The Singaporean model and its applicability in the Filipino setting

(Apologies for the quite low-quality capture of the iconic Merlion.)

In most political forums (most especially those advocating for a shift to a parliamentary form of government), you’ll see how the Philippines is being compared to Singapore, from internet speeds, implementation of laws, how disciplined the people are, how modern the infrastructure is (road, rail, airport, etc.), the effective public transport system, to its political system. Many have also noticed the comments of the late iconic statesman and former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew about the flaws of our system. 

Along with these comparisons, many have also turned to nostalgia, reminiscing about “better times” during the 1960s and 1970s, and the never-ending debate on the legacies of former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino (please get over it, now!) on which direction the Philippines is heading or should have had headed (as they say, there’s no point if we just keep on fingerpointing and blamegaming and just stick to the present and future).

Can we apply their system in the Philippines? Or perhaps take inspirations from Singapore and we just have to tweak them to fit in our setting? Culture settles in, so we have to adjust them according to our needs.

After an extensive observation on how they do things, we can conclude that we can do better.

We have more resources, more people. And despite affluence, Singaporeans don’t seem to be happy. We are a happy people, in good times or bad, which makes it exceptional. 

It’s also just a matter of strong political will, and, of course, it will stil rest on the people so we can achieve our desired results. 

GNTV should have had regional news

With the ABS-CBN Regional Channel still in its infancy, let’s take a look back at the time when GMA News TV should have had the opportunity to expose its regional newscasts to a larger nationwide audience.

In early 2014, GNTV began hinting that its four primary regional newscasts (Balitang Amianan, Ratsada, Balitang Bisdak, and Testigo) would be aired on the morning slots albeit on a one-day delayed basis, bur in a surprising turn of events, it never had the chance to get off the ground, and since GNTV began filling its morning block with old action movies and reruns of GMA or QTV-produced programs (it did begin to air on its international edition, though). As for the Regional TV infrastructure, due to budget cuts and efforts to remain in the black, regional news became a less of a priority.

The point here is, GMA should have had seized the moment when it had the opportunity and had set its priorities straight. If GMA had prioritized the enhancement of its news-gathering capabilities (with their Serbisyong Totoo brand recognizable across the country) and building up GNTV as a strong news channel they wouldn’t be in such a mess like this.

But with the present doldrums hounding the network, we can only hope that a new investor and a new set of competent executives will help turn their futures around.

Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa (Part 1): Language vs. Dialect

Over time, this has become a point of contention, and despite efforts to rectify this long-standing misnomer it is still being perpetuated by media and schools, that is calling all the major languages in the country (other than Tagalog) as “dialects”.

We shall dedicate this post in rebuking this narrative.

When we say it is a language, that is the tongue being spoken of that particular group of people (Tagalog, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Cebuano, Waray, etc.), while a dialect is a variant of the language being spoken (Batangas Tagalog vis-a-vis Manila Tagalog, Central Bikol and the other variants of the Bikol language, Cebuano of Cebu vis-a-vis Mindanao Cebuano).

We hope that this post shall help in clearing the clouds hovering over the horizon over this issue (should you have corrections, feel free to comment), and watch out for our second post in time for the celebration of the Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.

ABS-CBN Regional Channel launches today

Viewers will now be able to catch a glimpse of the best of the country’s sights, cuisine, and people as ABS-CBN Regional Channel (ARC) starts its initial telecasts today.

Programming consists of the content ABS-CBN produces for its regional audiences, such as local TV Patrol editions, Mag TV Na, Saturday public affairs shows, Kapamilya Mas Winner Ka, Agri Tayo Dito, radio dramas from MOR, movies dubbed in regional languages (Hunger Games dubbed in Cebuano, for example), morning shows, and the Kapamilya Caravans and telecasts of festivals.

This channel aims to celebrate the country’s diversity and for its audiences remain connected with their roots and to discover new experiences (learning another language or a new vacation spot, for example).

ARC is available to Sky Direct (channel 14 nationwide) and Sky Cable (Channel 4 Mega Manila) and through streaming via iWant TV and Sky On Demand.