GMA Network, Inc. is determined to conquer audiences nationwide as it continues to claim more territories long dominated by rival Kapamilya.
Recently it opened the GMA Ilocos originating station in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, a few kilometers off the capital Vigan City. It is now fully operational with an Ilocano newscast called Balitang Ilocano.
For weeks before the inauguration, the network has been training news gathering team from Ilocos Sur, Norte, and Abra to man the local news program.
The station is seen by all Ilocanos in the region on Channel 5 in Ilocos Norte and Channel 48 in Ilocos Sur and parts of Abra. An estimated total of 208,110 households are now able to enjoy programs on the leading network.
“The launches of GMA Ilocos is part of the Network’s efforts to further strengthen its nationwide dominance. We are determined to prove to our viewers why we are considered no.1 all over the country,” says Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, CEO and Chairman of GMA Network, Inc.
GMA Network President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., meanwhile, adds that the Network’s Ilocos station is equipped with Program production as well as microwave and satellite facilities. “Both of these stations are equipped with active news gathering systems capable of delivering live news coverage within the originating or neighboring provinces which can be aired locally or nationwide.”
“We are excited by the opportunity to share more of our programs, both national and soon, local, with our valued viewers in Ilocos region. We look forward to their making GMA a bigger part of their regular viewing time as we undertake to bring them only the best,” adds Duavit.
The Ilocanos were treated with the Kapuso way of endearment, with a whole day affair in Laoag City, a day after the blessing and inauguration of the GMA Ilocos facility. The network set up right in front of the capitol building and held auditions for the second edition of Protégé,with Kapuso stars entertaining the crowd.
Flown in from Manila were Mark Herras, Jackie Rice, Kyla, the group called Down To Mars, Victor Aliwalas, Mike Tan, Geoff Eigenmann, Michelle Madrigal, Jennica Garcia, Will Devaughn, Rochelle Pangilinan.
We also spotted young stars Derrick Monasterio and Kristopher Martin.
The Laoag City even extended till late in the evening with games and performances. Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos graced the occasion and gave the crowd another reason to cheer the Kapuso network. The endorsement from the governor was more than enough to prove that the Kapuso network was really in a turf that was long waiting for the it.
“At least my kababayans will no longer make tiyaga watching Kapuso shows with bad signal. Now we are assured of clear transmission,” she told me after her brief speech to the crowd.
Despite the brief rain that drenched the crowd while GMA News anchor/reporter Cesar Apolinario was singing, the celebration continued. The crowd in front of the city hall even got bigger after the rain, with an estimate of 12 thousand before the show ended.
“The Network has prepared long and hard for its originating station in Ilocos, so it is just fitting that we kick off its launch with a loud bang together with our Kapusong Ilokanos,” Oliver Amoroso, assistant vice president for sales and marketing GMA Regional TV said.
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