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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Manolo - The Explainer

I watched the pilot episode of Manolo Quezon’s The Explainer.   Being the first episode, I was happy with the outcome.

The first topic Manolo discussed was the issue of Church and State.  Very timely considering the bishops just issued their pastoral statement.

For the first thirty minutes, Manolo explained the history and evolution of the Church’s position on secular dominion and political affairs. It was quite obvious that Manolo and his staff did a yeoman’s job in sifting through so many possible documents to come out with the most relevant items dealing with Church and State.

For the last thirty minutes, Manolo presented his two guest, the irascible blogger Dean Jorge Bocobo and  Jojo Robles, editor-in-chief of the Manila Standard Today.  If there is something Manolo excels at, aside from his essays and opinions, it is his questions.  Jojo Robles was such a disappointment with his specious answers why the Church is not credible, something to do with not paying taxes as if to say the higher you pay tax, the more credible you are.

On the other hand, Dean Bocobo just lit up when he discussed church and state. It was quite obvious that Dean was prepared in the discussion and his views were more logical. However, he did not exhibit the same gadfly attitude that one sees in his blogs and the questions he posed on other bloggers’ comments section.  But all in all, he was a fun guy to have and Manolo made the right choice to join him in his baptism of fire.

Technically, the show needs a little improvement.  Some of the stills or literature that Manolo wanted us to read did not come out on time, there was also the problem of blocking or where Manolo should stand when literature is being shown on the big TV set on the studio.  Sometimes, half his body would be off-cam just for the viewers to read the texts shown.  His partner, Trisha Chiongbian, could also participate more in terms of joining in the discussion and perhaps asking more questions to Manolo during the first segment.

All told, The Explainer performed in accordance with its title. I think Manolo will eventually warm up to the cameras like fish to water.  And I think that his transition from an interviewee to an interviewer was flawless, he applied the Socratic method handsomely and I did not and could not sense his biases, if any.  

This show is worth our while. It provides current issues but also analyzes and explains the underpinnings, meanings, relevance and consequences of how the current issues came about and how those issues may play out in the future.

Go watch it every Tuesday from 6 to 7 in the evening at the new reformatted ANC News Channel.  And see Manolo’s brains at work.

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