Student Canteen

Student Canteen is a Philippine television variety show regarded as the first afternoon variety show on Philippine television. Over a 32-year period, it was broadcast through three different networks: ABS-CBN (1958 to 1965), GMA Network (1975 to 1986) and Radio Philippines Network (1989 to 1990).

Student Canteen
Student Canteen title card.jpg
Title card
GenreVariety show
Directed byRamon Ramano
Presented by
Country of originPhilippines
Original languageTagalog
Production locations
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time90–120 minutes
Production companyProgram Philippines Inc.
Original network
Original releaseJuly 1958 (1958-07) –
1990 (1990)



Student Canteen was originally a radio show on DZXL hosted by Eddie Ilarde, Bobby Ledesma, Bobby de Veyra and Leila Benitez[1] entitled CBN Canteen.[2][3] The noontime show was aired on the canteen of the old Manila Chronicle Building in Aduana, Manila.[2] It was later renamed Student Canteen after it became a hit with students.[2]

Chronicle Broadcasting Network (1958–1965)Edit

In July 1958, DZXL Channel 9, then owned by the Chronicle Broadcasting Network (a precursor of ABS-CBN) started broadcast operations. Student Canteen was brought to television that same year.[2]

The noontime show ended in 1965 when Eddie Ilarde went into politics. Prior to that however, the set of hosts for the show were replaced after main hosts Bobby Ledesma and Leila Benitez walked out of the program along with Eddie following a dispute. Pete Roa, then production manager of ABS-CBN, handpicked his wife Boots Anson-Roa, Ben Aniceto, Pepe Pimentel and Nelda Navarro as replacements.

Noontime show successorsEdit

Magandang Tanghali, a musical variety show hosted by Pancho Magalona, and Stop Look and Listen, a former noontime variety show hosted by Eddie Mesa, took over the Student Canteen timeslot in 1965. After Mesa left for the United States, Twelve O'Clock High, a show hosted by Ariel Ureta and Tina Revilla, premiered and aired until 1972 when martial law was declared. The show moved to RBS (now GMA Network) as Ariel con Tina, through a blocktimer company headed by Romy Jalosjos from 1972 to 1974. Lunch Break also gained ground on the same channel before Student Canteen was eventually revived.

GMA Network (1975–1986)Edit

In 1975, the triumvirate of Menardo Jimenez, Felipe Gozon and Gilberto Duavit Sr. took over Republic Broadcasting System (RBS) and changed its name to GMA Radio-Television Arts. Looking for a show that can serve as a gateway to daytime dominance, the new management conducted negotiations with Eddie Ilarde who readily agreed to revive Student Canteen under his production company Program Philippines Inc.[4]

In January 1975, Student Canteen was revived, with Helen Vela and Coney Reyes[5] joining original hosts Pepe Pimentel, Bobby Ledesma and Eddie Ilarde.[4] Ramon Ramano was the original director of the show. Ariston "Aris" Bautista was the floor director, and later the show's director.

The show had a segment called "Search for the Student Canteener" which was a singing contest. This segment attracted a lot of high quality contestants and many of former "Canteeners", including Marco Sison, became successful professional singers. Many other singing contest segments within the show produced some of the country's top singers. Bert Nievera, for example, was the champion of the segment called, "Search for Johnny Mathis of the Philippines."

The program also featured a highly popular segment called "IQ 7" which was actually a quiz contest and which produced the country's top quiz champions like Bong Barrameda, Ramon Lorenzo, Romeo Miat, Victor Saymo, Vic Volfango, Antonio Manaloto, Esmeraldo Tellerva, Gil Manimbo, Eduardo Alvaran, Virgilio Acasio, Nazzir Abbas, Roberto Villareal, Emilio Apostol, Nehemias Miguel, Nilo Francisco, Sonny Pascual, Leoncio Pelayo, David Oriel, Leon Bongulto, Pete Dadula, Boni Magtibay, and many others who have gone on to excel in their respective chosen fields of endeavor. A spin-off of the quiz segment "IQ 7" called "Battle of Campus Brains" produced the first and only female quiz champion in the history of GMA-7 quiz shows, Essem Zisenia Solomon, who defeated the then reigning champion Pete Dadula and several other quiz veterans.

Student Canteen was the only noontime show that existed in the 1970s before the debut of Eat Bulaga! on July 30, 1979, hosted by the trio of Tito, Vic & Joey, formerly from Student Canteen. Eat Bulaga! was in danger of cancellation until the segment "Mr. Macho" made it the top-rating noontime show in 1980.[6] Afterwards, Student Canteen's ratings began to decline. Coney Reyes would leave the show after it took in Chiqui Hollman, formerly from Eat Bulaga!. Other fresh faces would later join Student Canteen, including Jackie Lou Blanco, Chat Silayan, Dyords Javier and Francis Magalona. Julie Vega was supposed to be included in the show however, the plan was shelved following her illness and subsequent death in 1985.

The show's stint on GMA ended on June 7, 1986 following the People Power Revolution. It was later replaced by Lunch Date.

Radio Philippines Network (1989–1990)Edit

Student Canteen went back on air on February 20, 1989 with a new home, RPN (renamed as New Vision 9) replacing "Eat Bulaga!" which moved to ABS-CBN. The show was also retitled Student Canteen (The Third Generation) because it was the show's third revival and third decade on Philippine Television. Original hosts Eddie Ilarde and Bobby Ledesma were joined by Malu Maglutac, Jean Garcia, Cherry Pie Picache and Atoy Co as co-hosts. Ramon Lorenzo served as the Quiz Master for the "IQ 7" segment. It was also during the RPN-9 era when the show was beamed for the first time nationwide via satellite, as the network's DOMSAT facilities were still active despite the sequestration.

The show ended in 1990 due to disagreements between the RPN management and the hosts. A revival was in the works again the following year, but it was shelved after main host Bobby Ledesma died in 1993.



  1. ^ "Philippine Daily Inquirer - Google News Archive Search".
  2. ^ a b c d "Philippine Daily Inquirer - Google News Archive Search".
  3. ^ "Everybody Loves Leila! -, Philippine News for Filipinos". Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Reminiscing with Kuya Eddie -, Philippine News for Filipinos". Archived from the original on March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  5. ^ San Diego, Bayani Jr. (June 14, 2011). "Playing meanie part of her ministry".
  6. ^ "YouTube".[dead YouTube link]

External linksEdit