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Drama sa Radyo

Drama sa Radyo

The neighbor’s radio is in full blast. The concrete wall that separates their porch from our kitchen seems unable to contain the emotive voices of the radio talents of DZRH. As we have our lunch, we become privy to the world of Ana Luisa, Tia Dely (Dehh-lyyyy…), and as I wash the dishes, Mister Romantiko. They are the people that entertain 50 to 60-year-old housewives in the provinces, especially those without TV or those living in areas without electricity. They take the place of Kris Aquino (and her real life drama) or Darna or Kampanerang Kuba or Full House. The characters somehow have survived the test of modernization. Story-wise, there’s still the haciendero lolo, the happy-go-lucky teenage grandaughter, and the indifferent dad or mom too busy with business. On the other side of the fence there live the aging bedridden mother or grandmother and the long-suffering granddaughter who, at the end of the story (I predict) discovers she is also a rightful heir to the massive hacienda, together with her maldita sister. The plot of the story approximates the Mara Clara melodrama genre.
Even the way the characters talk reminds me of Sampaguita Pictures-produced black-and-whites of the 40s and 50s (and maybe even 60s). In this generation of chenes-chenes and chovaline kylies, they still talk in a language and diction that I now regard as elegantly archaic. Passe. Anyone who’d even try to talk like that today would get strange looks. Tia Dely talks like a Home Economics teacher. Whenever Mr. Romantiko airs, I visualize Rogelio dela Rosa wooing Nida Blaca (may God rest her soul) in one of those b&w dance movies.
I remember, back in the days when my aunt’s stuffed toy business was in full swing, she used to turn the radio on to DZRH all day. Aside from Tia Dely and Mister Romantiko, the favorite was Matud Nila (with a themesong sung in Bisaya or Waray?), a saga of star-cross’d lovers separated by wealth and circumstance. It would get some sniffles and tear-wiping from our side of the audience. Meanwhile Isinakdal ko ang aking ina was a little to heavy, even for the drama-crazy seamstresses and cutters.
Also, sometime ago I remember following this superhero fantasy radio show called “Kapitan Kidlat”, or some other name to that effect. Mind you, this predated Krsytala and GMA 7’s Darna. by about 8 years. The title character is supposed to be an 8-year old child who is magically given powers by a hukluban-that-turns-out-to-be-a beautiful-diwata (fairy), but whose voice is acted out by an adult female (probably the same talent that acted out the hukluban character).

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