cartoon, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

‘Instadad’ Bids Farewell; Two New GMA Shows to Replace

‘Instadad’ ran for four months and 14 episodes, with little success. It will be replaced by ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ and ‘Alamat’ this coming Sunday. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

So long, ‘Instadad’.

The comedy-drama series that starred Gabby Eigenmann, Gabbi Garcia, Ashley Ortega and Jazz Ocampo aired its final episode Sunday afternoon. Overall, ‘Instadad’ aired for only a mere 14 episodes, from April 5 until yesterday.

‘Instadad”s pilot episode was pitted against ‘The Buzz”s finale, and had an impressive start as far as ratings are concerned. But when ABS-CBN moved ‘Luv U’ to a later timeslot the following week, ‘Instadad’ failed to keep up to its new rival.

Not even the premiere of ‘Wowowin’ nearly a month later helped ‘Instadad’ regain its opening day fortunes, nor did the former’s suddenly declining ratings in subsequent weeks. In the end, GMA’s latest attempt at a teen-oriented series was doomed as a failure once again.

Now that ‘Instadad’ is already out of picture, both Gabby Eigenmann and Gabbi Garcia can now focus on their primetime projects in ‘Pari ‘Koy’ and ‘Let the Love Begin’, respectively. At least they still have something to keep busy with.

Moving on, GMA has lined up a pair of programs to replace ‘Instadad’. They are:

Heart of Asia Presents

If five Asianovelas on weekdays are not enough, then a weekend with GMA’s ‘Heart of Asia’ block should satiate the desires of Asianovela fans. As the title suggests, ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ will feature special presentations of various Asian dramas, particularly from Korea.

‘Heart of Asia Presents’ airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. starting July 12.


GMA dubs it as the first-ever local animated anthology series. Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, ‘Alamat’ will feature a some of the greatest myths and legends the country has ever told, and will be voiced by some of the country’s most popular and distinguished personalities.

‘Alamat’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. starting July 12.

This should be another acid test for GMA’s predictably weak Sunday offerings. ‘Alamat’ and ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ may pack some potential, but it remains to be seen if they are definitely good enough for viewers to see.

With that, good luck to both shows.

cartoon, comedy, entertainment, humor, movies

In 100 Words: Oggy and the Cockroaches – The Movie

This past week ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches – The Movie’ was released to theaters in the Philippines, and the film hopes to bring in new tricks and surprises to this popular French animated comedy. The film stars the fat cat Oggy, his friends Jack and Olivia, and the naughty cockroaches Joey, Dee Dee and Marky.

Almost every day I tune in to ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches‘ on Cartoon Network, and all of the animation and physical comedy involved in the cartoon were superbly done. There’s no doubt that the creators of ‘Oggy’ worked hard in making this film a reality, and if you were a fan of Oggy and his gang, you’ll also like Xilam’s first film with their iconic character.


Boring Game of Cat and Mouse

Cartoon Network needs to thrive and adapt to a new generation with younger cartoons such as Adventure Time, in order to survive.

Tom and Jerry are a legend. They have been around for over 70 years, and has stood the test of time. However, it is becoming clear that I grew bored watching this cartoon, and I always wanted this program to be relegated to the late nights/early morning slot where there are only a few people awake at this time.

I don’t understand why Cartoon Network continues to air the program during the daylight hours, considering that the shorts are 65 years old on average. For those who watch the program, the premise is always simple : a cat named Tom is chasing a mouse named Jerry, and it is always the mouse that is winning the chase. There is basically no script; only a musical score and large amounts of visual humor are emphasized in every short. Tom and Jerry’s formula has been replicated on other cartoons, such as another Cartoon Network program Oggy and the Cockroaches. However, because of its age and repetitive airings I think it is time for Tom and Jerry to step aside for good.

Cartoon Network needs to emphasize more on younger cartoons, such as the hugely popular Adventure Time and Ben 10 series. They have already stopped airing classic cartoons such as the Looney TunesScooby DooDexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, among others. And since the Toonami block spun off into its own channel, Cartoon Network’s programming has been somewhat limited, and programs usually air on a three to four hours rotation. Perhaps adding new cartoons to the mix may help Cartoon Network introduce itself into a younger audience, and more importantly, maintain its status as one of the most-watched animation channel on TV.

If Nickelodeon has survived well with Spongebob Squarepants and The Fairly Oddparents as its standard-bearers, and if Disney Channel has survived with Phineas and Ferb, then Cartoon Network has to survive with Adventure Time and Ben 10 as its standard-bearers. Cartoon Network needs to get rid of the older cartoons and give way to younger ones in order to introduce themselves to a new audience. And getting rid of Tom and Jerry is a good start.

cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Anime Classics: Doraemon

One of the greatest Anime creations ever, Doraemon is deemed a cultural icon throughout Japan, and a recognizable character worldwide. (Illustration courtesy of Fujiko Fujio)

Every morning I tuned in to GMA 7 to watch Doraemon, and I just kept laughing. There is this blue robotic cat named Doraemon and his sidekick Nobita, who turned to him for help and advice, mostly for the wrong reasons. And there are Nobita’s friends, namely Shizuka, Suneo and Takeshi.  Takeshi, in the Filipino dub of  the anime, is named ‘Damulag’ or fat. For some reason, I still enjoy the program’s comedic value with the emphasis on moral lessons and educational topics.

GMA 7 has been airing Doraemon in the Philippines for over a decade, albeit on an intermittent basis. GMA Network continues to have the rights to the Doraemon anime, so even though they would stop airing for a while, they would keep the rights for future airings. They have also aired Doraemon feature films, albeit in three-part episodes.

The anime is created by Fujiko Fujio, who published the manga for 27 years. The television programs, through three different incarnations, have been airing since 1973, mostly through the TV Asahi network.  Nearly 50 Doraemon feature films have also been released. The Doraemon character is popular around the world, particularly in its native Japan, regardless of generations. In the Philippines, Doraemon merchandise have been a hit with children and adults alike, from keychains to bags and t-shirts, and even ringtones in cellphones.

One of my favorite Doraemon items is the time carpet. Doraemon and Nobita would go inside the latter’s drawer with the time carpet in hand, and then go time traveling, either to the past or to the future. Doraemon’s emphasis on studying both the past and the future has been a subject of discussion during every episode, and with it comes the experience and knowledge that Nobita learned through each of his travels. Another Doraemon trademark is the food dorayaki, used as a plot device in most episodes.

The secret of Doraemon is in his belly pocket. This is where he retrieves a gadget for Nobita to use in an effort to solve his dilemma. Sometimes however, Nobita would use that object at his own risk, and whenever Suneo and Takeshi sneak in, they would either steal or take advantage of Nobita’s object. Oftentimes it would be Nobita’s mother who scolded him for using the item for the wrong reason. This is where the moral lesson comes in, and it is usually up to Doraemon to remind Nobita of those lessons.

The humorous tone, creative storylines, and the moral lessons that come with it ensured the anime’s popularity and critical acclaim. Even as the manga published its last issue in 1996, its continued exposure through television, film, promotional appearances and merchandise kept Doraemon into the conscience of every Japanese. Today Doraemon is considered one of the greatest creations in the world of Japanese anime.