Waiting for teleradyo

Juaniyo Arcellana (The Philippine Star) - May 13, 2020 - 12:00am

My bad, sorry: for a confused while there, thought dzMM teleradyo would be broadcasting late into the night of May 5, shortly after its parent company ABS-CBN signed off most likely temporarily until the franchise granters finally get their act together; it constitutes a subplot for the fight against the pandemic, if not a distraction we could have avoided had not administration attack dogs used as leverage Congress’ foot-dragging.

But that’s another story, and not for us to squander an entire column on erratum: what’s done is done, and besides there may be some twisted truth to the fake news, if not subverted wishful thinking – teleradyo continues to broadcast, yes, a lot of black air as symbol in a period of quarantine. Alvin Elchico and Doris Bigornia could have filibustered until early morning the next day.

What then are our favorite radio moments in this TV na, radyo pa?

Saturday would have us before the set listening to Zen Hernandez and Julius Babao during morning coffee, nice pair there full of engaging repartee and stray witticisms. Just a simple conversation between the two that has a calming effect on their listeners/viewers after a stressful workweek. Close your eyes and it’s radio; open them and they’re right there shooting the crap on a lazy day. When will we see you again?

On Saturday afternoon there’s the basketball rambles led by former senator, ex-PBA player fastbreak Freddie Webb, whose avuncular demeanor alternates between coaching consultant and semi-retired actor. Talks about FIBA world basketball, the excruciatingly lengthy PBA season that punishes a player’s body, featuring at one time or another grand slam winning coach Norman Black, extra rice Beau Belga, assorted hoop philosophers that might include book author Paeng Bartholomew, who should be made honorary member of the PBA press corps if he isn’t already.

Accompanied by the nth beer or whisky sour, Saturday evenings are a good time to reflect on some folk religion, as the regulars on the radio program include a visually impaired nun or lay missionary, again with soothing voice so that visuals become a bonus. Better heard than seen acquires new meaning, with some musical numbers thrown in to add a touch of gospel. Alleluia but for all the numbskulls in Congress, we could have continued praising unhampered the good lordy lord.

Sleep, like the moon, is a harsh mistress, and Sunday morning steering clear of hangover would have us waking to the spiel of former senator Joey Lina, again as calm and composed as Manila Hotel. He dissects the raging issues of the day in a most sober manner, with the occasional humorous aside, just what we needed straight to the gut like a piping hot bowl of papaitan.

And since NBA action has been a rarity long before season was suspended, mid-Sunday morning would be apt time to humor ourselves with Cory Quirino, walang kakupas kupas, for some home remedies on nutrition and to check if we’re getting sufficient hours of beauty sleep.

As if saving the best for last, past noon Sunday would have the old school disc jockey with the well- modulated voice, forget the name because modulation is everything, the golden hits of yesteryear are perfect to top a hearty repast with family: One more chance, lonely is a man without pak!, was I dreaming of the last leaf clinging to the vine, white bird, Kalapana and Lena Horne. The right soundtrack especially set at low volume, for a quick siesta or catnap before driving off to Port Area to resume the rat race.

There are times when static is better than the overly emotive oracions for the kapamilya to stick together and heal aswang. A radio station itself under quarantine. But hopefully not for long. It continues broadcasting in our radioheads, not necessarily the preening commentator with his baby girl, or the righteously indignant ex-VP vowing a fightback. Better Bernadette Sembrano who is as good seen as she is heard and/or imagined.

It is radio drama without the usual dialogue, musical segues, sound effects of knocking on doors, ringing telephones, honking horns in traffic to signify the great outdoors. When teleradyo comes back before or after quarantine ends, it will be a beautiful, normally new day.

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