Philippine television has a rich and diverse history. All throughout the years, the Filipino viewing public were presented shows that came and went– each one leaving a lasting impression on its audience.
Facebook page ‘Lahat 1900’s’ celebrates Filipino TV with a compilation of these old and memorable shows. Here are some of our favorites:
“Batibot is a children’s television program from the Philippines, based on Sesame Street. Premiering in 1984, with the name Sesame!, and eventually renamed Batibot several years later. Batibot in Filipino means “small, but strong and robust”. As Sesame!, the program used both English and Filipino as the media of communication, but after evolving into Batibot, the show became a completely Filipino language children’s educational show.
It was produced by the Sesame Workshop (Children’s Television Workshop) and Philippine Children’s Television Foundation, Inc. (PCTVF). CTW broke this relationship with PCTVF in 1989.
PCTVF was formed in 1984. It was organized by the same team that worked together on the Philippine Sesame Street Project (Sesame!) in 1983. The latter is a co-production with the U.S.’s Children’s Television Workshop. Striking out on its own a year after, PCTVF’s sole directive was to produce a television program for pre-school children that would supplement their education and at the same time make the children appreciative of their culture and heritage, resulting in the show called Batibot.
Batibot was formerly a thirty-minute show. It aired from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., and used the magazine-on-television format, employing variety, humor, original Filipino music and stories, animation, black theater, muppets, short live action films and features. Batibot was broadcast nationwide from Monday to Friday on the Philippine television networks Radio Philippines Network (RPN) from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and on People’s Television Network (PTV) from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. In 1991, the show switched to ABS-CBN but switched back to RPN in 1994 after the former decided to produce its own set of children TV programs through the ABS-CBN Foundation. In 1995, PCTVF signed a contract with GMA Network and Batibot was shown at its original morning time slot.
In 1996, Batibot’s TV audience started to decline. Rapid development of cable TV in the Philippines led to the popularity of youth-oriented channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. Tough competition from ABS-CBN Foundation over its morning TV programs after airing foreign cartoons, and the loss of Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing was a factor. PCTVF was forced to cease airing of Batibot a year later through the recommendation of its host network, GMA. It made a brief comeback in 1998 on RPN but was forced to cease again for the same reason.”
6. Home Along Da Riles
“Home Along Da Riles was a Philippine situational comedy series that aired on the Philippine network ABS-CBN from 1992 to 2003.
The show depicts the lives of a poor Filipino family, the Kosmes, living alongside the railroad tracks. The main character, Kevin Kosme, played by Comedy King Dolphy, strives to raise his four children on his meager earnings. Despite their situation, the family remains tight-knit and keeps a very positive outlook on life. As a running gag in the show, their house shakes violently when a train passes by.
The long running sitcon also features Nova Villa as Aling Ason, Mang Kevin’s love interest. Smokey Manaloto as Bill Kósme, the eldest of Mang Kevin’s four biological children. Gio Alvarez as Bob Kósme, the second in the Kosme brood. Claudine Barreto as Bing Kósme, Mang Kevin’s only daughter. Vandolph as Baldo Kósme, Mang Kevin’s youngest son. Boy 2 Quizon as Estóng Kósme, Mang Kevin’s only adopted child. Maybelyn dela Cruz as Maybe Madamba, Aling Ason’s adopted daughter who is also Baldo and Estong’s playmate. Dang Cruz as Roxanne, Aling Asón’s househelp. Cita Astals as Hilary Lagdaméo, Mang Kevin’s boss at the Lagdameo Placement Agency. Bernardo Bernardo as Steve Cárpio, An assistant at the Lagdameo Placement Agency, Steve is also Hilary’s cousin and enjoys putting Mang Kevin down. Tommy Angeles as Mang Tomas, Owner of a sari-sari store right outside the Kósme residence, and one of Mang Kevin’s closest friends. Erika Fife as a secretary in Lagdameo Placement Agency.
Later Babalu joined the cast as Richy, Aling Asón’s half-brother. Richy is greedy and determined to claim the land where Aling Asón and Mang Kevin live, insisting on his rights to the property.”
5. Hapi House
“Directed by Bert de Leon and with script by Bibeth Orteza of Iskul Bukol fame, this light comedy/drama starring Tito Sotto (as Hapi), Sandy Andolong ( later replaced by Helen Gamboa ), Isabel Granada, Chuckie Dreyfuss and Aga Muhlach espoused nothing but honest to goodness values during its relatively short stint ( only a couple of years ) on Channel 13.“
4. The Probe Team
“After more than two decades of censorship and repression, press freedom was immediately restored with the dismantling of the Marcos dictatorship by a popular revolt in 1986. Media ownership was turned over to an enthusiastic private sector eager to take advantage of the newfound democratic space.
Probe Productions Inc. was a product of the euphoric period. Convinced that Filipinos need more than just the news, four pioneering journalists – Cheche Lazaro, Maria Ressa, Luchi Cruz-Valdez, Tony Velasquez, and Angie Ramos – adopted the investigative newsmagazine format and called the television program Probe. The project, which was first broadcast over ABS-CBN, turned out to be the country’s first, most awarded and longest-running, investigative newsmagazine show.
To make investigative pieces a main fixture in Philippine television, the group put up its own production house and continued with what it started. Operating from a small bedroom, the show’s one-hour reports were broadcast as monthly specials by a new television station—GMA Network. After the third telecast, in response to enthusiastic reviews, GMA gave The Probe Team (Probe’s new name) a weekly slot. The first weekly telecast began in May 1988.
The Probe Team, is known for fearlessly exposing the hard truths in Philippine society. No non-sense and hard-hitting, Probe tackles pressing societal concerns through the eyes of various stakeholders and calls a spade a spade. It engenders a deeper understanding and appreciation of issues by way of stories that capture the hearts and minds of viewers.
Due to a controversy surrounding one of its features which involved a Philippine government official close to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003, its contract with GMA was terminated. As a result, it moved to ABC, and renamed the show The Probe Team Documentaries.
The show returned to its original home, ABS-CBN, in 2005, and was retitled back to Probe. It has continued the tradition of airing provocative documentaries and investigative reports. On June 17, 2009, it was known as Probe Profiles.”
3. Iskul Bukol
“Iskul Bukol was a Philippine situational comedy show that aired on the IBC 13 network from 1977 to 1990. It starred Filipino comedians Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon. The show centered on their lives as students of the fictional Wanbol University.”
The title role was played by the late Julie Vega. Her portrayal of the sensitive, sad-sack and frequently oppressed title character drew the sympathy and affections of the Filipino viewing public and further solidified her star status.
The series ended because of Julie Vega’s sudden death on May 6, 1985, resulting in the serial having incomplete storyline. Shortly after Julie’s death, reruns were aired from the beginning of the series.
Nevertheless, her show left a lasting lesson in the lives of its avid televiewers. This heart-warming tale of a girl named Anna Liza, who has an immense capacity to touch and change the lives of everyone who crosses her path. She is poor and has suffered abuse but always stay positive throughout her struggles and trials, and is always civil and caring towards others even when she is tired, sad and in pain.”
It starred Freddie Webb as Jimmy Capistrano and Nova Villa as Ines Capistrano, the husband and wife tandem who lived with a bevy of stunning and sexy models in their house as borders played by sexy Carmi Martin, Ruby Anna, Maria Teresa Carlson and later on they were joined by Bong Dimayacyac and Lorraine Schuck. Also in the cast were Chito Arceo as Chiqui. He practically invented the word “manyakis” (manyak sa kiss). Chito played the younger brother of Ines and the business partner of Jimmy.
The rest of the cast includes Chuchi as Lola, Noche Sumayao as Strawberry (the adopted unica hija of Ines and Jimmy), Lourde Nuqui as Dina Bale (Jimmy’s secretary), Joel Alano as the husband of Maria Teresa’s character and the super funny Sammy Lagmay as the office messenger.
The sitcom chronicled the day-to-day activities of a middle-class Filipino family. Their dreams, ambitions and values. Chito Arceo’s character Chiqui was the archetypal Pinoy macho man, whose only aim in life was to transmit his bad seed to the nearest receptacle available.
The show transfered to Channel 2 of ABS-CBN in 1987 and was retitled as Chika Chika Chicks with all the main casts intact and with the same catchy theme song titled Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic by Biddu Orchestra. The sitcom still enjoyed the same top rating in their new home channel.
The sitcom finally aired its last episode in 1991. An equally funny and entertaining political satire Abangan Ang Susunod na Kabanata took its place. Nova Villa, Freddie Webb, Carmi Martin, Chuchi and Sammy Lagmay were included as the main cast of the new sitcom.”
Which old show did you get to watch?