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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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MMK Turns 25

The longest-running drama anthology on Philippine television gets the silver treatment.

For older viewers, it is still known as ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, but for the younger generation, it is now simply known as ‘MMK’. Regardless, the program that touched the lives of Filipinos here and around the world is still going strong, and just recently, it celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The very first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. The first episode, ‘Rubber Shoes’, starred Romnick Sarmenta, Vina Morales, Robert Arevalo, Hero Bautista and Ray Ventura, and it launched a tradition of reading letters through Charo Santos-Concio and naming episode titles after various objects, people or places.

From there, ‘MMK’ took off. The anthology became popular, earning numerous awards here and abroad, and it inspired more Filipinos to write stories of their own, each depicting their trials and tribulations in life.

In 1994, Star Cinema decided to produce a movie based on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. Released as one of the entries in that year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, it starred Richard Gomez, Aiko Melendez, Chin-Chin Gutierrez and Caridad Sanchez, among others.

In 2007, a radio program also based on ‘MMK’ began airing on DZMM, and earned similar praise as its television counterpart. Five years later, a rerun of classic ‘MMK’ episodes (titled ‘MMK Klasik’) also began to air on The Filipino Channel and on DZMM TeleRadyo.

Even though ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ has been on a roll since its first episode in 1991, rivals have tried to keep up with this long-running anthology. The most notable of these rivals was GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’, which first aired in 2002 and has continued to air since (other than a four-year hiatus from 2008 to 2012).

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remains an iconic program to many Filipinos. And as it turned 25, more stories are about to unfold, with each of them maintaining a tradition of inspiration and dedication to all Filipinos.

Hosted by Charo Santos-Concio, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ airs every Saturday at 8:15 p.m*. on ABS-CBN.

*‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ has been airing every Saturday night since 2008. The show originally aired every Wednesday, Thursday and then Friday night.

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