Sunday, August 5, 2007

Small But Robust

Pagmulat ng mata langit nakatawa sa Batibot...

I was born in the eighties, I counted one to ten with Kuya Bodgie; a certified "Batang Batibot." Mornings are not complete without my daily dose of "Mga Kuwento ni Ate Siena", and "Mga Hula ni Manang Bola."
Batibot translated as "small but robust" is a children's show which started in the early eighties and continued until late nineties.It was dubbed as our version of Sesame Street albeit in Filipino language. It spawned a number of names and characters headed by Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing as our version of Big Bird and Oscar, Ningning and Gingging as our local Ernie and Bert, and Sitsiritsit and Alibangbang as the Two-headed Monster of Sesame Street.

It cannot be denied that Batibot is an offshoot of its western counterpart, but the show was brave enough to take the risk of using our own language and highlight the value dear to us as Filipinos. Since children spend at least two hours watching television, I was really bothered by the fact that the show is not receiving the same popularity it received then, among children nowadays. There were various attempts to stage wholesome children shows but they all packed up one after another.

Unless a new Filipino children show is produced, children these days would have to settle counting with purple Barney and exploring with hispanic Dora.