Batibot is a Philippine television educational show produced by the Philippine Children's Television Foundation (PCTF). It debuted in 1984 as the replacement of Sesame, a co-production of PCTV and the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) from 1983 to 1984.[3]

Title card
Created by
Directed byKokoy Jimenez[1]
Opening themeBatibot theme song
Country of originPhilippines
Original languageTagalog
No. of seasons4
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Production companyPhilippine Children's Television Foundation[2]
Original release
Release1985 (1985) –
2003 (2003)
ReleaseNovember 27, 2010 (2010-11-27) –
2013 (2013)
Sesame! (1983–84)

History edit

Sesame! (1983–1984) edit

The precursor of Batibot was Sesame!, a Filipino version of the American children's show, Sesame Street.[4] Sesame! was a co-production of the Philippine Children's Television Foundation (PCTF) and the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) with support from the Philippine government. It aired in 1983 as a bilingual (Filipino and English) program.[5][6] The series featured two Muppet-style characters Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing. Both characters were inspired from a Filipino fable, "The Monkey and the Turtle", which was annotated to English by José Rizal in 1889.[7]

Government support ended in 1984 and the co-production arrangement with CTW was cancelled.[8]

Batibot (1985–2003) edit

PCTF decided to produce its own show titled Batibot and debuted in February 1985.[9] Batibot was conceptualized and produced by Feny Delos Angeles-Bautista, a teacher from the Community of Learners Foundation and writer Rene Villanueva. Unlike the bilingual (Filipino and English) Sesame!, Batibot was done entirely in Filipino and featured stories in a Philippine context. An arrangement with CTW was made in order for the characters Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing to continue their appearance including one human character Kuya Mario.

Airing on weekdays with a time slot of 10:30 AM,[10][11] the series consistently ranked in 1985 among the top 10 daytime shows in the Philippines, outdoing the ratings of Sesame! and Sesame Street, which first aired in the country in 1970.[9]

By February 1989, the producers were experiencing financial constraints which placed uncertainty regarding the future airing of the show.[8] PCTF were in negotiations for an Indonesian version of Batibot; coincidentally, CTW were also in negotiations for an Indonesian version of Sesame Street. Shortly thereafter, CTW informed PCTF of their decision to repossess the characters Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing. PCTF negotiated with CTW for the continued use of the characters for four more years under a license arrangement. Despite, the extension to use the characters, PCTF decided to phase out their appearances because of the costs.[3] By 1994, the two characters were returned to CTW and were never used again.

In 1999, Batibot was relaunched as Batang Batibot airing on a Saturday morning timeslot.[12]

Batibot ended its run in 2003.[13][4][14]

TV5's Batibot (2010–2013) edit

TV5 announced in 2010 that it would revive Batibot. It premiered on November 27, 2010.[15] TV5's version of Batibot featured a different set of human characters, Ate Maya and Kuya Fidel. Instead of a Monday–Friday broadcast format, the new series was aired on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.[16] The airing of the series lasted until 2013.[6]

Cast and characters edit

Batibot featured characters portrayed by puppets as well as human characters. Most of the puppets used for the show were locally made. Kiko Matsing and Pong Pagong who were among the main characters of the original Batibot were owned and crafted by CTW.[9]

Sesame edit

Batibot edit

* – from Sesame

Batibot (2010) edit

* – from the original Batibot

Spin-offs edit

Batibot has its own spin-off program Koko Kwik Kwak (named after a bird character), which also aired on GMA Network from 1999 to 2002 every weekday mornings.

Mobile app edit

Batibot Games
Batibot Games icon
  • WW: August 14, 2015 (2015-08-14)
  • WW: July 5, 2017 (2017-07-05)

On August 14, 2015, Smart Communications launched a mobile app for Android devices based on the show. Smart together with the Community of Learners Foundation commissioned OrangeFix to develop the app.[4] The development of the app content costed around ₱1 million.[6]

The Batibot app is specifically targeted to children from kindergarten to Grade 3. It is aligned with the Department of Education's kindergarten curriculum and is in Filipino. An iOS version of the app was released on July 5, 2017.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ "Friends, colleagues pay tribute to Batibot director Kokoy Jimenez". InterAksyon. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016.
  2. ^ JTVKatigbak (April 20, 2012). "Batibot directors speak on educational TV production". The College of Development Communication - University of the Philippines Los Baños. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "How Batibot's Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing Became Part of Talks on U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines". Esquire Philippines. September 7, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Salazar, Marlet (August 27, 2015). "Batibot reincarnates as mobile app". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Carballo, Bibsy M. (April 19, 2010). "Batibot coming back with a bang". The Philippine Star. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Smart launches Batibot app, the first learning app". Manila Bulletin. August 14, 2015. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Alvaro Limos, Mario (July 21, 2020). "The history of Jose Rizal's "The Monkey and the Turtle"". Esquire Philippines. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Abbugao, Martin (February 12, 1989). "Filipino Sesame Street facing tough times". United Press International. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Lohr, Steve (July 24, 1985). "Home Grown Values Replace Kermit in Filipino Version of Sesame Street". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "TV Guide". Manila Standard. March 16, 1987. p. 14. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "TV Guide". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. March 20, 1987. p. 14. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Caña, Paul John (September 7, 2020). "How Batibot's Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing Became Part of Talks on U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines". Esquire. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carballo, Bibsy (March 7, 2012). "Batibot & little kids in need of a boost". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  14. ^ [Episode] on Batibot by Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, 2007
  15. ^ Godinez, Bong (November 22, 2010). "Batibot will return to Philippine television starting November 27". PEP. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Carballo, Bibsy (July 4, 2012). "Batibot's problems on a Saturday morning". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Where Are They Now: The Cast of Batibot". 8 List. January 23, 2014.
  18. ^ "Actor Junix Inocian dies in the UK at 64". InterAksyon. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.

External links edit