Showtime burst onto the scene this past October and was an immediate huge success, quickly becoming the number one show in the Philippines.
For those of you not familiar with it, Showtime is a Filipino “reality” show where 4 different groups of 10-15 Filipinos each put on short shows. The winners get a cash prize each day.
They have five judges. Four of them are rotating judges who can be voted out at the end of the week. The 5th judge is the permanent host of the show — openly gay Vice Ganda.
The performances are truly amazing. The quality is much higher than I would ever have expected. You also get the opportunity to learn some of the background of the performers — where they live, what they have gone through to get on the show, a bit about their home towns, sometimes their extreme poverty, or how they have overcome drugs to concentrate on dance instead.
Recently there was a problem. One of the rotating judges, Osang Roces, was REALLY nasty on the show, insulting Filipino teachers, their education system, and the show’s host. They got her to give an apology to the teachers after the break, but if anything the apology was worse than the original rant.
Showtime removed her from the show, and the next day told audiences that she apologized for her outburst, but it was better to continue one judge short for the rest of the week.
Then MTRCB — the Movie Television Review and Classification Board — stepped in.
You would expect that they would chastise the person responsible, show support for Filipino teachers, and applaud Showtime for taking the proper action.
Instead they suspended Showtime for 20 days. I have no idea why. They did not even speak to ABS-CBN — the network hosting Showtime. It makes no sense. But they did. This hurt all those people who had worked so hard to get their chance to be on the show — ordinary Filipinos. They hurt the owner of the show. They hurt the viewers. They hurt everyone BUT the person responsible.
That left a void in the Showtime time slot. So they scrambled to put together another show called Magpasikat with a different theme. Rather than having common people performing, they brought in Filipino stars to put on performances and get judged. The format of the show was changed. They still used the same set — there was no time to build a new one. They used the same host, employees and judges — once again no time time fo new ones. But the handling of performers was different, the method of judging was different, the theme song was different, and they added a quiz show segment.
But the MTRCB stepped in again. They said it is too much like the old show and the people running it are the same.
So what do they want? A blank screen during that time slot? All the employees out of work? Do they want to put their OWN show in the time slot?
Give me back Showtime! The Filipino stars just can’t match the energy and the personal interest of the performers on Showtime. I MISS learning about how the common Filipino lives, the struggles he faces, and how those problems are overcome. I LIKE seeing people who have been physically challenged work with others to overcome those challenges. I lIKE seeing people who have lived in abject povery all their lives get together and put on a performance that rocks you to your core, and get the money and recognition which can help them move out of poverty. I LIKE seeing gays get their opportunity to show their capabilities and to be admired for their accomplishments. I LIKE hearing them brag about how their province has the best rice cakes and has a fiesta going on right now, or is the birthplace of Jose Rizal.
And I do not want to wait 20 days or longer.
I am American, with a Filipino spouse/asawa. This is the one Filipino show I REALLY enjoy seeing here in the states. I want it back.
Please contact the MTRCB and ABS-CBN and ask them to put the showe back on the air.
You can reach ABS-CBN at this e-mail address:
MTRCB does not appear to have an e-mail address, but they can be reached here:
6th floor President Tower
#81 Timog Avenue corner Sct. Ybardaloza, Quezon City, Philippines
9255006 and 9255007