drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Epic Fail: GMA Airs Teleseryes on SONA Day

It was mostly memorable State of the Nation Address for President Rodrigo Duterte.

The speech lasted a better part of two hours, nearly half of which deviated from the original script and contained some profanity. Most major and minor Philippine television and radio networks went all out to deliver the most comprehensive wall-to-wall coverage of the SONA.

Unfortunately, there is one network that failed to take the SONA seriously. Enter GMA Channel 7.

While most networks were busy dealing with Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, GMA simply stood pat and did virtually nothing. From 2:30 to 4:15 p.m., they aired afternoon teleseryes ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ on the day of the SONA, an uncharacteristic deviation from more recent years.

Consequentially, when the time to air the actual SONA arrived, ‘Haplos’ was cut short 15 minutes in. After that, Pia Arcangel, not Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales, was at the scene to present a somewhat brief pre-speech and post-speech report of the SONA.

If that is not enough for Felipe Gozon and company, it was sister station GMA News TV that actually picked up the slack. Channel 11’s coverage, which was anchored by Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio, was a redemption of sorts for the network after their inability to air an extensive coverage of the SONA the past two years.

Overall, GMA’s decision to air teleseryes on SONA day came back to haunt them. The network’s programming organizers underestimated the SONA’s unpredictable nature, as evidenced by the fact that the SONA ended well before 6:30 p.m.

As a result of the SONA’s lengthy duration, Monday’s episode of ‘Haplos’ was left unfinished, and it remains to be seen if GMA will reair that very episode in full later today. Had they become aware of its unpredictability, they could have preempted all of their afternoon teleseryes and devote themselves to the SONA instead of leaving one of them incomplete.

In the end, GMA’s latest gaffe should be a harsh lesson for everyone involved. One can only hope that they will learn from this mistake and do the right thing come the 2018 State of the Nation Address.

Otherwise, expect more of the same jokes from critics and haters alike. That said, good luck GMA in correcting this failure.

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FTT’s Guide to SONA 2017

The second State of the Nation Address under President Rodrigo Duterte is about to happen.

At around 4:00 p.m. of Monday, July 24, the vicinity of the Batasan Pambansa will be filled with politicians, delegates, spectators, mediamen, PNP and AFP officers, Vice President Leni Robredo, and the President himself. The SONA is an annual occasion where the President mentions his accomplishments and reveals his plans for the year ahead.

Last year’s State of the Nation Address was directed by Brillante Mendoza, which was met with mixed reviews. This year, Mendoza will once again be at the helm, but after an unimpressive first outing, expect a few tweaks in his directorial approach.

As for the coverage of the event, here is a summary of how the participating networks will approach the SONA.

ABS-CBN

  1. Channel 2, S+A (simulcast with Channel 2), DZMM and the ABS-CBN News Channel will be the participating stations; each broadcast will be simulcast online on news.abs-cbn.com/sona2017.
  2. Channel 2’s coverage will begin after ‘It’s Showtime’, with Karen Davila as anchor. As mentioned earlier, it will also be seen on S+A Channel 23.
  3. DZMM’s coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. Karen Davila and Johnson Manabat will anchor the first two hours, followed by David Oro and Ricky Rosales at 3:00 p.m., before Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna join the fray at 5:00 p.m.
  4. ANC’s coverage will take place throughout the day, with a townhall forum at 3:00 p.m. to be moderated by Karmina Constantino and Tony Velasquez.

CNN Philippines

CNN Philippines’ coverage begins at 5:00 a.m. In typical CNN Philippines fashion, their coverage will be bilingual; mid-morning to early afternoon coverage will be in Filipino while the rest will be in English.

Viewers of the network will see the likes of Claire Celdran, Amelyn Veloso, Ruth Cabal, Pinky Webb, Pia Hontiveros and Mitzi Borromeo anchor CNN Philippines’ SONA coverage. It will also be aired online on Facebook and on the CNN Philippines website.

GMA Network

GMA News TV confirmed that they will cover the SONA starting at 3:10 p.m., marking the first time since 2014 that the oft-criticized news network will participate in the event. Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio will anchor said coverage.

However, Channel 7 and DZBB have yet to reveal its plans for the SONA. If Channel 7 and/or DZBB pushes through with separate coverage, it is likely that Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and/or Vicky Morales will anchor the proceedings while DZBB will utilize some of its mainstays such as Joel Reyes Zobel.

TV5

The network that infamously snubs President Duterte’s live speeches on television will have no choice but to join in. While Luchi Cruz-Valdes is penciled in to anchor their coverage, she might as well need some help considering how decimated TV5’s team is right now.

TV5’s coverage will most likely be simulcast on AksyonTV (unless it changes its mind and airs nonsensical TV shopping programs), Radyo5 92.3 News FM, and on News5’s Facebook page and official website. They do not need to worry about preempting programs because their lineup is all but a free-for-all.

PTV-4

PTV-4’s coverage, which also features special packages throughout the day, will be led by Rocky Ignacio, Aljo Bendijo, Angelique Lazo, Alex Santos and Catherine Vital. The government-owned station will begin their coverage of the SONA at 2:30 p.m., with a simulcast on the network’s YouTube channel.

The revitalization of PTV was among the many objectives that President Duterte raised during last year’s SONA. The project is still ongoing, but viewers can only hope that PTV’s presentation will be a much-improved one.

Other networks

All AM radio stations (save for specialty ones) will be on-hand to cover this year’s SONA. On the television side, independent UHF TV stations Net 25 and UNTV-37 will also participate in the event.

As far as IBC-13 is concerned, it is likely that the beleaguered network will no longer play a role in the SONA. Although President Duterte promised an immediate privatization of the network in last year’s SONA, the process remains slow to say the least.

Come this Monday afternoon, all eyes will be on President Rodrigo Duterte. Never mind how long his speech will be, as long as viewers understand his message going forward.

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Karelasyon Officially Cancelled by GMA

The one-time archrival of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ is now history.

Last Saturday marked the 108th and final episode of the GMA drama anthology series ‘Karelasyon’. Hosted by (and occasionally featured) Carla Abellana, the series focused on love and relationship stories that has hostility, jealousy, temptation and infidelity written on it.

‘Karelasyon’ first premiered on April 11, 2015, and as such, it was GMA’s own response to rival ABS-CBN’s revival of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’. While the series had some moments of ratings glory during its run, it was no match to the more superior and compelling stories that ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ presents.

On September 3, 2016, ‘Karelasyon’ was demoted to a later timeslot, which remained for the rest of its run. The change did little to improve ratings, as ‘Karelasyon’ regularly fell short to its new opponent in ‘SOCO’.

So why did ‘Karelasyon’ fail to pan out? Looking at its format, it was clear that the show has no place in GMA’s Saturday afternoon lineup due to these factors.

Similarity to Wish Ko Lang

Anyone who watches ‘Wish Ko Lang’ lately know that the program is no longer the wish-giving public service show that the now-ABS-CBN News personality Bernadette Sembrano once hosts. Under Vicky Morales, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ became just another drama anthology in GMA’s scheme of things.

That said, the similarity between ‘Karelasyon’ and ‘Wish Ko Lang’ made viewers too uncomfortable. GMA would have been smart to cancel ‘Wish Ko Lang’, but instead they gave ‘Karelasyon’ the boot.

Case Solved and Imbestigador

‘Case Solved’ and ‘Imbestigador’ also added to ‘Karelasyon”s issues. Both shows may have the words ‘public service’ and ‘docu-drama’ written all over it, but their occasional focus on love stories that end in tragedy may have also turned viewers off.

Entry of Ika-6 na Utos to the Saturday Lineup

When GMA decided to extend the weekday afternoon drama ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturdays, it turned out to be the last straw for ‘Karelasyon’. The former continued its momentum that it established on weekdays, while the latter sunk even further.

Despite airing for over two years, ‘Karelasyon’ will forever be remembered as a show that was aired at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Its format alone may be intriguing, but from the looks of it, GMA concocted a grave mistake on their part.

Thanks for the good (and bad) memories, ‘Karelasyon’. This show is worth forgetting for.

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1995 Flashback: Saksi at 20

‘Saksi’ is now on its 20th year, which is by far the second longest among active free TV newscasts in the country. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

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.

It has been over 20 years since ‘Saksi’ premiered on GMA.

These days, the second longest-running active free TV newscast on Philippine television (behind ‘TV Patrol’) is taking its act on late-nights. But it hasn’t always been that way.

At the time ‘Saksi’ (then known as ‘Saksi: GMA Headline Balita’) premiered on October 2, 1995, it was only a 15-minute early evening newscast, which pales in comparison to rival ‘TV Patrol”s running time of nearly an hour. Soon after, it expanded to 30, then to 45 minutes, and it remained that way until it was moved to late nights in mid-2002.

The early years of ‘Saksi’ centered on one man: Mike Enriquez. The former DJ-turned-newscaster became an instrumental figure in the rise of ‘Saksi’, even as he was paired with different co-anchors; namely, Karen Davila, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales.

Mike became so attached with ‘Saksi’ that he was given his own radio program: ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’. The now 15-year-old show carried over some of ‘Saksi”s mannerisms, including the iconic catchphrase ‘pasok’ whenever Mr. Saksi himself introduces a reporter on location.

In 2002, ‘Saksi’ moved to its current position as a late-night newscast. Mike Enriquez and then co-anchor Vicky Morales also moved along, but in 2004, Mike rejoined Mel Tiangco (then-anchor of ‘Frontpage’) in the early evening slot, and instead of ‘Saksi’ returning to early evenings as everyone thought, GMA created a new newscast: ’24 Oras’.

As a result, GMA decided to pick a new male anchor, and in came ‘Unang Hirit’ co-host Arnold Clavio (popularly known as ‘Igan’). ‘Saksi”s new moniker became ‘Liga ng Katotohanan’, and for over a decade, the newscast centered around Igan and Vicky, along with GMA’s lineup of veteran journalists.

In late 2014, Vicky Morales joined ’24 Oras’ as its third co-anchor (reuniting with Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco), and she was replaced by ’24 Oras Weekend’ anchor Pia Arcangel. Currently, ‘Saksi’ is in its 13th year as a late-night newscast, which is longer than any other late-night newscasts today.

After 20 years, ‘Saksi’ continues to deliver hard-hitting and fast-paced news every night. The newscast may be airing on late nights now, but they are still as good as it gets.

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Has Time Ran Out on Wish Ko Lang?

‘Wish Ko Lang”s transformation from a public service program to a drama anthology has not worked well for GMA. Promotional posters such as this found on ‘Wish Ko Lang”s social media accounts made it clear that the show no longer serves a purpose. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Wish Ko Lang”s magic is slowly disappearing.

Once known for granting wishes to ordinary citizens, it has now turned into a drama anthology that seems more appropriate to rival ABS-CBN’s ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. The purpose of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ has now turned into a joke, where the title of the show is no longer applicable to its new format.

It has been that way for nearly a year now, where host Vicky Morales has turned herself from the face of the show into a background character, overshadowed by the Kapuso actors that the show assigns. Even ‘Karelasyon’, a similarly themed drama anthology, is now outplaying ‘Wish Ko Lang’ in the ratings.

For a show that has been on the air for over a decade, this is definitely insulting to the loyal audiences who have watched ‘Wish Ko Lang’ all these years. It hurts, isn’t it?

When ‘Wish Ko Lang’ debuted 13 years ago, it served its purpose well, granting wishes to ordinary citizens who sent letters of hopes and aspirations. For years, the show was a ratings winner, beating similarly themed programs such as ‘Willingly Yours’, ‘Simpleng Hiling’ and ‘Nagmamahal, Kapamilya’ (the latter show was hosted by ‘Wish Ko Lang”s original host Bernadette Sembrano).

Then came ‘Failon Ngayon’, whose more informative and engaging brand of public service began to upstage ‘Wish Ko Lang’. The show experienced a decline soon after, moving into three different timeslots which never worked out for them.

In August 2014, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ moved to its current timeslot, and soon after, it reformatted from a public service program to a drama anthology in order to compete against the newly-revived ‘Ipaglaban Mo’. It became clear, however, that older fans disapproved of the show’s transformation, and as a result, ratings continued to suffer.

Now GMA has to make a decision. Since ‘Karelasyon’ and ‘Wish Ko Lang’ offer a similar format, they need to choose between the two of them, and based on ‘Karelasyon”s impressive ratings, it may be better for GMA to finally let go of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and create a legit public service program without the unnecessary dramatizations.

If they choose not to let go, they have to pick between these two options. Either they bring the old format back and move to a new timeslot, or rebrand the program if they intend to keep the new format.

It’s up to GMA to decide. They can only hope that this decision on the fate of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ is for the best interest of the network and its viewers, and will help GMA in the long run.

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