country, news, Philippines, politics

In 100 Words: Fourth Death Anniversary of Cory Aquino

Today is the fourth death anniversary of former Filipino president Corazon Aquino. In the week following her death, millions of Filipinos flocked to her casket to witness the final glimpse of the democracy icon, whose non-violent efforts following the assassination of her husband Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. that led to the end of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorial rule was lauded by the international community.

The media community were a witness to Cory’s final days. The burial alone took over 12 hours of air time and was watched by millions. Even today, many people still remember Cory’s role in transforming a grieving nation to a fighting unit, without the guns, goons and gold that characterized Martial Law.


entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

Face to Face Ending Soon?

Reruns of TV5’s ‘Face to Face’ have been airing the past two weeks, fueling speculation that the program is about to be cancelled.

If you were tuning in to TV5 the last two weeks, you may notice that ‘Face to Face‘, one of the network’s original programs following the rebrand from ABC 5 five years earlier, has been airing repeat episodes over the last two weeks. No apparent reason was given for the re-airing of the program’s prior episodes, but it has been rumored that ‘Face to Face’ is about to be axed from the network’s program lineup in favor of new programs aimed for a younger audience.

The last new episode of ‘Face to Face’ came on July 19, and if you were there to watch the program, the teaser for the next episode never aired as TV5’s coverage of the State of the Nation Address took place on July 22. After the SONA, I thought ‘Face to Face’ would air new episodes. Instead, they started to air reruns of prior episodes, all of which had the teasers for future episodes cut off at the end. During those two weeks either the episodes hosted by the original host Amy Perez or the ones hosted by substitute Gelli de Belen were being aired alternately.

It is clear that ‘Face to Face”s days were being numbered. As a matter of fact TV5 started its housecleaning last week by cancelling its daily showbiz program ‘Ang Latest‘, which also explains why the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ is being aired much earlier than usual. The cancelling of ‘Ang Latest’ was just the beginning of TV5’s cost-cutting moves that may benefit them in the future, and in the process, spare them from the intensity of the competition that was the rivalry between ABS-CBN and GMA.

While ‘Face to Face’ is about to end soon, it’s legacy and revolutionary program format will endure in the years to come. It was with this program which inspired GMA News TV to air ‘Personalan‘, a talk show featuring a similar format as ‘Face to Face’. In the near future similar programs in the vein of ‘Face to Face’ will come around soon, but for now, loyal fans of the show should be proud and happy of what the program has achieved over the years, despite constant changes in its timeslot and attempts to remain modest amid the MTRCB‘s stringent reforms on television programming.

comedy, entertainment, Philippines, television

Late Night Shows in the Philippines

Jojo Alejar’s late night show is bred from the tradition of American late night shows, and its classic late night approach made it a hit with viewers.

Just last night, I caught up with TV5’s late-night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’, and from the looks of it, the show always gives a lasting impression on its viewers through its monologues, special guests and musical performances. Jojo Alejar, the show’s titular host, always has the penchant to deliver the latest national news and other social trends in the most comic way possible, similar to his American counterparts Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman and Jay Leno. So why is it only rare to have a Filipino late night talk show like ‘Medyo Late Night’?

First off, the history of late night talk shows in the Philippines have been rather shaky. Although there have been some which lasted quite a while and enjoyed respectable audience figures (e.g. Oh no, It’s Johnny!, Martin Late@Nite), late night programming in the country was recently dominated by public affairs programs. This year, ABS-CBN tried a different approach in late night programming when they started to air ‘Banana Nite’, a spin-off of their popular program ‘Banana Split‘. Like its parent, the program features basically a mixture of gag sketches and stand-up comedy, features used on various programs of the American cable network ‘Comedy Central‘.

GMA also tried a different approach in late night programs. ‘The Tim Yap Show’, hosted by Tim Yap, features interviews with the most-followed celebrities on Twitter. Too bad Tim Yap only gets 15 minutes of fame with his program, so nothing is definitely offered here.

To be honest, I think the most relevant late night program today has to be ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ No other show comes close to the tradition of late night programming than that of ‘Medyo Late Night’. Jojo Alejar is a great host because he delivers his monologues with perfect timing and gives interviews in a hard-hitting but comedic manner. ‘Medyo Late Night’ is the perfect program for late nights, especially for those weary of the long hours at the office.

One can wonder if someone can rival the success of ‘Medyo Late Night’. Who knows, maybe one day late night programs will have the same vigor and energy as that of Jojo A.

Philippines, religion, television

Sunday Mass on Philippine Television

Sundays are family days, and one obligation of a family every Sunday is to attend weekly Mass. During early Sunday mornings, a majority of television stations air a live Sunday Mass for families who have no time going to church. However, there were some exceptions.

GMA, for some reason, does not broadcast a weekly Sunday Catholic mass. Instead, they air programs that preach the word of God in a different way. Bro. Eddie Villanueva‘s Jesus is Lord Church has been loyal to the GMA Network for over three decades, airing the flagship program ‘Jesus the Healer’ every Sunday morning. In addition, the said program also airs on sister station GMA News TV on Saturday mornings. After ‘Jesus the Healer’, Dr. Charles Stanley‘s In Touch Ministries air their flagship program on the said network. Like JIL, In Touch and GMA have a loyal relationship that has stretched over two decades.

Even though network affiliate GMA Pinoy TV has committed to air a live Sunday Mass for OFWs every week, the fact that GMA does not commit to air a live Sunday Mass on a weekly basis still baffles me. Although they have aired a Mass on occasion, such events are only aired every Christmas and Holy Week, and is aired via satellite from the Vatican. GMA needs to air a weekly Sunday Mass like its competitors ABS-CBN and TV5, unless they prove that their braintrust are not practicing Catholics.

Net 25, for obvious reasons, is owned by the Iglesia ni Cristo, whose flagship programs likewise air every weekend morning on the said network. Although the INC has its own television network, unfortunately they still air their programs on Net 25, despite the fact that both were UHF television networks. Still, its loyalty to the INC is immeasurable.

Exceptions aside, Sunday Mass on television has been a tradition since the 1960s. Sunday Mass always kicks off the Sunday schedule for most television networks, whose programming that day is normally dedicated to families everywhere. For those who have no time going to church, tuning in to Sunday Mass on television is a need to rediscover both Jesus Christ and salvation.

comedy, entertainment, music, Philippines

Ogie Alcasid Moves On

Kapuso No More: Ogie Alcasid moves from GMA to TV5.

Ogie Alcasid had been a Kapuso for nearly two decades, and during his lengthy tenure with GMA he has played the role of actor, comedian and concert performer every week. This past week Alcasid confirmed that he is returning to TV5 after an 18-year absence, and as seen on last night’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang‘, Alcasid is no longer seen in any of the sketches.

One of the signs that Alcasid is indeed out of the long-running gag show is on the shortened opening billboard, which did not show the names of the regular cast members and special guests. While Alcasid’s image still appears on the commercial bumpers, he was not seen in any of the sketches last night, furthering the fact that Alcasid is no longer a regular player on Bubble Gang.

Alcasid also ceased to appear on Sunday All Stars. Originally a judge on the variety show, he was replaced by comedian, Startalk host and Eat Bulaga mainstay Joey de Leon, who also appears on TV5 every Saturday on ‘Hayop sa Galing’.

Alcasid’s 18-year tenure with GMA has been one of the most productive. Most of his 18 years as a Kapuso was spent as a regular player on Bubble Gang and as a performer on SOP and Party Pilipinas. Alcasid also dabbled as an actor, particularly in the teleserye Daddy Dearest. He also played major roles in Bubble Gang spinoff movies such as Yaya and Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie and Boy Pick-Up: The Movie. He was also a host on several other GMA programs, such as Hole in the Wall. But perhaps the most fruitful result of his GMA tenure was his relationship with fellow performer Regine Velasquez, whom he married two years ago and bore a son Nathan.

With the impending move of Ogie Alcasid to TV5, we wish him the best of luck in his endeavors as a new member of the Kapatid Network.

hits, music, songs, United States

Billboard Hot 100 – August 3, 2013

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of August 3, 2013.

1. Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell  – Blurred Lines. No. 1 last week.

2. Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop. No. 3 last week.

3. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive. No. 4 last week.

4. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky. No. 2 last week.

5. Bruno Mars – Treasure. No. 7 last week.

6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton – Can’t Hold Us. No. 5 last week.

7. Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly – Cruise (remix). No. 6 last week.

8. Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail. No. 8 last week.

9. Anna Kendrick – Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone). No. 10 last week. 

10.  Justin Timberlake – Mirrors. No. 9 last week.

All videos of the Top 10 songs can be viewed above. Our thanks to Billboard for this week’s Hot 100 Top 10.