|Genre||Children's Edu-tainment, Comedy|
|Created by||Helena Harris
|Directed by||Mark Meily|
|Theme music composer||Chris Harriott|
|Opening theme||"Five in the Air"|
|Ending theme||"Five in the Air (Reprise)"|
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|No. of episodes||10 (as of June 25, 2015)|
|Executive producer(s)||Rose Camia
|Location(s)||TV5 Media Center Relliance, Mandaluyong City|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Kids Like Us
Southern Star Group
|Original channel||TV5 Network, Inc.|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Original release||June 15, 2015 – present|
|Related shows||Hi-5 House|
- Aira Binas
- Fred Lo
- Gerard Pangusan
- Alex Reyes
- Rissey Reyes
A more exciting and fun-filled learning experience awaits kids and their parents as TV5 launches Hi-5 Philippines, a local version of the award-winning Australian children’s edutainment program. Airing weekdays at 8:30 a.m. starting June 15, the show also features an all-Filipino cast, a first for the series franchise in Asia. The Hi-5 Philippines cast of Gerard Pagunsan, Aira Binas, Rissey Reyes, Alex Reyes, and Fred Lo are set to bring a Hi-5 House Party in every household as they interact with kids in both English and Filipino, inviting the young audience to sing and dance along to the show’s iconic songs and lessons.
The dynamic new quintet all boast of extensive backgrounds in performing arts and will now channel that energy to engage kids in music, imaginative play, social interaction, and developmental growth in a fun way. “With Hi-5 Philippines, we are very excited to bring the world-class edutainment experience closer to more Filipino kids. This is our way of not only showcasing world-class Filipino talent, but more importantly, helping shape our country’s future generations,” said Noel Lorenzana, TV5 president and CEO.
“We are proud to partner with Hi-5 World in introducing to millions of Filipino kids a local version of this highly interactive edutainment show. We are up to the challenge of producing the show that is at par with global standards,” said Jane Basas, Media 5 Corporation president. Launched in Australia in 1999, Hi-5 rapidly grew in popularity over the years. It has won three Logie Awards for Most Outstanding Children’s Program, five ARIA Awards for Best Children’s Album and five Australian DVD and Video Industry Awards, among other achievements. It was then that Hi-5 started expanding its reach by franchising the show across North America, Europe, Australasia, Latin America, and Asia.
However, this is the first time that the Hi-5 franchise assembled an entirely new cast for the localization of the show in Asia. The Filipino version of the musical group is currently one of the only two casts for Hi-5, the other one being the Australian cast.
Watch how the Hi-5 gang of Gerard, Aira, Rissy, Alex and Fred makes learning exciting and fun for kids through songs and dancing. Don’t miss Hi-5 Philippines, airing weekdays at 8:30 a.m. starting June 15, only on TV5.
“Hi-5″ on TV5? Sounds right!
“It’s the best children’s show in the world,” TV5 president and chief executive officer Noel C. Lorenzana said, referring to the highly popular Australian children’s show “Hi-5″. That’s all the justification the Happy Network needs in its recent acquisition of the show’s Philippine rights.
At a recent contract signing formalizing its partnership with “Hi-5″, TV5 was represented by Lorenzana, chief finance officer Anna Bengzon and chief entertainment content officer Wilma Galvante while Hi-5 was represented by Hi-5 world global sales and operation head Jaenani Netra and Hub Media chief Kevin Balhetchet.
The deal will see TV5 not just fortifying its children’s programming with the Aussie original but also gives it the license to produce a localized version. Enter “Hi-5 Philippines”.
Lorenzana said the network will adhere to the “style guide” set by the original “Hi-5″ that includes colorful sets, energetic song and dance numbers and lovable puppet characters Jup Jup and Chatterbox or simply Chats.
“Hi-5 is already a strong, successful brand that has been built through the years. So what do you do with strong brands? You capture its essence and don’t go against it. So yes, it will generally include the same familiar feel as well the same popular songs,” Lorenzana added.
Both Lorenzana and Hi-5’s Netra said that they are open to customization so anything can still happen, especially since Sienna Olaso, TV5 vice president for production finance and special projects, is also involved.
Olaso is best known to television viewers as Ate Sienna of “Batibot”, a localized version of “Sesame Street” that achieved much success during the 1980s and 1990s with its own characters like “Pong Pagong,” “Kiko Matsing”, “Manang Bola” and “Koko Kwik Kwak”.
Olaso believes it’s possible for “Hi-5 Philippines” to have its own local puppets down the road if the show’s popularity with Pinoy audiences is sustained.
For now, the localization of “Hi-5” starts with the casting of five Filipino hosts that TV5 and Hi-5 World representatives hope to find in its upcoming auditions scheduled this February 21 at Studio 5 in Novaliches, Quezon City and at TV5 Media Center in Reliance, Mandaluyong.
Galvante said the show is looking for boys and girls ages 16 to 24 years old. Asked if interested stars of other networks are welcome to audition, the network executive stressed that the auditions are open to everyone who meets the age requirements.
Speaking in behalf of Hi-5, Netra said that as part of efforts to promote the show’s Philippine version and boost the Hi-5 brand in the country, “Hi-5 Philippines” will host meet and greet activities and concerts that will also feature the Australian hosts who are warmly greeted almost every time they come to visit here.
Netra added that Hi-5 is also planning to bring its own Hi-5 House of Learning preschool to the country. The preschool, which advocates the show’s popular “learning the fun way” concept, was successfully launched in Malaysia only last December.
TV5 has launched “Hi-5 Philippines,” a local version of the popular Australian children educational program, which will have as host several talented young Pinoys in Gerard Pagunsan, Aira Binas, Rissey Reyes, Alex Reyes and Fred Lo.
Before joining “Hi-5,” Gerard used to host events for kids and families in his native Bacolod.
“I also have a theatre background. Nakasama ako dito kasama ang aking karanasan sa pagtatanghal sa entablado. Mahilig akong kumanta at sumayaw. Madalas ko rin nakakasama ang aking mga nakababatang mga kapatid sa aming church communities, sa school community. Dahil doon ay nagkaroon ako ng love sa ganitong klase ng plataporma,” Gerard said.
Aira came from the foreign service industry, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion for acting and singing.
“Nagko-commercial modeling ako dati, doon ako nag-start. Mahilig talaga ako sa mga bata. Gusto ko napapasaya ko sila. Nag-start ako sa mga pinsan ko, nagpapatawa ako. Gusto ko na makita silang tumatawa. Kinukulit ko sila, pinapantayan ko ’yung energy nila. So, doon siguro nag-start ’yung hilig ko. So, ginawa ko ’yung best ko para makasama sa ‘Hi-5’,” Aira said.
An Anthropology major, Rissey also teaches musical theater at Miriam College. She has acted in several plays staged by Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).
“Buong college at high school life ko ay nagti-teatro ako. Karamihan ng ginawa ko ay para sa PETA. So, mostly musical theater for children,” she said.
Alex joined 9 Works Theatrical and Repertory Philippines before she became part of “Hi-5 Philippines.”
“I love kids. I have nephews and nieces that I always sing to. Lagi ko silang pinapatulog at sumasayaw kami,” Alex said.
Just like the rest of the casts, Fred has been doing theater for five years already.
“I also teach musical theater to kids through Trumpets Playshop. So that started my interest for ‘Hi-5.’ All my pamangkins, they love ‘Hi-5.’ There’s really something about the show that attracts me to it.”
The Filipino cast members admitted to watching the original version of the show and they even have their own favorite hosts.
“I grew up watching the very first ‘Hi-5’ cast. Si Kathleen (de Leon Jones), siya ’yung pinaka-familiar ako,” Aira said.
Rissey, on her part, said, “I have been watching ‘HI-5’ shows because of my nephew Coco. He’s crazy for ‘Hi-5.’ Even before pa ako mag-audition sa ‘Hi-5.’ na-memorize ko na ’yung mga songs. My favorite member is Fely (Irvine).”
“I try to emulate Stevie (Nicholson),” Fred said.
Each of the Filipino cast members has his or her own segment. Gerard does music using different materials at home; Aira teaches kids with word play; Rissey keeps kids active with body movements; Fred makes shapes and space more interesting; and Alex encourages kids to be creative with puzzles and patterns.
Gerard, Aira, Rissey, Alex and Fred bested some 400 people who auditioned as hosts for the show, according to TV5 Vice President for Production Finance and Special Projects Sienna Olaso.
“Siyempre kailangan magaling kumanta, magaling sumayaw and may certain character na maamo or magugustuhan ng mga bata, dapat very sincere ka – iyon ’yung mga qualities na hinanap namin. Kailangan ’yung sincerity andoon, nakikita mo. It has to come naturally. Dapat ang disposisyon mo ay masaya,” ("Of course, we need a best singer, best dancer, and a certain character that is gentle or loved by children, you need to be very sincere - that is the qualities we need. The sincerity that we need, you see. That will come naturally. You should have a happy disposition.") Olaso said.
“Hi-5 Philippines” will add a unique Filipino flavor to the show. They will also showcase Filipino songs.
“‘Hi-5’ is a global brand. Based on the direction of the management, we will to stick to what it is known for. But we will have Filipino influences thrown in. Like sa ‘Hi-5’ world, pinag-uusapan ’yung 7 Wonders of the World. Kami, we’ll use local references like the Chocolate Hills. We also have a barrio fiesta theme,” she said.
“Hi-5” airs weekdays at 8:30 a.m. on TV5.
- Chatterbox (Chats)