manila, Adobo Tech and Time Magazine