By Boy Villasanta
Television newscaster Daniel Razon and one of the topmost seers in the country Madam Suzette Arandela are two different media personalities who are both controversial. Razon and Arandela are also king and queen of their respective kingdoms—trailblazer of an independent broadcast media and maverick fortune telling on TV, respectively. They, too, are poles apart but who could sit well with each other, civilly, that is.
When Daniel was still hosting “Unang Hirit” for GMA Network in one New Year’s edition of the show, Madam Suzette was one of the guest fortune tellers. On the floor, after the show, everyone was excited to get her predictions to individual hosts and off-cam staff, male and female, who were believers of the paranormal but Razon begged off politely to be forebode by the lady psychic. Arandela, in effect, understood enough his sentiments on the occult because of his religious beliefs and affiliation. She stood his ground as well. No love lost between them, anyway. To each his or her own, she had thought.
In their quotidian interface, though, Daniel and Suzette have maintained the approval and appreciation of their respective audiences—his the UNTV, AM Radio La Verdad and FM Wish 107.5 followers and hers the multimedia popularity of daily horoscope and predictions.
They are darlings of the viewing and listening masses on the tube, airwaves, print media and the current craze on social media.
UNTV—initially an unconventional description of what television was all about in all its experimentation in the past when the late comic Tado was the key figure and standard bearer—is now a huge media conglomerate not only to vent the Ang Dating Daan spiritual teachings but as news, rescue and public service venue as well to ordinary fellows, non-believers included.
There are already three platforms for television broadcasts in Razon’s Breakthroughs and Milestones Productions International, Inc., namely UNTV37, a UHF (Ultra High Frequency); a digital network for Bible discussions and a so-called digital social-TV which is a board on showing uploaded social media contents from anyone, anyhow, anywhere.
UNTV is expanding in all directions especially the completion in 2019 of its newer and bigger broadcast building adjacent to the Philam Homes gate along EDSA. Judging from the diorama presented to us by Daniel, the edifice being constructed has an observatory on top, three-layered circular floorboards for the radio and TV studios and regular levels for corporate offices. “The building will be the tallest in Quezon City when completed,” quipped Daniel.
ADD membership is also swelling. The latest addition to high profile converts of the sect is Nora Aunor who became a member disowning her Catholicism and taunting if only teasingly, the archrival Iglesia ni Cristo which he punned wittingly and unwittingly as Iglesia ni Manalo in a recent live broadcast. Other celebrity members of ADD are brothers Zoren and Keir Legaspi, Natasha Ledesma, Vandolph, Allona Amor, Dinky Doo, Jr. etc. They are staunch believers not only of Daniel but Bro. Eli Soriano as well.
Many are avid faithful from all walks of life who dare to defy traditional religiosity and get to flow with the tide of turning back to the old-fashioned way of the words of God.
Meanwhile, they might not be regular members of ADD but Jackie Aquino, Flor Perez and Diego Castro, the late prominent broadcast media icon Angelo Castro, Jr.’s son, are very much involved in Daniel’s television landscape.
La Verda is an Amplified Modulation (AM) very memorable to Razon because this was the former DZXQ band where Bro. Eli started his broadcast stint in Metro Manila. This writer was also part of DZXQ in the early 1990s with music man Tato Malay, FEU com arts grad Faye Romero and erstwhile Minstrels’ member Joseph Olfindo. It was also the AM counterpart of DWKY, a Frequency Modulation (FM) where Daniel was a DJ in the early 1990s alongside being a news anchor for PTV Channel 4. This is where we met and got close to Daniel and Soriano.
Speaking of DWKY FM, didn’t you know that this is now the radio band of the star-studded Wish FM 107.5 currently taking the air signals by storm?
It’s only recently that we discovered that Wish is the brainchild of Daniel. Well, it is easy to conclude that his genuine love and passion for music are his figments to realize his dream. He is a radio person. He sleeps and wakes up with music in his mind. His is the voice—suave and inspirational.
From entertainment writer George Vail Kabristante: “Daniel Razon is a genius.” Imagine, coming up with a novel idea of a rendition of a song by a famous singer from Gary Valenciano to Marcelito Pomoy uploaded and simulcast on Youtube and Wish FM. Fantastic was the first word that described my first viewing of the cut.
Daniel loves disc jockeying so much it motivated him to conceptualize the dual airing of a modern media and an FM band.
On top of it, everyone calls him Kuya Daniel—naturally a term of endearment.
The roaming Wish Bus is also Razon’s idea and it is making waves in the local music industry. Wish has its ground studio but mostly, it is plying the busy streets of Manila to broadcast live with its battery of DJs such as Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez’s eldest son Robin Nievera.
Just recently, Wish handed out various awards on local music achievements from original pop tunes to covers. Among its awardees were Morisette Amon, Michael Pangilinan, Moira de la Torre, KZ Tandingan etc. It was a successful event that was attended by the biggies in local Tin Pan Alley. And it is overtaking many FM stations in listenership.
Meanwhile, Madam Suzette is giving her colleagues in the stargazing front a run for their money. In both traditional and unconventional media, she is the toast of the town in palmistry, tarot card reading, crystal ball clairvoyance, feng shui, geomancy and the likes. She is also a print media columnist in Arriba tabloid where emails and snail mails flood her boxes daily notwithstanding Facebook chats and posts with interested parties.
Many celebrities are Arandela’s fervent followers like business tycoon Manny Pangilinan, Jennylyn Mercado, Michelle van Eimeren and Sunshine Dizon, among others.