movies, music, news, Philippines, public affairs, religion, songs, television

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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comedy, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Tado Tribute Week on Philippine TV

This week, the major television stations pay tribute to the late Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez through various programs.

On February 7, the Philippine showbiz industry lost comedian Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, who was killed in a bus accident at Mountain Province while documenting his travels via the ’40 Mountains’ project. As the community continues to mourn Tado’s death, the big TV networks are paying tribute this week to the long-haired comedian and political activist, whose unique brand of humor made him an icon of the indie scene.

Last Sunday, GMA News TV re-aired an episode of ‘Reel Time’ called ‘Misteryo sa Paraiso’. In the one-hour mini-documentary, Tado (along with co-host Patani) toured various spots in Camarines Norte, including a trip to the Boracay-like sandy beaches, the world’s oldest Rizal monument, and the oldest lighthouse in Palaui.

The next day, sister network GMA re-aired an episode of ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos. The episode, aired last September, focused on Tado’s personal life and his rise from an impoverished nomad to a famous comedian and activist. It marked one of only a few remaining TV appearances for Tado before his untimely death.

This afternoon, it is ABS-CBN’s turn to pay tribute to Tado. In the upcoming episode of ‘My Puhunan’, Karen Davila visited Tado’s ‘LimiTado’ store, where the comedian sells statement t-shirts and other memorabilia. The episode will also take a look at Tado’s tattoo shop ‘LimiTattoo’.

Then on Saturday, GMA News TV’s ‘Day Off’ will air Tado’s final television appearance. The episode, taped a few days before Tado’s fateful trip to Mountain Province, will showcase his unique brand of humor for the last time with hosts Pekto and Maey Bautista.

And next Sunday, TV5’s ‘Philip Lifestyle Guy’ will feature another of Tado’s final television appearances. In the episode, host Philip Abadicio joined Tado as they toured the city of Marikina and discovered the various hotspots within the city. It will also take viewers to a trip down Tado’s humble abode.

It is only fitting that for this week, each of the three major networks will set aside their differences and pay tribute to one of the pillars in the independent entertainment scene. Tado’s demise is a huge loss to the industry, and one that may never be replaced. Just ask buddy and fellow ‘Strangebrew’ host Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, who will always say to her lost friend, ‘TAMA!’

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Strangebrew’s All Saints’ Day Tribute

The hilariously informative program ‘Strangebrew‘ may have ended a decade ago, but its cult popularity endures to this day. The program introduced viewers to the funny duo of Angel Rivero and Arvin Jimenez, whose roles as the driver Erning and the sidekick Tado helped them become successful stars in the indie industry, translating to a stint in the now-defunct radio program called ‘BrewRats’ alongside co-star Ramon Bautista.

In one episode, Tado and Erning mourned the loss of their pet cactus Joan, and tried to find a burial lot at the La Loma Cemetery, with the help of a map given by ‘Michael Gel Locsin’ (Bautista). Unfortunately their search for a burial lot failed and they were forced to ‘bury’ Joan inside a freezer. This is a funny episode, but it also has significance to All Saints’ Day, with Tado and Erning visiting a cemetery and informing viewers about the burial of the deceased.

Here is the entire episode, which also includes a visit to a lechon restaurant in the La Loma area.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Meanwhile, let us honor those souls who have departed. Happy All Saints’ Day.

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Philippines, religion, television

Ang Dating Daan on PTV

Ang Dating Daan moves to PTV 4, sort of.

One of the most knowledgeable yet controversial preachers today returns to VHF television. Bro. Eli Soriano and his program ‘Ang Dating Daan‘ recently returned to PTV 4 starting in August in an effort to propagate the message of God and Salvation through the Bible. This was the program’s first vestige to VHF television since the late 1990s.

For the past decade, Bro. Eli and his programs have been airing on a daily basis through UHF station UNTV 37. The said station, which used to air rock music videos and the cult favoriteStrangebrew‘, underwent a major transformation in 2004 through the leadership of Daniel Razon, a relative of Soriano’s and fellow ADD minister. Despite an influx of new programs, ‘Ang Dating Daan’, along with ‘Itanong Mo Kay Soriano‘, remain the station’s flagship programs.

The return of ADD to the government station PTV 4 was no surprise; the program used to air in that station in the late 1980s. And considering PTV’s efforts to improve its programming, the addition of ADD was a welcome breath of fresh air. Moreover, PTV’s clearer and improving signal compared to UNTV’s made it a perfect choice to air ADD.

Even though ADD now airs on PTV 4, it will continue to air on its flagship station UNTV. However, loyal members of the church who cannot get a clearer view of the program will now have the opportunity to watch Bro. Eli preach the words of God on the clearer and widely reachable signals of PTV 4.

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