Monday, June 18, 2012


More than just the competition in Mega Manila, GMA Network is expanding its reach throughout the region to square off its share in ratings.

The network added another station to its growing regional roster. GMA Ilocos was launched June 8 and will go on air starting June 18. The newest local station in the north is located in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur and will have as its first offering the local newscast “Balitang Ilokano.” Soon, the Kapuso Network will also be launching GMA Bicol, which will have “Balitang Bikolano.” Both programs speak their native dialect.Rikki O. Escudero, Vice President for Regional TV, knows for a fact that their closest competitor (ABS-CBN) has long been established in the north. “Medyo apprehensive kami because we know mataas ang standards nila (Ilokanos) eh, and I’m sure they really expect a lot from the local newscast,” she admitted.

A local newscast is usually the first offering in any regional station. It is added to the special coverage of festivals from the regions. Because of this, Escudero boasts their mix of experienced and newly trained personnel, who were introduced to members of the press during the station blessing.

With GMA-7’s continuous efforts to give viewers “Serbisyong Totoo,” the network is pushing for more public service programs that will cater to the needs of local kapusos, Escudero assured.

An investment worth over R100 million, GMA Ilocos will cover the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union and parts of Mountain Province covered. According to Engr. Elvis B. Ancheta, Vice President for TRED, the wide reach is made possible by a special multi-link system network has established. Getting and feeding the news to and from Manila and local stations will be easy. “Improving the delivery of services for the viewers is our main goal,” he added.

“The launch of GMA Ilocos is just part of the network’s effort to further strengthen its nationwide dominance. With this, we are determined to prove to our viewers why we are considered number 1 all over the country,” said GMA chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon in a statement.

Kapuso Stars

Welcome GMA Ilocos

Coinciding with the Ilocos station’s launch was a fun-filled Kapuso Day. A crowd of more than 12,000 gathered at the Capitol grounds in Laoag City, June 9. Saturday morning, auditions were held for “Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break,” followed by the Kapuso Night filled with exciting games for the audience and live performances from several Kapuso stars.

The celebration was led by “Kasalanan Bang Ibigin Ka?” stars Geoff Eigenmann, Jackie Rice and Jennica Garcia.

Joining them were “Hiram Na Puso” lead actor Mark Herras, “Broken Vow’s” Rochelle Pangilinan ; Kyla, La Diva, Keso Boys’ Steven Silva, Kristoffer Martin and Derrick Monasterio, all from “Party Pilipinas;” and the cast of “Faithfully,” Michelle Madrigal, Mike Tan, Will Devaugn and Victor Aliwalas.

“Protégé” Season 1 winner Krizza Neri and finalists Lovely Embuscado, Lirah Bermudez, Nomer Limatog Jr., Jensen Teñoso and Denise Barbacena encouraged Ilocano “Protégé” aspirants to give the show their best shot.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos also graced the event to thank GMA for putting up an Ilocos station and for bringing in celebrities closer to her people.

The event was hosted by “Survivor Philippines” Celebrity Sole Survivor Albert “Betong” Sumaya and GMA Regional TV personality and former beauty queen Ana Maris Igpit.

Highlights of the “Kapuso Day in Ilocos” will be seen on “Let’s Fiesta,” airing via the network’s regional stations in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Dagupan, Ilocos, CDO, GenSan, Naga, and Bacolod on July 1.

(GMA Ilocos will be seen via Channel 5 in Ilocos Norte and via Channel 48 in Ilocos Sur and parts of Abra. GMA Naga is currently being seen via Channel 7 but beginning July, GMA Bicol will be seen in other areas of Legaspi, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon via GMA TV Channel 12.)

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