Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fast skipping beats dance from the speakers as the audience clap and scream for the host of Wowowee. Beautiful dancers glide across the stage to welcome the audience and camera. Wowowee is a game show that has captured the attention of the Filipino community in the Philippines and worldwide since its premiere three years ago.

Broadcasting every evening, Wowowee serves to connect Filipino media to entertainment from around the world, especially to the American mainstream. The master of ceremony Willie Revillame speaks to contestants in English and Tagalog, which is one of the major languages of the Republic of Philippines. On an episode, Willie indirectly points out the integration of American language into Filipino medium.

Willie: You do not know?
Contestant: I do not know.
Willie: You do not know how to speak English?
Contestant: No, I do not know how to speak English (spoken in English).

English is essential for contestants to understand the show since some music featured is performed in English. During Questune, a segment of the show where a keyboardist plays a portion of the song, contestants must name the song correctly in order to win. Additional points are given to those who can sing the song correctly. Often, the songs are popular American songs that most contestants know.

Wowowee serves an extended network of viewers. Broadcasting from Quezon City, Philipines, the game show reaches many countries and allows the community of viewers to feel connected. The shared language and entertainment across television sets provides a sense of security to those who might feel distant and disconnected.

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