Radio gaga: A chat with the Filipino team at Tag 91.1

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Kristine abante talks to the all-star filipino team at tag 91.

they are with you late at night when you get home tired from work and are missing your family back home. they are up early in the morning with upbeat tunes and witty banter. they share jokes and chikka (entertaining stories) at mid-day to keep you updated with the latest from the philippines. in fact driving down shaikh zayed road doesn’t feel so different from driving in manila upon hearing their familiar voices on air speaking in tagalog or the more colloquial mix of ‘taglish’ (tagalog-english).

a constant companion and a sweet reminder of home - that is what the filipino radio jocks at tag 91.1 represent for over 600000 filipino expats living and working in the uae.

bluebird louie da costa chikay maria maldita and bob kebab are the pioneering cast of presenters at the middle east’s first and only filipino radio broadcast station. launched in march 2013 the rjs along with seasoned music and production managers were flown in from top-rated radio networks in manila to dubai to complement the all-star filipino team broadcasting on the arn network.

city times brings you the quirky personalities behind the voices that dish out the best of original filipino music daily.


bluebird or daddy blue to some of his old-time listeners hails from cebu southern phillipines. originally a broadcast engineer before becoming a full-pledged rj he worked as technical support producer and presenter for the filipino rhythm show aired on dubai eye 103.8 from 2005 until january 2013. he currently hosts tag 91.1’s breakfast show ‘magandang u-maga’ with the perky louie da costa every 5am until 10am sunday to thursday.

describe a day in your life as a tag 91.1 presenter.

i start my day saying magandang umaga (good morning) to everybody on air and then proceed with playing the hits for our 5-hour morning show. after that i work on preparations for the next day’s programme and on the way home i stroll by the mall.

what genre of music do you like ?

i like classic rock ballads and of course love songs. we filipinos are very romantic!

which song would you pick for a karaoke session?

i love to sing some standard songs like my way and an affair to remember.

what’s the best part of being an rj?

being loved by almost everybody.

if you can interview any celeb on your show who would it be?

i wish i can interview manny pacquiao on our show (filipino champion boxer).

what is your favourite expression in tagalog ?

“weee di nga? “ (oh is it true?)


nathalia junbie cermino also known as ‘chikay’ has been a presenter since she was 19. admittedly she did not start out as a big music fan but eventually learned to love radio. she used to work with one of the largest networks in the philippines abscbn as a dj and traffic correspondent before joining the all-star team at tag 91.1. chikay dishes out pop music along with daily gossip every sundays to thursdays from 10am to 3pm.

are you a morning or evening person?

i am an in between! i don’t like waking up so early that i have to ask someone to drag me out of the room to move so my time slot is perfect!

if you had to sing in a contest what song would it be?

on my own by lea salonga.

who are your top three favourite musicians/artists ?

lea salonga selena and shakira.

what’s the craziest thing you’ve said/done on air?

i was talking off air and forgot that the mic was turned on. it happens so many times. poor me now the world know some of my secrets!

if you were a filipino dish what would you be?

my all time favourite kare-kare creamy yummy and interesting!

if you can interview any celeb on your show who would it be?

ian somerhalder of the vampire diaries.

your favourite expression in tagalog ?


louie da costa

born in the philippines and raised in the uae louie da costa is a veteran radio presenter who started her career as an rj in manila. she was virgin radio’s first locally hired presenter in 2005. now she hosts the breakfast show gandang u-maga on tag 91.1 every weekday morning from 5-10am.

describe a day in your life as a tag 91.1 presenter.

fun packed but tiring! i get up around 4am to kick off the day with lots of laughs from 5am to 10am. even when the mics are off bluebird and i are cracking jokes as we prep for future shows. then i’d be busy with mommy duties and every once in a while squeeze in a few meetings before i wind down in front of the tv with the hubby around midnight. so you can just imagine how much sleep i get...or don’t get.

which song would you pick for a karaoke session?

i’d choose some upbeat classic like i will survive- that way everyone would start singing with me and i won’t have to worry about people hearing me mess up the song!

what’s the funniest thing you’ve said/done on air?

often our bloopers are the funniest...like when the mic’s switch on and my mouth’s still stuffed with food or when we try to translate a song on air (while singing it) and it just sounds so wrong.

the best part of being an rj?

personally i love giving away prizes. of course the music’s great but there’s just this amazing feeling you get when a listener wins a prize that they really wanted. sometimes we’d even get to help our listeners and your heart just swells when you hear that genuine “thank you so much.”

bob kebab

the latest entry to the tag 91.1 team bob kebab was invited over for an audition for a voice over commercial. impressed by his talent the station learnt that he had 7 years of experience as a radio presenter in the philippines. bob kebab hosts late night from 10pm to 2am.

how has life changed after a year with tag 91.1?

now it’s more challenging with the team preparing a whole lot of new ideas and promos for the listening pleasure of pinoys in the uae.

what genre of music do you like?

i am brown but sometimes i feel more of a black guy so i like a lot of hip hop and rnb.

if you had to pick a song for a singing contest...

it would be let me love you by neyo or i love you too by usher.

your three favourite musicians?

michael jackson neyo and usher.

what’s the best part of being an rj in dubai?

the best part is i can give back to my fellow filipinos. knowing that they are happy with what we do here is just heaven for me.

are you a morning or evening person ?

evening coz i like it when it’s quiet plus the internet is faster at night!

what’s your favourite tagalog expression ?

“anak ng tinapay” which means son of a bread hahahahah.

what is the best thing about being a filipino?

the best thing is we are not afraid of hard work and we are very resourceful.

maria maldita

maria maldita is a 27-year old communications major of de la salle university–dasmarinas. she hails from laguna philippines. bubbly and full of energy it was always her dream to be a presenter. the moniker ‘maria maldita’ was her air-name at yes fm one of the top rated stations in manila before moving to dubai to host the drive time programme ‘uwian na’ daily from 4pm to 8pm on tag 91.1.

describe a typical day in your life.

a typical day for me will be wake up eat lunch watch tv replays to prepare for my programme go to work then go home at 9 or 10pm and if i still have time i exercise or watch movie read a book or magazines.

what genre of music do you like ?

i’m into love songs pop rnb and a little bit of alternative songs.

which song would you chose to sing for a contest?

if you’re willing to hear me sing then it would be roar by katy perry.

who are your top three favourite musicians?

i love katy perry karmin and jed madela (filipino singer)

where is your favourite hang out spot in dubai?

dubai mall and mall of the emirates. i just love the malls!

what’s the craziest thing you’ve done on air?

the craziest thing i’ve done on air was to eat while talking and then i needed to remove the food that got stuck between my teeth and telling the listeners about it! gross!

what’s the best part of being an rj in dubai?

going to a lot of events and bringing a part of my country here to dubai making my kabayans less homesick. it’s like they’re just at home listening to the radio.

if you were a filipino dish what would you be?

adobo so that i will be everybody’s favourite dish and you’ll be asking for more!

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.