I was born to be a GMA fan.
When I was a toddler, we didn’t have a TV set and so I grew up listening to those after-dinner drama over the radio. Yep, we huddled over the radio just to listen to those heart-pounding thrillers and tearjerkers.
A major turning point in my life was when one of my father’s sinunod sa kasal rented our kamalig and later on bought a part of our lot and built a house there. TV then became a part of my life. My sisters and I would then go to our new neighbor’s place and watch TV, not with our not-so-pretty noses pressed against the window pane but in their living room!!! Talk about being jologs. Hehehe. I’m a certified jologs, everyone! My father always told us that we were poor in the hopes that we would never want anything that we didn’t really need and I guess that has instilled the values of money and gratitude in us. And having been consistent with that, he never bought a TV set. But because he allowed us to go to our neighbor’s place, I became die-hard That’s Entertainment, Mother Studio Presents, Regal Shocker, Probe Team and what-have-you fan. Well, blame it on having two older sisters (I was five, they were then 17 and 21–you get the picture) who were into uberteenybopper stuff. God, now that I think about it! Ugh!
When we finally got our black and white TV set (huhuhu!) way back 1988, we practically treated GMA like CNN–well, there was no cable TV in Molave then, duh! So then I relished in Beauty and the Beast (the poetry! and the love story, unforgettable), 21 Jump Street (that TV series where Johnny Depp was a mainstay prior to his phenomenal portrayal as Edward Scissorhands–yes, Johnny and I already knew each other way before he became reeaaalllly famous! He was in A Nightmare on Elm Street but who remembers anybody else there when Englund whose portrayal of Freddy Krueger was unparalleled.), Miami Vice, Mission Impossible (yeah, baby, this is pre-Tom Cruise!!!), and the walang kamatayang Vilma! Hehe. Late night viewing meant Regal Shocker, Mother Studio Presents, Probe Team and those awesome TV reportage by the legends. And of course, what perhaps helped swayed Papa’s mind, there was FPJ sa GMA. LOL.
I got to watch Eat Bulaga, then in RPN (or was it IBC?) then in ABS-CBN because my father and I used to eat lunch at my uncle’s place where they were avid Eat Bulaga fans. I can still remember the show’s perpetual plugs of Dakak. Then they moved to GMA. And my evening viewing list added Okay Ka Fairy Ko in. And yes, I was never allowed to watch TV on schoolnights but I managed to “get a glass of water” and other things that took me to where I could view the TV set without being too obvious. 😀
With the advent of cable television, we succumbed to the changes but for some reason, my heart remained with GMA. Yes, there were times when I would switch to ABS-CBN every now and then–my course in college taught me to be channel surf to see the various facets of TV programming and all that jazz. My TV life now includes HBO TV series like the Sex and the City, Sopranos, Rome and many others. Then came the CSI trio, Prison Break, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and a whole lot more, including reality TV shows. LOL. I’m no couch potato but I “watch” TV while doing my stuff on my laptop or even while sleeping.
But all throughout my heart remained with GMA. And I don’t even have to watch TV to remain faithful. Every now and then I watch ABS-CBN because I don’t like not knowing what some people talk about in small talks, etc. But never for long. That’s what flashback/return/recall buttons are for.
I have worked with people who come from GMA in the course of my college life, and people who have worked in ABS-CBN, and other local networks. The glow is totally different–not to mention most of them are really nice. Of course, Maam Cheche Lazaro is something else. She’s of a dying breed.
Perhaps when you’re loyal to something you get really biased about it but most of the time, I do try to be objective–like when Probe Team moved out of GMA except Bernadette Sembrano’s disgusting Saksi walkout, when Karen Davila who polished her investigative journalism nails in Brigada Siete crossed over followed by her then boyfriend DJ Sta. Ana who, only a few days back, helped Maki Pulido cover the emotional stepping down of Pres. Estrada. But much as I tried, I really couldn’t understand Angel Locsin. What she did is unforgiveable and unacceptable. I won’t even begin to comment on that ingrate.
While GMA is taking the ratings game by the balls, I can still say that No.1 or not, I’m still a fan. Not only because GMA refuses to let the masses believe and see formula programming that has been around for as long as my grandparents can remember because it sells. Not only because the network continues to take innovative steps regardless of whether the viewing public accept them right away. Not because GMA has chosen to devote more time in coming up with better programming rather than expanding worldwide. But because in doing what it has been doing all these years, GMA has helped upgrade the mentality of those watching at home. And for me, that’s the most important. If there’s one person who truly embodies the thrust of GMA, that’s Michael V. Look at the man. He’s successful–career- and family-wise. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s talented. He thinks out of the box and he continues to explore unchartered areas in the entertainment industry. And that is why he stays with the network that shares his advocacy to service to the Filipino people to a higher level.
And that is why I do too.