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 "Big Brother."
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 year.
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 Toni Gonzaga.
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
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 Big Brother.
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 Academy).
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.
On February 13, 2010 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, 132 days after the season started, Melisa Cantiveros was declared the Big Winner, amassing 1.23 million votes or 32.08% out of 3.8 million votes cast in a two-week final vote. She won the cash prize of a million pesos, a house and lot worth more than two million pesos, a 40-inch LCD TV screen, and a business franchise. She also won Asian tour package along with a companion in any three key Asian destinations. Her chosen charity, Substitute Home for Girls, also received a million pesos in cash.
On March 31, 2012, 154 days after the season started, at the Quirino Grandstand, Slater Young was declared the Big Winner, amassing 40.02% of votes cast in a two-day final vote. He thus earned the distinction of being the first male winner of a regular season four years after Ruben Gonzaga was declared as the first male winner of the entire franchise. Young took the cash prize of two million pesos plus other special prizes.