This is the Philippine Section of
The Broadcast Archive
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last update 11/2/01
We are actively looking for more information on Philippine
history and the people that worked in it. Please help us if you can:
Send to Prof. Elizabeth Enriquez at
- Station Identifications
Philippine Broadcast History:
In 1922, a Mrs. Redgrave, an American, began test broadcasting from Nichols
air field with a five-watt transmitter. This would put her ahead of Henry
Hermann who began test broadcasts from three stations in June 1922. Lent's
(1978) collection of histories of broadcasting in Asia shows that Philippine
radio was probably the earliest in Asia, ahead of Chinese radio by at least six
months and at least as early as, if not earlier than, New Zealand radio.
Hermann, owner of the Manila-based Electrical Supply Company, wanted to
broadcast music to a number of radio receiving set owners, and test the business
potential of broadcasting. The manuals as well as Lent indicated that Hermann
went on the air armed with a temporary permit, but neither writer identified
exactly whom or which institution gave Hermann this permit to operate
experimental radio stations. Two years into the experiment Hermann replaced the
experimental stations with a 100-watt station with the call letters KZKZ.
However, Hermann soon after gave up on the commercial potential of radio. On
October 4, 1924, with KZKZ but a few months old, he sold it to the Radio
Corporation of the Philippines (RCP)
Lent (1973) traces the appearance of the first radio station outside of
Manila to 1929 when RCP put up KZRC (Radio Cebu), a one-kilowatt experimental
station in Cebu City.
Much of the programming was patterned after American broadcasting and was
indeed run by Americans. At first, sponsors did not directly advertise their
products but mentioned only their names as sponsor of particular shows, or
titled the shows after their product, for example Klim Musical Quiz or The
Listerine Amateur Hour.
Among the early pioneers, Francisco "Koko" Trinidad is regarded by
broadcasters and broadcast teachers and students of the past three decades as
the father of Philippine broadcasting,
Television reached the Philippines in October 1953. A well researched history
of Philippine television can be found here,
written and posted by Ellen Joy Anastacio and Janine Natalie Badiola.
Early regulation of broadcasting was begun in 1931 when the colonial
government (of the USA) began realizing the business potential of radio, and
thus passed the Radio Control Law creating the regulatory body Radio Control
Board. The board examined applications for licenses to operate radio, allocated
band frequencies, and conducted inspections for the office of the Secretary of
Commerce and Industry
In 1947, when the new republic was a year old, Trinidad represented the
Philippines to a conference of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
in Atlantic City in the United States.
The current regulatory body is the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas
Originally, as a colony of the USA, four letter call signs beginning with KZ--
were in use.
Trinidad remembers insisting on changing the first two call letters of
Philippine radio to RP, to stand for Republic of the Philippines, in lieu of the
American KZ. Koko wanted the world to know about the newly independent republic
through the radio call letters. The ITU rejected the call letters RP because of
the amount of trouble it would take to secure the approval of the entire
international body, and the international changes that might have become
necessary for such a change. However, the ITU, which decided to punish Germany
for using radio for propaganda and to advance the cause of Nazism, deprived
Germany of its right to use the broadcast airwaves. The ITU then gave the
Philippines the right to use the call letter D (which had stood for Deutscheland,
or the German name of Germany)
My sincere thanks to Prof.
Elizabeth Enriquez for her help and sharing her research on Philippine
broadcast history, including material on its wartime product. If you are
interested in obtaining a copy of her paper on early Philippine radio history,
please contact her directly.