news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Of CNNPH’s Newsroom Junior Edition and Other News Programs for Teens

News reporting is not always exclusive to adults.

When CNN Philippines announced that ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air starting this Saturday, it reminded this writer of the day when Philippine television used to have news programs hosted by underage boys and girls. While these shows were few and far between, they have at least made some valuable contributions to the world of media.

One most notable example was ‘5 and Up’. The Probe Productions-produced show ran for 10 years and was one of the standout shows of GMA Network during the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ era.

‘5 and Up’ was responsible for launching the careers of brothers Rodjun and Rayver Cruz, Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and Atom Araullo. Of the five, Atom was the only one who continued his career as a journalist, although he did have a directorial credit in the film ‘Citizen Jake’.

But before ‘5 and Up’ became a cult favorite among the youth in the 90s, ABS-CBN once had its own kids’ version of ‘TV Patrol’. While ‘Junior Patrol’ ran for only two years, it did produce current ABS-CBN News reporter Doland Castro, who now serves on the news division’s police beat.

The most recent attempt at a kids’ news program came from CNN Philippines’ mother network RPN-9. ‘Newswatch Junior Edition’ may have only lasted a few episodes in the late 2000s, but this show did manage to launch the career of blogger, model and TV host Janeena Chan.

Now it is CNN Philippines’ turn to try this seldom-used trick of using kids as news anchors. In ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ the network will have six teenage individuals who will tackle the world of news reporting.

The hosts are:

  • Dana Villano, 16
  • Emman Rivera, 16
  • Gabby Sandejas, 16
  • Isaac Dantes, 13
  • Janella Renner, 15
  • Nate Lopez, 14

Guided by the CNN Philippines’ team of anchors and reporters, these young boys and girls will have an opportunity to deliver the week’s latest local and international news, as well as sports, entertainment, weather, technology and lifestyle news. ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air on weekends at 8:00 a.m.

At the end of the day, they are still kids (or in the case of ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’, teens). But at least they should gain some first-hand experience at what it is really like in the cutthroat world of journalism (or showbiz for that matter).

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news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Big Question: Is Atom Araullo Going Home to GMA?

The fallout surrounding Atom Araullo’s departure from ABS-CBN is still strong.

It has been a week since Atom bid farewell to ABS-CBN News in order to ‘explore new interests’. At the time, many thought that Atom will simply be a freelancer and make good on his promise of seeking different opportunities in the world of media.

However, within hours of the announcement, GMA teased everyone when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez made mention of Atom’s name in the DZBB radio program ‘Sino?’. The rumors continued when GMA made the announcement on television of a ‘big reveal’ on ’24 Oras’ this Thursday night, with viewers again speculating that the man on the video is Atom Araullo himself.

Atom Araullo’s career as a host and journalist is a remarkable one. His initial foray into television is on the Probe Productions program ‘5 and Up’, but unlike fellow hosts Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and brothers Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, Atom chose to follow a career in journalism.

After a brief stint as a sports reporter on GMA’s ’24 Oras’, Atom moved to ABS-CBN in 2004 where his career really took off. While he was best known as one of the hosts of ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ and even had his own show in ‘Red Alert’, Atom’s best moment came in 2013 when he reported in Tacloban about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) while braving the heavy rains and winds.

Earlier this year, Atom received his first acting role on ‘Citizen Jake’ while earning a bronze medal at the New York Festivals for his documentary ‘Warmer’. His final appearances on the ABS-CBN family of networks came last night in an episode of Lifestyle’s ‘The Crawl’.

If it is indeed true that Atom Araullo will move to GMA Network, the reaction could be a mixed one. ABS-CBN has had a ‘no-compete clause’ in their news personalities’ contracts which state that they should not move to another network until a year following their departure.

Then again, anything like a ‘no-compete clause’ is totally irrelevant at this point. Not only that, Atom’s departure from ABS-CBN is an amicable one, and as a free agent, he can choose his next destination anytime he wants.

Later tonight, the ‘big reveal’ will take place on GMA’s ’24 Oras’. But the question remains, is the man in the video indeed Atom Araullo? Find out in several hours’ time.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A New Opponent for The Better Half One Week Into Its Run

After only five episodes, ‘The Better Half’ finds itself with new competition.

The now-ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama series premiered last Monday against the GMA Afternoon Prime series ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’. As it turned out, however, ‘The Better Half’ did not have enough time to warm up, as GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ would end during that week.

Nevertheless, ‘The Better Half’ premiered strongly with a 16.8% national rating, which is 3.1% higher than ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat”s 76th episode. While figures for the remainder of the week remain unavailable at the moment, it is safe to say that ‘The Better Half’ got the best of the departing ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Next up for Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be the upcoming GMA afternoon drama series ‘Legally Blind’. The series will mark the return of Janine Gutierrez to the small screen, several months after starring in the ill-fated primetime series ‘Once Again’ with Aljur Abrenica.

In ‘Legally Blind’, Grace (Janine) is an aspiring lawyer who lost her sight after she was raped by an unknown culprit. After successfully earning her stripes as a lawyer, she met Edward (Mikael Daez), a rich businessman who not only helps her in the search for justice, but also falls in love with her.

Along the way, Grace’s plans will be put to the test by people who doubt and despise her. Whether it’s her envious younger sister Charie (Lauren Young) or her ex-boyfriend Joel (Rodjun Cruz), Grace’s hopes for attaining justice will not be easy.

The series will also star Lauren Young, Marc Abaya, Rodjun Cruz, Chanda Romero, Therese Malvar, Lucho Ayala, Ashley Rivera and Camille Torres. It will be directed by Ricky Davao.

For the rest of the first quarter and deep into the second, ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Legally Blind’ will go up against each other. But for the latter, beating the former will not be easy given its potential track record after just five episodes.

That said, GMA’s brass can only hope that Janine Gutierrez will redeem herself after a so-so performance in her last series. For ‘Legally Blind’, it is all about finding the right formula for Janine to thrive on.

‘Legally Blind airs weekdays after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

AlDub ‘Wedding’ Catapaults Eat Bulaga to Victory

The ‘wedding’ between Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards became a must-watch.

On Saturday, October 22, ‘Eat Bulaga’ presented a special edition of the newly-revived Kalyeserye segment. The emphasis of the three-hour episode was on the aforementioned ‘wedding’ between Maine and Alden’s characters, which was set inside Christ the King Church in Quezon City.

The ‘wedding’ featured numerous special guests, such as Ai-Ai delas Alas (in her Lola Babah character), Jake Ejercito, Mike Enriquez, Rodjun Cruz, Helen Gamboa and Irma Adlawan. As always, the ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts played special roles in the event, which included a rare appearance of Vic Sotto’s Dodong character.

The seemingly realistic marriage between the two had been carefully prepared throughout the week, from the pre-nuptial shoots and bridal showers to the proposals for Maine’s wedding gown. The skits even went as far as preparing an invitation to the said ‘wedding’, and inviting Liz Uy and Jason Magbanua to play key roles.

The ‘wedding’ itself took over an hour to complete, a majority of which were spent without commercial interruption. Near the end of the segment, however, Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) fainted in the midst of Alden and Maine’s exchange of I dos, prompting ‘Eat Bulaga’ to take a commercial break in order to add drama.

Despite the incident, Lola Nidora was able to regain consciousness, and the ‘wedding’ proper eventually pushed through without further incident. In the end, Maine and Alden left the episode as a ‘married’ couple.

The episode, which took place nearly a year after the successful Sa Tamang Panahon event, gave ‘Eat Bulaga’ a rare victory in Kantar’s national ratings, as it barely finished o.1% above ‘It’s Showtime”s figures.  More importantly, netizens took the hashtag #AlDubWedding to one of the top global trending spots on Twitter, with over five million tweets.

Considering that the show has been struggling to remain relevant in the months after Sa Tamang Panahon, this episode was in many ways a shot of adrenaline. Still, not even a rare victory can satisfy any AlDub fan, or whoever’s left of the once-highly popular fanbase, as they try to rekindle the tandem’s glory days.

At least there are still ‘Eat Bulaga’ loyalists who have supported the show even before Alden and Maine came aboard. As long as they’re here, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will still enjoy some moral victories, no matter how small it becomes.

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