iFM: Filipino Gigolo

In 2002, GMA-7 relaunched itself as the Kapuso (roughly, “of the same heart”) network and started calling their talents and consumers kapuso. In 2003, ABS-CBN followed suit with their Kapamilya (roughly, “of the same family”).

Other stations and media outlets soon became ka-bandwagon and started calling their viewers and listeners kabarkada (“of the same gang”), kasambahay (“of the same household”) and kabagang (“of the same…you know what? They probably just made that up”).

The idea, I guess, is to create a false us-versus-them mentality in the Filipino media consumer, and to fake familiarity with a certain demographic. By inserting themselves into your social groups as a kabarkada, say, it is hoped that you’ll be more loyal to their brand.

Radio station iFM 93.9 takes the cake in manufacturing familiarity, though. It’s chosen moniker for its listeners: ka-jerjer.  Jerjer, as we know from our intensive training in linguistics, is Bisaya slang for having sex in a rather casual manner. It’s like the much-abused and cringe-inducing “sexy time” made so much worse by not being an actual word.

So, yeah, basically, iFM claims to have had sex with all their listeners.

We're still friends, right?

We're still friends, right?

And, really, that’s as good a reason as any to stick with iFM. Out of a sense of shame that you’re just one of thousands. Who knows what iFM will do when you leave? Laugh about your kinks over beers with his buddies, no doubt.

Their logo is slightly phallic, too.

Their logo is slightly phallic, too.

Could the station just have picked up the phrase without knowing what it meant? Hardly. Consider their slogan: Sa iFM Siguradong Enjoy Ka!! (With iFM, your enjoyment is guaranteed) which makes as much sense as a slogan for a gigolo (named iFM, I guess) as it does for a family-oriented radio station. Also consider that the station is owned by the Radio Mindanao Network, which is based in Mindanao, where they speak Bisaya.

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