ECE108 Visits Channel 2!
JULY 27, 2012. We had a tour on ABS-CBN Studio! ABS-CBN is my favorite TV station of all time. This is the TV station I always tuned into. After school, I always open my television to watch news from TV Patrol, their major news program. If I’m hooked up in their shows, I also watched their series after the TV patrol. This is my second time to have a tour in their studio. I also had a tour before, February 16, 2010, with my friend Jazza as an alternative class. But luckily, I have a different tour before. Though, I had an opportunity to watch a show before, what makes my tour today extra special is I’m with my fellow ECE batchmates and ECE professors.
For those who didn’t know (well I guess all of the Filipinos knows about ABS-CBN), ABS-CBN is one the major commercial television network here in the Philippines. GMA Network and TV 5 are their present competitors. ABS-CBN Station headquarters is located at Mother Ignacia St., Quezon City, which is also the location of its main transmitter. They also have regional offices in over 25 provincial areas. ABS-CBN Corporation was formed by the merging of Alto Broadcasting System (ABS), which was owned by James Lindenberg and Judge Antonio Quirino, and Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) owned by Don Eugenio Lopez Sr. Actually, after more than 10 years of watching ABS-CBN, just in the tour that I had known about the meaning of that famous TV station acronym. ABS-CBN is famous as Channel 2, which technically its operating channel in Manila and in other provinces.
Of course, all tours have orientation! We first head to their orientation room inside the ABS-CBN Studio Tours room, and had a brief introduction about their station. The facilitator played a video about what ABS-CBN have been doing for the past years. ABS-CBN is not just a TV station that entertains the public but also a public servant. “In the Service of the Filipino” is the current slogan of ABS-CBN. Since I’m always watching ABS-CBN, I’ve somehow witness many of these services. Public service is mostly obvious in their news and current affairs programs like TV Patrol. The video also showed how ABS-CBN expands their network worldwide with the launch of TFC. With this, Filipinos on other countries could still be part of the Philippine community by watching Philippine news and programs.
After the orientation, we first head to Studio 9. Studio 9 is currently use by Kris Aquino for her morning show Kris TV. I was quite surprised to see how small the studio is in compare with the size I imagined in my mind while watching the show on TV. The tour guide explained that they are using a wide angle lens that’s why the studio appears large on TV. Studio 9 was also the studio used for Game Ka Na Ba? which surprised me more because on TV, the studio of Game Ka Na Ba? appears too large since it also have many audience and large equipment used in the game show. Cameras can really be tricky. The tour guide also explained some tricks they used when filming; like the use of Chroma cloth (green and blue) as their background for animation.
Next stop, Studio 10! Studio 10 is where ASAP 2012, Gandang Gabi Vice, Rated K, Todo Max, iShine, etc. is taped. It is also the largest studio in the station. When we visited the Studio, they are currently fixing the studio because they will tape the final episode of iShine. Since they are busy, we have to go so we cannot disturb them anymore, hehe.
After Studio 10, we continue our tour by visiting Studio 6, the news studio. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to visit Studio 7, which is use for the TV Patrol and Bandila. Lucky me, I get to visit it before. But Studio 6 is a lot bigger. It’s where ANC News Channel is taped. We get to see their first teleprompter, which the late President Ferdinand Marcos used before. The tour guide also explained the purpose of soft light above the stage. It can enhanced your face, so bye-bye pimples on-air. Hihi.
Our final stop for the studio tour is Studio 1, known today as Dolphy Theater. It is the oldest studio in ABS-CBN. Today, it is not use for any programs. It is use when there is special event. It is lately used for the wake of the late Dolphy. It’s sad that the studio is not open for studio tours. But we still get to have a picture with Tito Dolphy (see the picture below)
So where ECE people can possibly work? Well the second part of the tour is in the Technical Operation Center where I saw a LOT of broadcasting equipment. I didn’t have the chance to take photos inside because it’s forbidden but that was the first time I’ve been in a broadcasting room and it feels good to see the people and things behind the broadcasting industry. When I looked all the equipment, I think it’s quite hard to operate it but also quite interesting. I get to see where they operate the programs. ABS-CBN Corporation have lots of channels including MYX, Cinemaone, Studio23, Balls, etc. which I all witness the place where these programs are lined-up. They also operate there the TFC in different parts of the world. We went in the transmitter after but since we’re lacking of time, we just have less than 5 minutes inside.
Well, I think ABS-CBN’s facility is good. I cannot say others are better because this is the first time I visited a broadcasting station but I think it doesn’t have the best facility. Some of their equipment is old and the environment inside the TOC is not the best. Some room is too small for a work area. I cannot generalize for the whole station since we only visited the TOC for TV broadcasting and some of their studios. We also didn’t have the chance to visit their radio broadcasting station. I’m not against ABS-CBN. Actually for me, they are the best broadcasting network here in the Philippines. They offer the best programs, the best service for the Filipinos. But I still believe that there is always room for improvement, and even though ABS-CBN can offer the best service here in the country, they can still do better! Sometimes, you really have to invest on something good for it to be better and become the best.
For future tours, I suggest that students could have seminar about the equipment and how broadcasting station works today. It is quite hard to understand these technical things while walking since the place is quite small and students tend to move to other place and cannot hear the explanation. We also need to have an orientation on what we’re going to see so that we will have an idea on what to ask to the person in-charge in the explanation of the equipment. But overall, the tour is successful and I think we all learn something from it. It is good we get to tour a broadcasting station since it’s only a once in a lifetime experience for us students. Not all broadcasting station allows a tour, especially about their operation. Future engineers are lucky!