GMA at 70: Celebrating seven colorful decades in the broadcast industry
The Kapuso Network is Buong Puso Para sa Pilipino

GMA at 70: Celebrating seven colorful decades in the broadcast industry

Angel Javier-Cruz (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2020 - 12:00am

It all started from a makeshift studio on the fourth floor of Calvo Building in Escolta, Manila. In 1950, Robert Stewart — or better known as “Uncle Bob” — sent the first signals of radio station dzBB.

Fast forward to 70 years after. Who would have thought that a humble radio station in Escolta would later on become the foundation of the country’s largest broadcast network, in terms of stations and reach, today?

The GMA Network headquarters

GMA soon carved a niché for itself through various milestones. Yet the road leading to where GMA Network is now was not a walk in the park. After all, a broadcast company is no ordinary business. On top of ensuring that all stakeholders, most especially its employees, are well-taken care of, the network had to make sure that its programs and other services not only cater to the viewers and advertisers, but also uphold the ideals of nation-building.

1950 - Robert ‘Bob’ Stewart sent the first signals of radio station dzBB from a makeshift studio on the fourth floor of the Calvo Building in Escolta, Manila

Serbisyong Totoo through and through

But there is one thing that GMA Network has been known for throughout its colorful decades of existence: that is, putting its heart to everything it does.

2020 - GMA Network celebrates its 70th anniversary

In 2002, GMA launched its new corporate equity “GMA: Kapuso ng Pamilyang Pilipino Anumang Kulay ng Buhay.” This further resonated the network’s renewed commitment and deeper emotional ties with its viewers. “Kapuso” encompasses anyone you care for — whether related by blood or otherwise — as long as that someone is close to your heart. And for GMA, every viewer is close to its heart.

Heart is also at the center of one of GMA Network’s famous taglines, “Walang kinikilingan, walang pinoprotektahan, walang kasinungalingan, Serbisyong Totoo lamang.” In fact, when you say “Serbisyong Totoo,” GMA Network is the first thing that comes to mind. The Kapuso channel is widely regarded as the viewers’ preferred news source when it comes to the biggest and most significant coverage.

GMA is also home to the country’s most-esteemed broadcast journalists as well as award-winning actors who continue to reap honors for their various works. It is worth mentioning that GMA made history in 2000 by being the first — and thus far the only — Philippine recipient of the highly prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. It continues to blaze the trail in producing ground-breaking news and public affairs programs as well as some of the most innovative and powerful entertainment shows.

To say that GMA has a long list of “the country’s first” is putting it mildly. More than any accolade, however, the stories of those whose lives have been changed through its public service and entertainment programming remain as the Kapuso network’s greatest reward.

Buong Puso Para sa Pilipino

Seventy years later, GMA is now the country’s leading network with three local and three international channels, numerous recognitions here and abroad, 52 TV stations and a nationwide reach of over 80 million viewers.

While 2020 is supposedly an eventful year for the Kapuso network’s 70th anniversary, COVID-19 happened. This serves as a fitting reminder that there are things beyond our control, no matter how perfectly set our plans are.

Although we may be faced by adversities now, these times only further prove how apt GMA’s 70th anniversary theme is – “Buong Puso Para sa Pilipino.”

The festivities had to be temporarily set aside as the Kapuso network prioritizes everyone’s health and safety. Stepping up to the plate, the network immediately rolled out its aid to the employees and enforced a safer workplace set-up. The network was also quick to extend help to the medical frontliners and Filipino families that are much in need through the GMA Kapuso Foundation.

During these trying times, GMA kept its commitment to deliver valuable news and information as well as to provide a unique and relevant line-up of shows and specials both on-air and online.

Sure, this is not how GMA Network planned its 70th anniversary. Nevertheless, this milestone is still definitely worth celebrating as we take pride in our accomplishments for the past 70 years.

We may be — at least for now — physically apart, but we remain one at heart.

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