2009 was a good year for couch potatoes. ABS-CBN and GMA-7 rewarded loyal fans with great TV shows that kept us on the edge of our seats. TV5 also offered high quality programs that shook up the dominance of the two big television networks.
Live coverage of historical events, like the funeral of former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, mesmerized TV viewers. The public also looked forward to Marian Rivera's first takeoff as Darna. Meanwhile, the unpredictability of live programs and taped reality shows glued us even more to the small screen.
Here are the top ten moments that made 2009 a great year for TV, in no particular order.
TARA GOES CRAZY. Who would not remember Tara Macias on Survivor Philippines: Palau? On a hot October night, viewers saw her verbal tirades versus fellow castaways Charles Fernandez and Mika Batchelor on Day 21 of the top-rating reality show on GMA-7. Tara's anger was uncontrollable, and her words so sharp, that the episode became next day's talk of the town.
MELASON DATE. Say "loveteam of the year" and the couple that comes to mind is not any of the biggest stars today, but Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up housemates Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco. The Melason team's hilarious, romantic date in the PBB house, televised on December 7, was widely talked about and you just knew this loveteam's going to be around for years.
JUSTINE LOSES IT. Had Survivor Philippines: Palau castaway Justine Ferrer kept her cool during the tribal council on Day 38, she might have won the game and become the first transsexual to win the much-coveted title on the highly-celebrated reality show. The episode was one of the most memorable moments of that season.
KRIS AQUINO'S SAD SPEECH. Call her gabby, or pa-star, but you can't deny that the speech she gave as a tribute to former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino during the televised funeral Mass last August touched the heart of every TV viewer. Not a dry eye was left when the TV host said her goodbyes to her beloved mother.
WILLIE DISRESPECTFUL? Comedian and TV host Willie Revillame got into a lot of flak this year when he ordered his staff on noontime show Wowowee to remove the video clips of former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino's funeral cortege playing on the screen at the same time as his show. It ensued a massive call for the boycott of Wowowee, TFC, and ABS-CBN, but the campaign did not prosper. Willie is still with Wowowee.
MAR AND KORINA GET ENGAGED. Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas III and broadcaster Korina Sanchez surprised noontime TV viewers when they went live on Wowowee last April to get engaged. The relatively simple October wedding was also witnessed by Filipinos here and abroad, after it was broadcast in ABS-CBN.
BIRIT, BABY, BIRIT. Hearts were touched when Birit Baby winner Jude Matthew Servilla sang a heartrending rendition of Wency Cornejo's "Hanggang" live on Eat Bulaga. Jude went on to win the competition, and now sings in the noontime show occasionally.
A REAL FACE-OFF. Lorna Tolentino and Chin Chin Gutierrez's confrontation scene in ABS-CBN's primetime soap opera Dahil May Isang Ikaw sent tongues wagging last month, when the scene reportedly got out of hand. Lorna told the press that she was badly hurt, and that she would never want to work with Chin Chin again.
TAYONG DALAWA FINALE. Perhaps the soap opera of the year, Tayong Dalawa gained a steady following, due to its heavy drama and original story helmed by headwriter Arlene Tamayo and directors Ruel Bayani and Trina Dayrit. The finale, which was aired in September, even trended in Twitter last. Perhaps this is a cue to the TV networks: we want to watch original scripts, and not the rehash (again!) of that Caparas script or that hit koreanovela.
BULILIT, BULILIT. 2009 was a great year to be viewing commercials as well. Ad agencies had to baby TV viewers by giving them inventive characters and scenarios such as Lola Techie, a basketball MVP showing his love for chest bumps, and a vending machine that transforms into a robot. But the runaway winner of commercials in 2009 was Cha Cha Cañeta, who starred in the cute "Bulilit" commercial for a realty company. The little kid is now a fixture in kiddie shows like ABS-CBN's Goin' Bulilit, and TV5's Kiddie Kwela.