Switching Channels
  • Ogie and Regine with the 'Party Pilipinas' gang (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)Ogie and Regine with the 'Party Pilipinas' gang (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)GMA-7's Sunday noontime variety show "Party Pilipinas" celebrated its first anniversary on March 27, in a big way. Dubbed "Party Buong Pilipinas," Kapuso stars entertained crowds live in the GMA studio, Baguio, Cebu and Davao through the wonders of satellite technology. Not to be outdone, ABS-CBN aired its Sunday lunchtime program from the Queen City of the South calling it "ASAP Rocks Cebu."

    In terms of live audiences, "PBP" had the edge, of course. What matters more to the networks, however, is how many watched at home. I don't have those figures. The "ASAP" oceanside crowd looked more impressive than "PBP's" audience at Fuente Osmena. In terms of star power, "ASAP" might have a slight edge with Jericho Rosales, Sarah Geronimo, Gerald Anderson, Martin Nievera, Gary V and Zsa Zsa Padilla as against "PBP's" Ogle Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Richard Gutierrez, Heart Evangelista and Marian Rivera.

    Entertainment-wise, both shows fall short. They are called variety shows but what "PBP" and

    Read More »from A look at Sunday shows’ provincial sorties
  • Eddie Garcia (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)Eddie Garcia (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)After 62 years in the entertainment industry, 89-year-old Eddie Garcia has a track record very few actors can match. Eddie has done close to 400 movies and television shows and shows no signs of slowing down. He has played almost every conceivable role: the archetypal villain, Fernando Poe Jr.'s perennial antagonist, real-life personalities with a clean image, henpecked husbands  and even screaming fairies, to name a few.

    For his artistry, he has amassed countless awards — 11 acting  trophies and Hall of Fame recognition from Famas, an Urian Lifetime Achievement Award as well as an acting award for an indie film ("ICU Bed No. 7") from the Cultural Center's Cinemalaya. I haven't even mentioned his achievements as a movie director.

    With the movie industry in the doldrums, television has given Eddie another medium to conquer. One of his projects, GMA-7's "Kung Mawawala Ka" ran for 60 weeks in 2002-2003. His last assignment was "Koreana" which aired its last episode on the Kapuso network

    Read More »from Eddie Garcia, 89, works non-stop for 62 years
  • 'PGT' judges Ai Ai delas Alas, Kris Aquino and Freddie Garcia (Courtesy of ABS-CBN)'PGT' judges Ai Ai delas Alas, Kris Aquino and Freddie Garcia (Courtesy of ABS-CBN)One thing I hate about local comedians is their propensity to explain the punch line. That shows a lack of respect for the audience and totally takes the fun out of a joke. What tickles my funny bone more are situations that are meant to be serious but end up eliciting laughter.

    You will find a lot of examples in "American Idol," "American's Got Talent" and the latter's local counterpart "Pilipinas Got Talent," now on its second season on ABS-CBN. It airs Saturdays and Sundays at 8:45 p.m. "AI" started the trend many years ago when the producers decided to air the auditions. That resulted in giving many otherwise untalented singers their 15 minutes of  notoriety on TV.

    Some, however, went beyond 15 minutes by capitalizing on their awful voices to gain fame and fortune. The best example is William Hung, whose off-key rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" on "AI" led to a record deal and guest appearances on popular US shows. A Filipino, Renaldo Lapuz, failed in the audition but got

    Read More »from Comic relief on ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’
  • Kris Aquino (NPPA Images)Kris Aquino (NPPA Images)What is the secret of Kris Aquino's success on television? Kris elicits equally intense reactions from both her fans and her detractors. Her admirers look forward to her off-the-cuff comments, her irrepressible personality and the latest chapter in her troubled love life. On the opposite side, her harsh critics hate her egocentric ways, calling attention to herself even when it's not called for. There are no fence sitters when it comes to Krissy. You either adore her or you hate her with a passion. To ABS-CBN, what matters is that loyalists and foes alike watch her shows.

    The Queen of All Media, a title attached to her by the Kapamilya network, had an auspicious start on the boob tube. In 1986, Kris appeared on Inday Badiday's "See True" on IBC-13 when she was still a teener and reportedly gave the talk show its highest ratings ever. Eventually, she made a name for herself as a talk and game show host on both GMA and ABS-CBN. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Her latest assignment is

    Read More »from ‘De-energizing’ Kris Aquino on TV
  • Miriam Quiambao (NPPA Images)Miriam Quiambao (NPPA Images)Mention the name Miriam Quiambao and what comes to mind? Beauty queen; first runner-up, Miss Universe 1999; competent TV host; aspiring movie-TV actress (special mention  goes to her amusing portrayal as Eugene Domingo's harassed and oppressed executive assistant in "Kimmy Dora."). I haven't seen her in a heavy drama so I was curious how she would handle her role as a  housewife who is also harassed and oppressed in TV5's "Untold Stories: Ligaw na Paru-Paro" on Thursday, March 10. Unlike "Kimmy Dora," there's nothing funny about her character. She plays Jennifer, a real person who appeared on Amy Perez's "Face to Face." "F2F" has a format close to Jerry Springer's talk show where dysfunctional families air their dirty linen in public.

    Although Jennifer is a real person, her story is the stuff that you watch on soap operas where the main character is aping-api. In the case of Miriam's role, she plays a woman in the slums  who was raped as a teener, became a drug addict and spent time in

    Read More »from Miriam Quiambao tries heavy drama
  • Battle of the news channels

    AP PhotoAP PhotoTV networks used to devote less airtime to their news and public affairs programs because they generally do not generate enough advertising income to support the huge expense required by broadcast journalism. Times have changed. ABS-CBN was the first to open a news channel with its ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), formerly known as Sarimanok News Channel.

    Last month, TV5 and GMA-7 decided to challenge the dominance of the 15-year-old ANC. On Feb. 21, The Kapatid Network launched Aksyon TV on UHF Channel 41 while the Kapuso organization premiered its own version, GMA News TV on Feb. 28 through the network's other VHF channel, the former QTV-11.

    TV5 can be viewed on Destiny on Channel 7 but not yet on the Lopez-owned Sky Cable, which has a commanding share of the cable market. The Lopez group, of course, owns ABS-CBN so loyalists of TV5 are crying "foul." Since I am a Sky subscriber, I have not been able to watch any of the Aksyon programs.

    GMA News TV broadcasts through Channel 11 on

    Read More »from Battle of the news channels
  • Photos courtesy of American Idol/FoxPhotos courtesy of American Idol/FoxThere's good news and bad news about the two FilAm hopefuls in Season 10 of "American Idol." On Friday, March 4, 11 of the top 24 finalists were eliminated in one blow. In previous years, "AI" eliminated the four singers who got the lowest votes each week for three weeks until the list was down to only 12. These were the lucky ones who toured the US in live concerts and became part of the "AI" CD assuring them of royalties from album sales.

    This year, the ten singers with the highest votes from the home audience moved on to the next round. As expected, Ryan tried to create suspense by calling the contestants in groups of twos or threes. Scotty Mcreery, the guy who sounds like Johnny Cash and is an exceptional country singer, was the first to qualify. I wonder, though, how he'll perform when the group is asked to sing rock or jazz.

    Our male bet, Clint Jun Gamboa, was visibly nervous when it was his turn to face Ryan Seacrest. Unfortunately, his competent interpretation of Stevie

    Read More »from Contrasting fortunes for Fil-Am ‘AI’ bets
  • AP PhotoAP PhotoThis year’s Oscars started on a high note. In an “Inception” inspired sequence, hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were seamlessly inserted in various nominated movies with the use of special effects. That was an interesting teaser but the show experienced a few highs and mostly lows after that.

    To start off, the performance of James and Anne paled in comparison to the previous brilliant jobs done by Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Hugh Jackman. The writers just didn’t give them enough things to do or say. They were also not good at adlibbing. I admire the two performers on the big screen but they should stay away from non-acting jobs.

    To be fair, Anne can sing and she proved that when Jackman presided the 2009 awards night. This year, the writers made her sing “On my own” from “Les Miz” but with lyrics that took a jibe at Jackman for not joining her on the show. Thus, the reference to being “on my own.” Anne excelled again as a singer but the joke fell flat.

    The show was really

    Read More »from Oscar 2011's highs and lows
  • AP PhotoAP PhotoIt was a show that was as suspenseful as an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Up to the last few minutes of last week’s “American Idol,” I didn’t know if Fil-Am singers Thia Megia had made it to the Top 24. Judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, had narrowed down the remaining 40 hopefuls to just 12 males and 12 females. The lucky winners will perform live this week and have the viewers vote for their favorites.

    In previous seasons, the contestants had to take an elevator to an upper floor where the judges were waiting. Then he/she had to take about 50 steps to a seat to hear the verdict. This year, there was no elevator but the competitors had to take a longer walk to face the judges who were on an elevated circular platform.

    As always, the judges put on a serious face to deliver both the good and bad news. Comments like “you had your ups and downs,” “many will be sent home today,” “an agonizing decision” made the contestants squirm in their seats. I had an inkling of who

    Read More »from Fil-Am bets' fates rest on US audience
  • February 25, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the People Power revolution at EDSA that ousted a dictator. To mark the occasion, ABS-CBN has been airing a music video using a rearranged version of Jim Paredes’s composition “Handog ng Pilipino” with  Martin Nievera, Gary V, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Vina Morales, Erik Santos, Piolo Pascual, Christian Bautista, Toni Gonzaga, Sam Milby, Juris, Aiza Seguerra, Yeng Constantino and Jovit Baldivino providing the vocals.

    It’s interesting to note that aside from the first four names on this list and Piolo, who was already nine years old, the rest were mere toddlers during the EDSA phenomenon. Jovit was not even born yet.

    The almost four-minute video is a glossy production that includes stock footage from the 1986 event and scenes specially shot for the occasion. One frame shows a listing of several countries who were influenced by our brand of People Power. The singers perform in front of colorful banners that capture the celebratory mood of the video.

    Read More »from 'Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo' was composed in three minutes


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