March 27, 2023

Despite claims by so-called insiders in the know that GMA 7 has shot ahead of ABS-CBN in viewership ratings, the fact is, prior to May 2020, ABS-CBN was lording it over the rest of the other networks, a formidable giant that MVP (Manny Pangilinan) was eagerly hoping to slay when he acquired TV5 for an undisclosed sum of money.
MVP started out by pirating megastar Sharon Cuneta from her mother studio; wrangled a deal that gave TV5 exclusive coverage of the PBA games; and with the irrepressible Willie Revillame leading the charge with his give-away money talk show that had the masses glued to their TV sets prayerfully wishing to be lucky recipient, ABS-CBN got a bit worried.

But Sharon failed to draw away the crowds, and sports fans were unhappy that TV5 was airing only one game live, with the pairing game aired at a late hour.
Meanwhile, Revillame ran into trouble while hosting a live program.
Spectators, a few high on drugs, became unruly and there was a bit of shoving and jostling trying to get near the stage. The ensuing stampede resulted in the death of some and causing injury to many.
Pangilinan’s bold bid to topple the giant TV station fizzled out as quickly as it started.

Surprisingly, however, ABS-CBN refused or neglected to play the politician’s favorite past time – scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.
And by the time Congress, voting 70-11 not to renew the ABS-CBN franchise, it was too late.
ABS-CBN followers were naturally outraged, but tell me, when was the last time, if ever, that Congress was not for itself, and for us – even lulling ABS-CBN that there was a chance for renewal when in reality they had already decided even before the voting began.
ABS-CBN is no more, and if the Lopezes are crossing their fingers that another Cory would come to the rescue, sadly they are mistaken – not if Digong can help it.
Hands off the ABS-CBN issue, Malacañang chimes, but in the next breath, Duterte is on TV bragging that he has dismantled the oligarchy.
But guess who is laughing behind his back, counting their megabucks.
And now the giant sleeps with the fishes.
Farewell old chum, it was fun while it lasted.

But there’s a lesson that ABS-CBN should have learned – but didn’t.
Do you know why San Miguel is such a successful business enterprise?
Well, for one, Danding Cojuangco, during his lifetime, knew how to tango.
The late Ed Angara was his personal lawyer and close friend, in case he needed to connect with the right people while keeping himself out of the limelight.
Even so, Danding had famed and well-connected lawyer Estelito Mendoza handling or taking care of his legal problems.
Recognizing talent when he saw one, he gave Ramon Ang a free hand to run his business empire.

He never pricked, but instead inflated the ego of politicians, as well as their pockets in times of need, like when election day was just around the corner.
In much the same way that others would rather have him for a friend than an enemy, so too did the “Boss” adhere to the same formula – to be a friend to all, and not be an enemy.

Or take the other business mogul, MVP. Flanking him on both sides are “intellectuals” Rey Espinosa and Al Panlilio.
He also had brainy lawyer Alfonso “Boy” Reyno counseling for him. Reyno’s forte is driving away legal and other woes – and making them disappear.
Oh, if Noynoy Aquino and Erap Estrada didn’t think too highly of themselves as know-it-all monarchs, maybe people would not look the other way each time they make an appearance.
Except for a handful, who else would remember Noynoy with affection? Leni maybe, but not Mar.

And guess who are back in each other’s arms?
Atong Ang and Chavit Singson, with Erap looking in from the outside.
Fate? Cest la vie? Greed? A failure to communicate?
Whatever, Danding, MVP, Boy Reyno – they are the kind who think out of the box.
Oh, closer to home, it is the women who do that, i.e. Althea et. al., for Magalong.
The men prefer standing atop the box, mouthing lousy oratory, if not nonsense.

Obit: We mourn the demise of Dr. Lorenzo Pilando, an old friend from way, way back.
Before and at this time of the virus, friends and kin are migrating abroad to flee poverty and despair, or up to the skies, and for some, down to where the guy in tails with the red suit is king – either way to flee life – or a cruel world.

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