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Billy Jack Long is a professional musician and author from Southern California. Any paid advertising you see on this page was not put her by Bill. Ignore it and it should go away.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Manila Broadcasting Company


Hello. It's been a while. Last week I got the flu. It wasn't the flu that everyone has been so afraid of lately... in fact it was worse! Which is why they didn't quarantine the hotel where I stay... Hmmm!

I listened to a little bit of local radio last week. In the Philippines there are very few truly local radio stations. (On TV the local stations would be called LPTV in the United States.) Anyway, I was tuning the FM band. Everything is the same Top-40. I used to wonder why Top-40 was dropped as a radio genre in America. Living here, I now know. It gets old listening to the same songs over and over and over and over and over again. Ugh!

So I went to the AM band. There isn't much music there, mostly talk (and mostly in a Pilipino language, which I still don't understand). I found a great station at DXKH (972 kHz) here in Cagayan de Oro (CDO).

It sounded like a television program. My radio picks up TV signals (something you can't do in the United States in most locations, since the advent of Digital TV) so I thought maybe my radio was set to the wrong band. But no, it was honest to goodness radio comedy. After that, there was a romantic soap opera followed by a 19th century superhero adventure, much in the spirit of Zorro. At the hour and half-hour it gave station IDs from both DZRH (the mother station in Manila, which just happens to be the oldest radio station in the Philippines, having gone on the air June 15, 1939, as KZRH, as the Philippines was a US commonwealth then, the Ks would be dropped ten years later and substituted with Ds, thus the Philppines is one of the few countries in the world that identifies radio stations by call letters) and DXKH in CDO.

It's just too bad I don't speak Tagalog. There was enough English and Spanish (Spanish in the adventure program) that I could follow the stories. It is nice to know that radio variety is alive and well in the Philippines. Now my job is to learn Tagalog! (Even though I live in a place where most people speak Cebuano/Bisayan.)

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