A leading Taiwan-based Christian television station Good TV has expanded its network to the Philippines, first reaching out to the huge Filipino-Chinese community.
An official grand launch and thanksgiving service of Good TV in the Philippines was held on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila, according to the Manila Bulletin. Delegates from Good TV in Taiwan and prominent members of Filipino-Chinese community, such as the Taiwanese Ambassador in the Philippines Ng Shin Xing, have attended the occasion.
"Good TV can now be seen in five major Philippine cities, namely, Metro Manila, Davao, Cebu, General Santos, and Tacloban. This Chinese Christian channel is catering to the Chinese community whether they are believer of Christian faith or not," said Albert Paras, president of Feihua Good News Foundation which has contributed in bringing Good TV to the country, Manila Bulletin reported.
Paras also said, "The mission of our Foundation is to let Good TV change for the better the lives of its viewers. Church leaders have joined together to make this happen and I believe that we can improve our society by patronizing Good TV."
The opening of the Chinese Christian channel is warmly welcomed by the Filipino-Chinese community. The leading Chinese newspaper in the Philippines has reported it as the top headline recently.
As only one-third of the Filipino-Chinese viewers are Christians according to a recent AC Nielsen survey, 80 percent of the Good TV program will be family-oriented, while the remaining 20 percent focus on religion and faith, Paras said to Manila Bulletin. Moreover, 60 percent of all the programs will use Mandarin as its medium of instruction. Only 10 percent are in English with Chinese subtitles.
The story of bringing Good TV to the Philippines was started one year ago. On Feb. 2, 2005, three church ministers from the Philippines Chinese Christian Church met with some Good TV leaders in Taiwan. They have agreed that Good TV will provide the programs to the television channels in Philippines for broadcasting and the local churches will gather the funds required.
One of the satellite broadcasting companies in Philippines was willing to provide the services to Good TV so that its program can be seen by the whole Philippines. However, the cost of broadcasting is actually too far from affordable. Until April, the negotiation failed.
The turning point came when a sister working at a satellite company in Taiwan showed interest in Good TV’s expansion to South East Asia. Her company then offered a satellite to Good TV, which will not only support the broadcasting in Philippines, but also in all of South East Asia.
In July 2005, Skynet cable agreed to broadcast Good TV’s program on channel 55 and channel 75 for Devao and Cebu respectively. Those are the cities with the third largest and the second largest Chinese population. On Oct. 1, Global Destiny- a television company based in Manila- also agreed to open channel 72 for Good TV’s program. Manila has the most Chinese population in the Philippines.
The Philippines Chinese Christian Church has contributed greatly in terms of promotion. It takes initiative to help Good TV distribute magazines and flyers to all local churches. The response of the Chinese Christians so far is very positive.
In conclusion, Good TV described the expansion to the Philippines is solely by the grace of God. According to OMF, the Philippines is called the only Christian country in East Asia. About 66 percent of its population are committed or nominal Roman Catholics. About 7 percent are Protestant. Many Chinese are Catholics or Protestants as well. Good TV can now even reach to all Chinese in South East Asia by satellite broadcasting.