Behave, The Kids Are Watching
By Perla Aragon-Choudhury
2007 was a good year for the Filipino family. There were more responsible television programs last year than in the past, according to the Southeast Foundation for Children and Television (SAFCTV), an award-giving body that recognizes child-sensitive, family friendly television shows.
“This is one of the rare times when networks come together for a good cause,” says Mag Cruz Hatol, secretary-general of the foundation. The group hands out the Anak TV Seal for outstanding TV programs that can be watched by children with little or no adult supervision.
Anak TV began as an initiative of the ABS-CBN Foundation under Gina Lopez, now chair emeritus of the SAFCTV. The awarding ceremonies are always held close to the National Children’s Broadcasting Day, set on the second Sunday of December by Republic Act 8296. Every December 9 is observed as International Children’s Day of Broadcasting in the country.
For 2007 the Anak TV Seal went to 94 programs, up from 87 in 2006 and 68 in 2005. During the ceremonies TV executives awarded Anak TV Seals to rival shows, and .producers congratulated one other and smiled as they posed for posterity with the Board of Trustees of the SAFCTV.
The top child-friendly shows were formally recognized by Raul Alvarez, president of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA), and Alice Panares, executive director of the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT), a body mandated by the Children’s Television Act of 1997 (R.A. 8370).
The following are the top 10 favorite and most admired shows for 2007:
TV Patrol (ABS-CBN)
Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba (ABS-CBN)
24 Oras (GMA-7)
Wish Ko Lang (GMA-7)
Rated K (ABS-CBN)
Maalala Mo Kaya? (ABS-CBN)
Maging Sino Ka Man (ABS-CBN)
Deal or No Deal (ABS-CBN)
Art Angel (GMA-7)
Edgardo Roces, president of the SAFCTV, said in his welcome address, “In setting aside figures on advertising… we are all champions.”
ABS-CBN got 14 awards. Interestingly, among its winners were Chuy, Okiddo, Northern Catch and Salam, which Hatol describes as unheralded programs of ABS-CBN’s regional stations but which had clicked with the national jurors as child-safe.
ABS-CBN’s sister station, Studio 23, received 10 awards, among which were Badminton Extreme, Sports TV and Y Speak.
The National Broadcasting Network bagged the Anak TV Seals for 14 family-friendly shows – its best showing so far. ABC-5 got 13, including for blocktimers Once Upon a Saint, Light Talk and Kerygma TV.
GMA-7 had seven awards. Among those recohnized were Kakasa Ka Ba sa Grade 5; Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho; Art Angel; and Wish Ko Lang. Its sister station, Channel 11- QTV, a member of SAFCTV only since 2005, got 12, including for the noontime newscast Balitanghali and Mga Waging Kuwento ng OFW.
RPN-9 had 10 winners, including Parenting 101, Kapatid, Pinokyo, Game Plan and One Morning. IBC-13 was honored for six of its shows, including Mommy Academy and Ating Alamin.
Southern Broadcasting Network-Channel 21 received a seal for Oras ng Himala, and Net 25 got eight awards for programs like new winners Gabay sa Kalusugan, Kapatid sa Hanapbuhay and Drive It.
And there was more, in the form of recognition of the most admired television personalities:
John Lloyd Cruz
Christine Bersola Babao
In her brief thank-you speech, Korina Sanchez said, “It is good when your efforts are given due recognition. It is from the eyes of children that you see the truth.”
Gary V. could not remember if it was his third or fourth year of winning but he acknowledged how he is always reminded by the Seal to be prudent because he is being watched by children.
Similarly, Mike Enriquez said, “This award tells us that we are indeed being watched, and that children are among our viewers. To me, it is the most significant award because it is given by the people.”
The awards, says Hatol, “recognized the true heroes on the local boob tube, shows and personalities who, by shunning sensationalism and gimmickry, are able to offer unadulterated entertainment. Such sincerity is paid back by audiences with well-deserved adulation.”
Hatol said a national survey preceded the awarding. Thousands of mature audiences from every corner of the land were polled. They were asked who among television’s hundreds of denizens they thought were worthy of emulation and respect of their households, particularly their kids.
“The top of mind survey yielded an enormous number of names: from preacher Eli Soriano and award-winning actress Gina Pareno to long-gone child star Julie Vega to opposition spokesman Adel Tamano,” said Hatol.
Anak TV asks member networks for tapes of what they themselves consider as child-friendly productions, and then shows these tapes to schools, civic groups, affiliates of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and passengers of Negros Navigation, farmers in barangay assembles throughout the country. The local ratings are then validated by a final round of consultation.
Roces said, “It has been a most difficult year as we scrapped the bottom of the barrel. But we overcame the difficulties through the sheer drive and dedication of our staff, volunteers and supporters. To them go our admiration and … gratitude. … We leave it up to former children to decide if the next generation deserves care from adults.”
Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, official spokesperson of Anak TV, asked for support from potential sponsors: “The challenge and immense difficulty just to advance this advocacy all boils down to lack of resources for what we’re doing. Do we just throw the project or cry for even more help? There are more mountains to climb and many more hurdles to clear. Please mull over this advocacy; and decide if child welfare is worth its weight in financial investment. Yours is a vital role in the future of our beloved families and country.”