Shifting Landscapes and Moving Spaces

If you’d be given a chance to move into another place, where would it be? Majority would probably answer safely with “It depends.”, which is only fitting for a direct yet vague question. Most business entities, however, wouldn’t settle on such an answer and would also probably go out of their way to know more about the question at hand as this could both signify a risk and an opportunity. 

As stakeholders of Xilium, an organization that actively expanded to other sites in the past years, have you ever wondered what could’ve transpired behind those major movements? In this article, we’ll delve into the subject of moving and seeking for new homes in the context of a series of events in Philippine TV involving big names that are well-loved and are sometimes tirelessly pitted against each other by the public.

TVJ, Eat Bulaga!, and the End of an Era

     Just when you think that you’ve already predicted the flow of the media as a regular Filipino viewer, here comes news that made such a big noise everywhere in the country for the fact that no one probably ever thought of it to actually happen. Eat Bulaga! left behind by TVJ? A few months ago, this would’ve been laughed at and shaken off by big fans of the show and the pioneer hosts. To them, this is not a discourse backed up by denial, but of loyalty to the show, faith towards the personalities they’ve been following for decades already, and support for both.

Although the internal turmoil between the management of Eat Bulaga! and TVJ had been caught on by the public in the first quarter of the year, true fans of the show trusted that the situation wouldn’t come to a bad end. The longest – running noontime show in the country had been a staple in Filipino households for decades.

Typical Filipino families would spend lunchtime tuning in to this show and unintentionally prolonging lunch after getting hooked with its fun and engaging segments like Little Miss Philippines, Pinoy Henyo, and Kalyeserye which gave birth to AlDub, the loveteam of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards that took the nation by storm and helped boost the show’s ratings far above its competitors. 

Of course, one cannot talk about Eat Bulaga! without including brothers Tito and Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon as this trio, popularly known as TVJ, had been with the show since its inception in 1979. For 43 years, TVJ had been with the show as co – founders, hosts, and it may be just to call them the face of Eat Bulaga! as well. 

For more than four decades, TVJ didn’t just carry Eat Bulaga! as hosts, they became the heart of the show. Unfortunately, months before the show’s 44th anniversary this July, the trio along with the other hosts or the legit Dabarkads already left the show after differences between the group and the producer of the show, TAPE Inc, were not settled.  

This separation was dubbed as “the end of an era” and for many loyal viewers, this event isn’t something to be taken lightly. For some, this is a moment of looking back to the times they’ve spent supporting the show and realizing how much could change in just a short time when it didn’t transpire in the span of those long years. 

For others who are just merely casual viewers but are aware of the existence of the show regardless, this could be just a passing occurrence. The perceived gravity of this situation is varying, but one thing is sure – this so-called end of an era just influenced a shift, or better yet, another era in local television that is unlike what has happened or failed to happen in the past years.

TV War is Over… Hopefully.

It’s Showtime, one of Eat Bulaga!’s toughest contenders during noontime television showdowns, had its fair share of ups and downs, too. For one, the AlDub phenomenon of the rival show almost threatened It’s Showtime to shut down back in 2015. Although the show managed to move past that challenge, it ended up shutting down anyway along with other shows after its mother network, ABS-CBN, was forced to stop airing in 2020 due to the rejection of the network’s appeal for franchise renewal. 

Presently, the show is back on air and attracts more and more viewers through its fun segments and the unbeatable appeal and chemistry of the hosts. Very much alike with Eat Bulaga!’s case, the latter is the primary reason why the audience is drawn to the show. Who wouldn’t love Vice Ganda’s comedic way of hosting, the iconic duo of Vhong and Jhong, and the lutang and maarte moments of Anne Curtis? The dynamics of the It’s Showtime family, their bond, and their connection with the Madlang People are just few of the reasons why this show has also become an important part of the day of many Filipinos. Just recently, another opportunity came along the show’s way; well, shortly after another one just ended. 

After the show’s contract with TV5 ended and after rejecting the afternoon slot offer that would compromise the show’s branding as a noontime show, It’s Showtime entered the rival network’s lair through a contract with GMA’s free – to – air channel, GTV. The events that followed after this unexpected partnership were greatly loved by the Filipinos. We have seen Kapuso artists visiting the ABS-CBN compound for guesting while the Kapamilyas, specifically the pillars of It’s Showtime were invited to the recent GMA Gala. 

This partnership is a great feat in the history of Philippine television as it ended the rivalry or at least reduced the TV war down to a fair business competition between the two giant media and entertainment groups in the country.  Hopefully, this would manifest to the fans’ behavior as well so as not to spoil the promising collaborations between ABS-CBN and GMA and their diversely talented artists.

Shifting is Risky, but Being Stagnant is Far Detrimental

At present, the Philippine TV is back again on its normal course despite the major shift on its landscape. Eat Bulaga! continues to air on its home network, GMA, and is currently headed by a set of new hosts. TVJ and their loyal group of Dabarkads including Maine Mendoza found home in TV5 with E.A.T., their comeback show.

As for the show that became the bridge between the once rivaling networks, It’s Showtime, it is now available on GTV and other Kapamilya channels. Although competition will be tough in the noontime TV from hereon, all three shows probably would do just fine as they have their family intact even after moving to new homes.

What a rollercoaster ride it has truly been for these shows and for the Filipino audience who could only be spectators despite having a lot to say with regards to the situation. How did it all boil down to this when back in the days, Philippine TV was as simple as having Channel 7, Channel 2, Channel 5, and their respective shows as the main choices? Maybe there are still many underlying reasons and far greater actions behind the seismic shift, but it’s all in the past and what matters now is to keep an eye on the present. 

You may ask, what does this teach us? How can we be affected by such events when we’re just mere audiences, the receiving end of these shows? How is the case of these shows related to that of the company?

Maybe it isn’t much on the personal impact, but on the lessons which may be indirectly thrown at us. Often, we are forced to leave the comfort of what we consider as home because of certain circumstances. Other times, it is a matter of choice. 

Whichever it may be, the fact remains that its purpose is to seek for growth – to brace the risk of moving and expanding to gain something more rather than have the same safe thing over and over again or to have none at all by the end after choosing to stay stagnant at one place. 

The truth is that any place can be called home for it isn’t the place itself that makes it home, but the people – and we’ve seen plenty of it being part of an organization that took the risk of expanding our home from Iloilo to other sites in Roxas, Bacolod, Cebu, and Baguio. By bringing jobs closer to home, our friends at Xilium were able to make the organization at home as well and even helped it thrive in the mentioned locations. It was a matter of exercising good partnership to ensure a successful venture for both parties. 

Above all, it was a matter of carefully seeking and knowing new people to share the experience, grow with, and be at home with despite the curbs caused by shifting landscapes and the occasional call to move across spaces.