‘Patrol ng Pilipino’ no more?

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

ABS-CBN News reporter Adrian Ayalin preparing for a live report at the Ombudsman (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

ABS-CBN News reporter Adrian Ayalin preparing for a live report at the Ombudsman (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

It was a small switch—just a handful of words. But it made some people do a double take on their TV sets. At first, they thought that a story for another show might have wandered into the May 19 line-up of “TV Patrol”.

Then in report after report, they heard it again. The tag line “Patrol ng Pilipino” with which ABS-CBN reporters closed their stories for almost a decade was now taking a rest.

And it was not just on “TV Patrol.” Later that night, viewers heard the same new extro on “News Plus” in Channel 23 and on “Bandila”: the reporter’s name, followed by “ABS-CBN News”. Come “Umagang KayGanda” the next morning, it was clear this was no slip or experiment.

It was a small switch that reflected big, gradual changes in the news organization.

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10 events that made headlines on a weekend

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

TV Patrol Weekend's first and current logos 2004 & 2014

TV Patrol Weekend’s first and current logos

Before “TV Patrol Linggo” debuted on the air on May 9, 2004, TV news on weekends was usually relegated to short, late-night rundowns of the day’s events or the week’s top stories. Today, the weekend newscast is a mainstay in a 24/7 news environment. While manned by smaller teams, aired on tighter time slots, and watched by lesser viewers, they provide a needed avenue for public service–especially when the breaking event strikes.

Watch the opening to TVP Linggo’s first newscast here:

As TV Patrol’s weekend edition marks its 10th year, here are 10 of the country’s biggest stories that broke under its watch, proving that patrolling the news never stops:

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Philippine TV trends of 2012 (Part 3)

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

(Last of three parts. Read Part 1 / Part 2)

2. HASHTAG FEVER

While a world of its own, the Twitterverse has also become a second home for television—the Philippines included. Viewers take to social media to comment on shows they are watching, a number to support or bash the personalities starring in them.

Netizens use the # or hash sign to mark names, topics, or phrases dominating the online conversation.

Twitter hashtags in the Philippines for 2012: #salamatDolphy #itsmorefuninthePhilippines #TVPatrol25 #CJonTrial #GGV #KMJS #Amalayer #MissPHILIPPINESforMissUniverse2012 #PartyPilipinas #MYRVESMonopolizesDAVAO #XFactorPH #RatedK #rescuePH #ASAPRocks #Angelito2 #PrincessandI #MalingMali #PBBTeens #PinoyTrueStories #ProtegeShock #WalangPasok

At first these “hashtags” emerged during live TV events, such as the finales of reality shows like “Pinoy Big Brother”. The hashtags gain consensus among Twitter users before making the site’s “Trending Topics” list.

TV networks and shows soon put up Twitter handles of their own, opening a line of feedback to the public.

Since tweets with specific hashtags could be monitored, news organizations have used them for special coverages too. For instance, the #Harapan#Halalan and #Eleksyon2010 tags in 2010. In 2012, news orgs followed the Corona impeachment trial with hashtags like #CJonTrial. And newscast TV Patrol welcomed its 25th year in 2012 with #TVPatrol25.

By picking a particular hashtag, TV shows can track all tweets directed at them and gain exposure (and more viewers) when the hashtag trends.

2012 saw pre-recorded shows like soap operas, sitcoms and documentaries also jump on the hashtag bandwagon.

Some programs merely flashed the hashtag at the beginning or end of each segment. Others like live productions constantly showed their hashtags onscreen during the entire telecast. Shows like “Party Pilipinas” and “The X-Factor Philippines” even made distinct ones based on the themes of their weekly episodes.

But even as TV shows tried to direct the tweets, viewers still dictated what would trend. The best example for the year are the weekly trending topics based on the guests of the late-night comedy talk show “Gandang Gabi Vice”.

1. MEETING THE THIRST FOR NEWS

Viewers gained much in the way of news and information in 2012. TV news met reenergized content and new players, all in time for Filipinos to face the big events of the year.

Philippine Primetime weather anchors: Kim Atienza of TV Patrol; Nathaniel Cruz of 24 Oras; Lourd de Veyra of Aksyon; and Mai Rodriguez of Solar Network News

Primetime weather anchors: Kim Atienza of TV Patrol; Nathaniel Cruz of 24 Oras; Lourd de Veyra of Aksyon; and Mai Rodriguez of Solar Network News

The newscasts increased emphasis on weather reporting by acquiring advanced forecasting tools, updating their visuals, and even hiring meteorologists.

With services like Metra and Weather Central, weather reporters went beyond general temperatures to predict the likelihood of rain, the amount of rainfall, and specific conditions at different times of day.

The new tools came in handy as the country braved calamities like the Hagupit ng Habagat and Typhoon Pablo.

2012 was also the year of news channels, which stood out during the Corona impeachment trial.

The trial became the premiere for the new kid on the block—Solar News Channel. Free-to-air and all-English, Solar took off from its wall-to-wall coverage of the trial and slowly introduced newscasts into previous channel TalkTV.

In October, TalkTV rebranded into SNC and unveiled a slew of local news talk shows to complement its lineup of imported current affairs programs.

Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros at the Solar remote studio in the Senate during the Corona trial. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Magsaysay and Hontiveros at the Solar remote studio in the Senate during the Corona trial.

Solar News Channel is billed as a news service highlighting “news you can use” over the crime-and-entertainment offerings of other TV news organizations. It is helmed by veteran reporters Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros, both formerly with the ABS-CBN News Channel or ANC.

ANC lost other talents like Mai Rodriguez and Twink Macaraig to Solar and other networks last year. Macaraig moved to TV5, which is expected to put out its own English news channel.

Macaraig left ANC’s afternoon shift, which the channel replaced with a new block of newscasts with specific focuses. “News Now” covers breaking national stories at 2 p.m. and business stories at 3 p.m. “The Bureau” reports world news, while “@ANCalerts” reports the latest in technology and social media.

Even government-owned People’s Television Network (PTV 4) was revitalized with revamped programs, a new logo, and a bold slogan—“Telebisyon ng Bayan”.

Aiming to lessen its image as the administration propaganda arm, PTV still airs infomercials in the afternoon. But an ongoing congressional review of its charter promises the public channel less restrictions on its sources of funding, and an opportunity of going against the commercial channels.

Logos of Philippine TV news channels: ANC, Aksyon TV, DZMM Teleradyo, GNN, GMA News TV, RH TV, PTV 4, Solar News Channel

The Philippines’ news channels as of 2012

GMA News TV continues its streak as the most-watched news channel, while introducing entertainment programs such as classic movies to its lineup.

TV5’s Aksyon TV channel stepped up production of current affairs shows last year, after many of those airing on the main channel were replaced by a daily newsmagazine, “Reaksyon”.

As the networks focus on separate news channels, among the casualties are midday newscasts “Balitaang Tapat” of TV5 and “Iba-Balita Ngayon” of Studio 23, which went off the air this year.

But clearly media companies are recognizing that Filipinos are not only hooked to variety shows and teleseryes, and that there aren’t enough sources of news on TV.

*Read PART 1 & PART 2.

(Do you agree with this list or have your own idea of 2012’s top TV trends? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.)

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Related 2012 Yearenders online:

PinoyJournalist blog thumbnail 
  This blog’s Most-visited posts for 2012
 
 
ABS-CBN News.com logo 
  ABS-CBNnews.com’s Top stories for 2012
 
 
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility logo 
CMFR’s “The year that was in the news media” 
New players in the media landscape
 
 
Media newser Philippines logo The big news in TV news for 2012, according to MediaNewser Philippines.

On the tube: Philippine TV trends of 2012

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Television still occupies a comfortable high seat in Filipinos’ media consumption.

They spend more time watching TV than their Asian neighbors, what with the tube reaching 98.8 percent of the entire archipelago—the third widest reach in the world in 2010.

But the same Nielsen survey showed that Filipinos are increasingly watching video in platforms other than TV, beating other countries too. Enter the surge of social media and the accessibility of smart phones.

In 2012, Philippine TV networks continuously tried to adapt to this evolving landscape by finding ways to keep viewers glued even as they held second screens. New players entered the field to meet unaddressed programming needs.

Nostalgia also reigned as old formats and shows were resurrected, while experimenting with new lineups yielded surprise results.

All in all, viewers did not let go, awarding TV its biggest spikes in ratings for some time.

Here are the notable ways Philippine television made a mark on viewers in 2012:

7. BIG BROTHER MEETS THE NEWSCAST

Logo of CCTV Patrol Huli Cam 24 Oras Mel TiangcoNews footage courtesy of closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras is no stranger to the local newscasts. Being eyewitnesses to crimes, they save investigators time in reconstructing the act from scratch or pinpointing suspects.

In 2012, the use of CCTVs gained such prevalence that news shows reserved a place for them in their nightly lineups. Segments like “CCTV Patrol” on TV Patrol and “Huli Cam” on 24 Oras became fixtures this year, at times landing top stories when the video is riveting and the news day wanting.

CCTVs are also an expected extension of the video-dependent tabloid TV format Filipinos have been used to.

What’s not to like about CCTVs on TV? For one, they fulfill one TV news value—show the action as it happens—even without a news crew. They show how criminals operate, keeping citizens vigilant. They monitor traffic, saving transmission costs for the TV stations subscribed to their feeds.

Amid the constant presence of crimes in the nightly news, the perceived efficiency of CCTVs in crime-fighting is fueling demand for more of them. Quezon City has already mandated businesses to acquire CCTVs before they could secure business permits.

But the jury is still out on whether CCTVs merely solve crimes already committed rather than also act as crime-deterrents.

Another important aspect of CCTVs  hardly discussed is their effect on privacy, with hundreds of them installed by authorities in Metro Manila alone. While officials say the scope of government-monitored CCTVs can only go as far as public places, it might be unsettling for some that the price of security is the metro becoming one giant “Big Brother” house.

6. CURRENT AFFAIRS RETURNS TO AFTERNOONS

The late afternoons once belonged to current affairs, with shows like “Hoy Gising” and “Balitang K” playing hit lead-ins to TV Patrol. GMA 7 had animé , and later newsmagazine “Extra Extra”.

These shows were succeeded by the “guts and glory” block of shows like “Verum Est”, “Mission X” and “True Crime”, before giving way to reality shows and the Asianovela craze in 2003.

T3 hosts Raffy, Erwin and Ben Tulfo (Screenshot from TV5)

T3 hosts Raffy, Erwin and Ben Tulfo (Grab from TV5)

While dramas still dominate the afternoon lineups, 2012 saw the re-entry of current affairs shows to the 5:00 p.m. timeslot.

TV5 began the shift by prefacing their primetime newscast “Aksyon” with “T3”, a live public service show hosted by the Tulfo brothers. On T3, Ben, Erwin and Raffy Tulfo act on tips and reprimand abuses.

The show made noise last year after elder brother Mon Tulfo figured in a brawl at the airport with actress Claudine Barretto. Mon Tulfo’s brothers railed against Barretto and her husband Raymart Santiago on T3, prompting censors to suspend the show.

T3 returned on the air after a week, later airing exclusives such as the viral video of company executive Blair Carabuena berating a traffic enforcer.

ABS-CBN Pinoy True Stories logo / title cardAt the end of 2012, ABS-CBN unveiled a weekday current affairs block dubbed “Pinoy True Stories”. Each weekday was a show in itself—docu-dramas featuring aspects of day-to-day issues Filipinos face:

  • “Bistado” hosted by Julius Babao resolves abuses and modus operandi.
  • “Engkwentro” with Karen Davila goes to the barangay halls where residents sort out fights and scandals. 
  • “Saklolo” follows Dominic Almelor and Maan Macapagal as they join authorities in rescue operations.
  • On “Demandahan”, Anthony Taberna revisits civil suits decided by the higher courts to answer legal questions.
  • “Hiwaga” with Atom Araullo probes the paranormal.

The new generation of daytime public affairs is more fast-paced and reliant on the latest docu-style cinematography. Yet the shows touch on the same gritty issues and still reinforce the image of media as the public’s last resort.

But if the ratings are any indication, viewers have yet to prefer these real-life dramas over the afternoon soap operas.

5. SHAKE-UPS AND REVIVALS

Public affairs shows were not the only ones being overhauled in 2012.

The TV networks ditched other long-standing program lineups to revitalize stagnant viewership. Along with that, they thought it timely to resurrect hit shows from the past.

Logos / Title cards of GMA 7's 2012 revival shows: Magpakailanman & Extra Challenge

GMA 7 reshuffled its weekend public affairs shows, moving its Saturday night stalwarts “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” and “Imbestigador” to Sunday. Friday offering “Tunay na Buhay,” which already aired way after midnight, took “Imbestigador’s” place.

To fill the slot left by “Kapuso Mo,” GMA brought back its former weeknight drama anthology “Magpakailanman,” hosted by news anchor Mel Tiangco. The show again goes head to head with ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, which it had once beat in the ratings game.

Reality TV pioneer “Extra Challenge” also returned as a weekend program on GMA. The show reshaped primetime programming in 2004, but later bowed out to “Pinoy Big Brother”, another reality show.

TV5, meanwhile, revived the ‘90s daytime telenovela “Valiente” for primetime. Unlike its predecessor that  extended five years, the new “Valiente” ran only a few months.

Composite logo of rerun cable channels Jeepney TV and FOX FilipinoOn Channel 2, vintage episodes of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” were re-aired as “MMK Klasiks” on the weekday afternoon block.

But the ultimate nostalgia trip of 2012 is the launch of new cable channels Jeepney TV and FOX Filipino.

FOX Filipino features defunct drama series and newsmagazines from recent years, among them the GMA 7 adaptation of “Marimar” and “Pinoy Abroad”.

Jeepney TV’s lineup is filled with reruns of past ABS-CBN shows and specials. Top draws are classic sitcoms like “Home Along Da Riles” and “Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata” that are now a rarity on Philippine TV.

*READ on to Part 2.

(Do you agree with this list or have your own idea of 2012’s top TV trends? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.)

——————

Related 2012 Yearenders online:

PinoyJournalist blog thumbnail
  This blog’s Most-visited posts for 2012

ABS-CBN News.com logo
  ABS-CBNnews.com’s Top stories for 2012

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility logo
CMFR’s “The year that was in the news media”
New players in the media landscape

Media newser Philippines logo The big news in TV news for 2012, according to MediaNewser Philippines.

Dolphy and ACJ: End of two eras

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Dolphy in Home Along Da Riles and Angelo Castro, Jr. in The World Tonight (Courtesy: ABS-CBN)

Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon and Angelo Castro, Jr. (Courtesy: ABS-CBN)

From Makati Med to Heritage Park, they did not end. The ordinary and the famed both came to pay their respects to this great. And when time or distance prevented, Filipinos tipped their hats to Dolphy all the way to cyberspace.

The King of Comedy’s final days saw a nostalgia trip in pop culture as his past performances made a comeback on TV.

With that, the tributes on Twitter and Facebook recalled Dolphy’s unforgettable characters and their impact on generations of viewers.

Similar sentiments echoed as our reporters took the pulse of those who showed up at the hospital and the memorial park.

It was no different back in April when another TV luminary, anchorman Angelo Castro, Jr. passed away.

The physical line was shorter, the media noise less, but the collective recollection streamed nonetheless—especially online.

Viewers old enough to remember revisited the days when newscasts in English were still the norm for late-night.

Sam Concepcion singing at tribute service for Dolphy at ABS-CBN's Dolphy Theater, July 12, 2012 (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Salamat, Tito Dolphy at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater (Videos upon clicking – Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

In Dolphy’s wake, Filipinos resurrected John Puruntong and Pacifica Falayfay.

The deaths of famous people conjure up not just personal memories of them, but also the zeitgeist (the spirit of the times) during their heyday in the public eye.

And now in this age of the digital village, we have realized all the more a shared loss of one less character who embodied our hopes and experiences.

With the loss of figures like Dolphy and Angelo Castro, we are also nudged to look back to their times and reflect how things have differed since.

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TV Patrol 25: Revisiting Ondoy

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Pedestrians crossing flooded Commonwealth / Philcoa during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 (TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News footage)

(courtesy TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News)

Cameraman Bernie Mallari and his ENG van teammates will not forget the day stormy circumstances thrust upon them the defining image of a typhoon.

They were told to go to the La Mesa Dam that September 26, 2009. The dam was on the verge of spilling over after an overnight of rains brought by Typhoon Ondoy.

But with Commonwealth Avenue already flooded, the team never got there. Instead, they passed by Marikina and Rizal, where they chanced upon a throng converged at the San Mateo Bridge.

A mass of flotsam was approaching the bridge in a wave. When they saw that the mass also carried people, the team lugged Bernie’s camera out in the rain to capture the attempt of those “surfers” to reach safety.

Crowd in San Mateo bridge sees people tossed by flood during Typhoon Ondoy 2009 (TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News footage)

(Courtesy TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News)

The result is an iconic grab of history. But it did not turn out well for that family caught in the flood.

Last March 28, Bernie arrived at the Marikina Riverbanks with his reporter Sol Aragones to cover the unveiling of TV Patrol’s second commemorative marker as part of the newscast’s 25th anniversary.

The ceremony was awash with memories of the flood—one of the few times the big story struck even those who tell it.

ABS-CBN reporter Sol Aragones and cameraman Bernie Mallari in Pampanga (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Sol and Bernie preview their shoot at the first TV Patrol marker unveiling in Pampanga. Click pic to watch her story that day. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Sol and Bernie were not yet teammates in 2009. But Sol was among the many reporters sent to Marikina, where the destruction only became clearer as the waters cleared.

“Ang unang larawan ko pong nakita yung mga sapatos at tsinelas—(pang) bata man o matanda—ay nakalubog sa putik, parang alaala na talagang nagmadali silang tumakbo para mailigtas yung kanilang buhay,” Sol recalled.

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TV Patrol’s big day

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Aeta men setting up TV Patrol 25 marker in Floridablanca, Pampanga, 4 March 2012 (Shot by Anjo 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.

Umagang Kay Ganda hosts Andrei Felix & Venus Raj shooting live in Pampanga. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

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.

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