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A History of Broadcasting in the Philippines From World War II to the Birth of Philippine Television

One of the most significant events that shaped the nation was the birth of the Philippine radio. In June 1922, a couple of 50-watt radio stations were established in Pasay and in Manila by Henry Hermann. During that time, the Filipinos readily accepted radio news and entertainment programs, and local businessmen, who recognized its profitability, established their own radio stations to advertise their products and services.

In 1924, the first two call letters “KZ” was assigned to all radio stations in the Philippines in accordance with the laws of the United States of America applicable to the country, which was then an American colony. KZKZ, a 100-watt radio station, replaced the 50-watt radio stations established earlier by Hermann.

In 1929, KZRC, Radio Cebu, opened in Cebu and introduced radio broadcasting in the province. However, it was closed down because shortwave relay signals were unsuccessful between Cebu and Manila. It reopened after a decade and fearlessly went on air with the guerilla movements.

Promulgated in 1931, the Commonwealth Act No. 3840, also known as the Radio Control Law, created the Radio Control Division, the regulatory body of the broadcast industry under the supervision of the secretary of commerce and industry. Later, it was renamed Radio Control Office that lasted until 1972 when President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 and “placed the entire country under martial law” and when the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas was established “to police its own rank.”

Shortly after the bombing of the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Japanese airplanes bombed Manila and attacked Davao, Baguio, Clark Field in Pampanga, and the American Naval Base in Cavite. The Japanese Imperial Army diversionary forces landed in Legaspi, Albay; Aparri, Cagayan; and Vigan, Ilocos Sur and the main invasion forces landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan. President Manuel Quezon, Vice President Sergio Osmeña, and Lt Gen Douglas MacArthur left Manila and departed for Corregidor.

During that time, six commercial radio stations were already established, and these were KZEG, KZIB, KZRC, KZRF, KZRH, and KZRM. Only one of these radio stations, KZRM, stayed on the air for a very long period since 1927.

On December 28, 1941, three weeks after the attack of the Pearl Harbor, the United States provided a shortwave relay station in the Philippines. Radio programs were compiled in Washington, sent out through the NBC network, relayed through the KGEI in San Francisco, California, and beamed to the five radio stations in Manila and to the radio station in Cebu. This long but cumbersome shortwave relay station lasted for six days and was discontinued when the Japanese forces entered and occupied the City of Manila on January 2, 1942 after General MacArthur declared Manila an open city to avoid further destruction and loss of civilian lives. The following day, Gen Masaharu Homma, the Japanese Imperial Army commander in chief, announced the end of the American occupation, the imposition of martial law, and the establishment of the Japanese Military Administration.

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  1. vinjp

    On November 27, 2009 at 1:30 am


    nice info. tnx. by the way, what are your sources for this info?

  2. maya`

    On January 19, 2010 at 9:55 am


    wanna ask about the 50\’s to 60\’s am radio station. :)

  3. ann

    On April 14, 2011 at 5:25 am


    thank you so much for the info!:)

  4. angelo

    On October 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm


    Sa pag-asenso ng radyo sa Pilipinas noong 1946 hanggang 1957, binansagan itong mga taon bilang “Ginintuang Taon ng Radyo”. Nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa katangi-tanging musika, pinalitan ito ng mga naitalang musika o recorded musics, dahil dito unti-unting nalalaos o nawawala ang live na pagtatanghal sa radyo.
    Naging pangunahing programa rin sa radyo ang drama. Maraming drama o soap operas ang naging patok at hinding-hindi malilimutan tulad ng Gulong ng Palad, Ilaw ng Tahanan, Aklat ng pag-ibig, Prinsipe Amante, Kahapon Lamang, Kuwentong Kutsero, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang at Gabi ng Lagim.
    Bukod sa larangan ng musika at drama, nagkaroon rin ng bagong programa o pakulo tulad ng paligsahan sa kantahan, quiz shows, mga programa sa kabataan at usapan sa radyo. Tampok din ang mga programa tungkol sa balita. Matapos ang digmaan mas pinalawak ang paghahayag ng balita sa radyo, nagkakaroon ng mga interbyu sa mga reporter at on the spot coverage sa mga importanteng pangyayari. Noong 1968, Ang programang radyo patrol ng DZAQ, pagmamay-ari ng ABS-CBN, ang may kauna-unahang 24 oras na talaan ng balita sa radyo. Nagkaroon din ito ngkaribal, ito ang DZHP Vigilantes. 24 oras na serbisyo sa balitaan at at nakikinig sa mga hinaing ng mga nakikinig.
    Mga Tanyag na Personalidad sa Radio
    Sa mabilis na pagdadagdag sa stasyon ng radyo pagkatapos ng giyera, maraming personalidad ng radyo ang nagsilitawan at sumikat. Nakilala si Jose Mari Velez, Orly Mercado, Soc Rodrigo, Leon O. Ty at si Teodoro Valencia sa larangan ng balitaan. Sa larangan naman sa serbisyo publiko nakilala si Johnny Midnight samantalang si Joe Cantada at Joey Lardizabal ang nakilala sa larangan ng sports. Sa larangan naman ng drama, naging tanyag ang mga pangalang Laura Hermosa, Ester Chavez, Luz Fernandez, Er Ramos, Augusto Victa, Nida Blanca, Ben David, Rosa Rosal at Mario O’ Hara.
    Nagkaroon naman ng panibagong heneraasyon ng mga komedyante, nakilala dito sila Patsy, Panchito, Oscar Obligacion, Chichay, Eddie San Jose, Veronica Palileo at si Cris de Vera.

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