entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Tony Calvento: The Original ‘Imbestigador’

Tony Calvento, best known as a columnist and host of the ABS-CBN crime series ‘Calvento Files’, passed away yesterday. (Photo credit: Tony Calvento Facebook Page)

Gus Abelgas, the Tulfo brothers and Mike Enriquez were not the first Filipino hosts to showcase gruesome murder cases on television.

Before they came into the viewers’ consciousness, there was Tony Calvento and his ‘Calvento Files’. The program aired on ABS-CBN from 1995-98, during which it popularized the crime docudrama genre on Philippine television.

On Monday, October 9, Calvento passed away from multiple organ failure, his family announced. Funeral services will take place from October 10-13, after which his remains will be cremated on October 14.

Calvento enjoyed a distinguished journalism career. He rose to fame as a columnist for the People’s Journal, before gaining even greater recognition as the host of ‘Calvento Files’ in the mid-1990s.

Most of the stories on ‘Calvento Files’ were adopted from his column on People’s Journal titled ‘Hotline’. Although its run on ABS-CBN was short, it managed to earn a number of accolades, most notably the 1999 New York Film Festival for best docudrama.

‘Calvento Files’ was also adopted into a film produced by Star Cinema in 1997. The film, which was directed by Michael de Mesa and Laurenti Dyogi, featured a screenplay by Ricky Lee with some input from Calvento himself.

After the show ended, Calvento moved over to Pilipino Star Ngayon, naming his column after the aforementioned ABS-CBN program. He remained with the Star Group until his passing.

Individually, Calvento won numerous awards for his journalistic work and his role in crime investigation. And his influence as host of ‘Calvento Files’ was then passed on to other shows that were based on his docudrama style.

Today, the Calvento legacy was passed on to his son Sonny Calvento. The younger Calvento made his presence felt as director of ‘Nabubulok’, which entered the Cinemalaya film festival in August of this year and whose story was influenced by the elder Calvento’s crime stories in his columns.

Tony Calvento may be gone physically, but spiritually his legacy will live on. May his soul rest in peace.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

In 100 Words: With All Due Respect, Joey

Joey de Leon is actually trending, but for the wrong reason.

Last Thursday’s episode of ‘Eat Bulaga’ saw a ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ winner discuss about her mother’s long battle with depression. What happens next proved to be sensitive for even the most concerned of viewers.

Within minutes, people started talking about this segment. Many praised Maine Mendoza for taking the issue seriously while at the same time criticized Joey de Leon for mocking said condition.

‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment is no stranger to tackling real-life issues among its winners. And while some portions of the segment feature the usual sense of humor among its hosts, reality continues to be the focal point, something that the show should always take seriously.

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anime, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

Redubbed Daimos to Air on GMA Astig Authority Starting Today

Another fresh sound for a classic anime.

Following in the footsteps of the popular ‘Voltes V’, GMA announced that a redubbed version of ‘Daimos’ will air beginning today at 8:50 a.m. This redubbed version will feature the voices of Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali, who will lend their voices to protagonists Richard Hartford (Japanese name Kazuya Ryuuzaki) and Erika.

Other characters such as Prince Ulrich, Edward Kramer, Joanna Hartford, Professor Yurgen, General Harris, Bertha, Laila, Zendor and Rowena will be voiced by professional voice actors. But the main force of this newly-dubbed ‘Daimos’ will be the voices of the BiGuel love team, which should lend a new perspective to this classic series.

Like ‘Voltes V’, ‘Daimos’ became a popular anime series when it first aired in the late 1970s, only to be banned by then-President Ferdinand Marcos due to excessive violence. After the demise of the Marcos regime, ‘Daimos’ was aired in full in various Filipino free TV channels, but it was not until 1999 when GMA brought back the series to popular acclaim.

Though not as well-recognized as ‘Voltes V’, ‘Daimos’ nevertheless became an iconic anime on its own right. For viewers, the story of Richard fighting for the love of Erika while convincing the Brahmins that they were not all evil is just as compelling as the Armstrong brothers’ fight to save their father while recognizing their Boazanian heritage.

It remains to be seen if this refreshed version of ‘Daimos’ will click with a new generation of viewers. But for those who want to look back at the battle between humans and Brahmins while at the same time reflect on the love story between Richard and Erika, this series should be a sentimental one to watch.

‘Daimos’ is a creation of Tadao Nagahama and is produced by Toei Animation and distributed by Telesuccess Productions.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Struggling Kapamilya Gold Needs a Boost

Thanks to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’, GMA Afternoon Prime suddenly looked imposingly strong against ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The struggle is indeed real.

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block has hit a rough patch of late. In the last several weeks, teleseryes ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘The Better Half’ and its replacement ‘The Promise of Forever’ scored fewer ratings than GMA Afternoon Prime counterparts ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’.

Although the three series did have a few winning moments, it was clear that the momentum is now on GMA’s side. ABS-CBN may be the better network overall, but their issues in the afternoon slots are causing plenty of concerns.

One reason why GMA suddenly became winnable in the afternoon is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, the popular yet at times campy drama series starring Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion. Since March, the series earned ratings of 15 to 18%, good enough to give ‘It’s Showtime’ plenty of fits.

In a previous article, From the Tube discussed how ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ was able to win the hearts of viewers while at the same time exposes ABS-CBN’s weaknesses in the afternoon slots. Although ‘It’s Showtime’ recently countered by replacing ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ with ‘Miss Q&A’ as the noontime show’s final segment, it still had a hard time cracking ‘Ika-6 na Utos” armor.

The success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ has since spread like wildfire to the two succeeding GMA Afternoon Prime series. From late August onwards, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ earned better ratings than ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, and even though the latter was then replaced by ‘The Promise of Forever’, the results were mostly the same.

If ABS-CBN wants to restore order within Kapamilya Gold, drastic measures must be implemented. Going back to a three-teleserye setup is what the network desperately needs at this point, but in order to do that, they need to make some sacrifices.

For one, they must convince ‘It’s Showtime’ to either cut a portion of their airtime or return to the pre-noontime slot. Regarding the third teleserye, a possible option for that would be ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’, which despite earning good ratings in the pre-noontime slot, has a more serious storyline than its predecessors and is better equipped for the afternoon slot.

Would it be better to see Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia go up against Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion? Perhaps, but given ABS-CBN’s pre-noontime dominance, that potential matchup between ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ and ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will only be just that, a fantasy.

Still, the sudden change of fortune on Kapamilya Gold should give the ABS-CBN brass some sense of urgency. After all, despite their success, there are always holes with which the opponent will take advantage of, and ABS-CBN should be aware of that.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

GMA Tries Again with Bossing & Ai + The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

‘Never stop trying!’

It has been the motto for GMA these past several years. The odds have not always been great for the network, but give them credit for continuing to compete despite these insurmountable obstacles.

Remember the time when ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ was so unbeatable that GMA had no choice but to stop competing against it? For years, the ABS-CBN late-night variety show proved to be GMA’s Achilles heel, and each time GMA tried to answer with a show of their own, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ always shoves them out of the door.

But it seems like ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ has seen better days of late due to the presence of ABS-CBN’s reality and talent shows (e.g. ‘Pinoy Big Brother’). Sensing that the show’s ratings is on a downward trend, GMA decided to create a new show in ‘Bossing & Ai’ in an attempt to finally bring down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ from its perch.

‘Bossing & Ai’ premiered last night and is a game show starring Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas as leaders of two groups of contestants. They are joined by Jose Manalo, Tart Carlos and game master Oyo Sotto.

In essence, ‘Bossing & Ai”s competition with ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ is an extension of the ‘Eat Bulaga’-‘It’s Showtime’ rivalry, of which Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda are the respective hosts. Still, it remains to be seen if ‘Bossing & Ai’ will live up to its promise of taking down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ for good.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’, the d’Explorer sisters of ‘Kalyeserye’ will have a talk show of their own. Beginning today at 11:30 a.m., Jose Manalo (as Lola Tinidora), Paolo Ballesteros (as Lola Tidora) and Wally Bayola (as Lola Nidora) will host ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

The new talk show will replace ‘TROPS’, the coming-of-age drama series starring ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘BAES’ (Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia). ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will mark TAPE’s first venture into the talk show genre since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ from 2013-15.

But unlike ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be pre-taped as Jose, Paolo and Wally also serve as on-location hosts of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment. This means there will be no live transition from one show to the next.

‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ would have been a perfect show to compete against the ABS-CBN morning talk show ‘Magandang Buhay’, especially now that GMA’s slate of animes are declining in popularity. Instead, the talk show will be placed as part of TAPE’s mandated 11:30-2:30 p.m. block and will go up against ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Whether or not ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be a factor in the game remains to be seen. But as far as GMA, M-ZET and TAPE are concerned, there’s nothing wrong about continuing to try despite the odds.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Getting Serious: ABS-CBN Goes No More Mr. Nice Guy with The Good Son

It will be a new-look and more serious Primetime Bida starting next week.

Gone were the ‘kilig-seryes’ that permeated the fifth slot of ABS-CBN’s ever-popular evening block. With all due respect to JaDine (‘On the Wings of Love’, ‘Till I Met You’) and TonDeng (Ian Veneracion and Bea Alonzo of ‘A Love to Last’), this formula is starting to wear thin.

Instead, ABS-CBN goes back to a more serious approach that made ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’ runaway successes. The newest drama, ‘The Good Son’, despite its designation as a family drama, leans more on the mature and dark side.

While rival GMA continues to lean too much on aging and at times overexposed veterans for their primetime dramas, ABS-CBN cashes in on their deep roster of young talent for ‘The Good Son’. The series will be led by Jerome Ponce, Nash Aguas, Joshua Garcia and McCoy de Leon, and joining them are fellow rising stars Loisa Andallo, Elisse Joson and Alexa Ilacad.

In ‘The Good Son’, Jerome (as Enzo), Nash (as Calvin), Joshua (as Joseph) and McCoy (as Obet) are four siblings who live a simple and happy life without their father Victor (Albert Martinez), a man whose identity remains a secret. But Victor’s mysterious death led to a series of events that saw the four siblings accused of murder, and the ensuing battle to prove who is innocent from the crime is on.

‘The Good Son’ will also include Mylene Dizon, Eula Valdez, John Estrada, Ronnie Lazaro, Jeric Raval, Alex Medina, and Kathleen Hermoso. The series will be directed by Manny Palo and Andoy Ranay.

Considering ABS-CBN’s reputation for turning rising stars into superstars, the pressure is now on ‘The Good Son”s up-and-coming actors to continue this budding trend. However, it remains to be seen if the series’ untested group of young talent will thrive in the high-stakes block that is primetime.

It will also be interesting to see how the viewers react to a change of formula from a light drama to a more serious one. That said, ‘The Good Son’ should be a series that may either make or break Primetime Bida’s unpredictable fifth slot.

‘The Good Son’ airs weeknights after ‘La Luna Sangre’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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