entertainment, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

The Inevitable: Moving to ABS-CBN Might Rejuvenate Regine Velasquez’s Career

From Kapuso… to Kapamilya?

The future of Regine Velasquez’s career has been hanging in the balance over the past month. As Regine’s contract with GMA is set to expire, there were reports of her moving to ABS-CBN to join her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Those rumors escalated further when Regine unexpectedly showed up at the ABS-CBN Ball Saturday night despite making an appearance on ‘The Clash’ for its final weekend (Saturday’s episode was pre-taped while Sunday’s episode was aired live). With all things considered, is Regine of no use to GMA and would be better off joining ABS-CBN?

First things first, let’s look back at recent history. Back in 2015, Regine was a host and performer on ‘Sunday All-Stars’, but low ratings and changing timeslots forced GMA to give up the show and allow APT Entertainment to take over the Sunday noontime slot with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Regine did not join ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ because of a perceived ‘lack of familiarity’ and from that point on her career with GMA stalled. Her two acting projects in ‘Poor Señorita’ and ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ failed to beat Coco Martin”s long-running series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while a primetime variety show in ‘Full House Tonight’ ran for only four months.

While Regine remained visible as an on-air talent via the cooking show ‘Sarap Diva’, it was clear that her days with GMA are being numbered. The fact is, Regine is no longer that relevant as a Kapuso star with all those recent projects that did not work out.

It only got worse when her one-time co-performers on ‘SOP’ (namely Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Kyla, Jay-R and Janno Gibbs) found a new outlet in former rival ‘ASAP’. With GMA lacking any capable recording artists to keep up with ABS-CBN’s, Regine finds herself helpless to cope with the dearth in talent.

Which is why moving to ABS-CBN might help rejuvenate her career. Not only will she expected to make appearances with her former ‘SOP’ brethren on ‘ASAP’, she will also have an opportunity to become a judge in one of ABS-CBN’s upcoming talent shows (rumor has it that she might join ‘The Voice’ as a judge).

More importantly, Regine’s love for performing will be rekindled within Kapamilya walls, especially during ‘ASAP’. That alone may be a long shot given the abundance of performers on ABS-CBN, but given Regine’s track record that may be too good to pass up.

Still, it will be up to Regine Velasquez to decide the next phase of her career. Let’s just hope that she chooses something that will be best for her.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Ex-SOP Stars Take Over ASAP Stage

The long and storied rivalry between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘SOP’ has been well-documented.

For 13 years, the two Sunday variety shows duke it out for not only high ratings, but also the best performance. While ‘SOP’ managed to become successful, it failed to sustain the momentum that the now 21-year-old ‘ASAP’ enjoys nowadays.

Successor GMA variety shows in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’ followed suit, but neither proved to be a match to ‘ASAP’. As a result, GMA abandoned the purely musical variety format in favor of ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s comedy-infused approach, which was initially successful but now struggles to regain form.

With ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ employing a new cast and a new outfit in APT Entertainment, the performers that were once part of GMA’s past variety shows were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, it led them to ‘ASAP’, and their performances on the said show felt like a throwback to many who watched ‘SOP’ for years.

While Kyla, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal and Jona Viray were the first former ‘SOP’ stars to join ‘ASAP’, the biggest surprise came in July, when long-time ‘SOP’ cornerstone Ogie Alcasid stepped into the ‘ASAP’ stage for the first time. Not long after, Jaya came aboard, and last Sunday, a tribute for Ogie included a reunion between the two ‘SOP’ icons.

Backstage, another former ‘SOP’ mainstay paid a visit to the ABS-CBN studio. Ogie’s wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, who remains under contract with GMA, was at the dressing room reuniting with her old ‘SOP’ pals.

The reunion of former ‘SOP’ stars became a much-needed boost to ‘ASAP’, as it defeated ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ by 1.6% that day. Despite that, many are still hoping for a full reunion, as Regine remains a GMA talent while another former ‘SOP’ cornerstone in Janno Gibbs was nowhere to be found.

With so many performers in tow, how much longer can ‘ASAP’ sustain this high-quality trend? Only time will tell, but for now, enjoy this reunion of old rivals.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Farewell, Walang Tulugan

‘Walang Tulugan’ aired its final episode last Saturday, over a month after the show’s creator German Moreno (third from left) passed away. (Photo credit: German Moreno Official Facebook)

The curtain finally fell on ‘Walang Tulugan’.

On Saturday, February 13, ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’ aired its final episode. The variety show’s finale had already been anticipated, as its creator and host, German Moreno (a.k.a. Kuya Germs), passed away over a month ago.

‘Walang Tulugan’ first aired on February 8, 1997 as ‘Master Showman Presents’. The show was created as a way to maintain Kuya Germs’ presence on television, after his previous program ‘GMA Supershow’ was cancelled earlier that year in favor of ‘SOP’.

Eight years later, the show was renamed ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’. The popularity of the catchphrase ‘Walang Tulugan’ (a term coined by Kuya Germs during the show’s early years) led to its rebrand, and whenever viewers tuned in, they would always identify ‘Walang Tulugan’ as the show that never sleeps.

During its 19-year run, ‘Walang Tulugan’ was affected by GMA’s numerous lineup changes on Saturdays. In some episodes, the show begins at 11:15 or 11:30, but others usually start in the wee hours of Sunday morning, due to the unnecessary presence of a late-night movie block.

Aside from Kuya Germs, ‘Walang Tulugan’ also featured an ensemble of co-hosts that were either ‘That’s Entertainment’ alumni or young up-and-coming proteges of the Master Showman. In the show’s final episodes, Kuya Germs’ nephew John Nite and close friend Nora Aunor shared lead hosting duties.

The death of Kuya Germs on January 8 led to a special live tribute episode of ‘Walang Tulugan’ the following night. Although Nora Aunor stated that she wanted to continue the show, GMA realized that ‘Walang Tulugan’ would never be the same without its creator and pillar.

Thus, they decided to pull the plug on one of the longest-running programs on Philippine television. And last Saturday, ‘Walang Tulugan’ officially bowed out, with the show’s hosts performing for the last time and bidding farewell to their loyal viewers.

For Philippine television, ‘Walang Tulugan’ was a big loss, and an irreplaceable icon for night owls everywhere. But while its run had ended, its legacy will live on, along with the creator who started it all, Kuya Germs.

Indeed, ‘Walang Tulugan’ will still not sleep, even if it has moved on to the great beyond.

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concerts, entertainment, live events, Philippines, television, variety show

1995 Flashback: APO Out, ASAP In

Some of the ‘ASAP’ logos that were used throughout the show’s run. (Logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

This week will mark the 20th anniversary of the longest-running Sunday afternoon variety show in the country.

‘All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party’, better known as ‘ASAP’, debuted on ABS-CBN on February 5, 1995. The show was created in the wake of predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila”s move to weekdays as ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’ following the move of TAPE, Inc.’s ‘Eat Bulaga’ to GMA.

‘ASAP’ did not follow the precedent of its predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila’, which in many ways was an extension of ‘Eat Bulaga’ up to this point. Instead, it was conceptualized as a ‘concert party’ on Sundays, which means that the performances of ABS-CBN’s contract artists would dominate the show.

For the first two years of its run, ‘ASAP’ competed against ‘GMA Supershow’, then the top-rated show on Sunday afternoons. But on February 2, 1997, ‘SOP’ replaced the latter, setting off a heated rivalry between the two shows that lasted 13 years, mostly resulting in ‘SOP’ winning the ratings battle.

In 2003, ‘ASAP’ was renamed ‘ASAP Mania’, in response to ‘SOP”s rebrand as ‘SOP Rules’. A year later, the two competing shows launched their own spinoffs in ‘ASAP Fanatic’ and ‘SOP Gigsters’, during the height of popularity between rival talent search shows ‘Star Circle Quest’ and ‘StarStruck’.

‘ASAP Mania’ then reverted back to ‘ASAP’ in 2005, and other than the minor name changes such as ‘ASAP Rocks’ and ‘ASAP (year/anniversary)’, the show retained the ‘ASAP’ name for the remainder of its run.

The rivalry between ‘ASAP’ and ‘SOP’ came to an end on February 28, 2010, when ‘SOP’ aired its final episode. By then, ‘ASAP’ had taken over the No. 1 spot, and it would stay there for good despite the best efforts of GMA to replace ‘SOP’ with ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’.

Today, ‘ASAP’ remains the benchmark to which all Sunday afternoon variety shows are measured. With a run of 20 years and counting, it easily surpasses former rival ‘GMA Supershow’ in that regard, and remains atop the ratings game thanks to their mix of high-energy performances and top-notch studio sets.

Now what happened to ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’? The reformatted weekday show only managed to air for another three years, after which it was replaced by ‘Magandang Tanghali, Bayan’. The APO Hiking Society, for whom the show was named after, then returned full-time to the music industry before disbanding in 2010.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Sunday All Stars: Reality Show or Variety Show?

Sunday All Stars is an entirely new concept, mixing the aspects of reality television and variety show into one.

GMA 7‘s ‘Sunday All Stars’ has been on the air for over a month. However, as the show’s run went along, I wondered if ‘Sunday All Stars’ really qualify as a reality show or a variety show. Here’s how I found out.

Sunday All Stars: The Reality Show

According to Wikipedia, reality television is a type of television genre that presents unscripted situations, documents actual events and usually features unknowns instead of professional actors. Reality shows emphasize on drama and personal conflict, and also features interviews by the subject that doubles as a narration. Such elements are a fixture on competition-based reality shows, which includes the elimination of a contestant in each episode, a panel of judges, and the winner receiving immunity in the next episode.

Some aspects of reality television is featured on ‘Sunday All Stars’, from backstage drama and conflict, contestant interviews, rehearsals, ‘live’ performances and judge reviews. However, the elimination concept is not used, although the immunity concept for winners is emphasized.

Sunday All Stars: The Variety Show

Variety shows feature performances from various individuals or groups, introduced by a host or a group of hosts. ‘Sunday All Stars’ is an example of this format. Of course, they could have not been viable to Sunday afternoons without adopting this format.

The format of ‘Sunday All Stars’ is a novel one: a variety show with hints of reality television added to it. In the past, variety shows on Sundays are exclusively about performances by artists, as seen on ABS-CBN’s ASAP and GMA‘s former programs SOP and Party Pilipinas. However, ‘Sunday All Stars’ introduced viewers to a new type of variety show, adding a twist of drama and behind-the-scenes footage of the groups involved. Whether or not it will interest audiences remains to be seen. 

Right now ‘Sunday All Stars’ is still on the infancy stage. If they succeed in gaining audiences, the show’s run will last more respectably than Party Pilipinas; otherwise GMA will need a different approach in Sunday programming.

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