TV5 leads 360-degree multimedia coverage of Papal visit
KAPATID DAY - Peachy Vibal-Guioguio (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2015 - 12:00am

As the entire Filipino nation eagerly awaits the pastoral visit of Pope Francis to our island nation, we join the whole country in its excitement and joy in seeing His Holiness mingle with the Filipino people. Since the Happy Network’s interactive online campaign that was launched just before the holiday season and the introduction of our one-of-a-kind website,, an unprecedented number of netizens from all over the world have spiritedly participated in TV5’s invitation to proclaim their joy and love for the Holy Father by including the hashtag #DearPopeFrancis in their respective posts. Specifically, the overwhelming response was most especially felt and expressed on Twitter where, to date, over two billion (and still growing) impressions of the Kapatid Network’s hashtag have been garnered in just a span of one month, making #DearPopeFrancis the most used Papal visit-dedicated hashtag in the entire country.

For TV5 News and Public Affairs head Luchi Cruz-Valdes, the logistical requirements involved in the Papal coverage “rival that of an election coverage and (the coverage) is even more demanding in that it goes on for five days!” she expressed. The sheer magnitude of the crowd, which is expected to reach around six million, as well as the number of events involved needed more hands than the present complement of our news and public affairs staff. Luchi added, “We have had to employ consultants and other contractuals just for this coverage. Everything will be covered, even the unofficial moments and the people and their activities surrounding the Pope, not just the Pope himself. Kahit ang overnight vigil at the Nunciature where the Pope is billeted while in Manila.”

According to TV5 News head of operations DJ Sta. Ana, the network would be deploying three SNG vans and five Microwaves and all 70 or so cameras for the live reports. In addition, the entire MVP Group of Companies and their personnel have also come forward to volunteer in these events, so it is literally a cast of thousands. PLDT and Smart, on their part, “will have a live streaming of the Papal visit activities in several churches in Cebu and Tacloban in order for the people to witness this historical and momentous event,” explained PLDT and Smart Group head of Public Affairs Ramon Isberto. Here in Manila, several SM malls have also been tapped to air the proceedings and Smart Araneta  Coliseum will open its gates to the public for free so they can watch the live streaming starting tomorrow, Jan. 16 until Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.   

According to Luchi, “TV5 coverage is synchronized or linked up with the activities of the MVP Group of companies.” TV5 has the full support of the MVP conglomerate in terms of manpower, tech equipment, marketing and social media. “As you must be aware of TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) is part of the government-initiated Papal visit committee,” explains Luchi. The upside of the multi-technology convergence is exemplified by the showing of the Papal visit on several Smart LED Billboards both in and out of Metro Manila; an innovation never been done before in the country and in so many locations.

And who are the anchors and resource persons that we will be seeing?  “We have priests who are privy or actively and directly participating: Fr. Aris, Fr. Anton, Fr. Dudoy.  We will even have Fr. Manoling Francisco, who was the one who composed all the songs that will be sung during the Quirino Grandstand Mass on Sunday. We will also have young faithful in the panel because we want our coverage to gear more to the young, progressively Catholic youth. So we will have reps from Catholic Youth in action (CYA), Singles for Christ, etc. Plus, our Happy Network social media influencers such as Lourd de Veyra, Ramon Bautista, Jun Sabayton and RJ Rivera will be part of our contingent of live field reporters, mingling among the faithful and getting their candid thoughts on the Pope and the goings-on in the various venues,” said Luchi.

Aware of the power and influence of the social media, specially among the youth, TV5 has come up with an alternative programming on N5E. According to Luchi, it will have its own program grid separate from the TV5 coverage. They will have their own panel of guests and will even have live bands.  

Overall, what can the Filipino people expect from TV5’s coverage of the Papal visit and what would these efforts represent in terms of the future for broadcasting in the country? “We just want to tell everyone that News5 is how news should be consumed in the digital age. New traditions and ways of thinking are being formed every day and visits made by global figures are of a magnitude and profoundness that they need to be told with a new and fresh perspective. That’s what we want to reflect,” Luchi concluded.

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