Better than Watching Philippine TV

Episode 28 – Thursday, November 5th, 2015 (6883)


Most Filipinos can’t miss single day without watching television. But nowadays, most TV shows (broadcasted from the Philippines) are so non-sense because of their contents such as telenovelas (mostly love stories or so-called kilig serye and “recycled” stories that remake or revived from the original stories or aired from the previous shows), “corny” comedy shows, variety shows, news (especially in dirty Filipino politics), even Filipino-dubbed foreign movies and of course AlDub (from kalyeserye of a popular longest running noontime show). That’s why I have almost never watched TV (except for sports and national events such as typhoon or national tragedy) which makes me so bored, being bad taste (baduy) and causes our beloved Filipinos (most especially the masses) irrelevant and prone to criticisms as well as bashing on social media especially about sick and tired “Network War” or dirty TV competition (bragging in high ratings, millions of tweets, and popularity).

In this way, I like to watch some shows especially from cable. But my family doesn’t have cable TV at home to watch other foreign shows because we’re not enough to pay cable monthly (as well as other utilities such as high electricity costs). So that, I have my limited time to watch TV thru very limited channels (rather than three “leading” TV networks in the Philippines). I just watch some shows that aren’t popular (for masses) but valuable for me (and somewhat educational, too). However, I’ve never watched TV most of the time. And another thing was my father who had watched TV so much because of his “authority” to use remote control to change channel almost all the times (especially when he watched his favorite basketball game). But now, since he was suffered mild stroke last January, he has limited time to watch TV (and controlling the remote to change the channel).

But I had still found another way to watch other shows from other TV networks rather than Philippine TV networks that cause into sick and tired “Network War” and dirty competition. The best way… is to watch thru live streaming.

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Watching thru internet live streaming is not new for me. Even in the Philippines, some TV networks have live streaming thru internet, so that I’m able to watch some TV programs that I like. However, I refer to watch TV programs broadcasted from the United States.

Since I have background that I was watching TV shows from the U.S. because I had been there due of exchange program (as being an exchange student), I like to watch these rather than most TV shows broadcasted from the Philippines because of fair competition of the U.S. TV networks rather than so-called “Network War” existed by two (or even three) major TV networks in the Philippines. However, some minor TV networks in the Philippines have broadcasted their shows from the U.S. in limited time. But thanks to the live internet streaming, I can watch TV shows LIVE broadcasted straight from the United States (with some delay or buffering about 5-15 seconds because of “slow” internet connection in the Philippines). These are the U.S. TV programs that I like to watch LIVE thru internet live streaming:

American Sports


Although I barely play any sports, I love to watch these on TV especially about the world of basketball. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of my favorite sports to watch. Even since my childhood, I love to watch basketball games from the glory and championship days of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, from the superstar duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant of Los Angeles Lakers of the 2000s, to the current superstars of NBA (of the present decade) like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and a lot more.

I have been watching NBA ever since either thru delayed telecast or live thru free Philippine TV. But nowadays, I don’t like the way to watch these NBA games delayed on free TV (in which most Filipino basketball fanatics who love to watch NBA are complaining). But through internet live streaming, I can watch some NBA games LIVE! Last June, I was able to watch 2015 NBA Finals between LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors LIVE straight broadcast from a U.S. TV network (that was ABC TV, the broadcaster of NBA Finals). I watched every game of the last season’s finals thru live streaming (except for Game 4) when the Warriors won the championship over the Cavaliers in 6 games. In this new season (2015-2016), I have been able to watch more NBA games (thru ESPN or TNT) LIVE thru internet streaming.

Now I’m able to watch from live streaming, not only basketball like NBA, but also to other American sports like football and baseball. The last time when I was able to watch some games of National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) was back in 2005 when I was in U.S. as an exchange student. I watched NFL for the last time was Super Bowl XXXIX where the New England Patriots won for their third championship and Pro Bowl (an all-star game featured the teams from National and American Football Conferences) while I had not watched any MLB games too much when I was in U.S. (although I watched some games from the 2004 World Series shortly). But 10 years after, I’m so happy that I’m able to watch these NFL and MLB games again LIVE straight from the U.S. broadcast.

Recently last September, I was able to watch a NFL game for the first time in my post-U.S. life. Since then, I have watched some exciting NFL games LIVE every Monday (for Sunday Night Football on NBC), Tuesday (for Monday Night Football on ESPN) and Friday mornings (for Thursday Night Football on CBS and NFL Network). On February 8, 2016, I’m so excited to watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on internet live streaming for the first time after watching Super Bowl XXXIX back in 2005. Also, I’ve been able to watch baseball games (MLB) LIVE; in fact, I have watched 2015 World Series between New York Mets and Kansas City Royals where the Royals won their second championship (the first one was 1985) over the Mets in five games. These are provided by the “powerful” internet live streaming.

But the challenge for me to watch these games (NBA, NFL or MLB) is the time difference. In New York, for the example, where most U.S. TV networks are located, there is a time difference of 13 hours (12 hours for daylight saving time) later than Philippine time, so that I can watch most of these games in the morning (while working at my workplace during idle time only) while they’re playing at the evening in the United States (for example, I watch Sunday Night Football live on Monday morning at my home country). However, most NFL and some NBA games are usually played in Sunday afternoon at the U.S., so that I can’t catch to watch these live games at the early Monday morning (in the Philippines) because I’m so asleep (and there is no internet connection at home).

Anyway, back at home, the only sporting event that I have watched is basketball. I like to watch most games of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and our beloved national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, when they recently played last FIBA Asia 2015 finishing second place. However, sporting events in the Philippines are so limited especially in live telecast games. So far, basketball is a popular sport in the Philippines while girls’ volleyball and boxing (especially to the fighting match of our Filipino icon, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao) are sometimes popular too, but these are the only sports that I can watch on TV live (or even delayed) because of very limited resources provided from few TV networks in the Philippines. Even though some NFL and MLB games are sometimes broadcasted only on cable (in which I don’t have cable TV at home), these aren’t so popular here at my beloved country. It’s sad that the Philippines is lack of sporting events other than ever-popular basketball, boxing, volleyball, and soccer (football in non-American meaning), and these sports are lack of support from the government.

News Programs

At the present, I have never watched news programs broadcasted from the Philippines because of somewhat “negativity” and some sorts of “bad news” to our fellow Filipinos like never-ending crimes, poverty and the most hateful dirty politics. Except for some national disaster such as typhoon, I hate to watch news (either from TV, radio, tabloid newspapers, and internet). But I like to watch news from the United States (as well as other parts of the world).

Before I went to the U.S. in 2004, I had always watched news on TV every day. When I was in U.S. in 2004-2005, I rarely watched U.S. TV news because I was so focus in my studies. But when I came back home in 2005, I felt that I couldn’t watch news on Philippine TV because of “negativity” and a lot of bad news especially in dirty Philippine politics (where my father, during that time, was so noisy to criticize the government, so that I’ve never watched with him). I have never watched TV news from the Philippines since then; however, I have found some ways to watch TV news from the U.S.

In 2008 and from 2014 up to early 2015, I was able to watch NBC Nightly News (with Brian Williams) on free TV, and it was tape delayed about an hour or more. In 2009, I watched CBS Evening News (with Katie Couric) on other Philippine TV network, and it was aired one hour delayed from the original live broadcast from the U.S. These newscasts were fair, short, and relevant unlike news programs in the Philippines where they are more like tabloid-style of reporting and delivering news, and they are lasted for more than an hour because of “redundant” national issues especially about the dirty world of Philippine politics.

In mid-2015, when I discovered the live internet streaming, I was able to watch, not only live sporting events, but also live local news. News from local TV networks (may or maybe not affiliated by major U.S. TV networks like ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC) are quite simple and not too much “tabloid”. They have also their own hi-tech weather forecast and up-to-minute traffic report (on the exact map) unlike in the Philippines where TV news programs are too much relying traffic in Metro Manila (focused only on not-so high resolution closed-circuit cameras) and weather report with poor graphics. Also, I have been able to watch U.S. morning programs (right after local morning news) like NBC’s Today Show.

I had never watched this morning show while I was in the U.S., but in 2008 (at the height of U.S. Presidential Elections) I was able to watch Today Show on a free Philippine TV (but aired delayed on the following morning) to see the updates of the election. From September 2015, I had been watching this morning show (after Today in New York on local NBC Channel 4) before getting home from work at the evening around 7 o’clock, but because of the shifting back into standing time from daylight saving time in the U.S. which was ended recently last November 1st making the time difference from New York City is now 13 hours, I can’t watch Today Show live for a while until March 2016 (I must go home from work not after 7:30 pm).

Other programs

Because of internet live streaming and also in YouTube, I’ve been able to watch other TV programs from the United States either live or delayed (by days). In the world of game shows, only Jeopardy!, hosted by Alex Trebek, is the one of my favorite U.S. game shows that I like to watch. Since I was in U.S. back in 2004, I have started to watch Jeopardy! many times, and I’m so interested to answer the questions flashed on the screen, so that I have learned something on that program. Jeopardy! was once shown on Philippine TV around 2008, and I had never watched this until 2015 when someone uploaded some Jeopardy! episodes on YouTube (however, most of its recent episodes are prohibited to upload due of copyright restrictions, but someone has tried to upload some recent Jeopardy! episodes in YouTube within few days before removing them).

Other TV shows that I can watch thru internet live streaming are the primetime shows. Because the time difference between U.S. East Coast and the Philippines is 13 hours (12 hours for daylight saving time), I may watch some primetime programs (if there’s no major sporting event in the U.S.) in the morning at the start of my working day (usually starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 noon).

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I’m so thankful that there’s an internet live streaming that I can watch where most TV networks, not only from U.S., but also from some other countries are broadcasted live. Because of this, I can watch TV programs and with commercials too that I have never seen before. Within months after I became loveless, I can ease my boredom to watch TV shows mostly from U.S. better than sick and tired Philippine TV where crimes, “dirty” politics, and [non-sense] AlDub has been always making into the headlines every day. And these are the reasons why I like to watch American TV rather than Philippine TV nowadays:

  1. Sharing video clips from other TV networks

Especially in most news programs, most U.S. TV networks are allowed to show or to share video clips or footage from other TV networks either from their sister networks or even from their rivals. This is unlike in the Philippines where most TV networks prohibit showing any video clips from their rival networks (except if permitted). That’s so disgusting even mostly they are showing for their discrimination because of dirty “Network War” (like not showing some artists from other networks or “promoting” the rival’s program).

  1. Sharing the coverage

Unlike here in the Philippines where only one network to be allowed exclusively to broadcast a sporting event, American professional sports such as NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are showing their live action games to some TV channels. All of these games are always broadcasted LIVE unlike in the Philippines where some of sporting events (especially boxing and NBA) are usually aired on free TV in delayed basis.

  1. Nice commercials (or TV advertisement)

When I was in the United States in 2004-2005, it was my first time to watch American commercials on TV. After 10 years, I hadn’t seen these commercials from the U.S. for the long time until I discovered live streaming lately in mid-2015. Although some competitive products are directly shown the comparison of their competitors, I really enjoy watching these commercials better than what I have seen TV commercials in the Philippines (some of these are imported or not Filipino-produced ads). In my home country, I really don’t like some TV advertisements that promoting the campaign of most Filipino politicians because they are so epal or thick face I mean like those posters on the streets showing the faces of a mayor or a councilor especially every Christmas, Graduation or Fiesta. I know the Philippine (presidential) election is near (about 6 months before it would be held on May 2016), but these political ads on TV are too early to campaign (spending the money from the individuals that we’ve paid taxes) even it’s not yet campaign period. Gosh! Damn it for most “dirty” Filipino politicians!

  1. Always On-Time (Not Filipino Time)

Most of the TV programs (in U.S. and as well as in other countries) are always on-time (from the start of the program to the end, either live or taped). But in the Philippines, although most programs from some TV networks are on-time, major TV networks, ironically, don’t follow the programming schedule on-time (mostly later than the original schedule) because of airing live noontime shows and live news programs causing the succeeded programs to be delayed. This has been influenced by a Filipino habit (Filipino time) as most Filipinos are always late in time.

  1. Digital TV

I really like to see the broadcast, not only in the U.S., but also in most other countries that are in digital and high-definition (HD). Most of them started their digital broadcasting about 5-7 years ago (and terminated their old traditional analog broadcast). In the Philippines…, well I need to wait for the digitalization of Philippine TV broadcasting in the next 5 years. Damn! Although some Filipino TV programs are now broadcasted in HD, most of them are still aired in standard definition format and broadcasted in analog. Hey, it’s already 2015 (turned to be 2016), and all Philippine TV broadcasting must be digitalized in few years to come or else… they will be “obsolete”!

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These are the major TV networks in the Philippines, but I don't watch these too much because of their
These are the major TV networks in the Philippines, but I don’t watch these too much because of their “non-sense” programming and, of course, “dirty” competition causing into “Network War”.

Well, I’m not really addicted to watch TV nowadays, but I refer to watch others especially those from the U.S. Most Filipinos are now addicted to watch AlDub, not only on noontime, but almost all day, all night (thru YouTube, Facebook, etc.). To be honest, I was watching so-called Kalyeserye (a story from the streets) featuring the ever popular loveteam on the first weeks, but in later weeks I’ve stopped to watch this because I feel I’m not so kilig (tremble) anymore because, at first, I just realized that I have no longer had a girlfriend (the AlDub fever was come a month after the breaking up of my long distance relationship to my girlfriend, so it was considered, for me, as a “wrong timing” and “out of respect” while I’m heartbroken), so why did I have kilig factor from them while I’ve been loveless and heartbroken? And second, they are seemed to be baduy (or being bad taste) for me as they have been overexposed by a [bragged] TV network (as they’re acting separately thru splitting TV screens, doing their “infamous” pabebe wave, and singing some songs that I don’t really appropriate like Brandon Beal’s Twerk It Like Miley, Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, and Bryan White’s God Gave Me You) and even in their commercials that’s why most Filipinos are so crazy to be “die-hard” fans of this newly-hyped loveteam (causing inappropriate in social media like bashers and haters of a rival TV network). But to just clarify, I’m NOT against AlDub, but I really hate to see them overexposed on TV and even in tabloid newspapers where my mother has always bought them every day because of being “die-hard” AlDub fan (that’s why I don’t want to read tabloid newspapers anymore because most of its contents are about AlDub). Damn! That’s why I don’t like to watch Kalyeserye anymore because of them (except for funny comedians, of course, but I hate to see them portraying like old women).

I’m so sorry to express my displeasure and dissatisfaction about Philippine TV at the present time (probably some “closed-minded” and “die-hard” AlDub fans might read this episode to get anger because of my criticisms mentioned above). TV broadcasting in the Philippines, especially to the three major TV networks, must fix or bring back the quality of their programs (it’s sad that I miss the nice TV programs of the 1990s as well as educated shows), but I seem them as “spoiled” because of showing non-sense programs like Filipino-dubbed foreign movies (mostly from Hollywood), revived (or “recycled”) telenovelas (as well as loveteams acting), corny comedy shows, news programs that always mention about “dirty” Philippine politics, and noontime shows that battle between AlDub and Pastillas Girl for their “dirty” completion (Network War) and battling for high ratings. These are now only aimed for the lower Filipino class or masses (living in informal settlers, etc.) while the upper and some middle Filipino classes (like me) are now staying away from these free TV channels because of their dissatisfaction, and this is the reason why I like to watch TV from other countries, especially from the U.S., thru internet live streaming in HD rather than Philippine TV in poor quality.


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