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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 27, 2012


Feature: Tipon-Tipan sa PIA through the years

by Benjie S. de Yro

It was a gem of an idea. From its ragtag beginnings propelled to where it is now, the Philippine Information Agency’s Tipon-Tipan Sa PIA finally institutionalizes what could have been an obscure government program.

Guided by its mission to provide people with adequate information to help them to make better decisions, PIA 2 has transformed Tipon-Tipon into one of the most popular government talk shows in the region, featuring both government and non-government programs and projects which support President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s “Social Contract with the Filipino People.

Tipon-Tipan has become the bridge between the people and the government; the avenue where free flow of communication never ends, thus, promoting transparency in the government operations.

Tipon-Tipan has withstood the test of time, it never failed to repackage itself to suit the challenges of a changing communication world.

Its past and present think tanks would say, it has never been a bed of roses for the program. Its success was never given on a silver platter over the last two decades or so. It was created not out of necessity but out of a genuine commitment to serve the information needs of the people of Cagayan Valley. This year, it will add another feather to its cap when it will launch its new offspring of a program.

Inspired by forerunners of information campaign, Tipon-Tipan Sa PIA started as a simple round table informal discussion for the media and stakeholders who saw the need to reach out to audiences in and out of the region.

Using dilapidated cable TV equipment set in a rather poorly lit studio and equally second hand set of furniture, the show was launched in 1985 amidst a high degree of excitement among the tri-media members of the province of Cagayan.

Microphone wowing, images on screen like roaring waves, poor signals did not deter the Philippine Information Agency Cagayan Information Center from doing what it vowed to do: introduce a new media program concept to the people.

What started as an informal gathering of media practitioners and their info sources turned into a weekly show called Ugnayan Sa PIA Cagayan. Originally, the who’s who in the government service and the private sector were the favorite guests. Eventually, they were able to springboard their services, information assistances, advisories and promotions to their target clients.

Tipon-Tipan is open to all government and private media and has discouraged exclusivity on certain issues. Afterall, developmental communication is the order of the day.

Surprisingly, demands for guestings schedule came one after the other that PIA Region 2 decided to schedule guesting a good three months ahead to accommodate requests and clamors. After only a few episodes since its launching, things were never the same again for Ugnayan Sa PIA.

It’s time to rename and reformat it as Tipon-Tipan Sa Infocenter Cagayan.

The name of the show came from two original Tagalog words, Tipon which means gathering or coming together and Tipan or an engagement. Together, they mean gathering of people for a purposive engagement.

Former Tuguegarao City Mayor and now Congressman Randolph S. Ting was so impressed with the program that together with the Legislative Council, granted the Info Center a spacious broadcast studio right at the second floor of the City market where the commercial district is located.

Additional technical requirements were met with an improved set, the working media who were called program partners began to take it as their own the said program. They adapted the new format like a fish to water. Sooner than expected and unknown to the Philippine Information Agency, the program started to take a toll on the information consciousness of the people. Local issues which originated from the show were discussed openly by the listeners.

“We heard it over Tipon-Tipan” became an ordinary answer when asked as to where the issue came from.

By then, the program has been aired live by the government-owned radio station DWPE-Radyo Ng Bayan whose coverage reaches the entire Cagayan Valley including the Batanes group of islands, the Cordillera with spill-over broadcast in the Ilocos Region.

Two local competing cable television networks started to either cover the show live or taped for a delayed telecast. Not only was the show aired live over Radyo Ng Bayan; other radio stations also air some parts of the show. Not to be outdone, local weekly newspapers cover the talk show and made the information gathered from it as their preferred banner headlines and editorials.

Soon, information from the program can now be accessed through the Internet.

Two years ago, the program decided to improve its content by incorporating PIA-2 produced infobits and advocacy materials which come as commercial breaks.

Today, the show is housed at the PIA 2 new office in a building lent by the Department of Public Works and Highways. With the new office came new equipment for the show which included a mixer, five camera sets, four microphones.

On hindsight, it was survival for the former PIA hosts who content themselves with three old but still functioning microphones, mediamen bear the pains of passing it to one another most of the time. There was so much to be desired when it came to lighting and boasted of various colors, designs and sizes of chairs and tables, remnants of the 1970s.

Affluent officers and individuals often times offered snacks for guests and other participants as the maintenance allocation of 300 pesos could hardly meet the requirements.

A government info program which never seemed to rest on its laurels, Tipon-Tipan Sa PIA has once again reinvented itself when the present management decided to bring it closer to the local government unit through its new concept program Tipon-Tipan Goes To LGUs which will be launched next month.

At least six municipalities along the coastal areas of Cagayan have signified their intention to host the show right in their own municipalities.

The show will feature individuals or groups whose lives have been touched through the various interventions infused by the government.

With Tipon-Tipan at the forefront of the region 2 government information campaign, PIA 2 can proudly say that it is on the right track towards its vision of a well-informed citizenry. (TCB/BSY/PIA 2)

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