Monday, April 23, 2007

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Well, that didn't take long.

Only midway into the election period, it seems that the ABS-CBN News Channel is already scraping the bottom of the barrel with its senatorial panel. In the line-up today: actor Cesar Montano, KBL bet Eduardo Orpilla, and failed putschist Antonio Trillanes.

It might as well have been called the ANC Comedy Hour.

Montano and Orpilla, it seems, live in some sort of Never Never Land.

Questioned as to how he would maintain the quality of education without raising tuition fees or commercializing school properties, Montano said:

"Doon ko gagamitin ang pork barrel ko. At saka...kukulitin ko ng kukulitin si Madame President."

But it seems that was a marginally better and far more realistic response than former police general Orpilla's. The KBL bet's response to everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING! -- hinged on the use of Marcos wealth.

Ah, yes, we live in the land of wishful thinking.

By far the most sensible of the three was Trillanes. The lieutenant at least had a position on the needs of the armed forces. He was also well-versed in the constitutional right to rebel, but I suppose that's because he has practical experience.

Trillanes, though, looked like a cat caught in the headlights. Every question would freeze him up and not until some coaxing from emcee Ricky Carandang would he go off in fits and starts.

I could almost see Ricky Carandang trying his darnedest best not to snicker.

Next: bring on Sultan Kiram!


  1. At least the electorate got to see some of the senatorial candidates. TV is still the most dominant and effective medium to inform (and dis-inform!).

  2. The "debates" shown on ANC are actually considered as Comelec hour, so the scheduling is mostly done with the partner and that is Comelec.

  3. Thanks for the clarification, Jerome. We should call it the COMELEC Comedy Hour, except that may be redundant.

    Jon: true enough. Some of the previous panels weren't so bad. But I still think radio is the more dominant form of media here.

  4. Is it really Dom? Is it because radio reaches more audience than TV?

    I know that farm people and older people who wake up very early in the morning turn on their a.m. radios automatically. They too can have radio access even without electricity.

    TV on the other hand uses sound and vision to put accross the message that I think lasts longer in a person's mind. This is one reason why the candidates are pouring money into TV ads...

  5. I thought it didn't come out right...

    Should I have said sound and sight, instead of sound and vision? hehe. My noggin's not working well this morning.

  6. Hi, Jon: from the standpoint of exposure time, yes. Access to TV in the Philippines, for most people, comes at noon or at the end day, and most likely it's tuned to the entertainment channels.

    But what about the rest of the day? Radio is the incessant background noise. It's what people hear in the taxis, in the FX, sometimes even in the office. And the corresponding news and political content is much higher, too, at least for the AM listeners.

  7. Radio is also a dominant factor for oveseas filipinos who want to tune in to local events. Sure we do have the news portals that give breaking news, but since radio is low latency and can be easily streamed on fiber so people outside the country can tune in real time. Even on cable btw.

  8. off topic too(re:Heroes episode 10):
    waah i envy you. i'm still downloading it from torrents...57% and loading :( where did you get your copy btw?

  9. Raine: from the Torrents, too. Just so happens Bayantel DSL doesn't perform too badly for torrents. Drop me a note if you want a copy, para di na ka magdownload.