Arvin “Tado” Jimenez, 1974-2014

[Updated with a video of Tado I took back in 2007, when he was a guest on Hit FM’s Mornings with Kelly and Tin.] Before Ramon Bautista became the darling of ad executives and the Twitterati, it was Arvin “Tado” Jimenez who captured the imagination. As the lead character in the UNTV cult hit Strangebrew, his chilled out yet blistering take on the world was refreshing to a generation already jaded by the old conventions of the mainstream networks. Maybe it’s his activist background. Maybe it’s his odd jobs. Maybe he’s really just naturally skewed, and we just haven’t seen his sort break out. Strangebrew survived in reruns and Tado became a presence on television, but his career – and his “driver” on the show Angel Rivero’s, and yes, Ramon’s – saw an uptick after 99.5 Hit FM took a chance and gave him a radio show. “Your radio is not defective,” he would always say during every talk set. “It’s just us.” His skewed perspective proved to be a hit with both the masses and the classes; a rare example of a radio personality that pierces through every demographic, as judged by the Brewrats surviving two reformats on 99.5 MHz, and a year-long stint at the ill-fated U92. Before his death today, at a tragic bus accident in Mountain Province that killed 13 others, he was still a regular radio presence, appearing occasionally on Magic 89.9’s Boys’ Night Out. I will miss his demeanor – I met him once, when he guested on Hit FM’s Mornings with Kelly and Tin, a Junior Jock braiding his hair during an interview, him totally cool with it – and his subtly punchy take on a world that slowly disillusions more and more. [NB]

Disturbing the Peace… on the Magic?

With Mo Twister suspended (again) for five months (yes) for a sex-related topic (not a rape joke, he insists), Magic 89.9 suddenly has to replace him without replacing him. The solution: do a Disturbing the Peace reunion. Sam Oh has left The Playground on Play FM (temporarily?), moved to the next room, and reunited with the supposedly retired Gibb for First Thing in the Morning – and the idea of one of radio’s most underrated morning shows somehow returning is making me feel things. I haven’t had the chance to listen to a good stretch – I only listened to a three-minute bit where they discussed what torquing is, prompted by “We Can’t Stop” – but anybody who listened to DTP will find themselves at home. A morning show that doesn’t always revert towards giggling to be funny, you know? And now the Magic is reuniting a pair that anchored 99.5 RT’s second life, a station that they resurrected and never really supported as much as they should, a station they only used as a training ground for their own station… these things I feel, it must be resentment. [NB] (We’re finally on Twitter: our name is @earthingsblog and we’d be happy to have you follow us.)

Live blog: 99.5 RT flips to 99.5 Play FM

The live blog is up and running, right after the cut. Today, 99.5 RT will go off the air, to be replaced by what looks like a more mainstream pop station, like its next-door sister station, Magic 89.9 (which has reportedly taken over management for the frequency). Watch this space for a live blog on the station’s first twelve hours – I’m live here from 06.00 but will mostly write from 08.00 onwards – but for now you can go to the blog’s previous coverage on the flip of a legendary (how that statement holds nowadays is another topic altogether) radio station. Here’s my first post on the news of the flip, a month ago. Here’s my thoughts on the month-long hold pattern that made listening to the station a bit awkward. Here’s my review of the final edition of Disturbing the Peace, the station’s morning show, which kicked off the flip’s home stretch. Finally, here’s a backgrounder on the frequency’s recent troubles leading to the launch of the ill-fated Campus 99.5. Your comments are now welcome here, with memories of the radio station, hopes for the new one, and everything in between. Now, to see if they give this frequency a long enough fighting chance…

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Disturbing the Peace, one last time

I could’ve listened to the final three hours of Disturbing the Peace in full, but my phone died before the last half hour. So I don’t have any idea what happened then, but I do know that it was a goodbye show, which is surprising, considering how DWRT-FM has been in an awkward, month-long hold pattern. Maybe it’s my feelings towards the whole thing, but I was expecting them to just disappear without a wave. They were business as usual all throughout (and, for some reason, my dad began to listen to them around the time, and he enjoyed it, which is saying something), and the same was the case this morning, except for the obligatory favorite moments thing (including Gibb’s potty-mouthed Subic rappelling outburst of sorts), a bunch of phone calls from the regulars, and some thoughts from Gibb, who’s apparently hanging up the headphones for good. “You have to have a job where you get to be yourself at least once in your life,” she said, a thought which struck Sam as profound – as if they haven’t been profound all these months on breakfast. Monday, 99.5 RT will finally change its name, and I dread the day.

Messiest. Reformat. Ever.

The only nice thing about the transition period between 99.5 RT and whatever station’s going to replace it is the bigger reliance on older tracks. I heard Sinosikat’s “Turning My Safety Off” earlier today, and just minutes ago I heard John Mayer’s “No Such Thing” – the station played them before, but only sparingly, and hearing them again is much appreciated. But that’s the only nice thing. The replacement was supposed to be on air by this week, but right now we have Disturbing the Peace doing an extended goodbye, the remaining DJs saying their old station’s name while their stingers talk of a frequency “under renovation” resulting in a place with “more music and less BS”. The radio geek in me is asking: did Tiger 22 pull the plug on 99.5 RT without any concrete Plan B? I have other conspiracy theories but I won’t risk being called a weirdo again. As a long time listener, I have to say that the way this was dealt with feels insulting. I listened tonight, hearing an unknown jock (from next door, probably) prattle after playing Patrick Stump’s “This City” (this song was always shit) and Paramore’s “Crushcrushcrush”. “And now, something new,” he says smugly, before playing Bahamas’ “Caught Me Thinking”, which RT added to their playlist a good six months ago or so. But he doesn’t know that, obviously…