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Transmitting Vendetta

What happened to TV? What have they done to TV?

A couple of years back, I wasn’t really paying attention to the ABS-CBN franchise issue. Then, I realized that this franchise that they’re talking about is like the license to operate. I was thinking that they’ll grant the franchise eventually. I thought, they must be just scaring the Lopezes. I was sure that in the end, they’ll let Channel 2 continue operation. They have to. No one shuts down a TV station. (Of course, I was born after the darkest days of Martial Law.) Then, the congressmen did it. They really did it. I could not believe it. How could have they done that? I couldn’t believe they or anyone or any group could do something like that. I thought we were in a democracy. After numerous times of saying that he was hands-off on the issue, the President then included the closing of ABS-CBN as an accomplishment in stopping what he considered one of the biggest oligarchs in the Philippines. What do they have against the Lopezes?

Now, something similar has happened to Eat Bulaga. Tito, Vic and Joey’s franchise was revoked. Well, not exactly. Last week, Tito, Vic and Joey appeared on TV on their noon time show. But instead of the usual segments, they came out, explaining that they were kept from doing the show, effectively bidding farewell and ending their hosting of inarguably the longest running noon time show in the Philippines. How could something like this happen? This is practically Filipino tradition. Eat Bulaga! Is Tito, Vic and Joey. Of course, there had been Jimmy Santos, Allan K and Jose and Wally, but undeniably, Eat Bulaga! Is Tito, Vic and Joey. Millennials may not know it now, but they were and arguably still are among the iconic comedians in Philippine showbusiness. They are also important figures in Philippine popular music. They’re with VST and Company. They may not be National Artists, but they have been significant pillars of Filipino popular culture.

Why has politics overcome and cast a dark shadow over Philippine free TV? Don’t give me any explanation that will attempt to establish validity. In any enterprise, you don’t take a popular product service from the display rack. It’s all politics. They try to tell you that ABS-CBN had violations. No, it’s all politics. Okay, maybe, they had violations. But if a tricycle driver commits violations, a police officer gives him a ticket and gets the driver’s license which could be redeemed with some fee or attendance in a seminar. The police officer does not cancel the license permanently. A store owner may not see eye to eye with the suppliers of his most popular product. He should negotiate with his business partner, but definitely not cancel the distribution of that long popular product and replace it with another product with questionable and untested quality.

It seems that decisions (and major decisions for that matter) are based on personal grudges while trampling down on public interest and public sentiment. Out to the window with what you and many people like and enjoy. What brings satisfaction to you and many people is of little to no value. What is of paramount importance is the pursuit of personal vendetta. It does not even matter if they lose suicidally, they will still pursue that vendetta. ABS-CBN’s frequency was given to Manny Villar’s All TV, just to make sure the former does not get it anymore. Despite its roster of popular personalities, all went out with a whimper. (What happened to Willy?) In the same way, that show which TVJ hosted for decades are now being manned by personalities who despite our respect to them, are so far behind from their predecessors’ experience. It’s got suicide written all over it. (But, on the other hand, who knows? Maybe, GMA will keep pumping it with life support, even long after the show has been clinically dead.)

What is it to the Filipino public? You’ll be going to market ready to buy and consume preferred products of good quality. But what are available in the stores are not those that you really want, items which are far less satisfactory than the favorite ones which you have been used to for three to four decades. So, what are you left to do? Maybe, content yourself with what they sell or just get out and look for what you really want somewhere else. Consumers are left with very limited choices. What happened to free market?

Romans 12:19: “leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge…”


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