Heaven-sent blissfully nostalgic television hours
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-01-16
Thanks to a recent programming realignment of DZMM, the ABS-CBN radio network that is also viewed on the TeleRadyo Channel via Cable provider Skycable and your friendly neighborhood Chair Wrecker and many other Baby Boomers are now enjoying seven relaxing and nostalgic televiewing hours every Sunday.

Not only that, what used to be a DZMM Sunday two-hour format has now expanded to a total of 14 hours from Monday to Saturday with Bro. Jun Banaag’s Dr. Love (Monday to Friday, 1 to 3 p.m.) and DJ Richard’s “Yesterday” Saturday edition which runs from 1 to 3 p.m. “Yesterday” is now also running every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

These Sunday treats are served by the 9 to 12 noon Second Avenue weekly show of RJ Jacinto and the DZMM ‘nostalgia’ programs of “Yesterday” (1 to 3 p.m.) and Music and Memories (3 to 5 p.m.). All three Sunday shows play music videos of the songs from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. Chair Wrecker friends Willie Nepomuceno and Boots Anson-Roa co-host “Music and Memories.”

In your Chair Wrecker’s 2010 Valentine’s Day column, these nostalgic shows of RJ Jacinto, Willie Nepomuceno and Boots Anson-Roa were hailed for providing Baby Boomers a respite from the sounds and rhythms of today. We Baby Boomers find very it extremely hard to relate with today’s sounds and rhythms. Every Sunday, RJ, Willie and Boots brought Baby Boomers back to reliving fond memories which is no doubt induced by listening to the music that marked that era.

Bro. Jun Banaag, OP, was already hosting the original weekday late night edition of Dr. Love where the format was more of brotherly advice and nostalgic music. In the weekday 1 to 3 p.m. editions of Dr. Love, Bro. Jun Banaag concentrates on the nostalgic music. His choice of nostalgic music leans more on the sentimental ballads. In the case of RJ’s Sunday show, the focus is more on the popular band music of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. DJ Richard of “Yesterday” combines the RJ and Dr. Love types of nostalgic music.

“Music and Memories” of Willie Nepomuceno and Boots Anson-Roa does something different. They decided to strike a balance between playing the music of yesteryears and promoting lively discussions of what the good ole days were like. Audience participation was encouraged and the show never had enough time to read all the transmitted text messages of participating viewers (TeleRadyo) and listeners (DZMM). Willie and Boots have developed a regular support brigade to save them from the memory gaps often suffered during those senior moments of senior citizens. Your Chair Wrecker and STAR Entertainment Section top honcho Ricky Lo are regular contributors.

The nostalgic discussions of Willie and Boots can cover a wide range of topics. At one time, favorite expressions like “Ermat (slang for mother)” or “Erpat (father)” were on the discussion pipeline. There were lively discussions on favorite old Manila downtown movie theatres (like the Ideal, Avenue, State, Ever), panciterias (like To Ho Antigua, San Jacinto, Smart, Moonlit Terrace), favorite snack outlets (like the old Fairmont across the Universal theatre along Rizal Avenue which served a heavenly mocha ice cream), and so forth. Recalling old landmarks is a favorite discussion piece on “Music and Memories.”

TeleRadyo viewers and DZMM listeners would enthusiastically contribute trivia related to the day’s topic and would even correct Willie and Boots whenever they’ve unwittingly passed on wrong information. After all, it is bad enough that some people want to rewrite our history in order to serve their sinister agenda. We cannot thus allow anyone to rewrite our fondest memories! Heaven forbid! Thank God such instances are few and certainly unintended. On the whole, Willie and Boots have succeeded in elevating this format to its full potential. Willie and Boots, each of you, please take two bows.

Nostalgia is indeed a vital survival kit of the senior citizen. Deteriorating arthritic joints, skyrocketing blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, wheezing asthmatic lungs, loss of face or name recognition, loss of sexual prowess or worse — sexual interest — are temporarily relieved by harking back to the good ole days. Considering that the 1950s and the 1960s were days when our economy was second only to Japan in Asia, the recollection of it all salves the deprivations we suffer from these days.

What your Chair Wrecker finds most interesting though is how DZMM decided to expand the nostalgia format beyond the original Sunday 2 to 4 p.m. slot of “Music and Memories” to the week long Dr. Love afternoon shows (10 hours a week) and the additional hours of “Yesterday” from 1 hour each on Saturday and Sunday to 2 hours each on the same days. One gets the impression that the nostalgia format core following is a continuously diminishing lot. How come DZMM is allocating more hours for a show that panders to a diminishing audience?

In our Ateneo de Manila University High School class alone, the roster of “Blue Eagles who have flown ahead” — classmates who have entered the Pearly Gates — are soon going to outnumber those of us who are still singing that Bee Gees hit song of “Staying alive!” The Blue Eagles who have flown ahead roster is updated shortly before All Saints Day. It’s a fraternity where few are volunteering to join, the Dear Departed Fraternity.

Among the many text messages of appreciative followers of Willie and Boots, one will detect a regular stream of Gen Xers and Gen Yers who expressed how they’ve come to also appreciate the music of their parents and grandparents. Thus, we wonder if there is a notable rise in these Gen Xers and Gen Yers who now appreciate and crave for nostalgic music. Is DZMM riding on a new trend?

To this, we can only say — may their tribe increase.

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