Here Comes GMA Bicol TV

JUST A THOUGHT: For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain, it's how we dance within them both that show our love and pain. - Joey Tolbert

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GMA BICOL TV: One hundred crew members. Seventy-five vehicles rolling from Manila to the heart of Bicolandia. Twelve top stars. Two OB vans. Two grip trucks. Two sets of light and sound equipment. Four generators.

These are the ingredients behind the launch of GMA Bicol TV, a two-fold landmark event celebrated in two cities within the region.

The official kapuso home in Bicol was inaugurated and blessed on Aug. 10 at barangay Concepion Pequena in Naga City. With a floor area of 1,000 sqm, the two-storey structure boasts state of the art facility, says AVP for Regional TV Oliver Amoroso.

From its lone studio on the ground floor will broadcast, starting on Sept. 17, GMA Bicol region's very first local newscast, "Baretang Bicol." The program will be an expansion of "Isyu," a two-year-old, locally produced public affairs program hosted by Elmer Caseles. It is envisioned to raise awareness of news emanating from the region as well as addressing the serbisyong totoo offered by the network to its local public.

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WIDER REACH: GMA Naga is currently being seen on channel 7 but with the setting up of an originating station in Naga, GMA Bicol can now be seen in other areas of Legazpi, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon via GMA TV channel 12.

Network chairman Atty. Felipe Gozon estimates that with this expansion move, the network can now reach a total of more than 520,000 households within the region.

GMA has originating stations in Dagupan, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao. Opened in June 2012 is the originating station in Ilocos, based in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.

VP for Regional TV Rikki Escudero hints that two more originating stations, one in Luzon, another in Mindanao, will be inaugurated within the year. These will be in addition to the existing satellite stations operating out of Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Gen. Santos cities.

VP for Regional Engineering Elvis Ancheta said that building GMA Bicol has a capital expenditure of 100 million pesos poured over, among others, microwave and satellite facilities. The station will also have its own ENG van to deliver news as it happens live.

The opening of GMA Bicol TV was highlighted by a Venice-inspired dinner party at Avenue Hotel in Naga on the same night. The event, attended by city officials and local businessmen, was made more momentous by performances from GMA artists Mark Herras, Rochelle Pangilinan, La Diva, and Rachelle Ann Go.

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ONWARD IBALONG: The next day, it was time for the entourage to travel to Legazpi City, a good two-hour drive.

Bicol TV's coming to the Bicol region had been timed with the launch of this year's Ibalong Festival, a cultural celebration of a Bicolano epic.

On Sunday, August 12, GMA mounted various platforms of entertainment from morning till evening.

The celebration started with a Kapuso motorcade in the morning, followed by a live airing of "Party Pilipinas" and "HOT TV" from the Ibalong Centrum, and a Kapuso Night of all-star entertainment in the evening.

Taking part in the three-day launch of GMA Bicol TV were GMA stars as "Makapiling Kang Muli's" Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, "Just One Summer's" Elmo Magalona, Julie Ann San Jose, and Steven Silva, "Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka?'s" Geoff Eigenmann, "One True Love's" Alden Richards and Louise de los Reyes, "Luna Blanca's" Derrick Monasterio and Kristoffer Martin, "Party Pilipinas"' Sam Pinto, Mark Herras, and Rochelle Pangilinan, "HOT TV's" Jennylyn Mercado, and "Sana ay Ikaw Na Nga's" Mikael Daez and Andrea Torres.

(nescuar@yahoo.com)

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