Teresita Ang See, Doreen Yu, Francis Kong, Sharwin Tee, Steve Sy, Stan Sy, Tim Yap, Nicole Cordoves, Roselle Monteverde, Steven Tan, Pinky Tobiano, Wilson Lee Flores, Rob Cham, Patricia Ngo, Janeena Chan.
Spanning generation, industry, and philosophy but connected in heritage and values, these Chinoys shared their stories in 1CH1NOY: Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart.
For the first time in its decade-long history, Fil-Chi Productions decided on a documentary-type series instead of their usual lifestyle fare. This season, directed by Emmy-award-winning Michael Carandang, has become not just its most successful yet, but has broken barriers and records.
From Zero to 1.8M Views
Alvin Tan, President of Fil-Chi Productions, knows all too well that this was no way an overnight success. Tan shares,” Many know that CHiNOY TV 菲華電視台 started out as a lifestyle magazine show on Net 25 back in 2010. From then on, we’ve produced non-stop content for the Chinoy community, with a total of 32 seasons and 416 episodes in the span of a decade.Then, 2020 happened, and it’s been 16 months since our last airing. During this period, we reflected on the things we could do to continue promoting the Chinoy culture while staying relevant in the present circumstances, which meant setting aside our usual coverages that are no longer relatable for the time being. Thus, Chinese By Blood, Filipino by Heart was born.”
Tan opens up about hitting a low of no rating or zero rating during one particularly difficult season. To any creator, that spells a huge turning point. Tan recalls, “I remember during pre pandemic days we were simply happy to rate. Last year, one of the lowest points was learning that our most recent episodes before we went off air had 0 rating or the program wasn’t viewed by any individual as per the research agency. This forced us to recalibrate and the CHiNOY TV 菲華電視台 that you’re seeing now is the result of series of retooling, experiment and adjustments the we made past 18 months. It’s never easy and we still go through challenges on a weekly basis but seeing the viewership count increase week by week and the positive feedback that we are getting from both the Chinoy and non Chinoy community truly mean a lot and it motivates us to keep getting better.”
And unfazed, Tan persevered and took his series to CNN Philippines with the new format. During the 8.8 premiere of the season, Tan shared, “Our first venture into documentary-style production, this new project aims to promote oneness among Chinoys and strengthen the Chinoy identity through the perspectives of prominent individuals of our community. It’s different from what we used to do in CHiNOY TV in that it zeroes in on these people’s experiences and values as Chinoys in the Philippines. Through them, we’d be able to offer a clearer picture of what we are now not just to the rest of the community, but others in the country as well. I guess it’s only right to say that the project is a make-or-break situation for us. If it does well, then it goes without saying that it will open more opportunities for us to do similar things from this point on as we mark our 11th year in the industry. If not, we’ll take pride in the fact that we were able to explore this path and come up with our best season yet!”
A new chapter with heads held high
And true enough, it has become its best season indeed.
Chinese By Blood, Filipino by Heart not only premiered with a bang on CNN Philippines but week on week, it would beat its previous episode’s ratings to reach a current all-time high of 1.8M accumulated views.
Gathering a diverse and fascinating collective of Chinoys from various histories and legacies, 1CH1NOY was able to weave the tapestry of the Chinoy story. Old and young, surviving and thriving, through difficult childhoods and privileged ones, and writing history or rewriting the future, all of these personal accounts show us what it means to be part of the Chinoy community.
Aside from the ratings, the show also receives very positive feedback on social media. With Chinoys and even non-Chinoys alike raving about how the series demystifies the community as well as creates resonance with the open discussions on struggle, failure, hope, and even love.
Tan had great intentions for this season and it is a gift to see it manifest. At the beginning he said, “We hope this series would bring us positivity as we embark on this pivotal moment for 1CH1NOY.” And with the stories that inspire, that rock the boat, that describe but also challenge the norms of being Chinoy, one can say that there are only further heights for 1CH1NOY to reach.
Catch 1CH1NOY: Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart only on CNN Philippines via Free TV Channel 9, Sky Cable Channel 14, Cignal Channel 10. It will also simultaneously air on CNN Philippines’ webpage www.cnnphilippines.com.