Before Saturday night television viewing was taken over by tearjerkers such as ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya‘ and ‘Magpakailanman‘, news and public affairs programs such as ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘, ‘Imbestigador‘ and ‘XXX: Eksklusibong, Explosibong Expose’ were keeping viewers informed during the weekend. But let’s go back to the 90s, and one classic program came to mind.
ABS-CBN‘s ‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan‘ became a standard of excellence for investigative journalism. The program’s title was a trademark of host Noli de Castro, who frequently begins and ends ‘TV Patrol‘ with this phrase, and likewise uses a variation of the phrase whenever he host his DZMM morning program ‘Kabayan, Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan’. The program became closely identifiable with de Castro, and was famous for ‘Kabayan”s hard-hitting interviews with various guests, as well as a detailed study at current events and issues that shaped the nation at the time.
However, its most famous tradition was its Halloween specials. In each special, ‘Kabayan’ would discuss urban myths, encounters with the supernatural, horror stories, and even places that were deemed haunted by bad spirits. The MGB Halloween specials became a chilling affair for the viewer, especially when de Castro narrates in his normally baritone voice how each horror tale took place. The specials would continue even after de Castro ran for the Senate in 2001, but its final special aired in 2005, months before MGB was pulled off the air.
When de Castro returned to ABS-CBN after a nine-year run as both a senator and a vice president, he did not convince management to revive MGB. Instead he focused on both ‘TV Patrol’ and his radio program ‘Kabayan’, but in 2011, the traditional MGB Halloween specials returned as a one-off documentary. The special ‘Kababalaghan’ reminded viewers of how the MGB Halloween specials scared the life out of them, especially when de Castro’s baritone turns spookier with every word. The documentary trended on social media when it aired.
It is unknown when another one-off MGB Halloween special will be produced, but one thing is certain: Halloween won’t be the same without Magandang Gabi, Bayan’s Halloween specials.