TFC: Bridging the Gap Between Filipinos and the Homeland for Over a Decade
May 8, 2012 by cd
TFC in Japan Celebrates 13 Years of Service.
Cindy came to Japan in 1980 in search of a brighter future for her family back home. She found not just an opportunity to work overseas but a chance at love as well. When she married her Japanese husband Toru, she naturally had to adapt to her husband’s culture. The only way she maintains her connection to her home and culture is by watching her favorite teleserye Walang Hanggan on The Filipino Channel (TFC). Even for just a few minutes of her daily household life, she becomes happy and reconnected.
Walang Hanggan is just one of TFC’s highly anticipated teleseryes aired via its Video-on-Demand (VOD) service, satellite, and cable service. Along with the drama program, Cindy enjoys hundreds of hours of content ranging from drama, comedy, musical variety, reality, religious, information, current affairs, news and even youth-oriented shows for her Japinoy children to enjoy. Since Cindy has video-on-demand, she also enjoys the rewind, play and fast-forward features of the service, as well as 24-hour channels such as ABS-CBN News Channel, BRO Channel, Cinema One Global, radio and television channel DZMM, and radio station DWRR. Aside from these, the VOD service includes Pay-Per-View (PPV), which features the most recent Filipino movies, and the Karaoke Channel which allows her to enjoy moments with her daughter who equally loves to sing.Beyond content distribution, TFC in Japan recognizes that it delivers not just entertainment and news via Filipino-oriented content from its parent company ABS-CBN Corporation and content suppliers but as well as opportunities for Filipinos in Japan like Cindy to bond with home and her family.
ABS-CBN started reaching out to Filipinos in Japan in 1999 via a partnership with WINS Japan which led to carriage by SkyPerfect, the largest satellite service in Japan. The launch was actually a fruition of ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio Lopez Jr.’s dream to ‘build bridges on air’ to reach out to Filipinos wherever they may be. According to Managing Director Enrique Olives, “The vision of our Chairman Emeritus was to be in service of the Filipino worldwide, wherever they may be. Through various platforms such as cable, satellite, VOD, mobile, and the internet, the company’s thrust is to make TFC available on as many platforms and devices.”When the partnership with WINS was close to its end in 2007, TFC saw the opportunity to establish its own office and its own reign as it serves Filipinos in Japan. To reach more Filipinos in the country, ABS-CBN Japan launched its VOD service in 2007.
Initially challenged by Filipinos’ hesitation to accept change, TFC in Japan carefully aided subscribers who were used to the traditional satellite service, through dedicated customer service and communication materials that explained the technical requirements (foremost of which is internet connection) and easy access of the new technology then.But the challenges for the team in Japan throughout the years were not only confined to the technical aspect. Challenges also came in the face of the global economic crisis. Making things worst in 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake shook the landscape of Japan and promising opportunities for business not just for TFC but for our kababayans who were not only employed but had their own little enterprises as well.But just like true resilient Filipinos, the TFC team did not just rise above the challenge but aided the Filipinos in need together with the Philippine Embassy in Japan through donations, telethons, & actual feeding programs in affected areas. Also, the Filipino community helped the news team from Manila gather information from the disaster-struck areas.
Truly, TFC employees and their friends in Japan knew how to translate tragedy into an opportunity to help others.As the years go by, the challenges never cease. Every year we see new technology that pose as alternatives to television viewing. But as a trailblazer in Filipino transnational content, TFC is always ready to offer innovations through its online content launch in the third quarter of 2012; through mobile streaming; and through innovations in its current VOD service. Moreover, TFC continues to keep the community connected with its regular Global posts via its television channels and on print via Star Studio magazine; special events with the biggest kapamilya stars and its Friday Movie Nights where it screens the latest as well as classic cinema hits in the Minato-ku office. According to Mr. Olives, “TFC Japan would like to be the ‘conduit’ of connecting the Filipino community both to their homeland and their other kababayans here in Japan.”TFC also rewards its subscribers with free viewing days through the referral promo titled Shokai-A-Friend which is open to satellite and IPTV subscribers. Most recently, TFC launched a lower priced tier called PLUS, which retails the service for less than the fee of its PREMIUM service. (more)Truly the challenges will remain year in and year out whether financial, technical and even environmental. What is truly outstanding is how TFC continues to withstand the test of time by genuinely offering chances for Filipinos to keep in touch with fellow Filipinos in Japan and most essentially with their loved ones back home. The bridges that ABS-CBN Corporation Chairman Emeritus Eugenio Lopez Jr. once dreamt of have truly assumed many forms as the years have passed but the undying commitment to service continues to be just as warm.