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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Philippines, Sports, television

When UAAP Courtside Reporting Is Not a Safe Bet

It is not easy to be a courtside reporter.

After all, it is considered one of the most highly scrutinized positions in the world of sports broadcasting. The best people on the job are those who can relate well to the audience, speak clearly and articulately, and exude confidence whenever possible.

In ABS-CBN Sports’ coverage of the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, a courtside reporter is hired not because he/she is pretty or handsome, but because the network wants them to represent the school with both enthusiasm and pride. Unfortunately, there are those who were simply not up to the task.

Last Saturday, ABS-CBN quietly replaced Nicole Sumagui with Stef Monce as Adamson University’s courtside reporter. No explanation was made regarding the change, but observant viewers saw that Sumagui stuttered at times, was tentative and lacked confidence in her abilities.

Sumagui was not the first courtside reporter to get the pink slip early in the season. There have been two such cases in which a UAAP courtside reporter was replaced before the season concluded.

Prior to UAAP Season 73 (2010-11), ABS-CBN assigned Karen Rozul to be the courtside reporter of National University. But the network replaced her with the late Maan Panganiban when they realized that Rozul was not confident enough for the job.

Two seasons later, NU endured some deja vu when the ineffective Muriel Orais was dismissed in favor of Steph Sy. Sy, like Stef Monce later on, had already exhausted her two-year eligibility, but ABS-CBN reinstated her for a third year due to this untimely circumstance.

For all the talk about the next Pia Arcangel, Lia Cruz, Riki Flores, Aaron Atayde, Nikko Ramos and Laura Lehmann, there are those like Karen Rozul, Muriel Orais and Nicole Sumagui who do not deserve to be in the same room. They may have survived the auditions, yet they failed to translate that into at least one year’s worth of on-the-job training for a future broadcasting career.

UAAP courtside reporting is not an easy task, but if one can survive and fulfill a dream, then it should bode well for their future career paths.  With the second round of men’s basketball plus a full slate of women’s volleyball still to come, all eyes are on the seven rookies and one returnee to see if they have what it takes to be a great UAAP courtside reporter.

Note: Aside from Stef Monce, this season’s roster of UAAP courtside reporters consist of Martie Bautista (Ateneo de Manila University), Eileen Shi (De La Salle University), Sydney Crespo (Far Eastern University), Miguel Dypiangco (National University), Migs Gomez (University of the East), Agatha Uvero (University of the Philippines) and Tonie Moreno (University of Sto. Tomas).

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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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Philippines, Sports, television

Relegated to the Sidelines: PVL in Tough Position Due to UAAP

The maiden season of the Premier Volleyball League saw its coverage relegated to live stream on most of its games, severely affecting its ability to gain a wider audience. (Logo courtesy of Sports Vision)

Talk about a rough first season.

The debut season of the Premier Volleyball League (formerly the Shakey’s V-League) will officially conclude this month following the season-ending Collegiate Conference. Unfortunately for organizer Sports Vision and broadcast partner ABS-CBN Sports, it was a frustrating introduction for the rebranded league.

When the then-SVL and ABS-CBN joined forces last year, it was hailed as a promise in the right direction. During that first year, ABS-CBN (through UHF channel S+A) was able to bring a majority of the league’s games live, and in doing so, gave the SVL some much-needed recognition after years of TV coverage issues from previous partners.

After Sports Vision renamed the Shakey’s V-League into the Premier Volleyball League earlier this year, ABS-CBN stepped up its game as well. The network announced that the league’s games would air live on S+A and also online through the ABS-CBN Sports website, using a separate set of announcers for the two media.

So far, however, the coverage of the PVL has been a rocky one. Most of its games were relegated to live streaming online, mainly due to ABS-CBN Sports’ priority with UAAP women’s volleyball and men’s basketball.

And even when the UAAP took an offseason break from late May to August, the PVL remain buried behind the pecking order as ABS-CBN chose to re-air UAAP women’s volleyball games instead of giving the PVL a chance. That said, even with main attraction Alyssa Valdez carrying the PVL on her shoulders, the league still lacked the exposure it deserves.

What ABS-CBN did is similar to Sports5’s approach with the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) in which some games are aired only on livestream. If this is the treatment they wanted for the PVL, then they’re not helping its cause.

While this is only Year 1 of the PVL’s TV/live stream experiment, the warning signs were evident. ABS-CBN Sports failed to account the fact that many people still depend on television for their viewing needs, and although mobile devices are becoming plentiful by the day, nothing can beat the easy convenience of television.

Come the 2018 season, expect wholesale changes from both the PVL and its broadcast partner. Still, it remains to be seen if next year will bring a much-improved scope and exposure into the Premier Volleyball League.

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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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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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