RADIO drama is my “Hala, akala ko ganito mangyari?” in a world full of “Napakapredictable talaga ng Filipino dramas bes”.
When I thought I can already predict the storyline to any other Filipino story out there, listening to radio dramas made me realize that I know nothing of what people really have to face in life. When I thought media is just all about the same old happy endings, I realized I haven’t heard enough radio dramas to learn that the world no longer works that way.
I have to admit, I once thought that listening to radio dramas is a “yaya (babysitter) thing” because I grew up witnessing different yayas’ show the same enthusiasm for the same afternoon radio drama for years while they fold mountains of clothes fresh from laundry.
But now, who would have thought that the same girl who laughed at her yayas for being such fanatics would end up intrigued about other people’s love stories later on? After I tried listening to it, nothing was really shameful about it.
It’s just people sending their life stories and asking for advice. It’s such a waste to have missed a lot of these stories that could have helped me understand a lot more about people just because I saw it lame and a thing of the past.
By essence, radio is an effective and relevant story telling medium in providing an avenue for your not-so-typical stories to be heard and drawn inspiration by the public. And that’s the beauty about radio dramas itself.
It is a factor that Filipinos are accustomed in voicing out their complaints to radio stations that they have become comfortable to sharing even their life stories and asking for advice.
Since radio dramas are accessible for everyone, regardless of social status, it is easier to discover unique stories from all walks of life and far-flung areas. More often than not, these types of content are not seen in regular television dramas because they are too realistic that Kathniel fans will literally storm ABS–CBN if they don’t end up together in a story, which ironically, happens in real life stories most of the time. And that in itself is something that you exclusively get in radio dramas – there’s no expectation.
All kinds of stories are accepted may it be a happy ending or a bitter conclusion. When there is no expectation, people are open to hear any story of the day without obliging radio stations to always please the audience, which is good because it increases relatability than some blown up two-year plot on TV just to extend profits.
There’s no pretense in radio drama. If you live a hard knocked life, you get to hear about people who had it worse than you do. If you’re heartbroken, you get to realize that no matter how complicated your status is, there are people out there who suffer the same plight as you do.
And if you have a happy life, hearing unique stories makes you realize that there’s always a reason for you to be good towards others because different people have different baggage to carry with them.
Also, what sets radio dramas unique is the counseling part where the DJs get to interact with their senders. They may not assure the best possible solution, but DJs cheer up their senders despite their circumstances, or in some cases, let them reflect on their mistakes.
Through the processing time, DJs and senders get to tackle not just an issue in isolation, but how these things also apply to majority and suggest what other people can do if confronted with the same situation.
The listeners are not just left to discern the meaning of the story for themselves as it is possible to interpret a story in many ways than one that could possibly undermine one side.
This is something that TV dramas lack. As a result, people are just left to assume that everything the protagonist do is automatically good in TV dramas when, in fact, there are times that even the antagonist is also a victim of the main lead itself.
They say that radio, let alone, radio dramas, is already in a dying state with the entrance of new media and technology that have greatly appealed to the preferences of millenials today.
However, not everyone enjoys the same things as others. Just because a large number of people love swiping their tablets for Wattpad stories and watching aesthetically high–class Korean dramas doesn’t necessarily mean all the other people out there have stopped listening to love confessions on radio. (Ma. Daniella B. Meking)