In a month’s time, Philippine television officially turns 70. To commemorate this event, The Butcher has come up with a list of the best 70 local shows. Below is the continuation of the list.
After EDSA I, there was so much freedom in media. On TV, one of the most hard-hitting public affairs programs was Public Forum that aired Monday nights on IBC-13. Hosted by UP sociology professor Randy David, the show discussed mostly the problems that faced the administration of Cory Aquino.
A Pampangueño, David took pains to study Tagalog and mastered it well enough to conduct a talk show in the vernacular. Now writing for print, David will always be remembered as one of the best public affairs program moderators in the country.
SIC O’CLOCK NEWS
A political gag show, it was brazen in its attacks against the government – the administration of Cory Aquino in this case. Directed by Marilou Abaya, its lead cast members were Jimmy Fabregas and Ces Quesada, better known today as Tia Isabel in Maria Clara at Ibarra. This program was aired over IBC-13.
The other actors that made up the Sic O’clock News gang were Manny Castaneda, Joji Isla, Junix Inocian, Jon Achaval, Errol Dionisio, Noni Buencamino and Wilson Go. Its most successful alumnus was the late Rene Requiestas, who became huge in the movies as a comedian.
Since there was already a Radyo Patrol, it was but natural for post EDSA I ABS-CBN to name its 6 p.m. newscast TV Patrol. One of the first people to be drafted to anchor TV Patrol was Robert Arevalo. But after one week, he didn’t feel comfortable with the format and switched places with Frankie Evangelista who was then doing a morning newscast with Cheche Lazaro in the same network.
The TV Patrol lineup for longest time had Evangelista, Noli de Castro, Mel Tiangco, and Angelique Lazo, who handled the entertainment portion. After Tiangco moved to GMA and De Castro ran for the Senate, various faces took over TV Patrol.
The way TV Patrol is presented on the air (especially during its early years) isn’t the most ideal for a news program. It is tabloid news and has the tendency to sensationalize various issues. But it made the masses watch the news and that’s TV Patrol’s biggest contribution to Philippine television.
In the beginning, Loren Legarda wasn’t only the host of PEP Talk. She was also its executive producer. Mounting a magazine show wasn’t all that new to this Newswatch alumna. When she was living in the US, she produced and hosted her own program, Manila Envelope.
When she returned to the Philippines, she was absorbed by ABS-CBN where she anchored The World Tonight. PEP Talk came immediately after. PEP stands for People, Events, Places.
In the 1990s, ABS-CBN scrapped PEP Talk and put up the more serious Inside Story – still with Loren. She hosted this show until she decided to run for the Senate in 1998.
It is difficult to match the quality of Travel Time. Produced and hosted by the late Susan Calo-Medina, the script of this program was written by multi-Palanca winner Floy Quintos.
Travel Time didn’t only feature tourists’ spots, but also Philippine cuisine – from main dishes to desserts. This show truly helped promote local tourism.
THE PROBE TEAM
This news magazine began in ABS-CBN but became more popular when it moved to the late Friday night slot of GMA. Produced and hosted by Cheche Lazaro, it dared tread even dangerous territories. That got Lazaro into a lot of trouble. But she had always been one of the most fearless – and highly-principled - women on television.
The Probe Team produced some of the more notable names in the industry: Luchie Cruz Valdes, who now heads TV5 news; Karen Davila, Bernadette Sembrano, Pinky Webb, Howie Severino, David Celdran, Apa Ongpin, and even Betong Sumaya. It’s most successful alumna, of course, is Maria Ressa, who later became a Nobel Prize winner.
RYAN, RYAN MUSIKAHAN
It’s one of the best musicals ever presented on Philippine TV. It appealed to the public because it featured mostly local pop songs as performed by some of the best Filipino singers.
Host Ryan Cayabyab eventually became a National Artist for Music.
OKAY KA, FAIRY KO
When Okay Ka, Fairy Ko became a movie franchise, it became the bane of the Metro Filmfest, particularly its spin-off: Enteng Kabisote.
Directed by Bert de Leon and written by Bibeth Orteza, the show was eventually absorbed by ABS-CBN in 1989 and by GMA in 1995.
KUH: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
Although this musical lasted only for one season, it is still one of the best programs ever staged in the history of Philippine TV. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since its star, Kuh Ledesma, only settled for the best and was very meticulous in her projects.
This show benefited a lot from Kuh’s great singing talent and the musical arrangements that were carefully selected, studied and mounted every week.
This legal drama anthology was first aired on IBC-13 in June 1988. Hosted by Atty. Jose Sison, it dramatized various legal cases. The staging were all top-notch and featured some of the best performers in the country.
The show later moved to ABS-CBN where it became even more popular. Atty. Sison was later joined in the show by his son, Joseph Peter or Jopet.
BATTLE OF THE BRAINS
Why don’t we have shows like this anymore? Hosted by David Celdran, this quiz show was aired on RPN-9 every Saturday afternoon. It was so popular that it was even parodied by the gag show Tropang Trumpo as Battle of the Brainless.
The show was fast-paced and it worked up the brains of the viewers. More importantly, its writers did actual research in libraries that provided real facts and not those false pieces of information in Wikipedia.
ABANGAN ANG SUSUNOD NA KABANATA
When the sexist comedy Chika, Chika Chicks was canceled, ABS-CBN swung to the other end with its replacement: a political satire called Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata. Nova Villa, Freddie Webb, Carmi Martin, and Sammy Lagmay were carried over from Chika, Chika Chicks. Tessie Tomas, Nanette Inventor, Noel Trinidad, Joji Isla, and Anjo Yllana were also added to the program.
The two most popular characters there were the mother-son tandem of Barbara and Dino Tengco, as played by Tessie and Anjo. This sitcom gave the MTRCB a lot of problems. One episode was banned by Malacañang itself – when Fidel Ramos was the President. But all the difficulties it faced only proved how successful Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata was as a political satire.
(To be continued)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
FOLLOW US ONLINE:
and join our Viber Community: tinyurl.com/PikaViber