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There is Life After RJ Underground Radio 105.9

Captain Eddie (pictured) and Mr. A’s ‘Rock of Manila’ on RJ 100.3 FM is just one of a few RJ originals that recently returned on the airwaves. (Photo credit: RJPlanet.com)

Before DCG-FM brought the retro hits format on DWLA 105.9, there was the all-rock RJ Underground Radio.

Ramon Jacinto’s second FM station ran from 2007 to 2011, and was considered to be the main rival of NU 107, due to their similarities in terms of playlist. The only difference is that UR had an even deeper library of rock songs compared to the more alternative-based approach of NU.

When RJ decided to terminate the lease of the 105.9 frequency, they ventured into the internet as UR Faceradio. Unfortunately, it only lasted for two or three years, before they decided to shut it down.

But just recently, some of RJ UR’s old programs were able to return on the air, albeit on different radio stations.

The iconic program ‘Pinoy Rock n’ Rhythm’ was revived on DZRJ 810 AM late last year. The program’s return came full circle, as it used to air on DZRJ-AM in the midst of Martial Law and the growing popularity of classic Filipino rock music.

While its most famous host Howlin’ Dave (Dante David) did not live to see his program revive on its old home, at least it gave Filipino rock fans a reason to be joyful, as the long-forgotten Pinoy rock hits of the era were once again played on ‘Pinoy Rock n’ Rhythm’.

Another program that was recently brought back from the dead was ‘Rock n’ Roll Machine’, hosted by Cousin Hoagy (Hoagy Pardo). The program was given a new lease on life via Jam 88.3.

Hoagy is no stranger to hosting his programs on an alternative rock-dominated station, having hosted ‘ The Crossroads’ on NU 107. On his return, he brought along a DZRJ original to Jam, and with it, a more classic side to rock and blues music on a primarily alternative station.

And finally, there was the ‘Rock of Manila’ on RJ 100.3 FM. Hosted by legendary DJs Captain Eddie and Mr. A, the program essentially picked up from where DZRJ-AM’s original format left off.

In essence, the return of the ‘Rock of Manila’, like ‘Pinoy Rock n’ Rhythm’, was seen as a way to reconnect fans of the old DZRJ to the current station. As it stands, RJ 100 now plays a more varied pop-oriented playlist, while DZRJ-AM airs mostly English language news programs.

These three programs are proof that there is still life after RJ Underground Radio 105.9. While the station no longer exists, its determination and hard work in promoting rock music in the country will always be remembered.

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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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