Friday, March 14, 2008

Igorot Stairs in Baguio City

A well known tourist attraction in Baguio City is the Igorot Stairs found right outside Barrio Fiesta, a famous restaurant in the city, specializing in local foods.

The statues themselves are made out of wood, even though they don’t look like being made of such, they have been painted over, and varnished.

The statues, wood sculptures, or wood carvings, depict the larger than life people known as the Igorot, the native inhabitants of Baguio. The statues are larger than life since they are mostly quite tall, taller than a real Igorot could ever hope to become. Each statue depicts one of the professions that an Igorot may have held in their tribe. From Headhunter to just being an Igorot woman. But today not all of the sculpture on sitting on the steps are those of Igorots, today there are also those of famous Philippine political figures, such as past presidents, and the occasional her, there are also sculpture of sleeping guards and some animals.

The Igorots are depicted in the way they must have looked in the past, unlike the way they make themselves out to be today.

The balance found in the sculptures can be seen obviously in the way that each sculpture has complete body parts. The material used being wood is perfect for the setting in which the sculptures are placed, which is in a city filled with trees.

Now, specifically the headhunters or more commonly known as warriors, which have been situated next to each other on the steps, are depicted looking happy, or rather victorious. One holding a shield most commonly seen being in the possession of a moro warrior, the other holding up the head of a defeated enemy. Even though realistically, none of these two exist today, their memory is kept alive by the two sculptures.

The colors used to color the statues, are true to the colors of the sculpted figures in real life. The sculptures were made in a way just to probable entertain and inform viewers of how the Igorots lived their daily lives. As for the other statues, they must have been carved just for entertainment purposes, and to keep the stairs as being able to adapt or evolve, in order for the attractions not to stagnate. The sculptures themselves, even though they do not appear perfectly human, they are just physical representations of the reality, they were not made to depict a certain person, rather they were perfectly made to depict a people.

The sculptures themselves seem more real compared to the Igorots that are seen wearing jackets who pose for pictures for money.

“Una Sa Balita, Una Sa Public Service”

DZMM Radyo Patrol Sais-Trenta, 630 kHz Metro Manila, is the flagship AM station of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation in the Philippines. The station's studio is located at the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City, while its transmitter is located at Obando, Bulacan, and the station operates 24 hours a day. At present, DZMM is considered as one of the top stations in the AM band in Metro Manila and is recognized as one of the most awarded radio stations in the Philippines. DZMM is also simulcast via The Filipino Channel and also has a television channel on SkyCable named DZMM TeleRadyo where the studio and hosts of its programs can be seen by its listeners and viewers.

This particular radio station not only makes use of the radio waves and that is also make use of television, its coverage area is vast. Whoever has a radio or a television most likely does listen to or watches DZMM.

A part or one of the segments or programs of the show is that the hosts read messages to the station, to other people, and greet listeners, they also give out free legal advice, and help the callers.

The hosts are competent at their job. The news is completely factual with the occasional use of sarcasm (but still factual), occasionally they have guests on air. The languages most commonly used on the show are Filipino an English, but as to which is used more prominently is unknown.

One failing of the station is not in content, per se, but the hosts sometimes mention videos or images, which to their radio audience is highly impossible to view unless, they use their imagination or they have a television set in their vicinity. Another is that although the station does give the different sides of an issue equal opportunity to present their case, the hosts are still human, and the station is owned by humans with their own agendas, that the occasional biased comment it let slip from the mouths of the hosts or the interviewees.

DZMM is overall a good station to listen to in the morning if one was unable to read a newspaper, or was too lazy to actually read one. The news given is up to date, and asides from news there is a morning traffic update, that will help anyone heading either to work or to school to know the best ways to pass and where to avoid passing.

It it…Ba!-“Eat Bulaga!”

“Eat Bulaga!” is one of the Philippines’ first, as well as oldest and still thriving noon-time variety shows. Offering comedic skits, dance numbers, and games, which thrill and entertain their audiences almost everyday.

It is also the starting ground for some of the country’s celebrities, most of which are comics. The funny guys that make one laugh most likely started out by performing or guesting, or hosting on this particular noon-time program.

For those out there not familiar with the history of this one program, one would think that it has always been a member of the daily line-up of GMA7. But in truth it has not always been so.

A brief background of this favorite among the masses television program is as follows:

“Eat Bulaga!” premiered on July 30, 1979 on Radio Philippines Network at Broadcast City, Diliman, Quezon City.RPN outsourced the idea to TAPE. At that time, comic troika Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon were the most popular movie comedians. They were hired together with Chiqui Hollman and Richie Reyes as co-hosts. In 1989 due to the sequestration of RPN, the show moved to ABS-CBN along with other TAPE-produced shows. The show once again moved to another network, this time on GMA Network due to the fact that ABS-CBN wanted to buy the airing rights of Eat Bulaga from TAPE, Inc.

What sets them apart from their current rival “Wowowee”, is that during the two celebrations held at the Araneta Coliseum, there were no deaths or stampedes. This may be considered as bad-mouthing another show, but it is indeed a fact.

Asides from the number of celebrities that have appeared on the show throughout the years, it is thanks to the fact that the Filipino people as a whole like to enjoy themselves. So “Eat Bulaga!” gladly caters and preys upon some of the shallowness of the people to keep them watching and for the show to garner and gather high ratings.

FM Radio’s “96.3 WRock the Heart of Lite Rock”

96.3 WRocK, DWRK 96.3 MHz Metro Manila, is a music FM station owned by ACWS - United Broadcasting Network, Inc. in the Philippines. The station's studio is located at FEMS Tower 1 along South Superhighway in Manila. The main format of the station is lite rock music.

ACWS - United Broadcasting Network, Inc. runs the Metro Manila radio station DWRK, more popularly called 96.3 WRocK, on the FM band, and has been on the air with the warmly-accepted lite rock format since 1988. It used to be known as RK 96 Real Radio. WRocK also plays to radio audiences in Bacolod, DYKR 96.7 MHz, Cebu, DYRK 96.3 MHz, and Davao, DXKR 95.5 MHz, further adhering to its commitment as the Philippines’ Number One Lite Rock Radio. ACWS-UBN runs WRocK Bacolod and Davao while its sister company, Exodus Broadcasting Company, runs WRocK Cebu.

96.3 WRock truly is the heart of lite rock. Lite rock is a style of music which uses the techniques of rock and roll to compose a softer, supposedly more ear-pleasing sound for listening, often at work or when driving. Lite rock is usually sung with higher-pitched vocals, and the lyrics tend to be non-confrontational, focusing in very general language on themes like love, everyday life and relationships. The genre tends to make heavy use of pianos, synthesizers and sometimes saxophones.

96.3 WRock has a set of programs and segments that run throughout the week, pleasing audiences, and relaxing the minds of listeners throughout the day. Asides from the songs, on weekends there are those sixty seconds the station uses to interview singers or some other celebrity. Lite rock of the era before the 90s can be heard in great volume during Nite Rock, during weekends (while not during Lite Rock Favorites of the Week), and most especially during Fridays with Friday Classics.

Being an entertainment radio station, with the occasional news and love-life advice segment on weekends, it caters to the lite rock aka soft rock aka easy rock listeners.

One other thing that can also be noticed that occurs on 96.3 WRock is that songs that or albums that are being promoted on air are played so often that they sometimes get played twice in a row.

Another thing about the “Heart of Lite Rock” is that their jingles are easy to remember and sang when it or they are played. Listening to the radio station (which personally helps me relax easier) it is no wonder that the station has lasted for so long.

The Rigodon de Honor

The coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century brought a new influence in Philippine life. A majority of the Filipinos were converted to Roman Catholicism. European cultural ideas spread and the Filipinos adapted and blended to meet the local conditions.

The Maria Clara Suite is so named in honor of the legendary Maria Clara, who remains a symbol of the virtues and nobility of the Filipina woman. Maria Clara was the chief female character of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere. These dances reached their zenith in popularity around the turn of the century, particularly among urban Filipinos. Displaying a very strong Spanish influence, these dances were, nonetheless, "Filipinized". Typical attire for these dances are the formal Maria Clara dress and barong tagalog, an embroidered long-sleeve shirt made of pineapple fiber.

The Rigodon de Honor is an elegant dance which was brought to the Philippines by the Filipinos who returned from their travels abroad during the Spanish era. This dance takes its name from its opening performances at formal affairs such as the President's Inaugural Ball. Members of government, including the President and First Lady, diplomatic corps, and other state officials usually participate in the Rigodon. Traditionally, a ballroom waltz dance would follow the Rigodon. This particular dance is a form of quadrille which is a historic dance performed usually by four couples in a square formation.

This dance has a format, it is not merely a dance but a story as well, and containing about four to six parts (depending on the choreographer). The dance itself has a romantic nature. Where, like most dances, the male or rather gentleman leads, while the lady follows. Whatever one’s biological gender is, is what one’s role in this dance is. Personally I have participated in this particular dance.

Breathing is important it is what one uses to count. The dance is very rigid in the way steps are performed, as well as the proper timing as to when a step is to be performed. The dance when performed must be perfect.

The posture of the dancers is very important, one must always stand straight. The posture is almost the same as centering. In order to stand upright, one must find one’s center of gravty.

When meeting at the center of the square during the dance, men must give a slight bow to the woman opposite them, while the women curtsy. All participants are required to smile.

More than being just a dance, the Rigodon de Honor is can be likened to a parade, where the men parade around, or show-off the women (their partners). Even though the music of the Rigodon (a.k.a. the quadrille) has a festive tune or melody, there is an underlying marching tune to it as well. The dancers may easily rely on the music to do the counting for them.

Today there are not that many who are competent enough, or are even capable of teaching how to dance the Rigodon de Honor.