Live blog: A day listening to election 2013 coverage

The live blog is up and running, right after the cut. I’ll admit, whenever election day rolls along I’m always glued to the television: I still get excited by the graphics and the large sets and the fact that it’s a marathon coverage. But this is a blog about things that enter your ears, so today I’ll be live blogging about how coverage transpires on the radio. Or at least I’ll be trying: my Internet at home’s a bit frittered, and my mom’s checking herself into the hospital for surgery tomorrow, so I might update more intermittently than planned. Also there’s the fact that I’ll be voting too. Anyway, the plan: I’ll be blogging on this page throughout the day, switching radio stations roughly every half hour – the major news stations, both on AM and FM, and maybe stuff I’d hear on the music stations, if there’s any. If there’s anything interesting, I’ll post it. I’m only posting until around 21.00 tonight (but that depends) and I promise to keep my political thoughts to a minimum. Now, let’s get rolling.

07.16: I have just woken up. I have become extremely lazy. And the first thing I did: turn on the TV to see the sets. I told you, the allure of these large sets is irresistible. But then I skip on over to DZMM – well, the television channel – where Gerry Baja is discussing the age-old story of dead people showing up on voter lists. My mom shrugs the whole thing off, saying it’s always been an issue. So far, all typical. Then again, the precincts have just opened.

07.46: I switched back to television where they’re focusing on the personalities going out to vote. On the radio, they’re focusing on the PCOS machines bogging down. There’s the obvious difference.

08.06: Over on DZBB, the reporters are wearing me down. They have the same sign-off. It’s a given, but hearing “…Super Radyo DZBB, nakatutok para sa Eleksyon 2013” over and over again makes me go, “they can just throw back to Mike and not waste any time, right?”

And then, a jingle, GMA’s “may bilog na hugis itlog” ditty telling everyone how to vote. Unsurprisingly, Mike Enriquez sings along, before throwing to another report about illegal campaign posters. “Mga baboy na kandidato!” he exclaims.

08.18: Still on DZBB, Jiggy Manicad – now there’s some synergy between radio and television: one appears on the other and vice versa, just for today and tomorrow – is reporting from Maguindanao, talking about how authorities are slowly going through every nook and cranny to find IEDs; there were some explosions there last night. On TV, more talking heads and, for some reason, a focus on disabled voters: someone on GMA played up a man with a twisted foot earlier, and now on TV5, a feature on precinct accessibility. This won’t work on radio, though.

08.25: Switching to RMN, where they’re hearing a report of supposed civilian NBI agents attempting to enter the house of the Revillas, a prominent political family (or dynasty) in Cavite. That happens to be my home province. Also, I’m not sure if the “Yumi” the reporters are referring to is Yummy Yumi of sister station 93.9 iFM. If so, synergy yet again!

09.04: I first went to DZRH and heard some ads. Then I did some chores. Then I went back to DZRH and heard some more ads.

09.08: A part of me is glad Radyo5 isn’t just simulcasting TV5’s coverage. Unfortunately it’s another heavily-branded affair. “Pagbabago 2013.” “Pagbabago 2013.” “Pagbabago 2013.” And an ad break – well, more of a plug; did Radyo5 ever have ads from non-MVP companies? – and, well, a feature on disabled voters. I am aware I’m sounding like I’m running out of things to write, but this bit sounds better because of Mel Sta. Maria, the station’s legal expert and co-host of their interesting midday program Relasyon. “Kapag consanguinity, ibig sabihin, kadugo,” he said regarding rules on who can accompany disabled voters inside the precinct. I haven’t heard anyone else explain this as clearly as he just did.

09.22: Over on DZMM, COMELEC chair Sixto Brillantes is explaining what should happen when the PCOS machines break down. Essentially, the voting should continue, but while the machines are being fixed, the ballots should be stored in a “temporary envelope” as if it’s 2007 all over again. Sure, you might feel iffy if the election authorities say that you can leave and they’ll punch your ballots in later. You can stay, but you will have to go if the precinct crowds up. It’s convenient the COMELEC folks are doing the media rounds while seemingly every precinct is breaking down.

09.32: COMELEC chair Brillantes on news that a power outage has hit Batangas: “matetesting ang battery [ng PCOS machine].”

09.34: “Paalala po ngayon, bawal po ang alak ngayon!” Finally, I catch DZRH doing some content. “Isang paalala mula sa Emperador…” never mind.

09.43: There’s an oddly off sense of patriotism on DZRH’s election coverage. A reporter would sign off: “mabuhay ang Pilipinas.” Deo Macalma would respond back: “mabuhay ang Pilipinas.” It’s like I’m listening to some brainwashing broadcast.

09.47: A tale of two presidents voting. Former president Joseph Estrada just arrived at his (new) voting precinct in Manila, where he’s running for mayor. He’s being mobbed, the reporter says, although I can’t quite hear the mob. His report ends (no “mabuhay ang Pilipinas” sign-off, thankfully) and Deo, seemingly watching the TV, suddenly quips: “pinagpapawisan si Presidente Noynoy!” Observing he’s seemingly having difficulty on choosing who to vote – the studio’s amused at this – he then adds: “wala siyang panyo! Ang pinampupunas niya sa kanyang bumbunan… sa kanyang noo ay ang kanyang kamay.”

09.54: Deo Macalma’s really giddy about watching Noynoy vote. Play-by-play coverage making me feel iffy because, well, the president is just one vote out of millions of us. But for the unintentional comedy – “puro kalbo ang umaalalay sa kanya!” – I’m still not changing stations. Now I’m thinking of it, I don’t know if Deo’s making fun of the president’s seeming difficulty in choosing who to vote for, or if he’s just being a journalist on the radio.

10.09: Off to vote! I’ll try to blog.

12.00: Back from the voting precincts, where chaos and GMA’s election jingle reign. Well, by GMA I mean the network. The voters behind me were doing the dance steps, even.

Apparently Cavite is the second most vote-rich province in the Philippines, which partly explains why there are more pairs of eyes here. Apparently the thing about NBI agents attempting to enter the house of the Revillas is developing into some story, as DZMM was discussing it on our way home.

The FM radio stations? Nothing, turns out. Probably token mentions, judging from my Twitter feed, full of David Cook fans hoping to hear his new song on some segment on the now-nationwide Magic.

12.05: DWIZ is on roundup mode this lunchtime, and I dislike the way they emphasized on Noynoy Aquino’s precinct being the same precinct as his parents, Ninoy and Cory. Or maybe it’s because I’m just not a fan of the Aquinos (save Kris, because at least she made her name by herself).

12.20: “PNoy, 12-0 ang boto para sa Team PNoy.” A non-news item from Radyo Inquirer’s midday update.

13.07: There’s a lull, thanks in part to the rain, but mostly because the news items today are the same news items we’ve seen earlier this morning, and in previous elections. So, back to DZBB, and their ultra-marketed positioners on their election coverage, and that Gloc-9 song they’ve been using over and over and over

13.29: Yep, RMN is using both DZXL and iFM personalities, so right now they have Pakito Jones (he of iFM’s parody songs on weeknights) on board. And a female presenter that I don’t know of, but she’s, uhh… shouty isn’t the right term, and so is enthusiastic.

13.50: DZRH is doing the same thing as DZXL: Chris Tsuper is on board. Hearing “ako naman ang inyong Kambyo King, Chris Tsuper!” is pretty odd but not exactly unprecedented, as Love Radio’s Sexy Terry eventually made the transition to DZRH, co-hosting with Joe Taruc using her real name, Karen Golfo.

The reporter on right now struggled with the long sign-off. “Pilipinas… mabuhay.” He was tired. See? I told you, you should all keep it short.

14.39: I was watching ABS-CBN’s coverage a bit and they were squaring in on the stand-off at the Revilla residence in Cavite. I just realized that I haven’t heard much about it on the radio – they did mention it, sure, but not as much as the television stations seem to have. The radio coverage I’ve heard focused on the little breakdowns during voting across the country, notably the Batangas power outage and the (admittedly silly) misrouted ballots in Baguio and Compostela Valley.

14.44: An awkward moment over at DWIZ: a reporter, when asked a question, struggles with answering it, saying he already reported on it earlier and his notes were on the other end of the room.

15.08: Heard on DZBB: “Ang mga bagong botante, masyadong interesado sa pagpili ng kanilang magiging bagong lider.” That makes the youth vote sound too eager, though, don’t you think?

15.37: Karen Davila asks a guest on DZMM about why, despite automation, the number of vote buying instances increased. “Mahirap dayain ang makina,” lawyer Sara Jane Sugitan said, “so kung hindi mo mapoprogram ang makina, ano ang puwede mong i-manipulate?”

16.05: I really should stop tuning in to DZBB at the top of the hour if I want to be saved from that “Dapat Tama” song they always play.

16.16: DZRH will take over all of its sister radio stations from 17.00 to 21.00. Ergo, the synergy bit I mentioned earlier – having Chris Tsuper and, right now, Easy Rock’s Chloe co-anchoring on DZRH – has gone one step further, with music radio stations doing an election news special simulcast nationwide. So why is ABS-CBN and GMA not doing this? (Not that both networks haven’t done something similar before: DZMM simulcast on Tambayan 101.9 during Ondoy, partly out of technical concerns, while GMA always has its boxing matches aired on its FM stations.)

16.41: I never would’ve thought the Revilla story would develop into something like this. They found high-powered firearms in Bong Revilla’s home, but he still complains of harassment from plain-clothes agents who actually asked him to sign a waiver to search his home rather than file a search warrant. And on election day itself. This seems to have crept up on radio stations. The question on Radyo Inquirer: did elections push through in Cavite? Well, yes, I got to vote.

16.56: The bigger story elsewhere would be the issues with the PCOS machines. The PPCRV reports that 95% of the readers aren’t working in Batangas, and Dos Por Dos‘ Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja are giving an official response with their Dolphy-style read-in-English-translate-in-Filipino style. It doesn’t blunt the absurdity of the statement squaring in on the fact that some of the group’s volunteers are Born Again Christians. I didn’t quite catch everything because, well, it was absurd.

17.08: Back to the Revilla story, and their supporters have reportedly begun gathering outside their home. Over on DZRH (and every other MBC radio station), the quip, again from Deo Macalma: “darating na ba si Sir Chief at si Jodi Sta. Maria?” The reference to Be Careful With My Heart is absolutely weird – Jodi’s ex-husband is the brother of Jay Lacson, candidate for Cavite vice governor, and rival of Jolo Revilla, Bong’s son, for the same post. Unless I missed something.

MBC’s coverage also has some of their music radio personalities, as expected. Missy Hista and Rica Herra from Yes FM, to be exact. What’s odd is that you hear extra masa-style laughter, although that’s during the Sir Chief quip. Complete contrast to the very angry protesters claiming that everybody in Cavite is outraged by the events. I feel more apathetic, really.

17.16: A savvy plug from DZRH for Star City, a theme park they also own. “Kung binili nila ang boto ninyo, ipambili ninyo ng ticket ang pera.”

17.35: On television, still focusing on celebrities… or at least ABS-CBN does, with some of its stars taking calls from concerned citizens. John Lapus tells of a photo he got on Twitter, of a dismayed voter from Bacoor, Cavite, where the PCOS machines just eat the ballots and don’t say “congratulations!” like it should. I realize I’ve had the very same experience this morning.

17.56: A little weirded out by Rica and Missy reading out the headlines in the most authoritative manner…

18.01: They just threw in another Be Careful With My Heart reference: talking about the safety of former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., Deo said that they should “be careful with his heart”. I’m not a DZRH listener, so I’m really appreciating this guy now.

18.46: Polls are almost over and there’s nothing much happening on the radio now, so I guess I should end the live blog in a bit. I’m just waiting for one more thing: the exit polls from MBC, bucking the trend of everybody else in having an exit poll despite the supposed speed of results from PCOS machines. (What they’re doing makes sense to me, though. You want a good idea of who’ll win from 19.00, right?)

19.07: Finally, the DZRH exit polls, with a bit more hoopla (a New Year’s-style countdown!) than expected. They suggest that the eleven winning senators – sorted from winningest down – are the following: Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Bam Aquino, Jackie Enrile, Cynthia Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes.

19.10: Fighting for twelfth: Migz Zubiri, Koko Pimentel (“baka magbalik ang kanilang nakaraan!”), Gringo Honasan, Dick Gordon and Jun Magsaysay.

19.11: Turns out the exit polls was a good call: COMELEC has decided to suspend canvassing until 10.00 tomorrow while they wait for the transmissions. So nobody will be counting until tomorrow morning, which means we’ll all be in suspense, which means I’ll have time to be political: I am dismayed by the results, at least of the exit poll, because it seems we have all gone for younger versions of the old people we supposedly want to be rid of. Live blog is over, kids. What do you think – of the coverage and the polls in general?

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One thought on “Live blog: A day listening to election 2013 coverage

  1. There are still the failures, but it decreased from last election’s 400(saw it on ABS-CBN). And so sad that there are more candidates who are deserving to be in the Magic 12. We just have to wait until the last vote is counted.

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