entertainment, Sports, television

Disliking Manny Pacquiao’s Non-Boxing Roles

English: Rep. Manny Pacquiao at a speaking eng...

Manny Pacquiao’s many roles other than as a boxer had a negative effect in his boxing career of late. (Photo credit: Mike Gonzalez, Wikimedia Commons)

Just a few weeks ago, ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban na To’ was pulled off the air by GMA 7. Obviously no one wants to tune in to a counseling and advice program hosted by Manny Pacquiao, as more people wanted to watch raunchier and more aggressive disputes in programs such as TV5’s ‘Face to Face‘ and GMA News TV‘s ‘Personalan‘. And I think it was another failed attempt by Pacquiao to gain a viewing fanbase in a profession other than boxing.

It was Pacquiao’s forays into showbiz that somehow threatened his boxing career. Since signing with GMA 7 in 2007, Pacquiao was given several shows by the network, such as ‘Show Me Da Manny‘ and ‘Manny Many Prizes‘. Unfortunately, neither of Pacquiao’s programs were able to even crack the top 10 in the ratings.

In addition to his hosting and acting stints, he is also a congressman and a preacher back in his hometown of Sarangani. Playing multiple roles at the same time affected his mental focus, concentration and punching accuracy, which led to his defeats against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in his last two bouts. Is it good to read out the laws of the government while thinking about the opponent? I don’t think so.

If I were Manny Pacquiao, I would rather focus only on punching opponents, and nothing else. Just ask Nonito Donaire, who has found success knocking out his opponents without any distraction. Although Donaire lost in his recent bout to Jorge Arce, he did not take the showbiz route seriously like Pacquiao (his only minor role is on a McDonalds commercial). Instead he is resting his wounds, awaiting the right time to return to the ring soon.

Manny Pacquiao is a Hall of Famer, no doubt. He is an eight-division world champion, no doubt. He typifies the rags-to-riches type, carrying its burden to inspire future Filipino success stories.  But his success in boxing was overshadowed by his willingness to accept new roles in an effort to gain greater fame and recognition, most of which did not earn the desired results. And even as he tries to regain the in-ring success heading into a November bout with Brandon Rios, the damage has been done, because Manny Pacquiao the entertainer, politician and preacher had virtually ‘wounded’ the ego of Manny Pacquiao the in-ring competitor.

entertainment, Philippines, television

Feeling Nostalgic About Jeepney TV

Jeepney TV, launched in October 2012, gave audiences a look at classic programs produced by the ABS-CBN network. (Logo courtesy of Creative Programs, Inc.)

Last October saw the launch of Jeepney TV. The ABS-CBN-produced network features classic programming from the archives of ABS-CBN, consisting of sitcoms, teleseryes, game shows, variety shows and even news programs. Currently it is one  of two such archival channels on Philippine TV, and I had a chance to check it out.

Jeepney TV is aired on SkyCable channel 9, just a click from ABS-CBN itself. It is a 24/7 cable channel, which means that even night owls can catch up. Because it is produced by ABS-CBN, only the classic programs from the Kapamilya network are being aired here. This does not include programs that once aired on ABS-CBN that moved to other networks (e.g. Eat! Bulaga).

Over a half-year into its operation, Jeepney TV was able to satisfy the cravings of both old and young viewers by airing the network’s most popular and well-acclaimed programs. For younger audiences who were not able to recognize current Star Magic artists in their youth, this network provides an opportunity to watch how current ABS-CBN stars looked back in the day.

There is a reason why ABS-CBN decided to launch Jeepney TV: to lessen the amount of reruns aired on the main network. It is ok to have reruns, but for some reason it only bores the audience who watches it. And for some reason I never liked first week reruns of new teleseryes. Why would they have to watch a weekend re-run of a newly-launched teleserye  recapping its first week? Because they missed it, is that the purpose? Teleseryes in their first week will give you an idea on how a story starts, but most audiences would think that they are more interested in its ending rather than its beginning. Which is why I would rather watch one as it ends rather than it begins, because it only adds further interest.

As for sitcoms, news and public affairs programs, and variety/game shows, they were never aired for a rerun at all, which is unfair. So instead of putting those reruns on the main network, why not put them together on a cable channel for a specific audience? That is how Jeepney TV came to fruition, and once the ride began in October 2012, audiences were treated to a smorgasbord of old-school programs that ABS-CBN offered. And that is how Jeepney TV rode nostalgic television to another level.

entertainment, Philippines, television

The Net 25 Under the INC Spell

The original Net 25 logo, back before the Iglesia ni Cristo made its way to Net 25’s air time. (Logo courtesy of Eagle Broadcasting Corporation).

Back when they were still not airing Iglesia ni Cristo programs, Net 25 provided alternative programming for viewers too bored to watch teleseryes. Remember when they used to air Ocean Girl, Thunder Stone, The New Yankee Workshop, House Calls, TechTV, etc.? That was the Net 25 I used to know. Now it is all but a distant memory.

The old Net 25 delivered programs that were cited with the Anak TV seal. It had a dedicated fanbase who loved to watch the network’s canned programs from various countries such as Australia and Germany. And they were also one of the first networks to air techie programs from the now-defunct TechTV network in the US. Unfortunately, when the heated Iglesia ni Cristo-Ang Dating Daan feud got underway in 2001, Net 25 stepped in to air INC’s Ang Tamang Daan while SBN 21 aired ADD at the 9:00 p.m. timeslot.

Gradually Net 25 added more programs produced by the Iglesia ni Cristo, rendering its canned programs expendable. In the years that followed, the network started producing their own programs, such as Convergence, while expanding their focus on the INC. Even as GEM-TV 49 (now INC-TV) started to air in 2005, Net 25 continues to air programming from the INC.

In my view, Net 25 today is merely a clone of INC-TV, featuring most of the same programming and focus. And although Net 25 still airs news programs and general interest shows, it is clear that they focus more on the programs produced by the Iglesia ni Cristo. No disrespect to the INC, but this is not how Net 25 is being run. Why? Because both channels are on free TV. Had INC-TV become a cable-exclusive network rather than a free TV channel, Net 25 would have been complemented by the network and given block time.

To this day, I don’t think Net 25 has what it takes to become a distinct and useful source for alternative programming. They used to be ‘the’ network with never-before-seen canned programs. But with the Iglesia ni Cristo invading most of their air time, Net 25 became a mere shell of its former self, supplementing rather than complementing its programs. The old Net 25 is great, but the current one is just too cluttered.


Billboard Hot 100 – May 25, 2013

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of May 25, 2013.

1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us. No.1 last week.

2. P!nk feat. Nate RuessJust Give Me A Reason. No. 2 last week.

3. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors. No. 3 last week.

4. Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man. No. 5 last week.

5. Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – Stay. No. 4 last week.

6. Selena Gomez – Come & Get It. No. 14 last week.

7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – Thrift Shop. No. 6 last week.

8. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive. No. 8 last week.

9. Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – I Love It. No. 7 last week.

10. Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly – Cruise (remix). No. 9 last week.

The entire compilation of the Top 10 songs for May 25, 2013 can be viewed below.

Our thanks to BillboardClassic for providing us this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10.

entertainment, Philippines, television

Boy Pick-Up Finally Defeated

If you missed last night’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang‘ on GMA 7, you wouldn’t believe how shocking the result was during the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch.

The sketch begins with the usual introduction by the host MC Bits (Michael V). He then introduces the first pick-up challenger Dahon (Antonio Aquitania). But instead of another challenger, he immediately called out the undefeated champion Boy Pick-Up (Ogie Alcasid). He then introduced the moderator Neneng B (Sam Pinto). As always, there were two rounds of pick-up lines, with Dahon going first and Boy Pick-Up second. And as it has been throughout every segment, Boy Pick-Up wins the challenge on audience impact. However, instead of immediately proclaiming Boy Pick-Up the champion, MC Bits introduced another challenger.

That challenger turned out to be Boy Basag (Ogie Alcasid), who brought along his own backups. Uncharacteristically, Boy Pick-Up chose to go first, and as a result the audience turned on him and cheered Boy Basag instead. Ultimately MC Bits made the hardest decision, proclaiming Boy Basag as the new champion and ‘shattering’ Boy Pick-Up’s undefeated mark.

I think the end of Boy Pick-Up’s ‘undefeated’ streak also brought a conclusion to the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch. The sketch had run its course; two-plus years, a movie (Boy Pick-Up: The Movie), and several guest challengers and pick-up lines along the way. However, like every long-running popular sketch on Bubble Gang, all things must come to an end. At first it was enjoyable, but in the last few months it seems repetitive, predictable and boring to watch. Plus the absence of Boy Back-Up (Eri Neeman) also put Boy Pick-Up in a vulnerable spot leading to the final sketch, where Back-Up’s spot was replaced by the character of Diego Llorico.

Nevertheless, the ‘Pick-Up Lines’ sketch on Bubble Gang will always be remembered for introducing pick-up lines to the lexicon of Filipino pop culture. Many more people practice and improvise these pick-up lines for both enjoyment and pleasure, thanks to this sketch that began as a rap battle. While its time has come, it will always be remembered as one of the best, if not the most well-acclaimed, of all the sketches done on Bubble Gang.

The video of the said sketch can be viewed below.

news, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA News TV Does Sleep


Despite its designation as a news network, GMA News TV does not air 24 hours a day, uncharacteristic for a network devoted to news coverage. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network).

During every broadcast of the GMA 7 news program 24 Oras, they would always end their program with the tagline ‘Hindi Natutulog ang Balita (The News Never Sleeps)’. But it is not always the case, especially when GMA has its own news network.

GMA News TV was launched on February 28, 2011. It claims to be the No. 1 news network in the Philippines based on NUTAM ratings. However, the network does not air 24 hours/day, and is usually off the air during Holy Week. Now here I think are the reasons why they do not air 24/7.

Funding Issues

GMA News TV is a VHF television station, airing on the Channel 11 frequency, which means that maintaining the airtime of the station is expensive at times. Let’s face it, most of the money GMA 7 spent is on lavish production of their teleseryes and variety shows, which means they usually neglect the most important aspect of television viewing: news production. And as I’ve mentioned before, they also do not allocate those funds on sports coverage. And unlike ABS-CBN and TV5, GMA is not owned by a conglomerate. Which leads to this next reason.

Lack of Variety in Programming

With only an average of 20 hours of programming time, GMA News TV’s programming lineup is not as deep as ANC’s or Aksyon TV’s. Most of the weekday programming is used to air reruns of former GMA 7 public affairs programs, classic Filipino or foreign movies, and religious programs like The 700 Club Asia. On weekends, they air programs produced by the Zoe Broadcasting Network, along with more GMA 7 program reruns and classic films. The lack of depth in terms of programming explains why GMA News TV, despite its name, is not a true news network. This leads to the next reason.

Less News Than Expected

The network’s flagship news programs were Balitanghali and State of the Nation. However, they focused mainly on national news, crime stories and showbiz news, typical of news programs like TV Patrol and 24 Oras. This is an example of ‘tabloid’ news programming, commonly found on cheaper tabloid newspapers that only the poor can afford. I expected more from GMA News TV with regards to expansive news coverage, but with the emphasis on ‘tabloid’ than ‘broadsheet’ reporting, I don’t think this network has what it takes to be a device for gathering national and global news, along with human interest stories. Worse, their use of a ticker is not enough; more updated stats and information need to be flashed on-screen. And finally,…

Reluctance for Press Conferences

Whenever there is a press conference, Aksyon TV and ANC would immediately cut to live coverage of an ongoing briefing while public affairs programming are being aired. This is not usually the case for GMA News TV. They rarely cut to live press conference of national significance while a program is on air; instead they wait for a commercial break before they cut to live. Worse, they would only have at least two minutes to report on an ongoing press conference. Again this is an example of how GMA News TV presents its news, in a swift but shallow manner.

GMA News TV is not the epitome of GMA News and Public Affairs‘ slogan ‘Serbisyong Totoo (True Service)’. If they were to truly embrace a comprehensive and deep news coverage, they need to know how to build a true news network from the ground up, from operational costs to updated technological devices and extensive use of their news website GMANews.tv. But right now, they are not a true news network based on their programming lineup and airing hours, and their claim to be the No. 1 such network is not a way to measure their worth and credibility as a device for reporting the latest news.