Dial a number, listen to Philippine radio…

radio 2By Maricar CP Hampton

And get swept away by nostalgia as you listen to news commentators and Filipino music the way you remember them back home.

The experience is called Radyo Tambuli, a ‘virtual’ radio station that delivers news, music and public service direct from the Philippines.

Intrigued by this latest rollout from the Philippine Embassy, I dialed 415-638-5777 and was able to access Filipino programming. I felt like I was back home, except that I had the radio on my iPhone.

With four options, the listener gets to choose from four menus. I chose the option that offered headlines with Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the news. There was a Department of Foreign Affairs announcement on free visas for certain countries, a health warning in the Middle East, a news brief on Daly City Council Member Rey Buenaventura eyeing a post as superior court judge, and of course, the peso-dollar exchange rate.

The Pinoy music option blared songs like “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako” by Rey Valera, “Kanlungan” by Noel Cabangon and the very popular “Tuloy Pa Rin” by the Neocolors.

There was also a talk show-type program where listeners can share their comments through a call-in survey.

With this latest project, the embassy hopes to reach out to the more than 3.4 million members of the Filipino-American community throughout the U.S. using what is known as a “call-to-listen platform” developed by AudioNow, a Washington D.C.-based company.

“We hope that with Radyo Tambuli, we would be able to bridge the distance between the Philippines and our kababayans here in the United States who are hungry for news about home,” Minister and Consul General Ariel Peñaranda said in a statement.

Radyo Tambuli was developed by AudioNow, which owns and operates the world’s largest call-to-listen platform.

“Radyo Tambuli is part of AudioNow’s social mission to help connect the diaspora to news, information and entertainment from sources they trust,” said AudioNow CEO Elan Blutinger.

He added that Radyo Tambuli joins AudioNow’s more than 1,600 broadcast partners around the world including the United Nations, BBC, Voice of America, and C-SPAN.

Although most mobile phone subscribers in the U.S. have unlimited airtime, Blutinger advised listeners to check their voice plans to find out if they have unlimited minutes and when charges may apply.

This article was originally published in The FilAm Metro D.C.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: