Well-known sports broadcaster Chino Trinidad has placed his money where his mouth is.
Exhausted and exasperated over endless news reports of corruption in government, common criminals, and poverty stricken Filipinos, he asked for his wife’s permission to cash out a huge chunk of their life savings and invest it in what he calls his “passion project,” “crusade,” and “advocacy” all rolled into one.
His mission has already begun. Carrying the name Pilipinas HD, Trinidad has founded a cable channel, whose content prominently pronounces “a shift in the deafitism of the Filipino.”
“I thank my wife for letting me do this,” the lively news personality shot a cheeky glance at the woman in sidelights of this interview.
“And I also thank this group of millennials behind me who defy what what the world thinks of their impulsive generation. Who, like me, believe this is a country of heroes, and that all we need to do is to inspire and lift the spirits of the Filipino people by showing them instead of all the sad stories that bolster the ratings of mainstream TV, the courageous stories of Rizal, Bonifacio, Heneral Luna, all the way to the airport janitor who returned a huge sum of money he found in the rest room, the taxi driver who did the same, and the college student who has vowed to make a difference in the country when she finishes school.”
Aware of the general reception of the Philippine audience when it comes to material laden with history, Trinidad gives the assurance that the original features and documentaries they have begun showing in a number of cable providers since Independence Day on June 12 are far from “text book-type” programs.
Given his experience in broadcasting, the ideas of his young creative and production staff, and the mandate of Letran professor Fr. Calvo when he was in college, Pilipinas HD’s menu of programs abide by the “three E’s.”
“According to Fr. Calvo, as journalists, we have to come out with pieces that ‘Entertain, Educate and Enlighten.’ Shoot lahat yan,” Trinidad declared, sounding more like the sportscaster that he is.
“You will see that we have done our shows artistically with a lot of entertainment value,” the confessed history buff added.
The son of sports journalist and Palanca Awardee Reccah Trinidad, the second generation newsman related he grew up around the likes of Nick Joaquin and Ermin Castillo, discussing history and the greatness of the Filipino over bottles of beer in their family home.
As such, his father always handed him books to read from the Philippines’ literary icons, and legendary authors as Hemmingway.
“Little did I know that this would all become part of my formation as a journalist, most especially in my lifelong ambition na makapag-iwan ng mga storya ng magiting na Pilipino,” Trinidad expressed.
Now on its official run (check your cable providers for availability) Pilipinas HD boasts of a balanced 24-hour programming that presents among others, the life of Rizal through his own diaries, which only surfaced long after his death; a documentary revisiting Mt. Pinatubo, not solely to recall the eruption 25 years ago but to highlight how the communities around it bounced back and thrive today; as well as a special for today’s inauguration aptly titled Decoding Duterte, gathered from narratives of those close to him.
“We have many thespians and ‘actors’ from the academe who have selflessly offered their talent to the cause of inspiring the Filipino,” Trinidad gratefully shared. “And of the big stars who will certainly draw audiences to our humble cable channel, ‘Heneral Luna’ himself, John Arcilla, and the most famous Rizal of the silver screen, Cesar Montano, have pledged their support, both of them passionate about history as well.”
Shot all over the country and produced from Pilipinas HD’s headquarters in a small spare room at the Trinidad residence in Mandaluyong City, the proud Filipino, his family, and his like-minded staff are indeed pouring their heart and soul into this noble and expensive venture, which, Trinidad knows is a big risk.
Nevertheless, as early as now, this crusader of Filipino greatness is ready for whatever the outcome may be.
“This is all worth it; beyond its worth in pesos,” the media man averred. “Because I’m no longer doing this for myself really, but for the next generation. For our children.”
Promsing that he is into Pilipinas HD for the long haul, no matter the cost, Chino Trinidad simply said in closing, “I’ll be very happy if only to see the day that not one person uses the term ‘mga ordinaryong Pilipino’ to describe our countrymen. Because no Filipino has ever been or will ever be ordinary. We are a nation of heroes.”