The return of the ‘Jeng Jeng’

Tessa MAuricio-Arriola

Tessa MAuricio-Arriola

I’ve been a “BB girl” long before BB creams were invented. And yet, I’m not talking about2 makeup or that part of a woman’s upper body that is measured by the tape.
I’m talking about my morning routine when I find myself in the car at 10 a.m. on weekdays: I tune in to Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto’s dzBB radio program Dobol A Sa Dobol B.

And oh, have I missed it.

For those who are also BB girls, guys, and in between, you will know that Dobol A Sa Dobol B went off the air after a successful 10-year stint in 2008, when Ali and her American husband Omar Bsasies had to move to Spain for a few years.

At that time, I was also doing marriage boot camp in the United States that it came as a shock to find the show was no longer, when I returned to my regularly programmed life in 2010.

Radio anchors Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto

Radio anchors Arnold Clavio and Ali Sotto

You see, Dobol A sa Dobol B had been both a treat and a necessity for me as it was my enjoyable source for current affairs since becoming editor in the early 2000s. Because as editor, even of the Lifestyle and Entertainment sections, I had to sit through lengthy story conferences with the team to discuss which news items should merit a spot on Page 1.

Thanks to Arnold and Ali, I came in everyday informed and flushed from laughter by their lively, intelligent and humorous discussions of pressing issues. I would put in my two cents worth at the meeting, often courtesy of the duo, which would also have the rest of the editors  in stitches.

And so, since Dobol A sa Dobol  B returned on GMA Network’s flagship AM radio station in January [shortly after management heard that Ali was back in town], I’ve been coming into work, ready for story con, just as I did in the old days. Fresh from possibly looking like lunatic laughing by myself in the back of the car!

And last week, I had the pleasure of lunching with my AM radio heroes, who are just as happy as dzBB’s millions of listeners across the country over Dobol A sa Dobol B’s return.

“Parang hindi kami nag-ka-break,” shared Arnold, who is more famously known as Igan by every Pinoy. “Nung bumalik si Ali, balik lang ang show at saya sa dati.”

Ali, who never lost touch with her good friend Arnold through the years agreed, adding, “Wala kaming binago sa programa kasi everything still works despite the years.”

Ali was referring to the regular segments of the show, the most popular of which is
“Jeng Jeng,” a musical commentary on the day’s issues with original lyrics written and performed by the hosts with live guitar accompaniment.

“It is essentially political satire,” explained the celebrity balikbayan. “You will see the humor in the situation, which is what Filipinos are all about. We see the humor, no matter how dire the situation, because it is how we survive them.”

While Arnold lives and breathes current affairs, starting on TV as early as sunrise in Unang Hirit, going all the way to midnight via     the late night newscast of Saksi, Ali in turn, makes sure she does a lot   of homework.

“Gumigising ako ng alas kuwatro ng umaga para magbasa ng mga dyaryo, ng Internet, at kung anu-ano pa, para alam ko ang bawat angulo ng mga storya,” she revealed.

“I love what I do, because it’s  such a privilege to be one of those people who can translate the articles of the country’s most intelligent and respected journalists to the language of the common tao,” Ali continued. “And of course, the privilege goes deeper when I also form my own opinions that could impact the  way our listeners perceive the country’s issues. Bonus pa na napapatawa ko sila.”

With that, is it any wonder why the “BB” community is rejoicing with Arnold and Ali’s return?

Welcome back Dobol A sa Dobol B! May you continue to keep the Filipino empowered with information, and keep them entertained to survive what it is that they know.


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