Pinoy Big Brother is the Philippine version of the reality television show Big
Brother (the word Pinoy is a colloquial term for Filipino). It follows the same
premise as its many foreign counterparts around the world: twelve Philippine
residents are forced to live with each other inside a house for about 100 days
(extended to another 12 days for the first season due to inefficient scheduling
of nomination and eviction of housemates in the first week). It is shown on
ABS-CBN Channel 2 and its international affiliate, The Filipino Channel, with
snippets shown on local affiliate Studio 23. The uncut 24/7 version of the
series can also be seen on the internet through streaming video and a special
cable channel provided by ABS-CBN-owned cable TV provider, SkyCable.
The elimination process in the show is the reverse of the original Dutch format.
At the start of the elimination process, the "housemates" (as the contestants
are referred to) vote for which two (sometimes more if there are ties) fellow
housemates they should eliminate. Once these nominations are chosen, the viewer
votes come into play. For a week viewers are asked to vote, via SMS or voice
messaging through PLDT's hotline, for whoever they wanted to stay longer in the
house. The housemate with the least viewer votes is eliminated. In the final
week, the one with the most viewer votes will win the grand prize package worth
six million pesos (approx. $111,000) all-in-all, including the one-million peso
cash prize (about $18,000), a house and lot of his/her own, a Nissan Frontier,
an entertainment component system, a Yamaha motorcycle, and a livelihood
showcase just for the first season alone. The second season adds an overseas
tour package to the list of prizes.
Other essential elements of the Big Brother franchise are present, such as
weekly and daily challenges, the confessional room, and the voice known only as
The first series started with a grand entrance party on August 21, 2005, with
the first primetime episode airing the next night. The finale was held December
10 of the same year, 111 days after. The second series has begun its run on
February 25, 2007, and its finale was held 126 days later on June 30 the same
Television host and comedian Willie Revillame hosted the show, together with TV
personalities Toni Gonzaga and Mariel Rodriguez. Toni hosts the primetime
telecast which chronicles the events of the day before (unless an episode is
telecast live). Mariel, on the other hand, hosts the late night edition called
Pinoy Big Brother: Uplate, which updates anything viewers missed in the
primetime telecast, as well as what to look forward in the next one. Willie
hosts the live telecast of the eviction and the public revelation of the
nomination for evictees.
Asia Agcaoili spearheaded the show for the viewers of Studio 23. Her show,
called Pinoy Big Brother on Studio 23: Si Kuya, KaBarkada Mo (English: Pinoy Big
Brother: Eldest Brother Is Your Buddy), not only featured snippets from the
primetime telecast the night before, but also featured opinion polls both from
the man on the street and those sending SMS, spoof segments, unaired videos, and
feed from inside the house (either live feed or footage taped earlier).
Talk show host Boy Abunda hosted the post-season documentaries. It featured
issues and controversies about the housemates.
The show also had its theme song called "Pinoy Ako" (English: I'm a Filipino) by
Orange and Lemons. This song is also the basis for much of the background music
used in the show.
Luis Manzano took over Willie's place for the Celebrity Edition. The theme song
in that edition was Sikat ang Pinoy by season 1 contestant Sam Milby and host
On its Teen Edition, Bianca Gonzalez (a TV host and a former housemate of the
Celebrity Edition) took over Mariel Rodriguez for the Teen Edition Update and
UpLate, while the latter became the main host, replacing Toni Gonzaga. The theme
song is "Kabataang Pinoy" (Filipino Youth) by Itchyworms. The house was
renovated for the preparation for the Teen Edition by the students of the
Philippine School of Interior Design.
To prepare the viewers for the program's run, two primers were aired. The first
was Eto na si Kuya! (Here Comes Eldest Brother), which talked about the
essentials of the franchise and its success around the world.
In the second primer, entitled Ang Bahay ni Kuya (Eldest Brother's House),
Mariel and Toni indirectly gave the viewers a tour of the Big Brother house and
its rooms, along with the control center and the confession booth. It also
featured highlights a dry run where 12 of the network's talents stayed in the
house for 24 hours and experienced the challenges and tests the housemates would
experience at the start of the actual run.
The house is actually located in front of the ABS-CBN studios in Quezon City.
The clips, therefore, that show the housemates boarding vehicles to go to the
ABS-CBN studios for interviews while not technically evicted are a hoax.
The car was used to transfer the evicted housemate from the Big Brother house to
the main building of ABS-CBN. Due to the number of people gathered outside to
watch the eviction, it would be rather unsafe for the housemate to walk to the
nearby building. Of course, the car can't go inside the building.
It is designed with walls painted with pastel colors. It also has a garden and
swimming pool. It also boasts of a multi-faith altar in one wall of the house
(one which has a Bible, a Koran, and twelve rosaries), making the house the only
Big Brother house that has a room set aside for religious purposes (although it
is said that the Arab Big Brother house had prayer rooms). And although any form
of communication from the outside world is banned inside the house, there is a
large flat-screen television set in the living room, used for only 2 purposes:
To show any video Big Brother wants to show to any or all housemates, especially
that of the TV mass every Sunday (contrary to reports early in the first season
that a priest would visit them; later on, a priest unseen by viewers visits
them), and To announce the names of nominees for eviction directly to the
housemates and the person evicted from the house. (The housemates see either
host Willie Revillame (prior to the Teen Edition) Mariel Rodriguez or Toni
Gonzaga (prior to the Teen Edition) Bianca Gonzalez talk to them during
nomination and eviction nights.)
To complete the set up, 26 surveillance cameras are positioned all over the
house to watch the housemates' every move, including the bathroom. For modesty's
sake, however, images from the bathroom will be shown if the bathroom is used
for any purpose other than bathing (such as gossiping).
The set up of the house, especially when shown on television, makes the illusion
that it is a one-story house. But anybody who passes by it can easily notice
that its facade is that of a two-story house. That is because the second story
houses parts of the control room. The actual front doors to the house area are
actually further inside.
Nene Tamayo of Romblon emerged as Pinoy Big Brother's first ever Big Winner,
besting the other 12 housemates. Her win was declared on December 10, 2005, at
Clark Expo, Angeles City, Pampanga. Nene garnered the highest number of votes
(557,000+) among the "big four" contestants.
A 56-day celebrity version was started on February 5, 2006, known as Pinoy Big
Brother: Celebrity Edition.
The celebrity version is not confined only to showbiz idols. Celebrities who
auditioned include athletes, stand-up comedians, ramp and commercial models,
musicians, and TV personalities. Of these, fourteen were chosen for the
edition's first run.
On April 1, 2006 at the facade of Central Post Office Building in Manila,
starlet Keanna Reeves was declared the winner of Celebrity Edition, garnering
the highest number of votes among the "Big 4" finalists. Reeves surpassed
Tamayo's vote total during the first season.
A second celebrity edition is currently in the works, slated to start in the
fourth quarter of 2007.
A teen version of Pinoy Big Brother, Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition, was shown
in the Philippine "summer months" of April and May, when children and teenagers
take their vacation from school. This edition premiered on April 23, roughly
three weeks after the end of the Celebrity Edition and ran for six weeks. It
featured teenagers aged from 16 to 18 years old as housemates.
Auditions in Cebu City, Davao City, and Metro Manila were held and according to
ABS-CBN, 30,000 teens answered the audition call.  Of these, twelve are
selected; eight come from the Manila auditions while the remaining four
represent the Visayas-Mindanao area.
On June 3, 2006 at the Aliw Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex
in Pasay City, Kim Chiu of Cebu, was declared the winner of Pinoy Big Brother:
Teen Edition, besting 13 other housemates. Kim garnered 626,562 votes, or 41.4%
of the total votes.
ABS-CBN held auditions stretching from May to June 2006 in various cities in the
Philippines, as well as overseas auditions in Sydney, Milan, Tokyo, Dubai, and
San Francisco, for the show's second season, which began on February 25
(originally scheduled for March), 2007, and ended on June 30 the same year.
These same auditions were also held for another reality show, Pinoy Dream
Academy, also a franchise from Endemol. This season of Pinoy Big Brother
promised a bigger house, more housemates (fourteen to be exact), and a stricter
A billboard advertising the second season.The "bigger house" concept stems from
the fact that the house area was expanded and used in Pinoy Dream Academy. The
house had been expanded with larger living and dining areas, larger bedrooms,
separate restrooms, and more. The number of cameras had been increased from 27
to 42 and the front doors of the house were now at the garden, leading to the
eviction hall built next door (the auditorium previously used in Pinoy Dream
Academy). Previously the original front doors of the house area lead to the
facade of the house.
Pinoy Ako had also been rehashed, this time sung by the band CeBaLo (Yvan
Lambatan, Panky Trinidad, Eman Abatayo, and Davey Langit of Pinoy Dream
On June 30, 2007 (126 days after the season premiere), at the Araneta Coliseum,
Beatriz Saw was declared the Big Winner of the second season, besting 17 other
housemates (13 official and 4 sub-official). She garnered about 1.5 million
votes, or 30.29% of the total number of votes. This alone surpasses Kim Chiu's
record for the most number of votes earned by a Big Winner.