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New management. Fresh start: TV5's trade launch staged last night, March 25, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City was attended by the network's top brass, sponsors, media representatives, and talents. Owner Manny Pangilinan formally welcomed the station's stable of non-exclusive talents led by Comedy King Dolphy.

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Photo: Noel Orsal

Even seasoned executive Manny Pangilinan had to admit that running a network is one daunting task.

"I was telling people around my table that starting a project, especially a television station, is a very difficult task. It's a business that is quite different from the businesses that we did," Pangilinan said last night, March 25, at TV5's trade launch held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

He added, "There will be setbacks and false starts along the way. Some will say that it cannot be done. That the task is too much for us, that we can't do it, it's too risky. But it's in our nature to keep on trying until we succeed."

The speech was straightforward and short, which is typical of the man simply known in the business circuit by his initials: MVP. But there was little doubt that Pangilinan's takeover of the network once owned by tycoon Tonyboy Cojuangco offers hope that the fledgling station would finally live up to its full potential.

Gathering managers, employees, business partners, sponsors, members of the press, and its growing list of non-exclusive talents, TV5 officially unveiled its new look designed to cater to the "Bagong Pinoy" audiences.

And if the two giant networks are widely known as Kapuso and Kapamilya, the Novaliches-based station positioned itself under the brand ID—Kapatid.

FRESH START. The trade launch staged last night was actually just the culmination of an aggressive campaign initiated by the network since late last year to further boost its steady growth.

Aside from revamping and strengthening its lineup of programs, TV5 boldly embraced the concept of highlighting the non-exclusivity clause in contracts to lure some of the industry's biggest names to its fold.

In just a matter of months and weeks, the network was able to convince stars like Maricel Soriano, Paolo Bediones, Ruffa Gutierrez, JC de Vera, John Prats, Rainier Castillo, and Comedy King Dolphy to sign up with them. The new recruits will complement the station's previous batch of stars led by Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, Lucy Torres-Gomez, and Ryan Agoncillo.

All of the stars mentioned were present at last night's affair. Some of the other TV5 celebrities spotted were John Estrada, Oyo Sotto, Pauleen Luna, Alex Gonzaga, Amy Perez, Vandolph, Daiana Menezes, Jeffery Quizon, Erwin Tulfo, poet and writer Lourd de Veyra, Ariel & Maverick, Tuesday Vargas, Mr. Fu, Valeen Montenegro, William Martinez, Yayo Aguila, Jon Avila, Nova Villa, Eric Quizon, IC Mendoza, Cristy Fermin, Carla Humpries, Jenny Miller, Apple Chiu, Jan Nieto, Chris Cayzer, Edgar Allan Guzman, among others.

Ryan Agoncillo and Paolo Bediones hosted the special occasion, while Lucy Torres-Gomez, John Prats, Cookie Chua, Luke Mejares, and Jet Pangan, to name a few, performed to keep the evening swinging.

The highlight of the program was the production number delivered by the three heavyweights of comedy: Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, and Dolphy. The funny trio revived one of Dolphy's trademark stunts—interpreting a song lyric originally written in English to Filipino, in the literal sense, thus giving the material a new and comical meaning.

And speaking of a star-studded gathering and surprises, international R&B singer-songwriter Jojo personally dropped by to wish the newly-dressed network good luck.

Jojo will be performing tomorrow evening, March 27, at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds for a fundraising concert together with pop sensation Justin Timberlake and award-winning record producer, songwriter and performer Timbaland.