Thursday, March 13, 2008

Radio and Ilonggo culture

originally written on January 5, 2008

I love radio specifically AM band. I love listening to it early morning, afternoon and late night, schedule permitting - I wish I own one. Radio is more relevant than television as shown by the coverage of a raging fire in Trinity Christian School in Villa Angela last night (January 4, 2008). It is also a great medium for preserving local culture – kinablit and composo are still well and alive in radio. Radio as an important medium will never die out in this country – after all poverty is still widespread in this country. Poor people are the main audience of it. People who can’t afford TV can definitely afford a transistor radio. Trust me if its news or current events one doesn’t miss anything just by listening to radio. In fact, it is more informative than the boob tube although the facts are sometimes distorted or colored by the bias of the commentator. I don’t know the extent of “envelopemental journalism” in local radio but if I don’t concur with what the broadcaster is saying I just turn the dial elsewhere. I really think it is widespread for the last elections many so-called journalists were exposed as paid hacks.

Slowly, Ilonggo culture is disappearing as the younger generations are equating it with lameness strongly influenced of course by their white masters – the Americans. The kinablit program in Bombo Radyo is the one of the very few programs I could listen to traditional Ilonggo ambahanon (song) not even on Imeem with the exception of Max Surban’s Turagsoy. Our culture is being buried deep into oblivion. Worse, it is being willfully erased in our psyche. Thankfully, some AM radio stations are fighting hard to keep the Ilonggo way alive. We need a vibrant Ilonggo pop culture to sustain it. To be honest, there isn’t much love towards anything Ilonggo in Negros Occidental. It is different in Iloilo though – the home of the Hiligaynon language. The trendsetting Talibong1 of the Benjo and Tonton fame is a student in Central Philippine University in Iloilo. His Hiligaynon version of 300 and Troy became an instant Youtube hit and made our language cool again. Ilonggo Pride or IL Pride made Ilonggo hiphop possible and inspired others to do the same.

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