news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, radio, television

FTT’s Thoughts on Journalists Running for the Senate

The 2019 mid-term elections is still over a year away.

This early, prognosticators are starting to look at potential candidates who are poised to take over half of the Senate seats come July of next year. And not surprisingly, there are a few names from the broadcast industry that were mentioned as potential candidates for one of the twelve Senate seats available.

Take for instance Jiggy Manicad. The long-time GMA News reporter and anchor is being considered as a possible candidate for a Senate seat according to Senate President Koko Pimentel.

Consequently, Jiggy announced his departure from GMA News within days of the report, saying that he wants to jump into the ‘next level’ of public service. But he was not the only news personality to be mentioned as a possible Senate candidate.

In a recent Pulse Asia survey, PTV-4 news anchor Erwin Tulfo was listed in the top 12 of potential top candidates for a seat in the Senate. So far, Erwin has yet to comment on the matter.

Journalists running for public office is nothing new in the Philippines. Perhaps one can look at the two most successful journalists-turned-politicians of the recent past.

Noli de Castro, the ‘Kabayan’ of primetime television news, ran as Senator and won in 2001. Three years later, he became then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s running-mate for Vice President and became victorious, serving for another six years before resuming his career as a news anchor.

Another ABS-CBN News alumnus, Loren Legarda, also ran for a Senate seat in 1998 and won. She has since earned another two terms at the Senate in 2007 and 2013.

But not all journalists were destined for political office. Jay Sonza, for instance, twice tried to run for Senator but failed to earn a seat each time.

That said, any journalist who enters the world of politics, particularly in a highly-scrutinized position such as the Senate, must be well-rehearsed to handle the demands of the campaign and their role if elected. If they do not have what it takes, chances are they will not get the majority votes from the masses.

The election period is still over a year away, so there is a lot of time for the likes of Jiggy Manicad and Erwin Tulfo to consider the risks and rewards of the political arena. Good luck, not just with them, but also to any journalist who want to join the bandwagon.

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education, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: The Boom of Educational TV Shows

Led by the award-winning ‘SineSkwela’, educational programs in the Philippines received a big boost in 1995. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

It’s back to school for students across the Philippines.

School year 2015-16 is now underway in every public school in the country, with private institutions starting theirs the week after. For big-name tertiary schools such as UP, Ateneo, La Salle and UST, opening of classes would come a few months later, as part of their alignment with the academic calendars of other countries.

Back in school year 1995-96, a surge in educational TV programs took place. The said school year saw the establishment of two different series of educational programs: ABS-CBN’s ETV (Educational Television), and PTV-4’s CONSTEL (Continuing Education via Television).

ABS-CBN’s ETV series initially consisted of the following programs:

SineSkwela – the flagship program of the ETV series which tackles a variety of topics related to elementary science, health and technology.

Hiraya Manawari – focuses on fantasy stories with lessons on good values and morals.

Bayani – discusses historic Filipino heroes through a dramatic retelling of their struggles and triumphs.

The ETV series introduced three other programs a few years later, consisting of:

Math-Tinik – features lessons related to elementary mathematics.

Epol/Apple – examines the proper use of elementary English in everyday conversations.

Pahina – analyzes classical Filipino literature through dramatization of said stories.

The ETV series initially aired on ABS-CBN during weekday mornings for much of the mid-90s. The debut of Knowledge Channel in 1999 soon prompted the network to move the ETV programs to the said channel, leading to a change in ABS-CBN’s early-morning landscape that remains to this day.

The ETV programs also aired on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action). Videotapes and DVDs of the said programs were also sold and donated to schools through ABS-CBN Foundation.

Meanwhile, PTV-4’s CONSTEL series consisted of the following programs:

Science Made Easy – a telecourse for elementary students that features lessons on basic science.

Chemistry in Action – a telecourse for high school students that features lessons on chemistry.

Physics in Everyday Life – a telecourse for college students that features lessons on physics.

CONSTEL English – introduced a few years later, the series was a telecourse for high school students that features lesson on English language and grammar.

PTV-4’s CONSTEL series was produced by the network in cooperation with what is now the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Foundation for the Upgrading of Standards in Education (FUSE). The series continues to air on a sporadic basis, even during the time PTV-4 was known as NBN under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The CONSTEL series was also picked up by Knowledge Channel and is currently airing on a recurring basis.

While ‘Fun with Math’ was also introduced around this time, it was not considered part of the CONSTEL series. Nevertheless, the program served a similar purpose in promoting education through television.

The resurgence of educational TV programs was a big moment in Philippine television in 1995. Today, these programs continue to benefit teachers in any way possible, and influence a young generation of students everywhere.

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

PNoy’s Speech and Impact on TV Programming

President Noynoy Aquino’s address on the Disbursement Acceleration Program forced several television stations to halt their scheduled programs. (Photo credit: Bullit Marquez, Associated Press)

President Noynoy Aquino’s impromptu speech in relation to the Disbursement Acceleration Program made a huge impact on television programming.

The near-30 minute speech saw the President defend the controversial bill, which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Highlights of his speech include his criticism on predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Supreme Court’s declaration, and his enumeration of the DAP’s supposed benefits.

Unfortunately, his lengthy address proved too much for several television stations to handle. Episodes of ABS-CBN’s ‘Pure Love’ and GMA’s ‘My BFF’ were halted just 10 minutes into their running time, and were not resumed. The unfinished episodes of both programs are scheduled to re-air in full later tonight.

Meanwhile, the live NCAA seniors basketball game between Lyceum and Mapua on TV5 and AksyonTV was cut with over 3 minutes left, and was only resumed on the latter following the ‘Aksyon’ newscast.

And over at GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action, episodes of ‘MARS’ and ‘Once Upon a Time’ were temporarily put on hold during the televised address, resuming after the end of the broadcast.

While GMA News TV and ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s decision to air the address and delay ongoing programming is excusable, the same cannot be said for their mother networks. Instead of pre-empting their teleseryes in favor of news coverage of the address, GMA and ABS-CBN continued to air them without realizing the consequences. As a result, their decision left viewers puzzled and unsatisfied, since neither program resumed following the address.

For NCAA fans, the feeling is all too familiar. TV5’s decision to cut away from the ongoing NCAA telecast was just another blunder committed by the network since acquiring the rights to the league. The lack of a commercial-free and uninterrupted online livestream service for the game was also a cause of concern.

Events like this should serve as a lesson to programming directors. In an impromptu national event like President Aquino’s address, programming directors should take note of the length of the event and the possible consequences to ongoing programs, so that they can be prepared for any eventuality. If done the right way, viewers will benefit well from the change.

With that in mind, the upcoming State of the Nation Address is just two weeks away. And for major networks, this event should help them restructure their programming  in order to inform viewers of any pre-emptions.

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