Philippines, Sports, television

Philippines-Australia FIBA Basketball Game Earns an SPG Rating

Call it the ‘BasketBrawl in Bocaue’.

The FIBA Asia qualifying game between the Philippines and Australia at the Philippine Arena Monday night was marred by a bench-clearing brawl. The following posts should summarize the series of events that took place.

At the moment, FIBA is still taking a closer look at the incident, with the possibility of sanctions and suspensions to be announced in the coming days. Meanwhile, Basketball Australia and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas issued an official statement with regards to the brawl, while players expressed remorse on social media over their involvement.

This incident became the talk of the sporting world for all the wrong reasons. And as expected many netizens on social media were not happy about a competitive basketball game turning into a wrestling match.

The Philippines-Australia match was aired live on T5N last night and like all live sporting events on Philippine free TV it earned a Parental Guidance (PG) rating from the MTRCB. However, in subsequent rebroadcasts of the match on T5N and AksyonTV, MTRCB gave it a Strong Parental Guidance (SPG) rating for language and violence in light of the incident.

Never before in Philippine television history has a non-combat sporting event earn an SPG rating due to circumstances beyond its control. While live sports is usually attended and watched to by people of all ages, such incidents are sometimes unavoidable and can also be traumatizing.

Still, such untoward incidents would have been prevented had the referees lay down the law and play the peacemaker role between two sides. Unfortunately for the referees in Bocaue, it’s either they are not competent or strict enough to do their job.

That said, this incident between the Philippines and Australia will forever live on in Philippine television infamy, both for its impact and its consequences in the game of basketball. It will be interesting to see what new narratives will come out of this, so stay tuned for further details.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

PBB: 737 Gold Cancelled; All of Me Replaces Flordeliza

Turns out there won’t be any congestion on Kapamilya Gold after all.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ was cancelled following last Friday’s episode. The cancellation gave way to the premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, starring Julia Montes.

The afternoon edition of the ongoing ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ has been under hot water from the beginning, receiving an SPG warning from the MTRCB after the infamous ‘bromance’ issue between Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez. Though it was later removed, ABS-CBN eventually decided to cancel PBB: 737 Gold out of respect to younger viewers.

Thus, for the first time in the reality series’ history, only one edition of PBB will be seen on free TV on a daily basis. Past seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ had an afternoon and evening (sometimes late night) edition on weekdays, and in the early years of the franchise, sister station Studio 23 even aired a supplementary broadcast of the series.

Meanwhile, ‘Flordeliza’ is down to its final week. The comeback series of Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin has been on the air for eight months now, but despite its surprisingly long run, it failed to dampen the success of afternoon’s top drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Now it’s up to another comebacking Kapamilya, JM de Guzman, to give ‘The Half-Sisters’ a much-needed challenge. After returning to the limelight with the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, JM returns to the small screen via ‘All of Me’.

In ‘All of Me’, JM and veteran actor Albert Martinez will share the role of Manuel, whose near-death experience led to his transformation back to his younger self. Older Manuel, a widowed doctor, settled with his new love interest Lena (Yen Santos), and after transforming into his younger self and traveling into the future, was faced with seeking revenge on Lena’s husband Dr. Henry Nieves (Arron Villaflor), or moving on to a new life.

The upcoming series will also star Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, and Akira Morishita. Dondon Santos will be the director.

One can only hope that JM will rekindle the success that he had on ‘Angelito: Batang Ama’. It won’t be easy though, given that ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been on fire in the afternoon for months now.

Still, it’s worth a challenge, and an opportunity to revive his showbiz career further. Good luck.

‘All of Me’ premieres this Monday, August 31, after ‘It’s Showtime’ on Kapamilya Gold.

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entertainment, MTRCB, Philippines, reality show, television

MTRCB Lays Down the Law on PBB: 737

A very different ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ awaits its viewers.

This was after the MTRCB imposed some strict guidelines to the show following complaints that it offended viewer sensibilities. Among these complaints included the controversial ‘bromance’ between 12-year old Bailey May and 18-year old Kenzo Gutierrez.

In a four-page resolution that was signed by the MTRCB, they ordered the producers of PBB: 737 to:

  1. Immediately institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants, especially minors, as well as the viewing public, a sizable percentage of which is made up of minors
  2. Immediately cease and desist from requiring participants to engage in activities and tasks which may be deemed hazardous to their life and safety
  3. Enter into a strict and close collaborations with the Board, from July 10 until the end of the season
  4. Require all story editors to undergo a ‘Matalinong Panonood’ and audience sensitivity seminar on July 16, 23 and 30 at the MTRCB office
  5. Require ABS-CBN and SkyCable to place an advisory at the beginning of each episode of the three programs, stating that ‘the program may contain sensitive material’ and that ‘viewer discretion is advised’, as long as minor housemates remain present on the show
  6. Elevate the rating classification of PBB: 737 Gold (aired every weekday afternoon) to ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (SPG), with descriptions of themes, language and sex, from July 10 to the end of the season, or as long as minor housemates remain present; same rule applies to PBB: 737 on Jeepney TV
  7. Limit its application for permit to exhibit to seven episodes per application in order to ensure the correct and proper implementation of the committed remedial and self-regulatory measures
  8. Strictly implement a comprehensive ‘closing-out’ discussion by a subject matter expert after the completion of every task or challenge for the proper understanding of the lesson
  9. Ensure all parallel broadcast of PBB: 737 in cable television and in other media, including social media, shall not be in contravention with the directives and objectives of this order

Even before the MTRCB ruling was made public, ABS-CBN has already shut down the SkyCable and iWanTV livestream of PBB: 737, citing the netizens’ irresponsibility towards the Bailey-Kenzo ‘bromance’ incident. The cancellation took effect a week prior to the meeting between the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives.

This is not the first time that the MTRCB responded to an incident that took place inside the Big Brother house. Since the first season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, there have been similar obscene incidents that earned the ire of the MTRCB, the most recent of which was the nude painting task during last season’s ‘All In’.

That said, the producers of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should be responsible for the way the housemates, especially those below legal age, are being treated. PBB is among the most-watched programs on Philippine TV today, and any further controversy on the show may hurt its strong viewership.

Hopefully this should serve as a lesson to all other Filipino reality shows, both current and future. After all, no one wants to be offended by something immoral.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, television

The Inconsistency of MTRCB’s SPG Rating

The ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ rating was implemented by the MTRCB on February 9, 2012. However, its usage remains inconsistent.

In the last few episodes, GMA gag show ‘Bubble Gang’ carried the blue PG (Parental Guidance) rating instead of the red SPG rating. Despite the downgrade of its rating, the show continued to feature some instances of serious themes and profanity that are deemed too inappropriate for younger audiences. With that in mind, why is the SPG rating remains underutilized by the MTRCB?

The ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (‘Striktong Patnubay at Gabay’ in Filipino) rating was first used on February 9, 2012. SPG is implemented to programs which contain the following: strong themes, profane languages, violence, sex, horror and drugs, and as a result, they are forced to air the 30-second SPG advisory twice unlike those rated G (General Patronage) or PG. Initially used on a per-episode basis, SPG’s usage became widely known in programs such as ‘Temptation of Wife’ and ‘My Husband’s Lover’, where its tackling of extremely serious issues led to its full implementation of SPG.

However, its usage remains spotty at best. For example, fellow gag shows ‘Banana Split’ and ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ are currently rated SPG by the MTRCB, while ‘Bubble Gang’ has seen its rating downgraded to PG despite the fact that it continues to tackle serious themes. SPG is also utilized in some episodes of both ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, both of which are predominantly PG-rated. And the now-defunct talk show ‘What’s Up Doods?’ initially carried an SPG rating before it was later downgraded to PG when it started to air reruns.

SPG remains the most underutilized classification rating in Philippine television because of two factors:

1. Only a few programs are willing to push the envelope towards more sensitive topics that may be unsuitable for children

2. Teleseryes have a tendency to feature episodes with more violent scenes, followed by more light-hearted events, and vice versa

If the MTRCB can start using the SPG rating on a per-program basis, then it will benefit both producers and viewers alike in creating new ideas for various programs. The SPG rating is created in order to give producers much-needed input towards creating series with more serious issues, in the process informing the family about the consequences of airing such scenes. Without it, then how will such scenes affect the future of younger individuals?

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