By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Apr. 24, 2014
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It all began in 1994. And this year, The Filipino Channel (TFC) is celebrating 20 glorious years. On Wednesday night, TFC pioneers, employees and artists, as well as loyal supporters and subscribers from the community gathered together for a special gala and show.
“I love TFC! The station gives me so much happiness!” longtime subscriber Dorie Paniza said.
Hosted by the Philippine Concert King Martin Nievera and personalities from TFC’s Balitang America, Adobo Nation, Citizen Pinoy and Barangay USA, the show — held at the Santa Clara Convention Center — also featured performances by the X-Factor finalist and Mr. Pure Energy himself, Gary Valenciano.
“Gary V still has it!” another long-time TFC subscriber Carmen Colet exclaimed.
The show also paid tribute to three organizations for being Global Bayaning Pilipino 2014 — Anak, Inc., Carolina Medical Mission and Filipino-American Community and Development Center of Ocean County Incorporated.
For the pioneers of The Filipino Channel, it was a moment to look back to how it all began. TFC opening in 1994 with just eight employees in a garage warehouse in the San Francisco Bay Area. Twenty years later, TFC is available in over 190 countries with offices in key regions.
Raffy Lopez, COO of ABS-CBN Global shared, “Around 1991, we started selling videotapes of our programs and we would sell it to local Filipino stores and they were selling like hot cakes so we already got the indication that there was a demand for this Filipino type of content.”
“When we tried it in Saipan and saw it was a success, we decided to bring it to the shores of America and it was following what my father would always say — that this was in the service of Filipinos, wherever they may be,” Gabby Lopez, chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation added.
Monchet Olives, former managing director of ABS-CBN International related that when they started 20 years ago, they started as a ragtag team. He said, “But 20 years later, we’re now all over the world.”
The theme for its 20th year is “Galing ng Filipino, Ituloy Mo” or “Forge ahead with the greatness of the Filipino”.
The company’s leaders said they look foward to the future of TFC with its overseas family. “”I think TFC would not have lasted for 20 years if it had not grown with the market and with the trends. We will be playing in the digital space. We’ll be very busy on social media and we will make sure our products will offer a lot of inter-activity with our subscribers.”
For The Filipino Channel, the possibilities are still endless and the future certainly looks bright for a company, whose mission is to be in the service of Filipinos worldwide.
You may contact Henni Espinosa at email@example.com for more information.