Radio broadcasting in the Philippines was probably the first in Asia. According to Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez, “It began during the third decade of the American colonial period when American investments dominated commerce and business.”
“There is very little written about Philippine radio, very little about the history of broadcasting in the Philippines, because during the Second World War, most of our records were destroyed,” she added. Her study, entitled “Appropriation of Colonial Broadcasting: a History of Early Radio in the Philippines 1922-1946,” meticulously uses hard-to-find archival materials, oral histories, extant music and sound recordings, newspaper and magazines published during the period under study. She did a lot of research in the United States of America where she looked into the collections of the National Archives of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Maryland.
The Enriquez study further reveals that Filipinos at first imitated, or mimicked, American broadcasting, then subverted it through appropriation of its resources. Filipinos did not merely adapt to the foreign technology, language and culture, but made them their own to serve their needs.
Included in the project are sound clips of the first songs aired in Philippine radio from famed artists such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Judy Garland. Rare sound clips from local talents such as Jovita Fuentes, Bimbo Danao, Vicente Ocampo, Conchita Velez and Atang dela Rama are likewise included. A special feature is the poetry reading clips read by Jose Corazon de Jesus (a.k.a. Huseng Batute) himself.
Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez is currently the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs of the University of the Philippines at Diliman and an Associate Professor at the College of Mass Communication. Before joining UP Diliman, she worked for different broadcast stations such as DZBU, DZRP, Channel 4 and DZFX in various capacities such as announcer, scriptwriter, editor, producer, and most notably as broadcast journalist.