There was a time when Philippine TV networks did not begin their daily broadcast until the sun was already well up in the sky. Then a new trend began in the late 1990s when said networks shifted their morning openings to much earlier in the day, leading off their broadcasts with a combination newscast and early-bird talk show. GMA7 cannot take credit for pioneering the early morning show on TV, being the second of the country’s networks to put up their own. On the other hand, their morning show program “Unang Hirit” has remained unchanged in its early-day timeslot range.
And so it was that on the last year of November this year, GMA7’s “Unang Hirit” morning talk show and newscast began its week-long celebration of two decades in the Philippine television airwaves. The Manila Bulletin reports that the 20th Anniversary celebrations of “Unang Hirit” kicked off in earnest on the broadcast this Friday, November 29. This will be briefly interrupted by the coming weekend and continue in December, from the 2nd to the 6th, or about two decades since the first episode of the morning show premiered on the Kapuso Network back in 1999.
Much has been added to the basic structure of the show since its inception, with its initial hosts Arnold Clavio, Suzi Entrata, and Lhar Santiago eventually being accompanied by other GMA7 media faces such as Lyn Ching, Susan Enriquez, Connie Sison, Love Añover and many more. They in turn were augmented by top subject experts for the weather, legal and political discussion courtesy of “Mang Tani” Cruz, Winnie Monsod and Atty. Gaby Concepcion. And for the duration of the anniversary, “Unang Hirit” will be giving back to its loyal Kapuso viewers by showing special episodes featuring hosts that have come and gone on the program.
In addition, the long-running GMA7 morning program is also giving away special prizes for studio audiences and others in line with their anniversary celebration. These giveaways range from electronic gadgets, home appliances, furniture and even the welcome negosyo packages to give winners a start at opening their own businesses. The top prize is a brand new house and lot. All these are just little tokens of appreciate from “Unang Hirit” to the viewers who have helped their show last as long as it did, even winning accolades from the Catholic Mass Media Awards for some of their special overseas coverage.
Ahead of the start for the 20th anniversary festivities, the current hosts of “Unang Hirit” renewed their contracts to GMA network earlier this week on Tuesday, November 26, in a signing ceremony attended by top brass of the Kapuso Network.
Image courtesy of GMA News