MANILA, Philippines – "Batbatan" is the show-closing banter among "TV Patrol" news anchors Kabayan Noli de Castro, Ted Failon and Korina Sanchez during weeknights.
|TV Patrol anchors Frankie Evangelista, Mel Tiangco and
Noli de Castro engage in "balitaktakan"
Over its 25 years of broadcast, various incarnations of “batbatan” have punctuated the nightly telecasts of “Patrol.” Kabayan, who has been there since Day 1, tells us precisely why this is so.
Since its earlier days of broadcast in the late 1980s, “TV Patrol” has allotted time for its anchors to deliver commentary on the day’s news. Then-TVP anchors Frankie Evangelista, Mel Tiangco, Noli de Castro and Angelique Lazo would engage in “balitaktakan,” taking turns in giving their opinions on the headlines.
Fast forward 25 years, “TV Patrol” continues this tradition, but Kabayan emphasizes that one marked difference between the “batbatan” then and now, is its purpose.
During the recent “TVPeeps Grand Eyeball,” a gathering of the program’s loyal followers online, Kabayan said doing newscast day-in, day-out can be emotionally exhausting not only for the anchors but for its audience due to the dominance of “bad news” over pleasant ones.
|Kabayan Noli de Castro, Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon
do "batbatan" at the end of newscast
“Ang purpose lang naman noon sa ‘TV Patrol,’ if you notice, masakit sa dibdib, ano? Kahit kaming mga newscaster naapektuhan niyan, lalo na kaming tatlo,” Kabayan shared with the group of Bayan Patrollers.
“Dahil sa umaga palang, kami ni Ted ‘di ba, newscast na sa radyo, eh halos pareho lang naman ang balita. So pag masakit sa dibdib, matutulog ka [bilang] viewer ng ‘TV Patrol,’” he said, adding in jest, “Kung manonood ka pa ng ‘Bandila,’ lalo sasakit ang dibdib mo, baka bangungutin ka pa sa pagtulog.”
With decades of experience in broadcast journalism, Kabayan finds value in laughter in spite of the constant stream of bad news, which has become ubiquitous through new forms of media.
The idea of “batbatan” was fashioned after this idea – that of tipping the scale where bad news is balanced out with light banter, Kabayan said.
“So naisip namin ‘yung tinatawag naming batbatan, tapos medyo light lang, ‘di ba? Nagpapatawa kami kung minsan, para ‘yung tao tumawa naman para pag nag-dinner sila, magaan naman ‘yung loob nila,” he said. “’Yun ang purpose noon. Hindi ‘yung magpapaalam [na nga] kami, nakasimangot pa kami. Masama ‘yun eh, hindi maganda sa isip ng tao.”