(As an offshoot of the Teleradyo (published on June 6), this article is written upon the request of several readers.—editor)
If we have the TV drama queens, concert queens, comedy kings and the more popular movie stars, we also have the morning AM radio gabbers (that’s AM for the radio dial). Particularly for the routinary motorists who prefer the morning news than music, the familiar voices of the newscasters cum commentators definitely lessen the boredom inside the unmoving vehicle.
There’s no official figures but based on the claims of the radio networks themselves, the AM is lording it over the FM during the so-called rush hour period of 7:30 to 8:30 in the morning where the snail-paced traffic flow becomes very stressful, not only to the drivers but to the passengers as well. And to those well-versed in the AM dial, moving from one station to another is a ritual during commercial breaks.
DWIZ, 882. With the distinct half-nasal and semi-throaty voice, the listener couldn’t be mistaken that it was Rey Langit babbling on the speakers. His Kasangga Mo ang Langit program is dedicated to his son Reyster who died of malaria. Presently the vice president of DWIZ, Rey fuels his program with news and current affairs items, plus some meaningful interviews with known personalities involved in current issues.
At 8:00 am, Rey Langit passes the torch to the Karambola hosts led by by Alvin Capino and Jonathan Dela Cruz. This program deals with hard-core politics, undestandably so since the co-hosts are Congressmen Teddy Boy Locsin, Boying Remulla and Sonny Escudero who can provide sidelights and insights of congressional proceedings. Like their rival programs, Karambola’s main staple is the interview of a political personality or a government official involved in a national issue. Alvin has a slight sense of humor that never fails to deaden the heated arguments, “Yang si Chiz dati yan pag introduce ay anak ni Sonny, ngayon sa introduction ni Sonny, siya na ang tatay ni Chiz” in reference to Sonny Escudero’s winning a congressional seat and Chiz becoming a senator.
DZBB, 594. An exact opposite of Kuya Cesar, Mike Enriquez with his machine-gun mouth towers over the others in terms of listener’s awe. Mike has that ordinary voice, which sometimes squeaks and pips, but his accent and intonation can be considered out of this world, if not outrageous. GMA-7’s Super Balita sa Umaga, co-hosted by Joel Reyes Zobel, offers not only news but mostly novelties. It is their specialty to present honest people as guests. “Eto na naman po ang isang anghel na nagsosoli ng isang bag na naiwan sa isang taxi. Magkano ang kinikita mo sa isang araw?” Mike always tries to emphasize that poor people can be honest as to return cash and kind in the traditional lost-and-found style. Another interesting portion of Mike’s highly-rated program is the Super Espesyal na Balita where even the imported but nonsense news becomes interesting enough. “At ang inirereklamong nag-iingay sa neighborhood ay isang pares ng hedgehog… Opo, mga hedgehog lang pala na nagtatalik.” Not yet done with his recital, Mike executes an aside, “Oy, sino ba’ng sumulat nito, ha?” And the unscripted but orchestrated skit is completed by Joel’s repartee, “Ito, itong si Kalbo ang sumulat nyan, pati hedgehog, pinag-tiyagaan pa!” Mike signals a closure to the act with “Sige, Kalbo, kunin mo na ang suweldo mo, last day mo na ngayon.”
DZRH, 666. Damdaming Bayan of Joe Taruc is mostly commentaries of listeners via text and phone call. But they also have interviews with personalities involved in current issues. Their version of Espesyal na Balita has a mass appeal since it is delivered by Deo Macalma with his flamboyant probinsiyano accent in the traditional showbiz blind item style. “At itong general na ito ay may itinatago palang chi-ching at namimigay ng bahay…” Deo doesn’t spew his intriguing news in one blow. It takes him at least 10 minutes to deliver the entire snippet by interspersing it with greetings, lotto results, dollar exchange rates and some other trivial but relevant morning information.
DZMM, 630. Dos Por Dos is ABS-CBN’s bet for the morning rush hour program. With Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja as anchors, politics is the main course, understandably so because Anthony is a field reporter for Senate and Congress. Sandwiched by Ted Failon’s morning news report and Failon and Sanchez at 8:30 am, Dos Por Dos is trying to outdo their rivals with their own novelty like the Chinese time check and their intimacy in conducting interviews with politicians and government officials, not to mention that they are in Teleradyo now. Hard-hitting but sensible and amiable in a way, Anthony and Gerry have the guts to push the issue sometimes especially when the guest is accommodating. “Eh Chairman Abalos, you mean to say po na yung mga computers na milyon-milyon ang ibinayad natin eh itatago na lang nang ganun?” Anthony may be serious but Gerry was more serious, “Hindi lang yan, Chairman, eh nagbabayad pa pala tayo sa storage ng mga computers na wala naman palang silbi sa Comelec.”
Jake Maderazo (the one seated)
DZXL, 558. Jake Maderazo is the anchor of Taumbayan Naman, the rush-hour diversion of RMN (Radio Mindanao Network). Mostly catering to the concerns of the common tao, this new program is still grappling with the theme or right now playing the game by ear. With focus on the national issues and subjects affecting the general public, Jake is trying to build an image of a crusader for the poor and the oppressed. Aside from his fierce fighting stance against graft, corruption and scams, notable in his program are the detailed reports of water and power supply interruptions. Taumbayan Naman also entertains greetings, remarks and even complaints via text. The main fare of rush hour radio programs is the news and all are backboned on the commentaries similar to the editorials of newspapers. Said one commuter, “Para ka na ring nagbabasa ng dyaryo kaya lang mas detailed ang dyaryo. Pero in fairness, mas enjoy makinig sa radyo lalo na kung nagda-drive kang mag-isa.”
And speaking of driving, the traffic report is getting to be a salient ingredient in the rush hour radio programs. DWIZ has a helicopter called Eye in the Sky while DZMM have their own flying machine too, manned by Capt. Ricky Velasco and who likewise does the reporting. For DZBB, they give road condition updates via the reportage of Tina Arevalo, courtesy of Traffic.com. There’s also the report on weather, water suply interruption and power outages plus greetings and announcements.
Unlike in television, animosity among the radio stations is unheard of. In fact, exchanges of greetings are common among the competitors. It’s not rare to hear Anthony Taberna greeting Mike Enriquez, Joe Taruc and Rey Langit. There were times when Mike Enriquez had cited the gallantry of the other commentators. In the maiden episode of Taumbayan Naman, Jake Maderazo greeted his former employer, ABS-CBN, and also his colleagues of the past and the present.
In times of very hot issues, it is not uncommon to hear an interview of the same questions and of the same answers in several stations. During the controversial 12th spot for the senatorial elections, Migz Zubiri and Koko Pimentel had alternated in guesting (via phone interview) on almost all the major radio stations. The same happened when kidnapped Fr. Gian Carlo Bossi was released although DZBB was the first to air the voice of the Italian priest.
Another rigodon of sorts is the movement of announcers. Rey Langit used to be with DZRH while Jake Maderazo was formerly the head of ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs. With Jake at RMN now are former DZMMers Erwin Tulfo and Doris Bigornia who host the program following Jake’s. Long missed is Jay Sonza, another morning newscaster who used to be with ABS-CBN then to GMA-7 and finally out of circulation since the time he had lost in the senatorial elections of 2004.
For the newcomers to the AM stations, check out the morning news and editorials at your radio dials. As an FM station says… kailangan pa bang imemorize yan?
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