Sunday, December 29, 2013

Anak TV awardees 'genuine people's choices'

(Published Dec. 27, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

MANILA, Philippines – At the recent Anak TV Awards, the advocacy organization pushing for child-friendly programs honored entertainment and news personalities “worthy of emulation.”

Declared male “Makabata Stars” were actors Richard Yap, Coco Martin, Daniel Padilla, Dingdong Dantes, Ryan Agoncillo and Vic Sotto; news anchors Noli de Castro, Anthony Taberna and Ted Failon; and weatherman Kim Atienza.

Anak TV winners (photo by ICP/Kairosolutions)
Their female counterparts were actors Angel Locsin, Kim Chiu, Jodi Sta. Maria, Judy Ann Santos, Marian Rivera and Kathryn Bernardo; “Maalaala Mo Kaya” host Charo Santos-Concio; reporter Kara David; and news anchors Vicky Morales and Karen Davila.

Locsin told the Inquirer she was thankful for the recognition but she didn’t feel pressured to be a role model. “I don’t intend to be one,” she said in a text message, “[but] I will continue to play credibly every role assigned to me.”

Hall of Famer Arnold Clavio and multiple “Most Admired Female Personality” winner Anne Curtis, who recently figured in separate, widely-publicized incidents, were not among this year’s awardees. Clavio’s controversial treatment of Janet Lim Napoles’ lawyer, Alfred Villamor, drew flak from viewers and netizens, as did Curtis’ reported involvement in a drunken altercation last month.

Mag Cruz Hatol, Anak TV secretary general, said the two controversies might have affected the voting process.

“Clavio and Curtis’ chances during the later polling were hurt by the negative publicity,” he remarked. “They did remarkably well at the start, though, landing in the top 20 but not successfully [breaking into] the ‘magic’ circle.”

Named Makabata Hall of Fame awardees this year, or consistent chart-toppers, were anchors Jessica Soho and Bernadette Sembrano, and singer-actress Sarah Geronimo.

Hatol noted that this year’s winners were chosen by over 2,500 jurors nationwide, representing “a cross-section of Philippine society.”

Soho told the Inquirer by phone: “It feels surreal…  but it’s very reassuring.” Soho had won six times previously. “I’m not really a role model,” she said. “This is a consequence of us appearing on television. I’m in a business that shouldn’t be about us… but I’m always grateful. I try to be level-headed about this. [For me] every week is a struggle. I think about the shows we produce and the audience we connect with.”

Hatol related: “The jurors came from remote islands like Masbate, Camiguin and Romblon; from places as far as Aurora and Zamboanga and as near as Cavite and Bulacan. Among them, we counted teachers, workers, local politicians, parents, priests, Muslims and Evangelicals, NGO (nongoverment organization) officers, soldiers, farmers and others.” 

The selection, he elaborated, could thus be considered authentic “people’s choice” winners.

“Anak TV painstakingly cuts across the breadth of the country, seeking the opinions of a diverse mass of people, but first engaging them lengthily in TV literacy, the crux of the Anak TV advocacy. The winners are personalities that the jurors hold in high esteem, public figures who embody wholesomeness and credibility and who are deemed worthy of emulation by children.”

The Anak TV seal was awarded to several deserving shows, he added. “The single criterion is a question that the jurors ask themselves: ‘Is this program appropriate for the child at home to watch?’ This year, we started with 250 entries; only 101 received the seal.”

Recipients of the Anak TV Seal this year are mostly shows aired by ABS-CBN, PTV, TV5, GMA 7, GMA News TV, IBC, Studio 23, Net 25, Light TV and UNTV. Hatol said these programs receive the prestige that goes with being “true people’s choices” for family-friendly and child-sensitive fare.

“The smaller networks are able to promote their programs more easily because of the recognition,” Hatol said. “Its most prized aspect of the award is the privilege to sport the Anak TV seal, which serves as a guide for parents and caregivers deciding which programs are safe for young audiences to watch.”

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