Batibot is a children's television program from the Philippines, based on Sesame Street. Premiering in 1984, with the name Sesame!, and eventually renamed Batibot several years later. Batibot in Tagalog means "small, but strong and robust". As Sesame!, the program used both English and Tagalog as the media of communication, but after evolving into Batibot, the show became a completely Filipino language children's educational show.
In 2015, Batibot and Smart Communications launched the Batibot mobile app (downloaded on Google Play and Apple App Store) made for kids from kinder to Grade 3.
PCTVF was formed in 1984. It was organized by the same team that worked together on the Philippine Sesame Street Project (Sesame!) in 1983. The latter is a co-production with the U.S.'s Children's Television Workshop. Striking out on its own a year after, PCTVF’s sole directive was to produce a television program for pre-school children that would supplement their education and at the same time make the children appreciative of their culture and heritage, resulting to the show called Batibot.
Batibot was formerly a thirty-minute show. It aired from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., and used the magazine-on-television format, employing variety, humor, original Filipino music and stories, animation, black theater, muppets, short live action films and features. Batibot was broadcast nationwide from Monday to Friday on the Philippine television channels RPN-9 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and on PTV-4 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. In 1990, the show switched to ABS-CBN Channel 2 but switched back to PTV-4 in 1993 after the former decided to produce its own set of children TV programs through the ABS-CBN Foundation. In 1994, PCTVF signed a contract with GMA-7 and Batibot was shown at its original morning time slot. The same year Children's Television Workshop ordered them to pull out the muppets Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing due to licensing issues. In 1996, Batibot won its 8th Gawad CCP Award as one of the Ten Best Television programs in the Philippines, although it never enjoyed the luxury of government funding even in its earliest years of programming.
It has been recognized as a significant contribution to national early childhood care and development efforts since it first became every Filipino child's playmate. It is based on an educational curriculum which addresses all aspects of early childhood growth and development, namely physical, moral, emotional, socio-cultural, and intellectual values, as well as the child’s physical environment, whether natural or man-made. It is specifically designed for four to six year olds. In contrast, its thirty-minute radio version, Radyo Batibot, is specifically designed for seven to twelve year olds. The approaches and the content differ precisely because of the differences in the age-group’s characteristics, needs and interests.
Batibot became the longest-running educational television program of PCTVF apart from other children-oriented projects. The major ones, other than Batibot, include Radyo Batibot and Pinpin, a weekly, one-hour Chinese-Filipino program for four to six-year olds. Pinpin employs both Filipino and Chinese languages. The other projects are children’s books publications, cassette-tape productions of Batibot songs, live shows that focus on environmental protection, studio visits and language-learning tapes and videos. Batibot actually has an address that children could recite on cue: "12 Saint John Street, Cubao, Quezon City. Ang zip code namin ay 1119." The latter translates to "Our zip code is 1119".
In 1996, Batibot's TV audience started to decline. Rapid development of cable TV in the Philippines led to the popularity of youth-oriented channels like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Tough competition from ABS-CBN Foundation over its morning TV programs was also a factor. PCTVF was forced to cease airing of Batibot a year later through the recommendation of its host network, GMA-7. It made a brief comeback in 1998 on RPN-9 but was forced to cease again for the same reason.
Batang Batibot & Koko Kwik Kwak
The PCTVF revived Batibot under its new name, Batang Batibot (Batibot Kid) in 1999 in a block-time partnership with GMA_Network. Months later, PCTVF launched Koko Kwik Kwak, another Batibot-themed educational program for kids. However, the shows cosistently got low ratings and so did not attract advertisers. By 2000, GMA-7 finally decided to remove the two shows after a major reformatting scheme.
Batang Batibot & Koko Kwik Kwak Kids
(partial, incomplete list)
- Koko Kwik-Kwak, or Koko for short, is a four-year-old bird-child inspired by Pag-asa, the first Philippine eagle hatched under laboratory conditions. Koko symbolizes hope, the future and a cleaner and greener world. Koko also represents every Filipino child, the young population who shall inherit the earth and hopefully will do a better job in caring for the environment. Five feet and ten inches tall, he wears an ethnic-inspired beanie cap with a propeller made of green leaves. When Koko becomes excited, the propeller spins. He also wears an orange, long-sleeved turtleneck with a letter K in front of his shirt, as well as a moss green pair of puruntong shorts with dark, geometric figures or, sometimes, an apple green long pants, combined with lavender high-cut rubber shoes. Like any healthy, active four-year old, Koko is very confident and likes to play, sing, dance, listen to stories, explore the world and discover things, places and people. He is full of curiosity. And he likes green, leafy vegetables, fresh organic food, fruits and nuts. The character was created after the Children's Television Workshop ordered the removal of characters Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing
- Manang Bola, (Madam Bola) the forgetful fortuneteller. Although she still relies too much on her crystal ball, she still, however, ostensibly helps children and other guests in finding answers to questions by helping themselves on their own. Her "Bola" name, literally "ball" in Tagalog, is a possible reference to the slang for "flattery" or "puffery." She calls her crystal ball "perlas na bilog," or round pearl. She divines the future by chanting "ba-be-bi-bo-bu", teaching vowels in the process.
- Kapitan Basa, a superhero that loves to read. He loves to answer questions with the help of his magic book.
- Sitsiritsit and Alibangbang, two inquisitive space aliens who take delight in discovering things, places and people around them. Inspired from Two-Headed Monster from Sesame Street and with the names being from the nursery rhyme "Sitsiritsit, Alibangbang".
- Ningning and Gingging, the sisters. Ningning is the eldest girl, the serious type, while Gingging is younger and the playful one between the two siblings. Inspired from Ernie and Bert of Sesame Street.
- Irma Daldal, a stage-struck, faddish, shallow and cheap actress, although she believes she is the most talented person in show business. Her name is a word play on madaldal, which is the Tagalog for "talkative."
- Direk, a movie-and-television director, who tries everything to make a star out of his main protégé, the actress Irma Daldal.
- Sultan Parachibum, a datu or chieftain who, with the help of his grandchildren acting as his official advisers, always tries his best to solve the many problems in his sultanate known as Agamanyog.
- Noli de Kasyo, the journalistic reporter and interviewer who because of taking himself too seriously, always ends up doing all sorts of interviews about various objects, muppets and people. Inspired from former TV anchorman and current Vice President Noli de Castro.
- Pong Pagong, a clumsy, pink full-body turtle wearing a baseball cap.
- Kiko Matsing, a brown monkey version of Sesame Street's Oscar.
The show's theme song is with music by Louie Ocampo, lyrics by Rene O. Villanueva, arrangement by Mel Villena, and ethnic instrumentation by Kontemporaryong Gamelang Pilipino (Kontra-Gapi). The closing theme, called "Closing Billboard", is an arrangement by Alamid.
- Kaibigan Ko Ang Buong Mundo
- Mga Awiting Batibot
- Kumanta at Magsaya sa Batibot
- Mga Kuwento sa Batibot
The Philippine Children's Television Foundation has actually has released many books not directly related to Batibot, listed in their article.
- mga tula ni Rene Villanueva at Roger Poblete, guhit ni Ruben de Jesus
- Sina Elephas at Estegodon Noong Unang Panahon
- ni Rene O. Villanueva, guhit ni Mel A. Silvestre
- 1,2,3 Sama-sama Tayo
- ni Rene O. Villanueva, dibuho ni Joji B. Pamintuan
- Okaka-okaka, Ang Batang Palaka
- ni Rene O. Villanueva, guhit ni Joji Pamintuan
- English translation included
- Ang Pamilya Ismid
- nina Ramoncito Serrano at Rene O. Villanueva, guhit ni Sammy Esquillon
- English translation included
- Si Inggolok at ang Planeta Pakaskas
- nina Rene O. Villanueva at Lem Garcellano, guhit nina Bernard Bunag at Jojo Topacio
- English translation included
- Ang Alamat ng Araw at Gabi
- nina Lem Garcellano, Ronald Mina at Chuck Escasa, guhit ni Joji Pamintuan
- Sina Linggit Labay kay Barakuda
- muling pagsasalaysay nina Tom F. Agulto at Rene O. Villanueva, guhit ni Boboi Calleja
- Katuwaan sa Batibot
- Batibot profile
- An Article focusing on Batibot by Feny de los Angeles-Bautista, Executive Director and Research and Curriculum Director of Philippine Children's Television Foundation, Inc.
- Batibot Muppets Homepage
- Philippine Children's Television Workshop, Inc.
- Batibot Song Lyrics Archive
- Sesame Workshop and International Growth article
- Philippine Books for Children and Batibot Books
- Smart launches Batibot app for Kinder
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