Why Pops can’t – won’t – leave A.S.A.P.
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - March 13, 2003 - 12:00am
Is Pops Fernandez quitting ABS-CBN’s Sunday show A.S.A.P.?

That’s the $64M question bugging Pops’ fans not only here but abroad, many of whom have been asking Funfare what the real score is.

Well, as far as I know, there’s a negotiation between Pops and ABS-CBN which will go on until such time when an agreement is reached. If they come up with a happy, "mutually-beneficial "compromise," Pops will stay on on A.S.A.P. If not, then that’s it. Goodbye, Pops!

But if you ask me, Pops stands to lose more than ABS-CBN does if and when she decides to leave the show. Like other ABS-CBN shows, A.S.A.P. is beamed to various parts of the world (parts of Europe, Australia, Asia and both coasts of the USA) through The TFC (The Filipino Channel) which has been very useful and very effective as promo tool for Pops’ shows abroad (and those of other ABS-CBN stars, Pops’ ex-husband Martin Nievera included).

Through the TFC, Pops (and company) can announce their shows abroad weeks or even months in advance and what could be more effective and assuring than words straight from the stars’ mouths? Let’s face it: Pops, Martin and many ABS-CBN stars are very popular abroad because of the TFC so when they mount shows abroad fans don’t ask anymore who the stars are because their names and faces have already become part of the households of Pinoy TFC subscribers abroad.

One big proof was when the ABS-CBN soap Pangako Sa’yo aired its final episode in September last year. Many Filipino soap fans all over the US had to call in sick or request for a day-off to catch the episode while those who couldn’t made sure that their friends would record it for them. I should know because I was in New York then and my good friend Raoul Tidalgo (Entertainment Editor and Columnist of The Filipino Reporter) was among the legions glued to their TV sets.

Now, do you think Pops will risk her career abroad by quitting A.S.A.P. (or ABS-CBN)? If she did and mounted shows abroad, she’d have to work double time to promote those shows, an herculean task which could be achieved by a mere few-second plug on A.S.A.P.

Meanwhile, several other readers have been asking about Pops and Martin’s recent show together (their first in seven years) at the Araneta Coliseum.

Oh, yes, the venue was packed full with people during its four presentations. My friends and I watched the fourth and last staging on Friday, Feb. 28, and the Big Dome was filled to the rafters, with the audience occupying all sections, so that the stage had to be constructed in such a way that Pops and Martin would be performing for people around them and not just in front of them.

It was a teasing and entertaining (as expected) kind of show, with the ex-couple regaling the audience non-stop for more than two hours (I wonder, where did they get that lung power... how come their voices never faltered for a second... what could be their source of boundless, inexhaustible energy?). Flashed on the giant screen above the stage were kilig film clips from the ex-couple’s movies and TV shows, setting the proper (read: romantic and pa-intrigue, as in... Will they get back together again in real life?) mood for the night, lapped up with gusto and heart-warming, Big-Dome-shaking applause from the crowd.

The repertoire mixed old songs with new ones, complete with a medley of ballads which must have been carefully chosen to heighten the show’s kiliti and kilig effect. For instance, when Martin, his sweaty shirt sticking to his back, sang Be My Lady, a widely-smiling Pops commented from one side of the stage, "Diyan ako nadale!" Applause, applause!

What I liked most was the portion which retraced the Pops-Martin romance (from courtship to annulment... to reconciliation?) ala teleserye, a drama-comedy "live" act that kept the audience in stitches, especially when Pops, during the choreography, would fall to her knees, head bent backward, and then take a bow with her face right smack into (well, almost!) Martin’s crotch. Freeze that naughty scene, with Pops’ stunned face turned to the audience, her hand-held microphone (how "phallic" could she get!) a few centimeters away from her half-open mouth.

You’re right: Watching a Pops show or a Martin show or a Pops-Martin show is quite addicting; you never get tired of them, I don’t know why. Woe to those who missed the show (also staged in the provinces, including Pampanga and Cebu) and good for those who were lucky enough to watch it.

For an encore, Pops and Martin sang together the now-classic Kahit Isang Saglit. If they didn’t, the show would have been incomplete – at least as far as this Pops-Martin fan was concerned.

Next time again, ha, Pops and Martin?
TV ratings: Where they stand
Reader Dennis Casapao is asking about the results of the recent AGV Metro Manila Household Ratings (between Feb. 28 and March 1). Your luck, Dennis. Funfare’s VIDPA (Very Important Deep Penetration Agent) has just handed (surreptitiously, I assure you!) me the report, marked "Private and confidential."

Here are the conclusions:

Overall audience share shows that ABS-CBN leads with 43 percent of the audience with GMA at 29 percent and Channel 13 at 5 percent. Interesting to note is that Cable Television already has 16 percent of the audience share.

In primetime, which is the most important block in television, ABS-CBN has a 44 percent audience share while GMA has 26 percent and Channel 13 has 8 percent.

• The top 10 once a week programs all belong to ABS-CBN. ABS also has 14 of the top 20 programs while GMA has 5 and IBC has 1 show in the top 20.

• Among the battle of the soap opera’s ABS-CBN’s Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, Bituin and Sa Dulo Ng Walang Hanggan have more than double the audience of GMA’s Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga, Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw and Habang Kapiling Ka.

• ABS CBN’s TV Patrol also has more than double the audience than GMA’s Frontpage, while GMA’s Saksi is almost equal to ABS-CBN Headlines.

Here’s the overall ratings (6 a.m. to 12 midnight):
Top Once-A-Week Evening Programs
Rank Channel Ratings Audience Share
1 ABS-CBN 16.2 43
2 GMA 7 10.9 29
3 Cable 5.8 16
4 IBC 13 1.7 5
5 Studio 23 1.4 4
6-7 ABC 5 0.6 2
6-7 RPN 9 0.6 2
8 PTV 4 0.5 1
9 MTV Phils 0.3 1
  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
Top Once-A-Week Evening Programs
Rank Channel Show Rating
1 ABS-CBN Maalaala Mo Kaya (Chocolate Ice Cream) 27.6
2 ABS-CBN OK Fine Whatever! 25.6
3 ABS-CBN Magandang Gabi Bayan (Pera ng Pulis?) 23.8
4 ABS-CBN Wansapanataym (Gayuma) 23.2
5 ABS-CBN Alias (TV-Series) 21.7
6 ABS-CBN Star Cinema Presents (Eto Na Naman Ako) 20.1
7 ABS-CBN Whatta men 19.7
8 ABS-CBN Sharon 19.0
9 ABS-CBN Mission: X Early Edition (Bad Trip To Amerika) 18.9
10-11 ABS-CBN Home Along Da Riles 18.8
10-11 GMA Bubble Gang 18.8
12 ABS-CBN Arriba! Arriba! (Tahan Marvin Tahan) 18.1
13-14 ABS-CBN Klasmeyts 17.4
13-14 GMA Magpakailanman (Kakaibang Mukha Ng Pag-ibig) 17.4
15 ABS-CBN Night Visions (My so-called Life and Death) 16.0
16 GMA Kakabakaba? (Cellphone Kong Katakot!!!) 15.5
17 GMA Idol Ko Si Kap Todo Na To! 15.3
18 IBC Star For A Night 15.1
19-21 ABS-CBN Bida Si Mister Bida Si Misis 14.9
19-21 GMA K! The P1,000,000.00 Videoke Challenge 14.9
19-21 GMA Beh Bote Nga 14.9
22 GMA Blockbuster Cinema (Megamol) 14.4
23 ABS-CBN Willingly Yours (Haliging Musmos) 14.3
24 GMA imbestigador (Bahay Sa Laguna ...) 14.2
25 ABS-CBN Sunday Family Cinema (Ronan Keating show) 14.1
26 ABS-CBN Gus Abelgas Nag-uulat (Street Crime) 13.9
27 GMA Daddy Di Do Du 13.3
28-29 ABS-CBN FPJ Action Cinema (Ang Probinsyano) 12.4
28-29 GMA Kool Ka Lang (A Knights To Remember) 12.4
30-31 GMA Dragon Ball GT (Ani) 12.0
30-31 GMA Partners Mel & jay (Mga Taga-Showbiz) 12.0
32-33 GMA Jessica Soho Reports (Palpak Si Parak) 11.3
32-33 GMA Daboy en Da Girl 11.3
34 GMA Sunday Night Box-Office (You’ve Got Mail) 10.5
35 GMA The Probe Team (Usapang For Adults only) 10.0
36 ABS-CBN Mission X: Producer’s Cut (Brgy. Prosti)

* * *
Top Multi-Weekly Evening Programs
Rank Channel Show Rating
1 ABS-CBN Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (TV-Series) 39.2
2 ABS-CBN Bituin 37.1
3 ABS-CBN Sa Dulo Ng Walang Hanggan 36.9
4 ABS-CBN Game KNB? 30.5
5 ABS-CBN TV Patrol 24.5
6 GMA Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga 16.1
7 GMA Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw 15.8
8 GMA Kung Mawawala Ka 15.7
9 GMA Habang Kapiling Ka 15.0
10 GMA Frontpage Ulat Ni Mel Tiangco 13.6
11 ABS-CBN Etc. 12.4
12 GMA Extra! Extra! 10.8
13 GMA Saksi 10.5
14 ABS-CBN ABS-CBN headlines 10.2
Edu chats with GMA
"It’s refreshing to see a laughing President early in the morning," Edu Manzano enthused after his interview with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on his On the Spot segment at Magandang Umaga, Bayan (ABS-CBN 2) with Erwin Tulfo yesterday.

And judging from the bulk onslaught of positive comments from the staff and viewers of the show, they couldn’t agree more.

Putting politics aside (at least during the interview), a dressed-down and obviously relaxed GMA greeted the audience as she discussed her life as a mother, a brand-new lola and a former employee who dances the Lambada before tackling work issues.

Edu definitely tickled GMA’s funny bone during the interview especially when he asked what former US President Bill Clinton’s (her classmate in Georgetown) nickname to her was.

"Shrimp," she answered. Edu commented, "Baka naman Sugar!"

GMA laughed her heart out at that, prompting Edu to later on remark, "There’s nothing wrong with a hardworking president, all work and no play, but to see her smile and laugh, makes us realize that she’s really one of us."

Who would have thought that it only took an Edu Manzano to make GMA shed her tough-as-nails political facade and convince viewers that she’s human, after all?

(E-mail your reactions at rickylo@phil-star.net.ph)

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