news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Defying Father Time: Tina Monzon-Palma’s Return to The World Tonight

There is somewhat of a renewed vibe within ‘The World Tonight’.

In early January, viewers were surprised when broadcast legend Tina Monzon-Palma returned from her lengthy sabbatical to resume her duties as anchor of ‘The World Tonight’. It was as if she never left the confines of the ABS-CBN News Channel; after all, the network continued to feature Tina in their station IDs in spite of her absence.

But for the first time since Angelo Castro Jr.’s death six years ago, Tina would have a full-time co-anchor on her side.

That co-anchor was Tony Velasquez, who had been promoted to the position in 2017 and had been anchoring the newscast by himself in Tina’s absence. The two were no strangers to each other; Tony having previously handled some of the national and world news segments for several years.

Getting a partner of Tony’s caliber helped alleviate the pressure off of Tina’s back. Not only that, with ‘The World Tonight’ having cut its running time back to 30 minutes, Tina was no longer required to do the heavy lifting.

Still, there were some occasions in which she stuttered in the middle of a newscast, which is perhaps an obvious excuse for an aging news anchor like her. Regardless, Tina still possesses a sharp mind harnessed through years of experience, but at this point of her career, even she cannot prevent the ravages of time.

While Tina did return to ‘The World Tonight’, she did not resume her position as host of ‘Talkback’. Instead, the show was given on a full-time basis to Karmina Constantino, with Christian Esguerra as the substitute in her absence.

Given her age, it was only the right thing for Tina to just focus on ‘The World Tonight’. But for loyal viewers who have missed her immeasurable presence on the desk, it was worth the price of admission.

It remains to be seen if Tina Monzon-Palma can still be able to hold her fort amid a youth movement in Philippine broadcast news. But as long as someone of her caliber is present and willing to pass the torch to the future, everything will be just fine.

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Live Blog: 2017 ASEAN Summit on ANC (Part III)

The 2017 ASEAN Summit is up and running, as heads of ASEAN nations as well as other world dignitaries converge to discuss various political issues that affect both their countries and the world. At around the same time, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also takes place, focusing on business concerns surrounding the ASEAN region.

The ABS-CBN News Channel and CNN Philippines are the primary channels that will cover in detail the ASEAN Summit. For this live blog, I will focus on ANC, so keep refreshing this blog for the latest updates on their coverage.

1:05 p.m.

Let me correct myself. Lunch is actually being served in the ASEAN Summit, but there is no such thing as a lunch break. In short, the show must go on.

1:10 p.m.

While ANC’s coverage of the ASEAN Summit takes a short break, here are the highlights of Karmina Constantino’s conversations with Christian Esguerra, Doris Bigornia and Michelle Ong with regards to news on the event.

Some concise reporting on the ASEAN Summit indeed.

And for good measure, here is Cathy Yang’s interview with Joey Concepcion. What a day so far.

1:25 p.m.

KC and Christian wrap it up. What a day so far.

For the last six or so hours, ANC has had plenty of interviews and reports regarding the ASEAN Summit, and they are not done yet. No wonder they are the premier news channel for the Filipino since 1996.

Their coverage of the ASEAN Summit continues after a few messages. Oh, and KC will still be on board.

1:30 p.m.

A little breather for our friends at ANC while they plug in ‘Executive Class’ with the great David Celdran. This should also serve as their lunch break.

As for this live blog, check back after 30 minutes.

2:00 p.m.

Back to normal it seems for our friends at ANC. The ASEAN 50 title cards are now replaced with ‘normal’ ANC program cards.

KC is still in the studio with the stories making ‘News Now’.

2:15 p.m.

Michelle Ong has been at Solaire since sunrise to bring in the latest in the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. Every time I get to watch her, I always think of Mimi as ‘cute’ considering her baby-faced looks.

According to her MediaNewser profile, Mimi started out as a weather girl before embarking on a career as a business news reporter. These days, she is either seen at the Philippine Stock Exchange or in various business functions and meetings.

2:35 p.m.

Looks like ‘News Now will last an hour today. In the meantime, Willard Cheng, RG Cruz and Pia Gutierrez filed reports in relation to the ASEAN Summit.

In short, there is plenty of news that may not fit the typical 30 minutes that ‘News Now’ is allotted to. After all, the ASEAN Summit is a very big event.

2:55 p.m.

‘News Now’ is about to wind down. But the ASEAN Summit and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit are still up and running.

As for KC, she has a long day ahead of her. The 4:00 p.m. edition of ‘The Bureau’ is still to come, and at 7:30 p.m. she will host ‘Talkback’, a show she inherited from journalism icon Tina Monzon-Palma.

3:00 p.m.

KC is still on board, and the ASEAN 50 title cards return. Right now, U.S. President Donald Trump is addressing his subjects at the fifth ASEAN-U.S. Summit.

I won’t be surprised if they keep the ASEAN 50 cards the rest of the afternoon. What a marathon so far.

3:05 p.m. 

I spoke too soon. Anyway, stay tuned for more.

3:10 p.m.

Cathy Yang is still at Solaire, so KC takes care of her show ‘Market Edge’. And she has more guests on tap today.

3:15 p.m.

Cathy is now live on-site, but the boisterousness inside Solaire forced her to carry a hand-held microphone rather than rely on the hands-free lapel mics. Just for convenience’s sake.

Anyway, I expect more guests to come.

3:20 p.m. 

While Cathy is recapping her interviews with Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Enrique Razon, I begin my 3:00 p.m. stretch. I can only hope that she still has a lot of energy left after arriving at the venue earlier this morning.

Here she is again, mic on hand.

3:30 p.m.

Trading day at the Philippine Stock Exchange is about to end, but so far no mention on the stocks yet due to ASEAN Summit news. I expect some update within the next 30 minutes.

3:35 p.m.

Warren de Guzman has returned to finish the trading day. Sadly, the PSE fell below 8400.

Stocks will still trade tomorrow and Wednesday even as the ASEAN Summit rolls on. With so much trading days lost due to weather or unexpected holiday, the PSE is making up for lost time.

As for Warren, I’m not sure if he will stay at the PSE or change places with Mimi. In any event, find out tomorrow what will happen next.

3:45 p.m.

ANC is now airing one of the forums at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. If you want to watch all the forums that took place today, visit the GoNegosyo Facebook page.

4:00 p.m.

Technical issues cut short the stream of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. Anyway, go to GoNegosyo’s Facebook page to catch the forum in its entirety.

Stay tuned for Part IV.

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The World Tonight 50th Anniversary Documentary, Coming Soon

'The World Tonight' celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a documentary commemorating the milestone to air soon on the ABS-CBN News Channel. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘The World Tonight’, the Philippines’ longest-running English newscast, is 50 years old.

The gold standard among local newscasts, ‘The World Tonight’ has been on the air since November 21, 1966. The newscast became a witness to some of the country’s greatest moments, having covered the beginning of Martial Law, three EDSA People Power revolutions, seven Philippine presidential administrations, and other notable events.

Over the years, journalists such as Orly Mercado, Loren Legarda, Ces Drilon, Dyan Castillejo, Tina Monzon-Palma and the late Angelo Castro Jr. have become synonymous with ‘The World Tonight’. These days, lead anchor Tina Monzon-Palma, co-anchors Tony Velasquez, Cathy Yang and TJ Manotoc, and commentator Teddy Locsin Jr. continue to uphold its tradition of journalistic excellence.

‘The World Tonight’ endured four different stops during its 50-year run (technically 36 years thanks to Martial Law). They are:

  • ABS-CBN Channel 9 (1966-67)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 3 (1967-72)
  • ABS-CBN Channel 2 (1986-99)
  • ABS-CBN News Channel (1996-present)

While ‘The World Tonight’ lost 14 of its years to Martial Law, there is no denying the impact the newscast has had on the Filipino nation. And, like ABS-CBN’s golden anniversary celebration in 2003, the network decided to honor the 14 lost years of ‘The World Tonight’ in commemorating its 50th year, since it remains an important part of their history.

As announced during the second ANC X event in Rockwell, Makati, a documentary commemorating ‘The World Tonight”s 50th anniversary will air on ANC very soon. It will feature interviews from some of ‘The World Tonight”s past and present anchors, producers, and even ABS-CBN’s braintrust led by chairman Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III.

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes paid tribute to ‘The World Tonight’ during the ANC X event, saying:

“’The World Tonight’ and ANC are one in keeping the Filipino audience informed and enlightened through all these years; two institutions that keep pushing for public enlightenment – the very foundation of any democracy. May these two strong institutions outlive us all.”

Indeed they are. And after 50 years, ‘The World Tonight’ is still going strong.

 

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Three’s a Crowd: Aksyon Tonite Becomes a Three-Anchor Team

Looks like the solo anchor setup on ‘Aksyon’ newscasts is not working for News5.

Last Monday, News5 decided to once again revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’, adding erstwhile weather reporters Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to the newscast alongside Ed Lingao. Both Lia and Marga were intended to be ‘anchors in training’ as far as News5 is concerned.

This marked the first time that ‘Aksyon Tonite’ went with a three-anchor setup. Past lineups of the newscast featured either a two-anchor setup (Paolo Bediones/Ed Lingao and Cheryl Cosim) or a solo anchor setup (Ed Lingao).

The reaction to the move was mostly negative. They argued that Lia and Marga were the latest in a line of ‘entertainers masquerading as journalists’ (EMAJ), as the two lacked any journalistic background owing to their past experience as sports reporters (Lia for Solar Sports, Marga for ABC-5).

While Lia and Marga’s addition to ‘Aksyon Tonite’ serves to develop the two into well-rounded journalists, it is clear that News5 is once again dooming themselves with these questionable moves. A rundown of other late primetime newscasts on major privately-owned networks should show the foolishness of News5’s decision.

  • Bandila (ABS-CBN) – Julius Babao, Karen Davila, Ces Drilon
  • Saksi (GMA) – Pia Arcangel, Arnold Clavio
  • Newsroom (CNN Philippines) – Mitzi Borromeo
  • State of the Nation (GMA News TV) – Jessica Soho
  • Eagle News International (Net 25) – Alma Angeles, Sam Cepeda
  • Why News (UNTV News and Rescue) – Gerry Alcantara, Darlene Basingan, Diego Castro III
  • The World Tonight (ANC) – Tina Monzon-Palma

The list above shows that all listed anchors are indeed legitimate journalists. Too bad for News5 and its head Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

Going down the EMAJ route just to revamp ‘Aksyon Tonite’ should serve as a way to destroy its once-credible aura. When the newscast was anchored by Cheryl Cosim and Ed Lingao, many praised it for its emphasis on hard news, which helped restore its credibility that was lost during Paolo Bediones’ time.

Now that they promoted Lia Cruz and Marga Vargas to serve alongside Ed Lingao, expect that praise to turn against ‘Aksyon Tonite’. They may be added just to gain experience, but unless they grow and learn quickly, they might become the next Menchu Macapagal or Hillary Isaac.

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