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The screaming movie reporters on air

I think it all started with an FM (Frequency Modulation) disc jockey—not entirely a misnomer for a screaming gay announcer for it could mean gender insensitivity albeit the issue and the cause for liberation of the LGBTQA+ in the workplace wasn’t a movement yet at the time—named Claving in the mid-70s. Claving being a derivative moniker from an inverted Filipino two-syllable word bakla to kla-ba (gay but at the time sward was the common slang or colloquial term for it in the queer subculture). Claving was your daily shrieking radio novelty that attracted listeners. It was a byword, a household name anytime of the day especially in the demographics of Metro Manila in the already raging ratings war among radio networks.

Its newness and crisp if not rude auditory appeal of ear-splitting macho gay inflection were premiums for an entertainment value. Never mind if gays on the airwaves were only caricatures or clowns as long as it brought ads revenue, popularity, panacea to hunger or escape from discussion or confrontation of social ills and pseudo-achievement or false gender hopes that coopted social tolerance. It was a blueprint in action gradually experimenting talk radio on FM but still, the station also had to adhere to broadcast standards of the martial law regime as long as gays were not critical of the oppressive system.

At the time, swardspeak was in the subculture lingo which could vent in anti-establishment sentiments but not on radio and other pop platforms as TV not even AM but in theater like the pro-people stance of Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). For the plastic mass media were meant only for wholesome if not double-entendre language suited the peculiar set. Or in rare times, strange idioms in common language known only to the speaker and the select listener could get through. FM was playing politically apolitical by sticking to music and so Claving prevailed and his innately safe soundbites of daily household routines like school kids getting to classes on time and riding public transport in already crowded roads.

Meanwhile, in the print media in the transition of the 60s to the 70s there were already screaming written words in newsprint. The late Justo C. Justo as an entertainment columnist would churn out in tabloids his mostly Visayan dialects very formal in meaning but sounded scandalous making them swardspeak like “waray ka kulva (just don’t say anything)” or “lumuhod nang walang belo (kneel without veil)” etc. These were the same formulae if not risqué equally late controversial movie writer Giovanni Calvo employed in his daily column in People’s Journal by always invoking “Di ba, Sor (Isn’t it, Mother Superior Catalina?) in his column clincher in reference to a director.

Prior to them, the late German Moreno and Ike Lozada had occupied big spaces—pun not intended—in the air while reporting simply showbiz news. No frills although Ike could be more titillating and fanciful in his hosting. They were not professed gays but they were open and were openly talked about in the privacy of the biz.        

After Claving came Swarding. This time the pet name was obviously sort of onomatopoeia. Initially, Swarding wasn’t doing full-fledged movie reporting on air yet but a mix of music and a little talk show.

After years of doing on-board mike, spinning music and sorting out short human interest drama mostly commonplace situationers, Swarding was developed into a showbiz radio host when Inday Badiday was lording it over the AM and small screen showbiz talk programs. Swarding’s raspy voice nearly that of Inday also made him a pretender to Badiday’s throne. 

Eventually, Swarding in his screaming style of reporting showbiz hot stuffs on air that also gathered a considerable percentage of listeners led the entrance of not a few entertainment show hosts on AM and FM. Controversial and irreverent movie reporter Pete Ampoloquio, Jr. donned the female voice acting of a flamboyant Magdalena Ma-el on air over DZMM as a breaker. He was commenting and chattering about latest showbiz tidbits that also contributed to the popularity of a so-called “serious” opinion program. Pete’s famous guffaws made any dead air come alive. 

The late movie scribe Chito P. Alcid was also a radio person to tune in to because of his boisterous glib as he had an on-and-off radio and TV broadcasts.

Ogie Diaz also jumped into the bandwagon if not a totally screaming but still yelling radio host once in DZXL for a time with his talent Vice Ganda.

There was a time many FM station breakers were logged on with gays reporting on showbiz news. I remember a certain Pitimini was one of them. DWRR had also its howling gay showbiz reporters. DZBB for the moment has the bunch of erstwhile dancer and talent manager-movie scribe turned radio showbiz host John Fontanilla who replaced the timeslot formerly occupied by Kuya Germs with the equally lively Shalala during their time. Movie reporter Benny Andaya is also shouting on top of his voice on air in his latest movie and TV scoops. Former DZMM showbiz anchor Jobert Sucaldito might not be your screaming host but he played it with colorful nuances showing off his long-haired panache.

Who could ever set aside the conspicuous presence of Morly Alinio in DZRH when he nightly screams on showbiz news to wake the sleepy souls up of his listeners? At this time of capturing him on cam and livestreaming AM band in a combine tele-radio, Morly in transgender mien sways and shakes his body mostly his facial tones while delivering his animated showbiz reporting in wild abandon.                  

  Let’s not forget Rey Pumaloy although on the tube but he was also yakking with his standard extro “Aminin (Please admit)” on showbiz hot news.

Different folks, different strokes.

Boy Abunda might not be literally screaming but he has his own way of stressing his showbiz reporting on air. In this case, I also want to include this Atty. Ton who does a cloning of a Boy Abunda intonation in showbiz reporting.

Screaming movie reporters on air is already a patented and distinct style to separate a hard news from a soft news but could they also integrate hard hitting contents of social import on light items in a lighter delivery?

Let’s wait and see.

Photo Credit: CTTO

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