MANILA — “It’s Showtime” became the top trending topic on Twitter in the Philippines, as it kicked off Monday a full week of live episodes from Pampanga, amid prevailing lockdown measures that have shuttered its Quezon City studio.
Metro Manila reverted to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest of four lockdown levels, last Friday, August 6, amid the spike in COVID-19 cases here.
By Saturday, “It’s Showtime” broadcast live from a different studio outside the capital region, without yet identifying the production’s actual location.
The mystery whereabouts of the ABS-CBN program, as well as social media updates from hosts and staff showing their transport the day prior, prompted fans to come together and investigate, launching the playful hashtag #FindingShowtime.
Fittingly, with the location’s confirmation on Monday, the noontime show’s episode went with the official hashtag, #WeFoundShowtime.
In the opening minutes of the telecast, “It’s Showtime” mainstay Vice Ganda announced that they are holding daily live episodes from Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
The hosts thanked officials who helped ensure the security and safety of the production, including Sec. Karlo Nograles, who co-chairs the national task force on COVID-19; and Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vince Dizon.
Addressing the “madlang people,” or viewers of “It’s Showtime,” Vice Ganda said, “Naririto kami para maituloy-tuloy namin ang pagseserbisyo sa inyo nang live, dahil alam namin na lalo pa’t ECQ sa NCR, kailangang-kailangan pagaanin namin ang inyong kalooban, at pangitiin at aliwin at libangin namin kayo, para mabawasan kahit paano ang inyong mga pangamba at bigat sa pakiramdam.”
The episode proceeded with well-loved segments: “Reina ng Tahanan,” a pageant for mothers; and the trending “Madlang Pi-Poll,” a pioneering interactive game show which logged last Saturday over 62,000 home players.
As “It’s Showtime” aired live — the only noontime show to do so on Monday — its official hashtag #WeFoundShowtime became a top trend on Twitter, and at one point ranked first in the Philippine list.
Viewers lauded the ABS-CBN program for its commitment to serving its audience and managing to mount a live production, despite current limitations as well as the lasting impacts of the network’s franchise denial.
“It’s Showtime” airs Mondays to Saturdays and is broadcast via Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, iWantTFC, and TFC.