news, Philippines, public affairs, television

TV Coverage of Typhoon Yolanda

 

One of the many houses damaged during the landfall of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Visayas region. Haiyan is perhaps the strongest recorded typhoon in history, with a 315 kph wind.

Last night the Philippines experienced the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda). The 315 kph typhoon struck much of Visayas, and even brought strong winds in Southern and Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and Northern Mindanao, leaving nearly 60 casualties and counting. And every news outlet were there to cover the storm.

The ABS-CBN News Channel, DZMM TeleRadyo, GMA News TV, AksyonTV and Solar News Channel extensively covered the news of the typhoon last Friday. However, during the afternoon press conference at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, only the ANC, DZMM TeleRadyo, SNC and GNTV were willing to air the live proceedings, while AksyonTV continued with the Radyo5 hookup of ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ and ‘Cristy FerMinute’. While AksyonTV did give way to breaking news on the NDRRMC press conference, their reluctance to air the press conference rather than continuing with their radio hookup still befuddles viewers.

ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA also provided up-to-date reports on the storm during their newscasts. That said, it was a busy day for the writers, producers, anchors, reporters and cameramen who were present in covering the latest reports on Typhoon Yolanda. However, two lasting images involving news reporters stand out.

The first image came during ABS-CBN reporter Atom Araullo‘s report in Tacloban, where he braved the strong winds and heavy rains in order to provide the latest updates on the storm. Araullo first reported on the situation during ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, but it was during ‘TV Patrol’ where his gutsy reporting became the talk of social media. Even CNN and various others news outlets around the world reported on Araullo’s bravery.

On the other hand, netizens criticize GMA‘s 24 Oras for cutting its program short during Jiggy Manicad’s report. Perhaps the network couldn’t wait to start their GMA Telebabad block, hence the decision not to go ahead with Jiggy’s report. Eventually Jiggy reported on the situation during News TV’s ‘State of the Nation’ and on GMA’s ‘Saksi’, where he and fellow reporter Love Anover reported on the casualty count and the damage Tacloban endured during Yolanda’s landfall. While his report was already belated, netizens were still keen to praise his bravery and calmness.

Typhoon Yolanda is scheduled to depart the Philippine Area of Responsibility later today. In the meantime, news outlets around the country and internationally will continue to give reports regarding the path of the storm.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

HD on Philippine Television

The widescreen HD version of the MTRCB Parental Guidance advisory. Note the letterboxes on the top and bottom of the screenshot.

High-definition television in the Philippines is a virtually novel concept. This new medium in television broadcast gives viewers a wider and clearer resolution that what standard-definition provides. A high-definition broadcast necessitates the use of flat-screen television sets, which are more spacious and less bulkier than a standard television set.

HDTV was given a test run in the United States and Europe in the 1990s, but it was not until the late 2000s when virtually all television broadcasts in the Atlantic started to air in HD. In the Philippines, ABS-CBN subsidiary SkyCable launched its HD service to its customers in 2009. That same year, the mother network began broadcasting UAAP‘s 72nd season in HD, marking the first high-definition television broadcast in the Philippines. In the years that followed, ABS-CBN began to shoot its teleseryes with HD cameras, beginning with 2011’s ‘Budoy‘.

This year, ABS-CBN’s popular kiligserye ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ is just one of several Kapamilya drama series being shot with HD cameras. In addition, they are also shooting ‘Juan Dela Cruz‘, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, ‘Dugong Buhay’, and ‘My Little Juan’ in HD. In June, TV5 began to shoot its teleseryes in HD, starting with ‘Misibis Bay’ followed by ‘Undercover’. However, at the moment GMA has yet to divulge any plan of broadcasting their teleseryes with the use of high definition cameras.

This is a welcome development in the history of Philippine television, however it may take several years before the Philippines makes its full transition to high definition television. This year was the first step, however.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

Feeling Nostalgic About Jeepney TV

Jeepney TV, launched in October 2012, gave audiences a look at classic programs produced by the ABS-CBN network. (Logo courtesy of Creative Programs, Inc.)

Last October saw the launch of Jeepney TV. The ABS-CBN-produced network features classic programming from the archives of ABS-CBN, consisting of sitcoms, teleseryes, game shows, variety shows and even news programs. Currently it is one  of two such archival channels on Philippine TV, and I had a chance to check it out.

Jeepney TV is aired on SkyCable channel 9, just a click from ABS-CBN itself. It is a 24/7 cable channel, which means that even night owls can catch up. Because it is produced by ABS-CBN, only the classic programs from the Kapamilya network are being aired here. This does not include programs that once aired on ABS-CBN that moved to other networks (e.g. Eat! Bulaga).

Over a half-year into its operation, Jeepney TV was able to satisfy the cravings of both old and young viewers by airing the network’s most popular and well-acclaimed programs. For younger audiences who were not able to recognize current Star Magic artists in their youth, this network provides an opportunity to watch how current ABS-CBN stars looked back in the day.

There is a reason why ABS-CBN decided to launch Jeepney TV: to lessen the amount of reruns aired on the main network. It is ok to have reruns, but for some reason it only bores the audience who watches it. And for some reason I never liked first week reruns of new teleseryes. Why would they have to watch a weekend re-run of a newly-launched teleserye  recapping its first week? Because they missed it, is that the purpose? Teleseryes in their first week will give you an idea on how a story starts, but most audiences would think that they are more interested in its ending rather than its beginning. Which is why I would rather watch one as it ends rather than it begins, because it only adds further interest.

As for sitcoms, news and public affairs programs, and variety/game shows, they were never aired for a rerun at all, which is unfair. So instead of putting those reruns on the main network, why not put them together on a cable channel for a specific audience? That is how Jeepney TV came to fruition, and once the ride began in October 2012, audiences were treated to a smorgasbord of old-school programs that ABS-CBN offered. And that is how Jeepney TV rode nostalgic television to another level.

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