education, game show, Philippines, television

Throwback: Battle of the Brains in 1994

Before David Celdran toured the world in a suit on ANC’s ‘Executive Class’, he was a young and fresh-faced host of one of the longest-running quiz shows on Philippine television.

The 1990s will always be remembered for ‘Battle of the Brains’, a quiz show pitting public and private students from the elementary, high school, and college levels. The program was a fixture on RPN-9 every Saturday morning, and the now-defunct retail giant Uniwide Sales was its major sponsor.

The popularity and success of the program led to an equally successful parody called ‘Battle of the Brainless’. The skit was featured on ABC-5’s ‘Tropang Trumpo’, and was later revived on the renamed TV5 via the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko (Unli/Nice Di Ba)’.

Back in 1994, the college grand finals of ‘Battle of the Brains’ was held at the Philippine International Convention Center. The contestants were Giovanni Claveria of Don Bosco Technical School, Oliver Tungol of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and Alfonso Gonzales of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos.

The three-part series of videos, the entirety of which run for over 45 minutes, can be viewed below.

‘Battle of the Brains’ would survive into the new millennium, albeit with a new sponsor in AMA Computer College and a new network in PTV-4, before leaving the airwaves in 2001. Meanwhile, David Celdran became a news anchor on the ABS-CBN News Channel, and as mentioned earlier, he is currently the host of ‘Executive Class’.

Unfortunately, programming changes, changing demographics and budget concerns would take the steam out of this type of game show. The last of these programs, GMA’s ‘Digital LG Quiz’, bowed out in 2004.

Although Eat Bulaga attempted to revive this format with the elementary, high school and college editions of the popular ‘Pinoy Henyo’ game, they were essentially segments of the long-running noontime variety show, and not standalone programs like ‘Battle of the Brains’ and ‘Digital LG Quiz’.

No one knows when will this type of game show returns, considering the frequency of the big stations to air Tagalized movies and teleserye re-runs. But one thing is for sure: ‘Battle of the Brains’ was a great show, and will never be replaced.

Standard
comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Tropa Moko Unli is Hot, and Bubble Gang is Not

After only two episodes ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ became a trending topic on Twitter, fueled by the revival of the ‘Battle of the Brainless’ skit.

They may have aired two episodes so far, but TV5’s newest gag show ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ is quickly becoming a hot trending topic in social media, not only in the Philippines, but also globally. So much so that it has the potential to put the long-running gag show ‘Bubble Gang‘ of GMA out of the airwaves, just like what that program did to the Kapatid network‘s original gag show ‘Tropang Trumpo‘.

It can be argued that Ogie Alcasid‘s decision to leave GMA and sign with TV5 was a blessing in disguise. After all, Alcasid spent 18 years as part of the ‘Bubble Gang’ cast after initially leaving ‘Tropang  Trumpo’ alongside buddy Michael V. However, Alcasid appears unsatisfied in playing the sidekick role, thus he moved over as a Kapatid talent and was tapped to be the ‘face’ and leader of the ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ gang. Alcasid was joined by fellow ‘Tropa’ Gelli de Belen, and by bringing in younger talent from the ‘Lokomoko‘ gag show, it unified both of TV5’s past and present gag shows into one, which became ‘Tropa Moko Unli’. And so far the union has been beneficial.

The strength of ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ lies on a carryover skit from the ‘Tropang Trumpo’ days. The decision to bring back the classic ‘Battle of the Brainless’ skit has been met with both critical and popular acclaim; the segment itself was also a social media hit. In addition, a parody of ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, entitled ‘Lasa May Toyo’, also contributed to the show’s popularity. For tomorrow’s episode, Alcasid will play host to the ‘Show Show A All the Way’, a parody of ‘The Medyo Late Night Show’ starring Jojo Alejar.

While ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ is gaining momentum, ‘Bubble Gang’ is losing steam. GMA’s long-running gag show is suffering from the lack of interesting skits, the worst of the bunch happens to be Diego Llorico’s ‘Atlit’ segment which took out the more popular ‘Ba’t Ganun?’ skit. The retirement of ‘Boy Pick Up’ and other characters played by Ogie Alcasid also factored into the show’s loss of audience. While Michael V. tried to make things interesting with his ‘Tata Lino’ and ‘Mr. Assimo’ skits, it is apparent that ‘Bubble Gang’ is past its prime, and with its placement on the late night Friday slot opposite ABS-CBN and TV5’s newscasts, audiences seem more interested in watching the news than a gag show like ‘Bubble Gang’.

‘Bubble Gang’ needs to get out of its so-called ‘group of death’ if they want to extend the show’s proven longevity. A move to Saturday nights is a logical move; GMA can place the program in the more favorable 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. slot where the program once enjoyed its peak of popularity. And it should benefit the program, considering that ABS-CBN’s ‘Banana Split’ and the aforementioned ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ airs on Saturdays, thus giving ‘Bubble Gang’ some much-needed competition. The revival of the popular ‘Ba’t Ganun?’ and the creation of more interesting and relative characters is what the program desperately need.

With the popularity and social media trending that ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ has enjoyed so far, they may have the potential to oust ‘Bubble Gang’ as the most popular gag show in the Philippines. And they seem poised to do so, just as ‘Bubble Gang’ did with ‘Tropang Trumpo’ back in its heyday.

Standard
entertainment, news, Philippines, television

Amy Perez Out of TV5

 

Amy Perez will no longer appear on any TV5 show after departing from the network last Saturday.

For the past few months, no new episodes of ‘Face to Face‘ was aired, fueling speculation of the program’s cancellation. And for the past few weeks, only the episodes hosted by Gelli de Belen were being aired, fueling rumors of the possible departure of the program’s original host Amy Perez. As it turned out, the rumors were true: Amy Perez and TV5 go their separate ways.

As announced on the TV5 showbiz talk show ‘Showbiz Police’, Amy Perez decided to leave the Kapatid network to explore other opportunities. Perez, who left ‘Face to Face’ for good last July after squabbling with management, also departed from hosting the morning show ‘Good Morning Club‘. She later tweeted that she will now become a host/disc jockey for 106.7 Energy FM, a frequency previously owned by TV5.

It was also confirmed by TV5 that ‘Face to Face’ will not be cancelled, but rather a reformat of the show to its new title ‘Face the People’ is being planned. Gelli de Belen will reprise her hosting role on the new program, and will be joined by Tintin Bersola-Babao as co-host. Prior to announcing her departure, Perez was also supposed to host ‘Face the People’ along with de Belen, but was instead replaced by her fellow GMC co-host once her departure came to light.

Meanwhile, TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ timeslot has been impressing many viewers in only its second week. In fact, both of Ogie Alcasid‘s shows trended on Twitter. ‘Tropa Moko Unli’ was the top trending topic on Twitter last Saturday, on the strength of the ‘Battle of the Brainless’ skit and Ogie’s Ryzza Mae Dizon impersonation called ‘Lasa May Toyo’. The next night, Ogie and Sharon Cuneta’s ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ once again made the list of trending topics. That night’s episode saw the live performance of recent ‘Ellen’ guests Aldrich Talonding and James Bucong. So far, TV5’s new weekend programming approach is working out well, with the new shows playing at par against established drama, comedy and public affairs programs of ABS-CBN and GMA.

Standard