What you see is what you get
After a number of missed and miffed attempts, we were finally able to watch Baste Duterte’s new travel and adventure show, “Lakbai,” on TV5 last Sunday, June 4. So, what and how did it shape out to be?
On the plus side, Baste is a winningly natural program host, no “presidential scion” airs at all—what you see is what you get.
It helps that he’s roguishly good-looking without having to do anything unusual or unusually ingratiating, just to please the peanut gallery.
On the debit side, however, the “spontaneous” projection soon feels insufficient to keep viewers fixated on the show.
Baste is sometimes too rough and raw to make us feel that we’re in good hosting hands, with too many moments being frittered away in overly “wala lang” and “aw-shucks” hijinks.
Making the situation even less focused is the fact that Baste is surrounded by a barkada of similarly rough and ready—and loud—men who come across like overgrown boys out for fun and games, and with a roving eye for the “chicks.”
The show would have done better if Baste’s barkada were more varied in age and type. As for the female “eye candy” in the telecast, they were young models who were too insistently ditzy to make for comfy and fun viewing.
Despite these low and unfocused moments, we ended up enjoying and appreciating parts of “Lakbai,” because it featured aquatic locales and natural reserves in the Dumaguete area that were big on beauty and conservation.
This is what Baste and his new show can do best—use his love for adventure and his special clout and cachet to focus viewers’ attention and interest, not just on telegenically tourist-y sights and sites, but most especially on the urgent need to conserve our threatened natural resources.
While we appreciated parts of the “Lakbai” telecast, we were disappointed by its musical component.
We’d heard that Baste was a rocker in Davao and even had a band, but a scene in the show set in a karaoke dive had him belting or growling out a song or two—and he wasn’t in good voice.
To make things worse, one of the model-babes with him insisted on singing along with him, and she was an even more strident musical caution—and consternation.
We feel that Baste’s musical “backstory” should be a key part of his effort to prove that he “deserves” to have a show biz career.
So, another telecast of “Lakbai” should focus on showcasing his singing more clearly and cleanly, so that it can add to his “K” and appeal—no more strident karaoke capers, please.
It would also be great if Baste can feature, not just the travel and adventure plus points of the locales he features, but also their unique folk traditions, crafts and arts.
It would all add up to a varied and beautifully compelling tapestry of what our amazing archipelago has to offer, particularly the places that have yet to be discovered and appreciated by the teeming tourist throng.
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