action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ang Probinsyano’s Latest Threat: PNP and DILG

It has been a mostly smooth-sailing run for ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, until now.

Earlier this week, the Philippine National Police, led by Director General Oscar Albayalde, criticized ‘Ang Probinsyano’ for its supposed unfair portrayal of the police force. This led to the PNP withdrawing any further support to the long-running ABS-CBN action series.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also sided with the PNP’s opinion on the show and considered filing legal charges against the producers of ‘Ang Probinsyano’. In response, ABS-CBN issued this statement.

“FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” assures the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the characters, places, and incidents in the program are purely fictitious as stated in the disclaimer aired at the start of the show every night. There is no intention to smear the reputation of any organization or portray any person in a negative light.

The program has also portrayed its main character, Cardo, as a hardworking police officer dedicated to saving lives and serving his fellowmen. As in the past years, “FPJAP” has highlighted that good shall always triumph over evil and has shared valuable lessons and family values that have resonated with viewers.

— Kane Errol Choa

Head, Integrated Corporate Communications

Senator Grace Poe, Gabriela, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and the group Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) sided with ABS-CBN over the matter and chided the PNP and DILG over its perceived censorship of the series. Meanwhile, DILG secretary Eduardo Año would seek a meeting with the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives regarding the matter.

As of November 16, 2018, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has aired 813 episodes and is the highest-rated primetime series in the country with an average of 40% in the ratings. But with this latest issue facing the show, it appears as though its dominance may soon taper.

At this point, viewers of the show can only hope against the inevitability of cancellation should the PNP and DILG file and perhaps win its case against ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If that happens, it may become a repeat of ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ getting banned from television under the Marcos regime, and it will be utter humiliation for media freedom.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Pastillas Girl Skit Gets MTRCB’s Attention

‘Pastillas Girl’ is in hot water.

A meeting between the MTRCB’s Gender and Development Committee and the show’s director Norbert Vidanes, executive producer Mark Rejano, and business unit head Reily Santiago is set to take place this October 13. This was in response to numerous complaints from concerned citizens regarding the ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ segment.

Among those concerned were the women’s group Gabriela, who requested the MTRCB for an investigation regarding the skit’s alleged exploitation of women. They claim that ‘Pastillas Girl’ (Angelica Yap in real life) is being pimped by various interested men, something that Yap and her mother vehemently denied.

The letter, which was sent to the executives of ‘It’s Showtime’, as well as ABS-CBN TV Production Entertainment head Laurenti Dyogi and Gabriela Secretary General Joan Salvador, is as follows:

Further to the Memorandum of Understanding dated 28 March 2012 by and between our Agency and various television networks and entities, including ABS-CBN Corporation, as well as the official letter we received last week from the party-list alliance Gabriela, not to mention some feedback from the general public, we are impelled to invite your authorized representatives for the program ‘It’s Showtime’ to a dialogue with the Special Sub-Committee of our Gender And Development (GAD) Committee on 13 October 2015, at 10:00 a.m., at ground floor conference room.

‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ was supposed to be ‘It’s Showtime”s answer to the explosively popular ‘Kalyeserye’ of ‘Eat Bulaga’, starring Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza and Alden Richards. Instead, it only worsened the gap between the two shows, while critics to the segment continued to increase.

That said, the ‘Magpasikat’ spirit that has epitomized ‘It’s Showtime’ for six years is now a thing of the past. What the viewers see at this point is a desperate and frustrated program that is offering skits with negative results.

It’s another big blow for ‘It’s Showtime’, and for a show that is losing its grip, this is a painful and difficult sight to see.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

AlDub Phenomenon Continues to Grow, But Warning Signs Become Evident

The AlDub phenomenon reached fever pitch last Saturday.

‘Eat Bulaga”s so-called National Pabebe Wave Day featured a chance meeting between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (aka Yaya Dub) inside a mansion ‘owned’ by Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola). It marked the first selfie between the pair, the debut of the mansion’s maid Rianna, also portrayed by Bayola, and the first time that Yaya Dub spoke on national television.

That episode of ‘Eat Bulaga’ overwhelmed ‘It’s Showtime”s ANIMversary episode by a wide margin, both in tweets and in the ratings. A record 25 million tweets were confirmed during the episode, while ratings of 37.2 (NUTAM) and 30.8% (Kantar) helped ‘Eat Bulaga’ widen its gap over ‘It’s Showtime’.

Many were beginning to question ‘It’s Showtime”s increasingly immoral antics, such as what happened last Saturday with the on-air kiss between Viceral (Vice Ganda’s alter-ego) and Karylle (see video above). Even the infamous Pastillas Girl segments (which were criticized for its desperate and indecent nature) earned the ire of Gabriela for its exploitation of women.

However, the so-called Kalyeserye on ‘Eat Bulaga’ also has its fair share of detractors. This despite the fact that it entails a positive message to its viewers.

Since the AlDub phenomenon got underway, virtually every newscast on GMA and GMA News TV have always featured a short summary of the Kalyeserye (example video above). The overemphasis on AlDub continued even during Sundays, which is a rest day for the staff of ‘Eat Bulaga’.

Stories of the AlDub phenomenon have also become a regular occurrence on ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’. Features of AlDub fanatics are usually the point of emphasis on the said program.

GMA has also taken advantage of Alden Richards’ renewed fame, even though it was ‘Eat Bulaga”s parent company TAPE, Inc. who made the young actor a household name. Just recently, News TV reaired the obvious flop that is ‘Ilustrado’, while Alden’s life story on ‘Magpakailanman’ was also replayed.

It is clear that GMA is abusing the popularity of AlDub. The pair alone has loomed large over GMA’s own talents, and as a result, stunts their development and potential.

That said, finding a balance between AlDub and the rest of the network should be emphasized. AlDub can’t do it alone, and GMA needs its other talents and programs to step up in this urgent moment.

AlDub’s popularity should not be taken for granted. It is GMA’s responsibility to make things fair for everyone, otherwise it may alienate its viewers.

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