Stars grace the 5th UST Students’ Choice Awards for Television last Feb. 19: (Clockwise from extreme right) UST Journalism alumnus Arnold Clavio with the Speculum Veritatis (Mirror of Truth) award; Kim Atienza, Mike Enriquez, Aga Muhlach, Anne Curtis, and Michael V. and Ogie Alcasid. Photos by PAUL ALLYSON R. QUIAMBAO

TELEVISION has failed to promote values such as charity, fidelity, and chastity because of too much focus on entertainment, according to a University-wide survey conducted for the 5th UST Students’ Choice Awards for Television (USTv).

The annual USTv awards, the first award-giving body of its kind in the country, once again highlighted the need for media to produce programs rooted in Christian values.

“We hope to provide television networks with certain parameters… particularly in the programs they produce,” said Fr. Isidro Abaño, UST secretary general and chairman of the USTv board of judges.

Broadcast giant ABS-CBN grabbed 18 out of 25 trophies in the awards night last Feb. 19 at the Medicine Auditorium.

In the survey conducted from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12, only one out of four or 25 percent of 6,529 UST students polled said chastity, fidelity, and Christian charity are promoted in a majority of TV shows today.

But more than half said TV programs do promote human life, friendship, and social responsibility.

The Office of the Secretary General facilitated the survey, with the help of the UST Institute of Religion, the Central Student Council, and the deans’ offices of the different colleges.

Data were analyzed by the UST Social Research Center (SRC) and verified by a board dominated by students. The survey had a margin of error of two percent.

SRC acting director Alvin Ang said the survey tried to “gauge how Gospel values have influenced UST college students in their choice of television programs.”

“Even if the primary function of the television is to entertain (people), students need to be discerning in their choice of (TV) programs,” Ang told the Varsitarian.

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‘Kapamilya’ domination

Following the USTv ceremony, ABS-CBN went home with the most number of awards, including those won by its sister stations.

Maalaala Mo Kaya remained undisputed as the Students’ Choice of Drama Program for five straight years. Y-Speak and Family Rosary Crusade of ABS-CBN’s sister station Studio 23 were again named students’ choices for Public Affairs-Talk Show Program and Catholic Program, respectively.

The Students’ Choice of Daily Soap Opera was I Love Betty La Fea. The series’ lead actor, John Lloyd Cruz, won his third USTv trophy as Students’ Choice of Actor in a Daily Soap Opera. Anne Curtis won the female counterpart of the award for Dyosa.

Bernadette Sembrano won the Students’ Choice of Female News and Public Affairs Host.

“Huwag kayong magsasawang magbantay sa media,” Sembrano said after receiving the award.

Other ABS-CBN shows that won were: They Kissed Again (foreign soap opera), Naruto (full-animated program), Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 (reality show), That’s My Doc (situational comedy), Matanglawin (educational program), Salamat Doc (public service program), Boy & Kris (most popular talk-variety program) and The Buzz (most popular entertainment news program).

Singer-actress Sarah Geronimo took the Students’ Choice for Music Video Performer, while her music video A Very Special Love won as Most Popular Local Music Video.

GMA shows I-Witness, Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, and Bubble Gang bagged the Students’ Choice of Documentary Program, Magazine Program, and Most Popular Gag Show awards, respectively.

“Awards given by students, like USTv, are intimidating,” Soho said. “Minsan, kapag hindi kami nananalo, tinatanong namin ang mga sarili namin kung saan kami nagkamali, at ayaw sa amin ng mga estudyante.”

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Early evening newscast 24 Oras won its second USTv award as the best Local News Program, with anchor Mike Enriquez named as the Students’ Choice for Male News and Public Affairs Host.

“We do place very high value for USTv,” Enriquez said after receiving his second USTv trophy. “(This is) a good reminder that Thomasians are watching so we better do our job well.”

Enriquez even commented that among the awarding ceremonies organized by different educational institutions, USTv is “the best-prepared, most professionally executed, and most enthusiastic student awards, without a single advertisement printed on its souvenir program.”

Thomasian broadcast journalist Arnold Clavio received the Speculum Veritatis (Mirror of Truth) Award for his commitment to broadcast media and advocacy on children’s welfare through his Igan Foundation.

“Media, as the reflection of the society, have the responsibility to give hope to the people whose decision-making is dependent on what they see on TV,” Clavio told the Varsitarian. “In hope, there is unity. In times of crisis, we must not dwell on ‘depression’ but take it as a challenge in the search for signs of hope.”

Coca-Cola’s “Mag-smile sa buhay, mag-Coke araw-araw” campaign was awarded Students’ Choice of TV Advertisement for portraying mothers as symbols of optimism despite the setbacks experienced by families.

No television station was awarded Most Responsible Youth-Oriented TV Station this year.

“We were looking for a more youth-responsible programming (from TV networks),” USTv juror and Varsitarian publications adviser Joselito Zulueta said.

Pinoy Dream Academy scholars Bugoy Drilon and Liezel Garcia, Ronnie Liang, Rachelle Ann Go, and bossa nova queen Sitti rendered performances.

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Personalities who graced the event included Aga Mulach, Ogie Alcasid, Michael V., Anne Curtis, and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Chairperson Conzoliza Laguardia, who also served as the honorary chairwoman of the Board of Judges.

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