movies, music, news, Philippines, public affairs, religion, songs, television

The Real Anniversary of UNTV

The original logo of UNTV, adopted by the current station upon their ‘claimed’ establishment in 2004.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UNTV, the 24-hour television station managed by Daniel Razon. In reality, however, the station should be celebrating its 13th year in the television industry.

So what happened to the first three years of UNTV’s existence?

Apparently, it was the decision of the station’s management to use 2004 as its starting point. UNTV, as a public service station, took off once ‘Ang Dating Daan’ of Bro. Eli Soriano arrived on the scene, and from that point on, they eschewed the rock video format in favor of news, public affairs and educational programs that complemented ‘ADD’.

The arrival of Daniel Razon further legitimized UNTV’s approach to public service. He established a free bus ride, job fairs, legal counseling and health care services, and other means to serve the masses.

Thus, the station claims that they were established in 2004, and not 2001 as witnessed by older television viewers.

In my opinion, UNTV’s decision does not make sense. If the station claims to have been established in 2004, why did they use the original NU 107-inspired logo from 2001 as its first logo? And why did they choose to keep the UNTV name?

The fact is, their decision to reformat without rebranding and renaming the station is an insult to the legacy of UNTV’s previous rock-oriented era. Having said that, it is hard to imagine that the now public service-oriented UNTV was the same station that once aired rock music videos and independent short films.

Looking back, UNTV’s history from 2001-04 should have been given some respect. The station should be credited for launching the careers of Ramon Bautista, Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, Jun Sabayton and Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, hosts of the popular reality comedy series ‘Strangebrew’. In addition, UNTV should also be responsible for introducing independent film-making to a mainstream audience, courtesy of the ‘Eat My Shorts’ segments.

But perhaps the most important way to pay tribute to the original UNTV is their promotion of Pinoy rock (and alternative rock music in general) to the mainstream, in the form of music videos. And finally, the station should commend NU 107 DJs Francis Reyes, Zach Lucero and Ron Titular, and musicians Diego Mapa and Jason Caballa, for hosting programs that solely focus on promoting various genres of rock music.

Sadly, those three years in UNTV’s history were nothing but an afterthought. One must wonder if that particular era in UNTV’s history will be given a proper tribute. Only time will tell, but for now, UNTV’s claim of being established in 2004 will continue to hold.

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Philippines, religion, television

Ang Dating Daan Out of PTV 4

It was a brief and unfruitful experiment. ‘Ang Dating Daanonly aired for a month on the government station PTV 4, and then it was mysteriously pulled out of the network for unknown reasons. Perhaps it was the folks at UNTV that convinced PTV to pull out their flagship program from the airwaves, or that PTV never committed to Bro. Eli Soriano and his ministry. Regardless, ADD will no longer be seen on a VHF channel for the foreseeable future.

ADD was replaced on its timeslot by ‘Oras ng Himala’, a program helmed by Jesus is Our Shield Worldwide Ministries leader Apostle Renato Carillo. The 24-year old church organization based on healing and spiritual enrichment has been airing on PTV 4 for some time since its former home SBN 21 was reformatted into the Solar News Channel. In addition, PTV also airs the similarly themed ‘Jesus Miracle Crusade‘ on a weekly basis. ‘JMC’, founded by Wilde Almeda, was best known for its involvement in the Abu Sayyaf hostage crisis in 2000, in which its leader and his disciples visited their camp before they were released.

In the meantime, ADD will continue to air exclusively on UNTV, whose chairman Daniel Razon is a nephew of Eli Soriano.

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Philippines, religion, television

Ang Dating Daan on PTV

Ang Dating Daan moves to PTV 4, sort of.

One of the most knowledgeable yet controversial preachers today returns to VHF television. Bro. Eli Soriano and his program ‘Ang Dating Daan‘ recently returned to PTV 4 starting in August in an effort to propagate the message of God and Salvation through the Bible. This was the program’s first vestige to VHF television since the late 1990s.

For the past decade, Bro. Eli and his programs have been airing on a daily basis through UHF station UNTV 37. The said station, which used to air rock music videos and the cult favoriteStrangebrew‘, underwent a major transformation in 2004 through the leadership of Daniel Razon, a relative of Soriano’s and fellow ADD minister. Despite an influx of new programs, ‘Ang Dating Daan’, along with ‘Itanong Mo Kay Soriano‘, remain the station’s flagship programs.

The return of ADD to the government station PTV 4 was no surprise; the program used to air in that station in the late 1980s. And considering PTV’s efforts to improve its programming, the addition of ADD was a welcome breath of fresh air. Moreover, PTV’s clearer and improving signal compared to UNTV’s made it a perfect choice to air ADD.

Even though ADD now airs on PTV 4, it will continue to air on its flagship station UNTV. However, loyal members of the church who cannot get a clearer view of the program will now have the opportunity to watch Bro. Eli preach the words of God on the clearer and widely reachable signals of PTV 4.

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