Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The presenters on the Filipino radio station TAG 91.1 include, left to right, Louaaeeeeise da Costa, Joselito Bluebird Echivarria, Jonaphine 'Maria Maldita' Caraan and Nathalia Junbie 'Chikay' Cermino. Courtesy TAG 91.1
The presenters on the Filipino radio station TAG 91.1 include, left to right, Louaaeeeeise da Costa, Joselito Bluebird Echivarria, Jonaphine 'Maria Maldita' Caraan and Nathalia Junbie 'Chikay' Cermino.
Courtesy TAG 91.1

New Pinoy radio channel makes waves in the UAE

Ferdinand Godinez talks to Louise da Costa, one of the Filipino stations ebullient presenters.

Music brings people together. And for the thousands of Filipinos living in the UAE, homegrown songs remind them of anything that is distinctly Pinoy – from the jeepney (passenger vehicle) to halo-halo (shaved-ice dessert) to adobo (meat in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and garlic) – and the smiles of loved ones who are thousands of miles away.

And this is exactly what inspired the founding of the country’s first radio station that is devoted to the large and still-growing Filipino expatriate community.

TAG 91.1 was the product of long and meticulous planning by the Arabian Radio Network (ARN) group, which was looking to tap into an enormous yet overlooked market in the country’s widely varied demographics.

“ARN has spent more than two years conducting wide-ranging -research to determine the under-served communities,” explains Louise da Costa, one of the station’s stable of presenters.

Brought over from Virgin Radio where she was dubbed the station’s “Filipina Queen”, da Costa joined the fledgling station to boost its young staff.

The station has an all--Filipino team and the management made it a point to visit the Philippines to scout for the right talent to represent its new project.

Studying Manila’s radio scene, ARN representatives zeroed in on the presenters from the country’s three leading stations. A Filipino music manager and a production manager were also hired.

In hindsight, the station is a grand offshoot of the 10pm to 6am Filipino radio programme heard over the past five years on Dubai Eye 103.8.

“Nearly 645,000 Filipinos live in the UAE and because of the strong demand, developing TAG 91.1 was a natural choice for ARN,” explains da Costa.

The Filipino community has welcomed the new station and social networking sites are already spreading the news. In fact, TAG 91.1 had more than 5,000 visits on its website during its debut broadcast on March 25. “Hundreds of thousands of listeners have already interacted with this programme,” says da Costa. “It has 10,000 Facebook likes, a number that is increasing by the minute.”

TAG 91.1 is also a multi-platform radio station: it broadcasts 24 hours a day, is online at www.tag911.ae, has dedicated iPhone, Android, Nokia and BlackBerry apps and a built-in player on all Samsung Smart -televisions.

The station’s line-up includes music, celebrity gossip, games and news, all dished out in a distinctly Pinoy fashion.

artslife@thenational.ae


twitter Follow us @LifeNationalUAE

Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National