TFC presents new show for 20th anniversary

By Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 30 2014 10:10 AM | Updated as of May 30 2014 06:53 PM

Juan EU Konek logo

LONDON - A new magazine program will hit the airwaves this weekend as part of the 20th anniversary offering from The Filipino Channel (TFC), ABS-CBN’s global network.

The monthly series, Juan EU Konek (JEK), was commissioned by TFC Europe and will be scheduled for airing at the end of every month, starting with an episode on Sunday, June 1st.

The first ever magazine show from TFC Europe, JEK will cover a variety of stories divided into three segments for each episode, from the biggest issues of the day to interesting real-life stories of Pinoys across Europe, with some lifestyle, arts and culture in the mix.

"Producing magazine programs for Europe is something I have always wanted to do since I joined the bureau. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Now our team can do more in-depth stories and presentation on the issues concerning the Filipino diasporas in the region, as well as features on the inspiring stories of our kababayans who are making us proud by excelling in various fields," said Rose Eclarinal, executive producer of JEK.

She added: "This job is taking me back to where I started many years ago as a producer for news and current affairs of ABS-CBN. I look forward to tell inspiring stories that showcase the core values of Filipino migrants."

Eclarinal, a senior correspondent at ABS-CBN Europe for several years, will host the show alongside seasoned international journalist Danny Buenafe, bureau chief of ABS-CBN News in Europe and Middle East, and Gene Alcantara, a legal consultant and community leader, who will present a regular segment on immigration matters affecting overseas Filipinos.

"It is very important for there to be a regular immigration segment. There are now an estimated 800,000 Filipinos scattered over some 40-50 countries in Europe. Although each country may have their own peculiarities on policies towards immigrants, European Union (EU) immigration law kicks in and is standardized across the region, even within non-members such as Norway and Switzerland," Alcantara said.

Dubbed as Immigration 101, the segment will be the first of its kind for TFC Europe, providing a unique platform in tackling a range of issues on unauthorized migration, travel restrictions, work permits, transnational families, residency and citizenship, student visas, changes on European laws, and many more.

"It is important for Filipinos to know their immigration rights: what is possible and what is not, especially for those who are already citizens of Europe. Particularly with the growing popularity of right-wing views and anti-immigrant sentiments in the UK, France, Greece and elsewhere, it is vital that Filipinos in Europe stand firm especially when we know we are in the right. And I think showing case studies on TFC will allow them to see and understand how it all works. Hopefully we will see a more knowledgeable and empowered community able to exercise their lives in Europe to its fullest," Alcantara explained.

The hosts of Juan EU Konek: Danny Buenafe, Rose Eclarinal, and Gene Alcantara

Avid TFC viewers may already be familiar with JEK, which started as one-off specials from 2013, covering stories like the impact of the Spanish economic crisis on migrant families, the return of Philippine Airlines in Europe, and tracking down the first Filipino immigrants to ever set foot in the UK.

The latest episode will include a look at the London revival of smash-hit musical Miss Saigon, a peek into the plight of migrant domestic workers in the UK, and an exploration of what happens to spousal visas when relationships do not work.

Juan EU Konek will air on TFC in its regular time-slot for the first time on Sunday, June 1st, at 10:35 p.m. (Italy, EU) and 11:35 p.m. (Saudi Arabia, ME), with replays on Thursdays at 9:05 a.m. (Italy, EU) and 8:45 a.m. (Saudi Arabia, ME).

Balitang Global, a fresh weekly newscast replacing Balitang Europe and Balitang Middle East, will also launch the same weekend, airing every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. (Italy) in Europe, and 2 p.m. and 7p.m. (Saudi Arabia) in the Middle East.

Both programs mark the 20th anniversary of TFC, which was officially launched in the USA in 1994 with only eight employees working from a garage warehouse. The channel is now available in 190 countries with offices and news bureaus in key cities worldwide.