cartoon, education, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Is RPN-9 Destined to Return?

The RPN name and logo was last used on air in 2012, after which Solar Television took full control of the network’s airtime. (Logo courtesy of the Radio Philippines Network)

All eyes are on Channel 9 and a possible return to the RPN name.

On July 21, Solar News Channel decided to drop the word ‘Solar’ from its news programs. Consequentially, the renamed programs are now simply known as ‘Daybreak’ (morning), ‘The Headlines’ (news updates per 15 minutes), ‘Newsday’ (afternoon), ‘Cebuano News’ (Cebuano language afternoon), ‘Kapampangan News’ (Kapampangan language afternoon), ‘Network News’ (early evening), ‘Nightly News’ (late evening), and ‘Sports Desk’ (sports).

In a related development, Media Newser Philippines also reported through a network insider that News9, the news department of the original Radio Philippines Network, will also be revived to replace the Solar News name, with a target launch slated for the last quarter of 2014. The report came after Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation acquired RPN’s stake from Solar Entertainment.

Then starting August 16, cartoons and educational programs will take over SNC’s weekend morning programming. SNC’s ‘Kids Weekend’ will feature the return of ‘Sesame Street’ to Philippine television, as well as other memorable cartoons such as the ‘Care Bears’, ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘Batman’ and the DC Comics Universe, and ‘Pokemon’.

With all these developments, does this mean the old Radio Philippines Network name will return on the air? Or will this lead to an even bigger plan?

Let’s face it, Channel 9 is and will always be known as RPN-9. Not Solar News Channel, C/S 9, Solar TV, ETC, or any other incarnation in its history. RPN has been an iconic brand on Philippine television, and through good times and bad, the network always provided a great show for its viewers.

More importantly, with SNC’s slow move away from a purely news-oriented network, the possibility of bringing back the RPN name on air seems certain. Even the revival of the long-running but recently retired newscast ‘NewsWatch’ is bound to happen.

But there is one problem. Ramon Ang recently acquired a 30% stake of GMA Network, which means that he now has two stations in his watch. According to Media Newser Philippines, a merger between GMA and Solar News is inevitable, unless Ang gives up partial ownership of Channel 9.

Ang’s ownership of both networks will certainly affect the fortunes of both parties. Since GMA News and Public Affairs is the more recognizable and more credible of the two, they will be more than happy to absorb Solar News into their department. And as far as viewers are concerned, Solar News remains an unproven commodity even after three years of continuous operation.

Then again, these are all possibilities and might be subject to change in the near future.

It is clear that the sun is definitely setting on Channel 9’s latest incarnation. As the ‘Solar’ name is quietly being retired from the brand, a new era in the history of the Radio Philippines Network is about to take place.

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cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Pokemon Returns to GMA, But…

A new season of Pokemon will be airing on GMA. However, it only adds to a weak morning lineup for the Kapuso network.

A program teaser was released by GMA earlier this morning to announce that the long-running anime Pokemon will return for a new season. The program is scheduled to replace YuYu Hakusho, better known to Filipinos as ‘Ghost Fighter’, in its timeslot. The program will also be dubbed in Filipino, as it was the case for the past few seasons.

While GMA will air a new season of Pokemon, I believe it was a definite shame to bring it back. Why? Because I never liked its editing and Filipino dubbing, even if GMA wanted it for the sake of ‘illiterate’ audiences. I liked it better when the show aired on Cartoon Network and Toonami in its original English dub. Just ask Ash, he seems more comfortable speaking in English than in Filipino. As it stands, I hope that Pokemon will be beat up by the poorly-edited ‘Mr. Bean‘ on ABS-CBN, whether GMA executives like it or not.

To be honest, the addition of Pokemon only worsens GMA’s morning lineup. Dragon Ball and Mojacko, since they have been airing repeatedly, have always been beaten by the more interesting lifestyle program ‘Kris TV‘. And while ‘One Piece’ and ‘Bleach’ continue to air with new seasons opposite ABS-CBN’s own anime, GMA’s repeat anime programs will always be a weak link. And Pokemon, despite the confirmation of a new season, is also worthy of being a weak link.

Sorry Pokemon fans, but this anime does not deserve to air on the Kapuso network, even if it has committed to do so since 1998. I would rather see this program on ABS-CBN, where better dubbers and editing skills can be useful to this anime.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

If ABS-CBN and GMA Traded Shows…

Mr. Bean will return to ABS-CBN, but the character may be better off showing his comedic artistry to the Kapusos at GMA 7.

While watching a Tagalized and ‘intentionally’ edited episode of ‘Spongebob Squarepants‘ on ABS-CBN, I saw a program advisory at the bottom promoting the return of the Mr. Bean series on the Kapamilya network. Ok, that’s a given, because they need a program to fill in the usually off-peak early morning schedules. But Mr. Bean? You got to be kidding.

Mr. Bean, as I know, has been the property of ABS-CBN for a decade now. It began airing on Studio 23 on Saturday nights, with the animated shows in the morning. Then it was moved to the main Channel 2, and aired sporadically on weekday mornings, regardless of the live or animated version. Before that it used to air on PTV 4 and ABC (now TV5).

I always don’t like the way ABS-CBN aired Mr. Bean. They tend to edit some skits and combine one from a particular episode with another from a different episode. Worse, they only allotted 15 minutes of airtime, as opposed to the 30 minutes in a full episode. The airing of Mr. Bean on the Kapamilya network is both an insult and a disgrace to loyal Mr. Bean faithful.

So what if ABS-CBN and GMA traded their morning programs for each other? It has been well-documented that a few shows would move from one station to another in order to either give way to other programs or to purchase airing rights for future production. I have seen several programs air on both Kapuso and Kapamilya stations; programs such as ‘Eat Bulaga‘, ‘Meteor Garden‘ and ‘Rosalinda’ come to mind. But if I were the boss of either networks, I would suggest that ABS-CBN must give up Mr. Bean and send it to GMA, and in return GMA will trade rights for the animes such as ‘Pokemon’, ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ (Ghost Fighter), ‘Slam Dunk’ and others in exchange for ABS-CBN’s ‘Digimon’, ‘Naruto Shippuden‘ and others. Of course, I would like to see a different morning look in both the Kapuso and Kapamilya stations.

In the meantime, ABS-CBN and GMA will continue to air ‘boring’ programming during the off-peak morning hours. Unless they make up their minds and trade their programs for each other, weekday mornings will continue to remain that way: ‘boring’.

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