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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 22, 2010

The return of Batibot

TV 5 PROVES they’re child friendly with the return of the updated version of the classic children show, “Batibot”, this Saturday, 8:30 AM. It started in 1984 as “Sesame” as it’s spawned by “Sesame St.”, but producer Fenny de los Angeles-Bautista made it a distinctly Pinoy educational show called “Batibot”, meaning small but sturdy. The show taught reading and counting skills, as well as good Pinoy values. It was last shown on GMA-7 in 2002 and ended due to lack of funds. “I’m glad TV5 VP-COO Bobby Barreiro offered to produce us again and we’re introducing new innovations for today’s generation who’s oriented with modern technology so we’re coming up with a faster paced show,” says Fenny.

Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing won’t be in the show, though, as the U.S. Children’s TV Workshop own them. Instead, they have Koko Kwikwak, inspired by the Philippine Eagle Pag-asa. He’ll appear as animation on TV and as a costumed mascot in live shows. Kuya Bodgie and Ate Sienna are replaced by younger versions, Kuya Fidel (Abner Delina) and Ate Maya (Kakki Teodoro), but Kuya Bodgie and Ate Sienna will be guesting in some shows. The other puppet characters will be seen again: Manang Bola, the manghuhula whose crystal ball (perlas na bilog) is now modernized; Ningning and Gingging, sister muppets who’ll deal with relationships and feelings; and Kapitan Basa, who’ll guide new readers in their exciting journey to learn from books and other media.

“Baitbot is our response to the need for an intelligent educational TV show,” says TV5 Chief Operation Officer Bobby Barreiro. “We have many child-friendly programs that won the Anak TV Seal but it’s high time we supplement the growth of child viewers with a show that an entire generation of Filipinos have grown up with, based on well researched developmental skills they need to learn in their early years.”

Get ready to hear again the catchy “Batibot” theme song written by Louie Ocampo and Rene O. Vilanueva, Saturdays at 8:30 AM with 5-minute shorts Monday to Friday at 9 AM and 4:30 PM.