Magandang Gabi, Bayan
Magandang Gabi, Bayan (Good Evening, Philippines) was an informative news analysis program shown on ABS-CBN and broadcast simultaneously on the ABS-CBN-owned radio station DZMM. The show ran for an hour and 15 minutes.
With its investigative news stories on hot topics in the Philippines shown in a magazine format, Magandang Gabi, Bayan (MGB) set the standard for other public affairs programs in the 1980s and onwards. Its stories were in-depth. It presented not only exposés of crimes, scandals, and acts of corruption but inspirational real-life stories. It was rated higher than any other television show of its time, even other primetime programs.
MGB was first aired in 1988. The show ran for 17 years. Though extremely popular, the show was canceled after 31 December 2005.
It was anchored from the beginning by broadcast journalist Noli de Castro. In his capacity as MGB anchor, De Castro won several awards, including the Catholic Mass Media Award, the KBP Golden Dove Award, the Gawad CCP, and the ABS-CBN Recognition Award. The show’s popularity and De Castro’s credibility as an anchor were among the factors that helped him succeed in politics, first as a senator then as Vice President of the Philippines during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. According to Jim Libiran as quoted in the Manila Times, “Kabayan” (as De Castro was known) had become “the voice of the masses” through the show.
De Castro continued to host the show while serving as senator but eventually gave it up to focus on campaigning for the vice presidency. He was replaced by hosts Katherine "Kat-Kat" de Castro (his own daughter), Erwin Tulfo and Henry Omaga Diaz.
Rumors and scandals
It was rumored that the show was canceled due to a conflict between De Castro and the ABS-CBN management. Some daily broadsheets claimed that the station intended to attack the Arroyo administration in the show, but De Castro, as Arroyo's running mate, refused.
MGB has had its share of involvement in scandals. Some of those who were featured claimed that they were made to appear like criminals. When he was running for vice president in 2004, De Castro filed a libel suit against two men he had featured who claimed that De Castro defamed them. One was Andrew M. Gonzales, national director of the Bagong Lahing Pilipino Development Foundation, whose investment program was presented on the show as a scam. The other was Rafael T. Engle, who was featured when he was looking for his kidnapped wife. He believed the show portrayed him as his own wife’s kidnapper and led to his being arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation and detained for over seven years. Both men claimed that they refused attempts by De Castro’s crew to extort large amounts of money from them to “improve their image” in the editing of their segments. De Castro, however, denied all these allegations.