COMMUNITY: Filipino Radio on CKJS 810: Birth and Growth

February 13 is World Radio  Day. We take pride  to celebrate our community radio — CKJS 810AM  — probably one of the strongest,  longest-running  multilingual radio stations in the whole of Canada.

Since its inception in 1974, CKJS has maintained its role in  connecting and reaching out to many  ethnicities and communities in Manitoba.

Spanning  four decades in the airwaves, CKJS has  aired programming in different languages that included Bulgarian, Chinese,  German, Hindi, Hungarian, Irish, Jewish, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi,  East Indian,  Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese and the widely-listened to Filipino programs.

Founded  by Casimir Stanczykowski and previously managed by Antonio Carta,  CKJS  is now part of  Evanov Radio Group, which owns a number of radio stations in different parts of Canada.

 

RADYO PILIPINO

Filipino programming on CKJS has its roots from  1976 when Resty Taruc  pioneered a one hour program called “Radyo Pilipino.”   Aired  Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it had  no regular time slot then.    Joe Sulit took over when  Resty went on  vacation and did intermittent show until  Resty’s return.

 

 

Winnipeg’s Filipino population continuously grow in the 80s .   Radyo Pilipino was given  regular time slot on weekday evenings  in 1982.   Joe  was joined by  Kaka  Paquito Rey Pacheco who was in-charge with news.

 

 

GOOD MORNING PHILIPPINES

 

Population of Filipino-Canadians grew to  35,000 in Manitoba in the 1990s. Listenership and market for a  radio Filipino program became  stronger.

With the fresh addition and brilliant contribution of  Ms Emmie Joaquin,  a regular morning show that is  known  now  as “Good Morning Philippines” was born.   The first  GMP  was heard on CKJS  on April 24, 1989. The rest is history.

 

 

“GMP became a  household name. Pinoys relied mostly on radio to hear  latest  news about the Philippines.” shared Emmie, now editor-in-chief and Publisher of Pilipino Express News Magazine.

Mainstream media noticed the existence and strength of  CKJS.  After  a month of  airing GMP,    the Winnipeg Free Press  featured  an article on its Entertainment page citing how CKJS   gambled for a show with ethnic content  to go head-to-head against commercial radio programs in the  6 to 9AM primetime slot.    And that since its first airing, the program has carved its own niche and found  strength!”

 

 

GMP  became a strong voice that united and inspired  the  community.

Well loved  Kaka retired in 1989.   Jimi Cruz joined Emmie and Joe.   The   trio went on-air til  2003.

 

Summer of  1990, to  encourage connection with the music-loving  Pinoys,  CKJS  launched  an amateur singing contest called  “Tuklas Talino”  (Talent Search) which involved volunteers from the community.

“Tuklas Talino”  became a  platform for aspiring talents (young and old) to share their singing prowess on stage.

It also served as gateway for  many local talents to shine in mainstream music and stage scene such  as the like  of  Maan Dionisio (Canadian Star of Miss Saigon) or Elsaida Alerta (World Karaoke Champion).

“People loved it. It was fun because  CKJS was the only source of  entertainment  of our  community back then. Wala pang  internet.  We were able to do sold out shows in   Pantages and Centennial concert hall”  ,  Emmie recalled.

“Tuklas Talino” last went on-stage under  NewCap Radio Management  in 2008.

 

FILIPINO PROGRAM EXPANDED TO SATURDAY AND WEEKDAYS AFTERNOON

Circa 1992,   “Tunog Pinoy Pang-Sabado”  was created.  It proved its viability when around  two thousand people showed up after a plea on-the-air for  support.   It was a notable show of  solidarity of the Filipino community during those years protesting against  a large grocery store when a Filipino boy became a victim of racial slur and racial profiling. 

Emmie anchored the Saturday show until 1998.  Show was passed on to  Michele Majul (now Michelle Majul-Ibarra)  who did live remote broadcast with Joe  until  2006.  

In 1996, Filipino afternoon show called “Manila Sound”  was created which Emmie co-anchored with Dale Burgos.

CKJS  INTO THE NEW MILLENIUM

Spring of 2004,  CKJS looked for a new female announcer for GMP.   Donna Natividad-Arenas (then Donna Natividad), a  Broadcasting Major with only five days of stay in Winnipeg  auditioned and  got in.

“I felt blessed. I was new, with no friends, no connection. I was driven and optimistic. Thanks to then owner, Tony Carta for the trust.   Radio is my passion. To be part of  CKJS is a gift and a responsibility.  I always wished  my voice would be used  to touch people’s lives in a positive way and become  instrument to advocate for meaningful causes.”

Donna joined the tandem of  Joe and Lito until Joe’s retirement in 2007.

 

 

Joe spent 32 years with CKJS.   In 2008, thousands of listeners wept in his untimely passing due to illness.

A seasoned broadcaster,  Chester Pangan  filled  in Joe’s shoes.  Chester brought  in a brand new approach and energy  to  the morning CKJS primetime airwaves joining Donna and Lito.  He immediately captivated many hearts.

“It’s been an honour and great pleasure for me to be able to be a part of a Winnipeg  Filipino tradition that is GMP.  Waking up early in the morning is no problem knowing that I will be able to do something I truly love and cherish.  Radio is King! “.

 

 

Prior to joining GMP,  Chester (who is also the station’s  production manager)  has already  been co-hosting  the afternoon drive show with Lucille Nolasco.

Lucille, formerly senior news correspondent for TV in the Philippines, started with CKJS  as news writer and announcer  for  the Saturday program.  She later on recreated Manila Sound into what   is  “Afternoon Pasada” now.

Lucille who also writes  for newspaper  believes that  in this age of social media,  radio is still and will  always remain relevant.

Radio is such a unique medium that will never die. Radio has been part of people’s lives even before TV and social media. It has its own niche in this world.  You can bring radio anywhere. Its reach is immediate and strong. I  love radio because it brings a certain connection no other medium can.”

 

 

Lucille,  Ayen  and Donna Medina-Cantiveros  (then Donna Medina) also  joined GMP  as female co-host when Donna took her maternity leave.

 

FILIPINO PROGRAMS ALL DAY AND ALL WEEKEND!

To this date, Filipino programming has  kept up with  different needs, genre,  time and clamor of the 70,000 strong Filipino community in Manitoba.

CKJS Pinoy programs  try to come across the millenials or the classic Titos and Titas  while giving the   Lolos and Lolas  the feeling that they belong very much.

Chester, Donna and Lito  spread the morning dose of sunshine everyday  from 5:30 to 9AM with regular segments like Pastor Junie  Josue’s Higher Life and Dr Jay Buenafe’s Health News.  Listeners always look forward to Lito’s in-depth analysis  of  important national issues and relevant  current events.

In their  drive home, listeners  tune in daily  to Lucille in “Afternoon Pasada” from 3 to 7PM.    Lendyll  Soriano  joined  Lucille one hour  every Friday since 2017. Lendyll  created  “Bisaya ni Bay”, the first pure Visayan program in Canada.

On Saturdays,   Chester broadcast live from a Vickar Automotive Group location from 10AM to 2PM  as Allan Balingit does the news reporting for “Tunog Pinoy PangSabado.”

 

 

Since 1998,  listeners  get an extra  treat of  Pinoy music with  Ayen and Maui Zamora on  Pinoy Saturday night  from 9 to 12 midnight.

Michele  and Mark  also joined the on an off mic tandem of Maui and Ayen once in a while.

 

 

CKJS STRONGER AND WIDER!

Through the years,   CKJS  has remained a tool for the community to connect.  It  has participated  and involved itself  in many community and city endeavors.

With Evanov’s  continuous effort to make CKJS  keep up and make use of  modern technology,   from regular dial on AM band,  CKJS can now  be accessed in  many different ways.

It goes live streaming on http://www.ckjs.com  and  can also be listened to  from http://www.iheartradio.ca.  CKJS is  also accessible in smartphones via ckjs app.

The multi-generation of listeners  connect to CKJS by  Facebook and Instagram.

By the start  of 2018,  it was announced that CKJS will switch to FM Band for wider and clearer reception.

Recognizing its role,  CKJS 810AM  continuously aims to provide a medium dedicated to keeping Pinoys  connected to their homeland and to the world; and  in continuously promoting  Filipino ingenuity, arts,  music, culture and identity.

To all our listeners, supporters and advertisers, “maraming salamat po” for always making CKJS a part of your family.

 

 

 

 

  

 

(CREDIT:  Special thank you Ms Emmie Joaquin for the valuable inputs. Photo credit: Maui Zamora and Josel Media)

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Posted in All Stories, Community News
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