The Radio was, and still is, a potent medium in terms of information dissemination. News was the first and foremost of the radio programs particularly during war times. But when innovations set in, listeners were treated to a variety of programs, all with good and clear-voiced broadcasters and radio talents.
With the rise of technology, radio broadcasting is now sporting a new attire. Teleradyo has been successful in the US for more than three years now and it was said that it was only a matter of time before our local networks will follow suit. And true to the prediction, this year, ABS-CBN gave birth to the local Teleradyo, now being shown on a TV cable channel owned by ABS-CBN’s sister company.
Listeners now have the privilege of seeing the faces of their favorite commentators and newscasters with the likes of Anthony Taberna ang Gerry Baja, who used to be only names with hard-hitting stance against erring personalities in the government. Aside from the mysterious faces, the listeners can now plainly see how the broadcasters do their broadcasting. Of course, Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon, are both TV personalities but listeners have no idea what they do while delivering their lines. Especially Korina who always has a fashion statement for her attires. Ted Failon’s description of Korina’s dress should now be accurate or else…
Ariel Ureta, with his very dynamic voice, is expected to be dynamic as well with his personality in the radio booth. Coupled with Winnie Cordero in their late morning program, listeners can see that they are really a riot inside the booth. Showbiz commentators Jobert Sucaldito and Cristy Fermin are at ease since they are also TV personalities but their execution of the reports in radio has a different flavor. And Vic Lima, the deep voice behind TV Patrol’s headlines had now exposed his head with missing hair.
Aside from seeing the broadcasters, another innovation in stride with Teleradyo was the flashing of the latest news on the screen plus some other information relevant to the day’s current issues. Of course, to make it more interactive for the viewers/listeners, text messaging is also utilized.
In the local broadcasting industry of the olden times, the focus of radio programs was entertainment especially when television was still out of reach of the masses. Radio drama and talk programs gave rise to radio talent superstars like Tiya Dely, Johnny De Leon, Kuya Cesar, Fundador Soriano and many others. As proof of the radio’s popularity, some radio talents were able to penetrate television, the movies and even other fields like politics. Those were the days when commercial sponsors were willing to pay as much as to cover the expensive talent fees of radio superstars.
Considered as the matriarch of radio broadcasting, Tiya Dely still handles her radio program pretty well at DZRH. Dely Magpayo in real life, her maternal-sounding voice and quick wits make for a good camouflage in concealing her age of 87 years. She said that she had been offered, a number of times, to dabble in TV but she declined without hesitation. Tiya Dely owes her longevity (in the radio) to the accuracy of her facts. “Wag kang magbibigay ng maling impormasyon, no-no yan dahil general public ang mga listeners,” she said in her nightly program. “Nakakainis nga ang mga broadcasters ngayon kasi yung guro lang eh hindi pa nila ma-pronounce nang tama.” Guro, meaning teacher, should be pronounced like puno (tree) and not like puno (full). Tiya Dely intentionally didn’t name the broadcasters but she had hinted the newscasters of both GMA-7 and ABS-CBN. Tiya Dely is now called simply Tyang by her co-hosts who are mostly kundiman singers. And her signature goodbye to her listeners remain… “sa iyo, sa inyo, at higit sa lahat, sa iyo.”
Kuya Cesar, who recently passed away, earned fame via his trademark of slow-talking. His bedroomy voice never failed to arouse the interest of the listeners. Unlike Tiya Dely who creates a short drama instead of just narrating the letters she received, Kuya Cesar slowly read the messages of his listeners. Normally, advices are short and practical but sometimes Kuya Cesar went to great lengths especially when there were few letters to read. Just for the money, Kuya Cesar had TV appearances and some bit roles in the movies. He was more of a comedian in his television stints.
The queen of radio drama is Luz Fernandez, holding the crown for quite a long time now. And since the radio drama had already waned in favor of the more luxurious television, the pretenders to the radio drama queen vanished. Luz also appeared in TV and movies, mostly in contravida roles. “Yan naman ang bagay sa akin,” she said in a TV interview, showing her real self that she is a born comedian despite her mean looks and sharp stares. Luz still have TV guesting appearances from time to time.
With his trademark Mabalos for his last-liner, Kuya Eddie, was one of the radio’s cream of the crop. A simple Bicolano with simple wants, Eddie Ilarde was pushed to politics as a councilor of Pasay City. He then jumped to Congress and before Martial Law, Eddie Ilarde was elected senator running under the flag of the Liberal Party where he was injured in the Plaza Miranda bombing. A cute gimmick of Kuya Eddie was his opening line of knocking before saying “May I come in?” In the tradition of Tiya Dely and Kuya Cesar, the Dear Kuya Eddie radio program was also a hit in terms of letters sent by the listeners. It didn’t take long for Eddie to shift to television. Together with Bobby Ledesma and Leila Benitez, Student Canteen wouldn’t be a success without Eddie Ilarde’s sensible and meaningful deliveries. Before the show bowed out, IQ-7, an intellectual game show, had given the audience time to think about serious matters. Eddie’s latest stab at politics was when he ran and lost for Makati mayor in 1998. That misfortune was matched with Alas-Dose Sa Trese, a short-lived noontime variety show which Eddie hosted with Boots Anson-Roa. The fate of that show was predictable since it was pitted against Eat Bulaga.
Another member of the elite in the broadcasting industry was Ben David. His booming, stentorian voice gave rise to his catchy line of “Ooh, hindeee!” He started as a radio talent for the drama but later on had his own program mostly dealing with entertainment commentaries. Like others who got famous in the radio, Ben also got a taste of television which started with guesting and later on with bit roles and supporting roles. In the movies, one of Ben’s successful characters was in playing the role of the devil. And on radio, no one could duplicate his Judas role.
Lundagin mo, Baby! of Johnny De Leon filled the morning airwaves. Johnny’s greatest novelty was his co-host. Ngongo, as was his name, was the first hare-lipped radio talent (the next one was a certain Charlie who was a showbiz reporter). Bataan Matamis, a cheap and sweet-flavored cigarette, dominated the cigarette of the masses. And who would forget his rambling of “tanging Eveready” to further boost the sponsoring battery. Johnny stayed exclusively in the radio. He also had his nighttime radio program called Beinte-Quatro Oras, a drama where the story happens within 24 hours. The novelty of this radio drama was Johnny’s cameo role, normally that of the savior.
Teleradyo is here to stay. Again, it’s just a matter of time before GMA-7 would come out with its own version. And perhaps some other networks would join the bandwagon of innovation sooner than we expect. If and when Teleradyo became the fad, it’s not far-fetched to see has-been television talents to exit their way to the radio booths. And being a double-exposure medium, Teleradyo will cause a great leap in terms of commercial sponsors.
How I wish that Teleradyo had come earlier. It would have been a listener’s treat to see Kuya Cesar with his unhurried speaking style. And surely a big radio hit to hear and see Ben David exclaim his famous “ooh, hindee” with matching undulation of his nostrils. But perhaps we can satisfy ourselves with the facial expressions of Mike Enriquez, Jimmy Gil and Mr. Love.
Comments to this article can be sent to email@example.com