Retro Gets A Like

August 8, 2018

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On the afternoon of May 25, Retro 105.9 quietly went off the air. After 4 years on the air, the first station in the metro with a Classic Hits format was axed abruptly. This left FM2 as the only Classic Hits station in the metro. The next day, it went back on air, this time as Like FM 105.9, with an Adult Top 40 format, picking up competition with Mellow 947.

BEFORE RETRO CLOSED SHOP

A year ago, Domingo C. Garcia stopped funding the station, leaving Tito Ojeda the only one running the station. As a result, management decided to cut back on costs by firing most of the DJs, retaining Karen & Joshua on the fold. The former management had debts to pay to the owner of the frequency, Bright Star.

Since Holy Week, news broke out that Retro would soon come to an end. By this time, we made guesses about its new format, whether it’d be Easy Listening-leaning Classic Hits or Classic Rock. An insider said that this format is “a path least traveled”. This month, premature news came in that Retro was near its end. It was hard to predict when as we waited week by week.

By the time Retro signed off, it was revealed that Jimmy Jam & JJ Sparx, both of them who used to be part of Retro during its first months as Music Director & Station Manager respectively, took over the station, with the help of Korean investors.

FIRST WEEKEND

After 2 months of Test Broadcast, Like FM had its official launch last July 28. Ryan (of Mellow 94.7) first went on air at 6am with The Lighter Side. He first explained the profile of Like FM to us listeners, including the format, which is a mix of Adult Top 40 & Talk. 9am came Jovi with Tea Time.

3pm came Rev. Jack Cole. I have no idea who’s behind that voice, but it’s definitely NOT Jimmy Jam, not even DJ Kane. He plays 90s music in his program, which is unnamed for now.  H-Town (of Magic 89.9, 103 1/2 Max FM & Wave 89.1) took over the evening with The Hype Show, where he plays Hip Hop, similar to his former show The Flow.

The next day, Devon went on air at 6am, followed by Dee (of Mellow 94.7) by the mid-morning. And fashion blogger Adi Amor took over at noon with her own talk show Fashion Cents. What’s good with these jocks, including Ryan & Jovi, are that they came prepared with their first topic on their 1st day on air.

For now, the Weekday contains Jovi in the mid-morning, Ryan at noon & Dee & Devon pairing up for The D&D Show in the evening. The morning & the 4pm-8pm slots are still unoccupied, but I’m hoping Jimmy Jam & JJ Sparx can occupy each of them.

MY THOUGHTS

The format of Like FM was supposed to be all-80s to go head to head with FM2’s programming. It turned out to be a hybrid of Top 40 music mixed with a handful of old stuff in which we call Hot AC or Adult Top 40.

The first time I peaked into it, I had a hard time predicting the format. So, I made an observation on the station’s playlist for a certain hour and, based on my results, it focuses more on the 2010s, a moderate amount of 2000s, and at most 3 songs from the 80s/90s. I guess that’s good enough to be called Adult Top 40.

I didn’t expect Retro to end abruptly. It’d have been better for me if they retained the format with a bit of tweaking. It had such a vast playlist compared to FM2’s.

The format is good, it reminds me of RT’s playlist from The Drive era back to The Best Music era. However, there are a few flaws. The Like FM brand is used in various stations in Visayas. And its slogan Where Hot AC Lives is somewhat blunt. A lot of Hot AC stations use Today’s Best Variety, More Variety from the 90s to Today, Today’s Music without the Rap (or the likes) as their slogan. I suggest they could use one of those slogans.

Let’s just hope Like FM will give Mellow a run for their money and regain its success Retro had before.

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Kambal Karibal Bows Out This Friday

August 2, 2018

As a long-time viewer of Kambal Karibal, here’s FTT’s thoughts regarding the show.

From the Tube

After 178 episodes, ‘Kambal Karibal’ will be history.

The GMA Telebabad series will officially come to a conclusion Friday night. And while it enjoyed a long and stellar run, its ratings performance was anything but impressive.

‘Kambal Karibal’ was led by Bianca Umali as Criselda, Pauline Mendoza as Crisanta (Criselda’s dead twin sister), and Miguel Tanfelix as Diego. Kyline Alcantara, as Cheska, played a key role as a villain who made Crisanta’s life a living hell and was eventually possessed by the spirits of both Crisanta and Criselda.

The series had a wider following than everyone thought. Many, in particular, praised the acting chops displayed by breakout stars Pauline Mendoza and Kyline Alcantara, and as ‘Kambal Karibal’ progressed, so did the praise for the two young talents.

Yet despite the fact that ‘Kambal Karibal’ was by far the strongest and most compelling GMA primetime series in recent memory, the series…

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Desribing Kambal Karibal’s Characters

June 26, 2018

I’ve been a viewer of GMA’s top-rated primetime series Kambal Karibal since Christmas vacation. In my post, I’ll describe some of the characters in my own understanding. The red denotes the hypocrites of the show, while the blue denotes the humble ones.

Crisanta – She’s too kind, as described by her twin Crisel. She’s innocent & studious. She prioritizes her studies over love life. She even tries to show love for her shallow-minded stepmom Teresa, even if she was abused by her. She knows it’s bad to hit back at enemies, even if Crisel saves her by hitting them. She’s always in the hot seat for every wrongdoing she didn’t do, even when she’s now in Cheska’s body.

Criselda – She’s too cruel & selfish. She protects Crisan by hitting her enemies, but gets the latter in trouble as a result. She’s always in a beef with Crisan over Diego. Instead of listening to Crisan, she insists that she’s lying even if she’s telling the truth. She’s a prick for listening to the Black Lady’s commands & destroying Crisan’s life instead on believing in Crisan. I initially labelled her as a hypocrite for trying to destroy Crisan’s life big time, when she was in the latter’s body. It turns out that she learned how be good, thanks to Geraldine.

Cheska – The real Cheska was a spoiled brat. She disrespects people who get into her way. She blames Crisan for being loved by Diego & her stepmom. It’d have been a good thing the real Cheska died because of her wrongdoings. But, no thanks to Black Lady, she went back.

Noriel – A supportive friend of Crisan. She’s the only friend who’s an expert of spirits & ghosts. Too bad her only weakness is Black Lady, who traumatized her.

Geraldine – She’s heartwarming & kind. She shows care for Crisan, at that time she wasn’t aware that she’s her real daughter, than Cheska. Everytime she gets mad in a certain situation, she finds it hard to believe the truth. On the other hand, instead of listening to both sides, she’d side on one person instead of the other one who is really innocent. She became a prick for siding with Cheska (Crisel) after the latter was caught on an accident while fighting with Crisan. After Crisel switched bodies with Crisan after the former won over the latter’s body, Geraldine is still a prick after siding with Crisan (Crisel). At first, I wanted to label her as a hypocrite for believing the lies brought by Crisel & Raymond without listening to what the innocent says. It turns out that she’s just confused.

Teresa – She’s selfish & talkative. She often thinks about money than going the hard way to earn it. She doesn’t know how to take care of kids, just like what she did to the twins. Instead of listening to her stepdaughter Crisan, she insists that the latter is wrong.

Raymond – The mastermind behind breaking the relationship of Geraldine & Allan. Just like his cousin Teresa, he’s selfish. He spoils Teresa by giving her money. This psycopath does something for himself, not for his family, not even for Diego, his real son whom he claims otherwise. He does something wrong to win Geraldine. Everytime he does something wrong, he hides it by passing his fault to someone innocent, but gets in trouble once the truth is revealed.

Doc Manuel – He’s Diego’s lifesaver. Unlike his son Raymond, he accepts his faults and knows what’s best for his family, especially for his grandson Diego. He does everything to make up for the losses of Diego by giving him what Raymond never gave to him.

Allan – He’s innocent & kind. He accepts his faults and can do everything to make up for his losses. He’s concerned about his family.

Diego – He earns money the hard way by sidelining as a food vendor rather than getting them the easy way. He’s the opposite of his estranged dad, wherein he thinks of Crisan, his mom who’s jailed for a crime she didn’t commit & the family who took care of him. However, he was stupid for a few instances. He called Cheska (Crisan) a criminal for committing a crime she never committed instead of listening to her, thanks to the lies brought by Crisel. He was even fooled by Raymond. It’s a good thing he’s making up for his mistakes.

Mackoy – A childhood friend of Crisan, he’s very protective. There are times when he’s jealous when someone else, especially Diego, is in love with her. Whenever Crisan is in trouble, he’ll do anything to defend her. He believes that she’s innocent, knowing that she’d never hurt any person.


A Reaction to the Promotion of Sen. Tito Sotto to the Senate Presidency

May 29, 2018

From the Tube

Welcome to the ‘Tito Sen’ era.

Monday afternoon marked a changing of the guard at the Senate, as erstwhile Senate President Koko Pimentel relinquished his position in favor of Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III. The long-time senator/entertainer will now take on a more arduous task of leading the Senate for the next several years.

It also means that ‘Tito Sen’, as his co-hosts at ‘Eat Bulaga’ call him, will no longer join his fellow Dabarkads at the said noontime show for an indefinite time period. Given the many responsibilities of a Senate President, it was only fitting for Sotto to leave ‘Eat Bulaga’ since he would stay busy even during days without Senate sessions.

Sotto, nearing 70, has served a total of four terms as Senator. He had been elected to the Senate on four different occasions: 1992, 1998, 2010 and 2016.

The selection of Tito Sotto as Senate President earned…

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Retro @ 4

March 28, 2018

Today marks the 4th year of Retro 105-9. I’ve been an avid listener of Retro since day 1. And it’s been a few months since a lot of things have changed in this station. According to insiders, Domingo C. Garcia stopped funding the station months ago. As a result, Tito Ojeda was left as the only one running the station. This is probably the reason why management decided to cut back on costs. But that was not yet the big news.

TIMELINE

Last November 4, news broke that all the DJs, except Karen & Joshua, were fired from the station. It was initially planned that some of the DJs would be back with a new contract, but this was discontinued due to budget constraints. By this time, Retro is no longer at the top of the upscale ratings.

By November 20, the brand was shortened to just Retro 105-9. The DCG was dropped from the brand, and reinstated in a few stingers as a DCG Radio. Along that came a new Top-of-the-hour ID which was voiced by an Englishman (I have no idea who), and a daily show called Drive Time, which airs every 6-10 am/pm.

As for the Drive Time, each day has its own feature: 80s on Monday, 90s on Tuesday, Easy Listening (Feel Good music) on Wednesday, New Wave on Thursday, Disco on Friday & 60s on Saturday. Prior to their debut, it had its soft launch 2 weeks before. By that time, it seemed that management was planning on something.

Early December, Karen went back on the air, on the Morning slot. She still delivers the news after her timeslot, albeit pre-recorded, from mid-morning to the rest of the afternoon.

Retro welcomed the New Year with a new logo and a new set of stingers provided by the same Englishman. I’m not sure if they were made by a certain jingle company. This doesn’t mean Joshua is no longer the VO. He still provides some stingers & timechecks.

A week later, The Triggerman came back, albeit on Weekends only, with his Top 20 @ 12. And he’s doing it for free.

WHERE ARE THE JOCKS?

Now that Karen & Triggerman are running the show, along with Joshua providing the extra stingers, we may be wondering where Retro’s former DJs are up to nowadays.

Joey Pizza now goes on air on FM2 every Saturday afternoons, completing a Saturday treat for RT avid listeners. The Mole occasionally sits in with the Triggerman during Weekends. As for the other DJs, I have no Idea.

MY THOUGHTS

“As a radio programming student, I say it seems 105.9 FM is doing something good in terms of their Music Direction. I’ve been glued to the station for a few days already, and I say their mix is very good. I’ve heard stuff I haven’t heard on radio for quite a time. Except for a few bits which I believe could be improved, I have been enjoying their programming. Give it a listen.”

-Mike Pedero

Now that the station is automated, the playlist is consistent and the flow is good. A stark contrast to Retro with DJs coming from different stations, wherein each of them has his own playlist or musical bias. However, the song rotation pattern isn’t that good, we’d get to hear the same certain sequence the next day. For example, the songs you heard on the 10pm hour last night were also played on the 1pm hour today.

Regarding their music scope, they should axe the 60s from the playlist & create a Sunday morning block for that. Replace the 60s on the Saturday block with something else, perhaps OPM or Classic Rock.

Regarding its Drive Time concept, I’m fine with most of their daily genres, but there are some flaws. 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening is too much for a certain genre. It affects Retro’s ratings, since they air during primetime. It’d be better if Drive Time would be aired every night instead.

As for the names of the Drive Time features, We Love The 80s and Livin’ In The 90s are OK. But, the other names sound repetitive since we hear the same words twice. For example, Disco Friday, Drive Time Fridays. They should tweak the name a bit. I could suggest names for them: Midweek Feels Good for their feel good music, New Wave Mayhem for New Wave, Solid Gold Disco for Disco, and Groovin’ With The 60s for 60s.

I have no comment regarding the comeback of the Top 20 @ 12. I guess it’s due to listeners’ demand. There’s nothing I can do about it. For me, instead of bringing it back, it’d be better if he revived it as a syndicated Top 40 countdown, similar to AT40.

It’s a good move the DCG was dropped from the brand. The brand is now shorter and makes more sense. But, I’m puzzled that they still call it a DCG Radio, since Garcia is no longer funding the station (and its sister stations) anymore.

Even without the DJs around, and despite some flaws in its song rotation, I’m enjoying the flow so far. Not to mention I’d switch to FM2 or Home at times. The features I listen to the most are We Love The 80s & Feel Good. I hope they’d add at least 3 DJs in the fold to fill in the Weekdays. With this kind of setup, I’m sure Retro will survive for the months to come.


Remembering DXRJ 1476

February 15, 2018

Back in summer of 2010, I was searching for AM stations from Mindanao through eRadioPortal. And I discovered DXRJ 1476, a sister station of RJFM broadcasting from Iligan. It rarely went under the brand Radyo Asenso, which is the brand used by RadioCorp for all of its stations, and they weren’t affiliated with each other. Until now, I don’t know much about the history of this station. It probably was on air since the 80s. Anyway, here’s my listening experience on the now-defunct DXRJ.

MY LISTENING EXPERIENCE

I was an occasional listener of DXRJ since that summer. And that’s where I learned a lot of Bisayan words. There was a time when I didn’t get to sleep just to wait for it to sign on. That time, I was finishing my homework. It even opened its own UStream channel around late 2011, so we listeners would know what was happening inside their booth. Since then, I was more hooked on to its UStream than eRadioPortal.

DXRJ Booth

Booth of DXRJ (via UStream).

It signed on at around 2:30am and signs off at around 10:30pm, though there were times where, at around 10pm, it’d simulcast the feed of Voice of America. Ramon Jacinto’s Philippines, My Philippines was its sign-off song. And it even has around 20 SIDs. It aired hourly newscasts only during mornings, including its half-hour newscast at 7am. The name of its morning show was based from ABSCBN’s AM stations, I’m sure you know what I mean. It also had a show dedicated to its listeners called the DXRJ Fans Club. And it had a few shows which serve the community of Iligan, inculding City Hall Reports.

DEMISE

Back in mid-2013, they didn’t go on air, even on UStream & eRadioPortal. Later on, I realized that it closed shop at that time for unknown reasons. Recently, an RJFM relay station was opened in Iligan via 88.7 MHz (close to the frequency of its other relay in CDO). And the rest is history.


Turning Back Time

January 8, 2018

“The past is unchangeable, but the future is unwritten.”
-Jenna Petersen

Have you ever regretted something that should’ve or shouldn’t have been done in the first place? Have you ever thought of turning back time to fix your mistake? Have you ever done something and later on realize what you did was a big mistake? Have you ever had a lot of regrets and you don’t know what to do? Have you ever tried to move on from those regrets? I bet those are some questions you have in mind.

A lot of people say the only ways to turn back time are the music you grew up with and the old pictures of yours. But when it comes to real-life situations, it’s not the case. If only time travel is possible, then it would’ve been easier to go back in time to fix your mistakes. That would probably be the only way to prevent yourself from regretting something. However, it’s impossible since there’s no machine which can let you travel back. It kinda reminds me of the DeLorean in Back To The Future.

If you were to do it all over again, would you change a thing?

Here are a few examples. You took a course, but later lost interest in it & realized that you should’ve taken an easier course or a course you’re more interested in. You broke up with your girlfriend because of complicated problems, but later realized that you should’ve fixed that relationship & kept it from falling apart. These are the time where you’d think of turning back time.

Time is constant. Once you’ve done something, you can’t change it, whether you regretted it or not. You still have the chance to fix that mistake since it’s never too late. However, you’ll face some consequences. It may not be that easy, it may take a long time and you may not get the results you expected.

If you wanna go back in time, how far would you go?

Here are my Top 5 tracks about turning back time:

  1. Eddie Money – I Wanna Go Back
  2. Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
  3. Kenny Rankin – Regrets
  4. Aqua – Turn Back Time
  5. R. Kelly – If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time

Writer’s note: I was supposed to call this post Regrets, but I find it too sad for it to be a title.