By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan
(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)
High up a mountain in Nabuclod, Floridablanca, Pampanga on the night of March 4, six Aeta men mixed cement to fill the foundation where a slab of hardened lahar would stand.
The wind chilled, and the only light came from a blue-head lamp started up by the ABS-CBN technical crew that was also setting up on this upland eco-tourism park.
The 5-foot tall slab lay beside a shallow pit. Embossed on it: “TV Patrol 25,” followed by rows of commemorative text.
“Good thing it took us till night to bring this up here,” said Mae Purificacion, one of two women from ABS-CBN News’ business group who were supervising the work.
“Otherwise, other people here would be taking shots of it way too early.”
The tech crew had already mobbed the slab with photo-ops after it was brought out from a crew cab. But no posting on Facebook yet, they were warned.
They only hoped the cement would harden by morning.
Such was the subtle flurry of activity in the hours counting down to the celebration of TV Patrol’s 25th birthday.
Andrei Felix & Venus Raj (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)
The tech team prepped for Umagang Kay Ganda, where hosts Andrei Felix and Venus Raj would ride the park’s zip line and cable car live.
In Manila that night, the people at post-production outfit Acid House ran overtime rendering the new opening billboard (OBB) and segment intros for the special March 5 telecast.
Acee Vitangcol, an ABS-CBN digital strategist put the finishing touches on the timeline of TV Patrol’s Facebook page. It would go public at midnight with photos of the show’s past sets, logos, and reporting moments.
The network was pulling out all the stops for this milestone. After all, TV Patrol was one of the driving forces that propelled ABS-CBN back to ratings leadership in 1988.
On its silver anniversary, the groundbreaking newscast was giving back to the public.