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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news, Philippines, television, United States

In 100 Words: Tragedy in Vegas

Around 60 lives were claimed in the Las Vegas shooting incident, considered the worst such attack in American history. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Totally gruesome and tragic.

Gunfire enveloped a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada early Monday morning (Monday afternoon in Manila). When the smoke was cleared, around 60 people were killed and over 500 more were wounded.

Even news networks in the Philippines can’t help but feel a tragic sense of loss for the victims. Throughout most of the day, attention shifted to the incident in Las Vegas, where they kept an eye on the latest updates surrounding the worst mass shooting in American history.

It remains to be seen if there are Filipino victims in this horrible attack. For now, stay tuned to CNN Philippines, the ABS-CBN News Channel, GMA News TV and DZMM TeleRadyo for more updates on the Las Vegas shooting, and to see if Filipinos were affected in this incident.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

In 100 Words: New Host for Red Alert

‘Red Alert’ has a new host.

Beginning tomorrow night, the ABS-CBN disaster-oriented program will be hosted by Jeff Canoy. Canoy replaced the now-departed Atom Araullo who recently returned to GMA Network after over a decade of service on the Kapamilya network.

Prior to his big break on ‘Red Alert’, Canoy served as a long-time field reporter for ABS-CBN News, and his recent work on the Marawi crisis earned raves from netizens both here and abroad. Canoy will continue to serve as field reporter while adding a new hat as host of ‘Red Alert.

Canoy will also join Prof. Mahar Lagmay and Ted Esguerra on ‘Red Alert sa DZMM’ airing every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. As for ‘Red Alert’ on television, it will still air Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on DZMM TeleRadyo and after ‘Bandila’ on ABS-CBN.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Big Question: Is Atom Araullo Going Home to GMA?

The fallout surrounding Atom Araullo’s departure from ABS-CBN is still strong.

It has been a week since Atom bid farewell to ABS-CBN News in order to ‘explore new interests’. At the time, many thought that Atom will simply be a freelancer and make good on his promise of seeking different opportunities in the world of media.

However, within hours of the announcement, GMA teased everyone when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez made mention of Atom’s name in the DZBB radio program ‘Sino?’. The rumors continued when GMA made the announcement on television of a ‘big reveal’ on ’24 Oras’ this Thursday night, with viewers again speculating that the man on the video is Atom Araullo himself.

Atom Araullo’s career as a host and journalist is a remarkable one. His initial foray into television is on the Probe Productions program ‘5 and Up’, but unlike fellow hosts Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and brothers Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, Atom chose to follow a career in journalism.

After a brief stint as a sports reporter on GMA’s ’24 Oras’, Atom moved to ABS-CBN in 2004 where his career really took off. While he was best known as one of the hosts of ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ and even had his own show in ‘Red Alert’, Atom’s best moment came in 2013 when he reported in Tacloban about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) while braving the heavy rains and winds.

Earlier this year, Atom received his first acting role on ‘Citizen Jake’ while earning a bronze medal at the New York Festivals for his documentary ‘Warmer’. His final appearances on the ABS-CBN family of networks came last night in an episode of Lifestyle’s ‘The Crawl’.

If it is indeed true that Atom Araullo will move to GMA Network, the reaction could be a mixed one. ABS-CBN has had a ‘no-compete clause’ in their news personalities’ contracts which state that they should not move to another network until a year following their departure.

Then again, anything like a ‘no-compete clause’ is totally irrelevant at this point. Not only that, Atom’s departure from ABS-CBN is an amicable one, and as a free agent, he can choose his next destination anytime he wants.

Later tonight, the ‘big reveal’ will take place on GMA’s ’24 Oras’. But the question remains, is the man in the video indeed Atom Araullo? Find out in several hours’ time.

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, television

Alaala on GMA This Sunday

Martial Law in the Marcos era is still a relevant topic in Philippine history.

Which is why on the 45th anniversary week of this dreaded event, GMA will rekindled harsh memories of the era through the two-hour made-for-TV film ‘Alaala: A Martial Law Special’. The special will star Alden Richards, Rocco Nacino, Gina Alajar and Bianca Umali, and is directed by Adolf Alix Jr.

In ‘Alaala’, Alden and Rocco will bring life to Martial Law activists Boni Ilagan and Pete Lacaba respectively. The special will take a look at the two activists’ hardships and trials during one of the darkest chapters in Philippine politics.

It will also take a look at Martial Law in both a positive and negative light. Overall, ‘Alaala’ should be a series worth watching for history enthusiasts and Martial Law victims alike.

Not surprisingly, the special will be under the helm of GMA Public Affairs, the same group that brought the likes of ‘Titser’, ‘Katipunan’ and ‘Ilustrado’ to the small screen. With a reputation for bringing award-winning (albeit oft-criticized) docu-dramas to the limelight, expect GMA Public Affairs to bring that same fire on ‘Alaala’.

In one of the rare moments of GMA’s recent history, they will air a made-for-TV film in the dreaded Sunday night slot. Considering the many times that Sunday Night Box Office brought in old Tagalized foreign films for nostalgia’s sake, ‘Alaala’ is definitely a change from the norm, and it’s a good thing to see regardless of how it fares in the ratings.

Come this Sunday, history will be relived. Anyone who suffered under the wrath of Martial Law, and those who still don’t understand its consequences, should watch ‘Alaala’ in order to look back at the people’s suffering, pain and misery during this dark age in Philippine history.

‘Alaala’ will air this Sunday on GMA’s Sunday Night Box Office.

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entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, television, variety show

GMA’s Own 5:00 P.M. Regional Programming Issue

ABS-CBN is not the only major television network with a regional programming problem.

Archrival GMA also endures its fair share of issues when it comes to regional programs. Similar to what ABS-CBN experiences, GMA’s biggest concern is at the 5:00 p.m. slot where regional news programs are aired in the provinces in lieu of shows relayed straight from Metro Manila.

Just last Monday, GMA’s Mindanao-based channels began to air a new regional newscast titled ‘One Mindanao’. The program is anchored by longtime Mindanao-based GMA anchors Tek Ocampo, Sarah Hilomen-Velasco and Real Soroche, and is aired on weekdays at 5:00 p.m.

Like ‘Balitang Amianan’ (Dagupan and Ilocos) and ‘Balitang Bisdak’ (Cebu), ‘One Mindanao’ preempts the first 30-40 minutes of ‘Wowowin’, the GMA afternoon game show hosted by Willie Revillame. But as far as GMA is concerned, this was just a minor inconvenience.

Consider the following factors:

  1. Most GMA regional networks are now mere relay outlets following the closure of most stations and the layoff of its employees.
  2. ‘Wowowin’ is still aired after the newscasts, thus no need to reair the show the following morning.
  3. ‘Wowowin’ more often than not beats an ABS-CBN Koreanovela (only a few relay areas receive such programs due to regional ‘TV Patrol’) in the ratings game regardless of either Kantar or AGB Nielsen.

With that in mind, it was clear to GMA that they are undeterred about the overall programming disparity between Greater Manila Area and regional areas. However, with the entry of ‘One Mindanao’ in the Mindanao area, they now have every reason to worry since ‘Wowowin”s audience will be reduced significantly.

Issues among ABS-CBN and GMA’s regional network programs are in dire need of a resolution. The 5:00 p.m. slot, usually a haven for regional networks to produce their newscasts, is one example of what each network needs to do to make things all the more parallel.

But since GMA currently has less regional stations than ABS-CBN, their own concern may be revisited once they decide to resuscitate some of these stations. For now, GMA can only hope that their regional networks’ standing will be improved with each step.

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