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TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ Revisited

‘Wow Mali’, now under the ‘Lakas ng Tama’ tagline, is one of three ‘Weekend Do It Better’ programs on TV5 that are still on the air today. (Title card courtesy of TV5)

It’s been over a year since TV5 decided to change the network’s programming approach.

Under the leadership of president Noel Lorenzana, the Kapatid network overhauled its programming lineup in a way that it would favor a younger and a more active audience. These initiatives resulted in the ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’ and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ blocks.

The first of these blocks debuted in September of last year. The first block, ‘Weekend Do It Better’, initially consisted of the following programs:

  1. ‘Showbiz Police’
  2. ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’
  3. ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’
  4. ‘What’s Up Doods?’
  5. ‘Pinoy Explorer’
  6. ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
  7. ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’
  8. ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’

Of the eight, only ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ (now ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ (now ‘Wow Mali Lakas ng Tama’) remain on the air. The three shows were the only ‘Weekend Do It Better’ stalwarts to survive TV5’s most recent transformation, that of the ‘Happy Ka Dito’ era, and their success and viewer loyalty were a testament to that.

On the other hand, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were cancelled just before the end of last year due to low viewership numbers. Then in the first half of this year, ‘Showbiz Police’, ‘Pinoy Explorer’ and ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’ were also cancelled, with the first two having moved to new timeslots in the middle of their run.

The ‘Weekend Do It Better’ title would be deemphasized by February 2014, but in the minds of the Kapatid network, it was only the beginning of further experimentation and constant rebuilding. New programs would be unveiled within the next few months, with the hope of making TV5’s weekend lineup even more formidable.

Today, the experiment continues, but for TV5, ‘Weekend Do It Better’ marked the start of bigger and brighter things for the still-No. 3 network, one that would carry them for the next few years.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television

Trenderas Pilot Special Tomorrow

Starring (from L-R) Katrina Velarde, Lara Maigue and Isabelle de Leon, ‘Trenderas’ will make its debut on TV5 tomorrow night. (Photo credit: Trenderas Official Facebook Page)

It’s a thumbs-up for TV5’s ‘Trenderas’.

A story about three trinket vendors aspiring to become singing superstars, ‘Trenderas’ will have its pilot episode aired tomorrow night. The one-hour special will focus on the three vendors’ humble beginnings as they embark on a quest towards fame and stardom.

It can be recalled that teasers for ‘Trenderas’ began to air as early as July. But for some unexplained reason, TV5 pulled out the teasers due to the lack of any programming space at the time, thus shelving the project for the time being.

Then ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ ended its first season in August, and new teasers for ‘Trenderas’ began to air on the Kapatid network. This time, TV5 made sure that ‘Trenderas’ will finally have the go-signal it deserves.

The upcoming musical comedy drama series will star Isabelle de Leon (as Isabelle), Katrina Velarde (as Diva), and Lara Maigue (as Lara). Joining the trio in their rags-to-riches journey are Dingdong Avanzado (as Julio), Ara Mina (as Diane), Tina Paner (as Veronica), Carl Guevarra (as EJ), and Edward Mendez (as Benjo).

‘Trenderas’ will not be complete without the three villains who will try to thwart the dreams of Isabelle, Diva and Lara. The ‘Tres Malditas’, as they are called, will star K Brosas (as Katy), Cacai Bautista (as Miley), and Kitkat (as Lady). Completing the cast are veteran talents Francine Prieto (as Viveka) and Rez Cortez (as Mother Pearl).

Also joining the series is a special guest star that needs no introduction. The one and only ‘Superstar’ Nora Aunor (as Celestina Cruz) will play the role of a famous singer-turned-mentor and guiding light to Isabelle, Diva and Lara.

Overall, ‘Trenderas’ is a series that is worth watching. With a mix of song and dance numbers, confrontations between the ‘Tres Malditas’ and the ‘Trenderas’ girls, and some comedic, romantic and dramatic scenes in between, ‘Trenderas’ will definitely capture the sensibilities of both music lovers and viewers alike.

‘Trenderas’ premieres tomorrow night after ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’ on TV5.

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education, game show, Philippines, television

Throwback: Battle of the Brains in 1994

Before David Celdran toured the world in a suit on ANC’s ‘Executive Class’, he was a young and fresh-faced host of one of the longest-running quiz shows on Philippine television.

The 1990s will always be remembered for ‘Battle of the Brains’, a quiz show pitting public and private students from the elementary, high school, and college levels. The program was a fixture on RPN-9 every Saturday morning, and the now-defunct retail giant Uniwide Sales was its major sponsor.

The popularity and success of the program led to an equally successful parody called ‘Battle of the Brainless’. The skit was featured on ABC-5’s ‘Tropang Trumpo’, and was later revived on the renamed TV5 via the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko (Unli/Nice Di Ba)’.

Back in 1994, the college grand finals of ‘Battle of the Brains’ was held at the Philippine International Convention Center. The contestants were Giovanni Claveria of Don Bosco Technical School, Oliver Tungol of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and Alfonso Gonzales of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos.

The three-part series of videos, the entirety of which run for over 45 minutes, can be viewed below.

‘Battle of the Brains’ would survive into the new millennium, albeit with a new sponsor in AMA Computer College and a new network in PTV-4, before leaving the airwaves in 2001. Meanwhile, David Celdran became a news anchor on the ABS-CBN News Channel, and as mentioned earlier, he is currently the host of ‘Executive Class’.

Unfortunately, programming changes, changing demographics and budget concerns would take the steam out of this type of game show. The last of these programs, GMA’s ‘Digital LG Quiz’, bowed out in 2004.

Although Eat Bulaga attempted to revive this format with the elementary, high school and college editions of the popular ‘Pinoy Henyo’ game, they were essentially segments of the long-running noontime variety show, and not standalone programs like ‘Battle of the Brains’ and ‘Digital LG Quiz’.

No one knows when will this type of game show returns, considering the frequency of the big stations to air Tagalized movies and teleserye re-runs. But one thing is for sure: ‘Battle of the Brains’ was a great show, and will never be replaced.

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