Batibot on TV5: A Parent’s Review

Batibot is back!

As a Filipino who grew up in the 80s, I am one of those who watched Kuya Bojie, Tita Siena, Manang Bola, Pong Pagong and Kiko Maching. I remember Batibot as a show that not only entertained but also taught me a lot of the basics using the native language, Filipino.

It is for this reason why I was excited to hear that Batibot is back on TV5. As a mother with two young children, I wanted to expose them to a wholesome children’s show that will entertain and teach them concepts in Filipino. I was one of the many who watched the first episode of the new Batibot last Saturday at 8:30 in the morning.

The show was far from perfect but it did not disappoint. Here are some of my observations about the show.

The Positives

  • The show had many interesting segments which taught the children concepts in little chucks. The episode’s theme was clearly friendship or “kaibigan”. This theme was shown in all the segments including the live segment with Ate Maya, Caleb, Ella and David; the kite or “Saranggola” song; the song of the circle and triangle; and my favorite segment–the parts of the body or “Mga Bahagi ng Katawan.”
  • The segments were presented with a balance of objectives. The segment on “Mga Bahagi ng Katawan” featured the different parts of the body in an entertaining manner. The actors in this segment were also very expressive which makes for good children’s TV.
  • The strategy of interactive teaching was used effectively in the memory game segment. Using animation, viewers were encouraged to engage in completing the memory game. In the “live” segment, the adult “Ate Maya” facilitates learning by waiting for the children to solve their problems. This technique is highly effective given that the “chamber theater” style has been proven more effective for children’s shows. Think Blue’s Clubs and Dora the Explorer.
  • What is Batibot without a story-telling segment? This episode featured a story about a book that flies or “Ang Librong Lumilipad.” The animation used in presenting the story was good in its Filipino quality. The moral of the story is likewise presented well by the story-teller.
  • The presence of vintage Batibot songs was also refreshing. For this particular episode, the song “Sampung Bulalakaw” was featured. It was also refreshing to see that the producers used multicultural children actors for their video on friendship.

The Negatives

  • The child actors for the live segment were clearly nervous. Their acting was unnatural and awkward. One of the child actors was not even smiling when the group’s task was completed.
  • There were too many commercials and previews. I know, this is important but there was just too many. The choice of previews must also be appropriate for the viewers.
  • I am sure the production staff knows this but there is really a lot of room for improvement specially in the editing and animation aspects of the show.

Congratulations to TV5 for bringing back Batibot. Indeed, this is a very important show for Filipino children. As a parent, I look forward to my children singing the new Batibot songs and speaking better Filipino through the show. I am also excited to meet the other friends they promised to introduce us to especially Manang Bola. I missed her. =)

Photo courtesy of TV5

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