news, Philippines, television

A Look Back at News Coverage of the Resorts World Manila Attack

Friday’s incident at Resorts World Manila was headline news for journalists throughout the country. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

Tragedy strikes on the first Friday of June.

On June 2, 2017, gunshots and fire broke out at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. When it was all said and done, 37 people were found dead through suffocation, and the gunman, later identified as former Department of Finance employee Jessie Carlos, shot and immolated himself to death.

Here is how the country’s major news outfits fare with the coverage of the incident.

ABS-CBN News Channel and DZMM TeleRadyo

The burden of ABS-CBN News’ coverage was shared between DZMM TeleRadyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Both networks went on breaking news mode the moment the attack at Resorts World Manila struck.

ANC and DZMM continued to provide updates of the tragedy over the next 24 hours, with the former somehow eschewing its regular programs in favor of the generic ‘ANC Live’ brand beginning at 11:30 a.m. DZMM continued to air its regular programs but on occasion it gave way to special coverage of the said incident.

GMA News TV

GMA News TV’s coverage began through its simulcast of DZBB shows ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, ‘Sino?’ and ‘Dobol A sa Dobol B’. Their marathon continued through ‘News to Go’ and ‘Balitanghali’.

The network essentially preempted all regular programming in favor of TV shopping blocks for much of the afternoon. In between, newscasts such as ‘Quick Response Team’, ‘Balita Pilipinas’ and ‘State of the Nation’ continued to update on the situation.

CNN Philippines

While CNN Philippines is a 24/7 station (at least for cable and satellite subscribers), the network’s coverage at Resorts World Manila did not begin until 6:00 a.m. once ‘New Day’ kicked in. From that point on, CNN Philippines went on three different phases.

First, the network’s early morning coverage was aired in English, followed by a Filipino language marathon of the incident during the late morning through early afternoon. After that, English language coverage resumed all the way till the deep part of the evening, with some regular programming in between.

News5

Unfortunately, Luchi Cruz-Valdes’ outfit failed to deliver when it mattered most. Although Radyo5 92.3 FM (and by extension AksyonTV) provided some breaking news on the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the networks continued to air regular programming as if nothing had happened.

Even the ‘Aksyon’ newscasts on TV5 had a bad outing as well. Considering that the newscasts only have at least an hour of airtime (not to mention Raffy Tulfo’s penchant to do some extracurricular activities not related to news), it is clear that LCV and company have too little to offer with a meager cast and limited time.

The next two days saw further updates of the Resorts World Manila tragedy, but other than that, it was all back to normal programming. Additional press conferences at the Resorts World Manila, including the revelation of the gunman’s name, were a few highlights of the weekend.

Overall, it was a field day for major news networks in the country. But while Ging Reyes, Marissa Flores and Armie Jarin-Bennett have done a pretty good job putting all the work in dealing with the Resorts World Manila tragedy, the same cannot be said for Luchi Cruz-Valdes, and it’s a shame.

When tragedy strikes, somebody must take action. And in times like this, news networks and other related organizations should be first on the scene to deliver the news and bring up-to-date reports to everyone.

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The Voice PH II Finale, Plus Heart-Chiz Wedding This Weekend

‘The Voice of the Philippines’ season 2 is down to the last four standing, with the winner to be declared this Sunday. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Four worthy singers, two days, one champion.

The second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ concludes with one of the most highly-anticipated finales to date. On February 28 and March 1, the last singers standing on Team Bamboo, Team Lea, Team Apl and Team Sarah will go head-to-head in hopes of joining Season 1 winner Mitoy Yonting on the winners’ circle.

TVPH’s ‘Final Four’ consists of Rence Rapanot (Team Bamboo), Alisah Bonaobra (Team Apl), Jason James Dy (Team Sarah), and Leah Patricio (Team Lea). These four finalists not only survived pressure-packed decisions from their judges, but also testy votes from viewers, in order to make it to the finale.

Since the new season debuted in October, ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ has remained a consistent top-rater and a major trending presence on Twitter. Expect the finale to do the same.

‘The Voice of the Philippines’ season 2 final performance show will air live this Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, while the final results show will also air live this Sunday after ‘Rated K’.

And for those who still feel ‘The Voice Fever’, don’t worry. A new season of ‘The Voice Kids’ is coming soon, as auditions for the kids’ edition are already underway.

Meanwhile, a different kind of special will be aired on GMA this and next Sunday.

The wedding of Heart Evangelista (real-life name Love Marie Ongpauco) and Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero will have a two-part special on March 1 and 8. The first part, to be aired this Sunday, will have highlights of the despedida de soltera, followed by the wedding that was held at the Balesin Island Club in Quezon.

The second part, to be aired next Sunday, will focus on the reception that was held at the Blue Leaf Filipinas in Paranaque City. It was hosted by Tim Yap and Christian Bautista, with performances from the Kapuso network’s resident artists.

Fresh from the decently positive reception of the Marian Rivera-Dingdong Dantes wedding special last month, GMA now hopes to keep the good times rolling with the Heart-Chiz wedding special. Then again, they have tough competition in the ratings department, so good luck with that.

The Heart-Chiz wedding special will be seen as part of ‘Sunday Night Box Office’.

 

 

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Controversial PBB Season to End Sunday; StarStruck to Revive Anew

Good news for the critics of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’, by far ranked as one of the most controversial seasons in the history of the series, will end its run by crowning a grand winner at this Sunday’s ‘Big Night’ inside Resorts World Manila. Prior to the event, however, there will be another eviction night on Saturday to determine the final four contestants, that is if Big Brother can make yet another twist.

As of August 21, only five contestants remain inside the Big Brother house. They are: Jane Oineza, Loisa Andalo, Maris Racal, Vickie Rushton, and Daniel Matsunaga.

All of the remaining contestants, save for Matsunaga, were part of the original cast of housemates that were introduced on April 27. Meanwhile, Matsunaga only entered as a housemate on May 17.

The latest season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will always be remembered for some of these moments:

1. Netizens’ cries of ‘scripted’ amid the selection of celebrities for ‘All In’

2. The Jayme Jalandoni nude painting task that drew the ire of the MTRCB and various women’s groups

3. Fifth Pagotan’s bisexual revelation

4. Alex Gonzaga’s journey from host to housemate and then to houseguest

5. Nichole Baranda’s controversial ‘middle finger’ photo

6. Overrealiance on houseguests (e.g. ex-housemates Robi Domingo, John Prats) for ratings purposes

7. Cess Visitacion’s forced eviction for numerous violations

Overall, the latest season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ has controversy written all over it. Still, except more shocking twists and turns as ‘All In’ wraps up this Sunday.

Meanwhile…

GMA Plans Another Season of StarStruck

‘StarStruck’, long considered to be ‘dead’ thanks to the emergence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, is currently being revived by GMA Network for a sixth season.

The reality talent search series was last seen in 2010,  when the group of Sarah Lahbati, Rocco Nacino and Sef Cadayona led the way. However, that proved to be ‘StarStruck”s last season to date, as ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ and other reality shows on ABS-CBN began to gain headway over GMA’s later reality programs.

Then in August of this year, teasers for ‘StarStruck’ began to air on the network during commercials, featuring the phrase ‘DBS AGAIN’. Clearly, they are referring to ‘StarStruck”s slogan which is ‘Dream, Believe, Survive’.

Anyone who grew sick and tired of ‘Pinoy Big Brother”s antics and twists will look forward to ‘StarStruck”s return. After all, they were the original reality artista search on Philippine television. Not even PBB can attest to ‘StarStruck”s reputation in building future stars.

‘StarStruck’ is definitely a great first step in restoring the reputation of the GMA Artist Center, which has been severely rocked by numerous rumors and controversies. But first, they must restructure GMAAC’s management in order to make it run efficiently, otherwise the upcoming season of ‘StarStruck’ will be a total joke.

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Another Lineup Change on GMA, Thanks to The Voice Kids

The season finale of ‘The Voice Kids’, won by Lyca Gairanod, blasted GMA’s rival programs during the weekend of July 28. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

Blame ‘The Voice Kids’ for forcing GMA into another programming change this past weekend.

The final weekend of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice Kids’ Season 1 saw Lyca Gairanod win the cash prize of P1-million, a recording contract, a house and lot, and various other prizes. Rounding out the top four are Darren Espanto, Juan Karlos Labajo, and Darlene Vibares, all of whom finished behind Gairanod in percentage of votes.

‘The Voice Kids’ season finale, held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila, was also a ratings winner. Saturday’s performance episode registered a series-high 37.7% national rating, while Sunday’s results episode ended with an equally impressive 37.7%. In Metro Manila, ‘The Voice Kids’ ended their first season with respectably high numbers of 31.8% on Saturday, and 29.2% on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the never-ending timeslot changes on GMA’s weekend lineup continued. In an attempt to counter the expected lengthy performance episode of ‘The Voice Kids’, GMA hastily added ‘GMA Blockbusters’ to its Saturday lineup, weeks after it was replaced by ‘Marian’. As a result, GMA now has five movie blocks on its weekend slate.

Unfortunately, the last-minute change did little to stem the tide. ‘Marian’ only managed ratings of 18.9% (national) and 15% (Metro Manila), while the ‘GMA Blockbusters’ feature film ‘Snakes on a Plane’ ended with a mediocre 22% (national) and 16.1% (Metro Manila).

Against the results episode of ‘The Voice Kids’, GMA’s sitcoms ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ and ‘Ismol Family’ did not fare well either. ‘Vampire’ finished at 10.6% (national) and 11.6% (Metro Manila), while ‘Ismol Family’ mustered ratings of 11.2% (national) and 14.6% (Metro Manila).

Contrary to a recent article written on GMA’s website, this was simply not a fun weekend for the folks inside Timog Avenue. Now the question is, what’s next?

GMA’s soon-to-be-launched reality talent search show, ‘Bet ng Bayan’, is currently on the pre-production stage, with auditions ongoing in various parts of the country. There is a possibility that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will air every weekend, with the target date for its pilot still unknown.

With ‘Bet ng Bayan’, GMA hopes that they can reverse the course with their latest talent program. Unfortunately, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will be facing an uphill climb, considering the tremendous strength and consistency of ABS-CBN’s weekend lineup.

For GMA, the saga of weekend changes continues. Sooner or later, they’ll make another change or two. But the truth is, they are slumping, and not even the slightest of changes will help them.

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The Trouble With Last Saturday’s TV Programming

Last Saturday on television was memorable for both the right and wrong reasons. There was a PBA doubleheader, a double-overtime NBA thriller, a boxing event, and a dance contest featuring elementary school students. It also witnessed a pair of programming changes, and a slew of programs that ran way behind schedule.

On this article, the focus of attention will be on the programming problems that plagued the ‘Big 3’ networks last Saturday. Here is how I looked at the programming that took place last March 22, and how they need to be rectified.

ABS-CBN

The Oklahoma City-Toronto NBA game lasted until the second overtime, and as a result ‘It’s Showtime’ began later than usual, at around 12:45-1:00 p.m. The highlight of the variety show was the grand finals of the ‘Stars on 45’ talent contest, where Haydee Manosca emerged the winner. ‘It’s Showtime’ lasted until 4:00 p.m., affecting other programs’ start times for the remainder of ABS-CBN’s operating day.

Perhaps the Kapamilya network’s Saturday schedule would have served better if ‘It’s Showtime’ airs from 12:30-3:30, making it a three-hour program similar to the Saturday edition of its competitor ‘Eat Bulaga’. In addition, the airing of ‘Saturday Specials: Shake, Rattle and Roll’ is unnecessary, and should be removed in favor of making ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’ into a pair of hour-long programs.

GMA

‘Eat Bulaga’ took place at Resorts World Manila, where the grand finals of ‘Junior Pinoy Henyo”s cheerdancing competition was held. However, it was the broadcast of another movie on the ‘GMA Blockbusters’ block following ‘Laban ng Lahi’, and the transfer of ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ which affected its programming for the remainder of the day. Poor German Moreno and his ‘Walang Tulugan’ variety show.

To keep Kuya Germs and his loyal viewers happy and awake, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ should be restricted to just one movie or event rather than the unnecessary two. That way, the succeeding programs can be aired at a more comfortable timeslot.

TV5

Gone are the AksyonTV simulcasts of the PBA, and as a result, TV5 was compelled to air every PBA game for the rest of the season. The first Saturday doubleheader aired on the network was not without any complications, however. ‘Aksyon Weekend’ was slotted in between the doubleheader, much to the dismay of the league owners, while the programs that followed the PBA aired later than usual, with the live broadcast of ‘SpinNation’ taking place at a rather unfavorable time of 11:20 p.m.

The only Saturday program that was affected by the change was ‘Juan Direction, which now air on Sunday nights. It would have been better, however, if ‘Kaya’ was included in the move, since that particular program became expendable with the increase of PBA airtime. In addition, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ should be aired after the PBA games are finished.

March 22, 2014 should be remembered as one of the most infamous dates in Philippine television. The programming last Saturday proved to be excruciating and frustrating for the viewers, mostly due to some programs that aired way beyond their usual start times. Unless the executives make some more favorable changes in their respective networks’ programming, things will only get worse from here.

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