Some fans online once wondered “Whatever happened to JM Rodriguez?” It was only recently when I learned about my cousin, JM Rodriguez, as a pop culture reference personified prior to becoming a regular in the events’ scene. I am referring to the fan base he has established when he worked in ABC5, the former network name of TV5. In case you don’t remember that era anymore, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Who is JM Rodriguez?
There was this comedy program on ABC5 called “On Air”. Produced by Ideal Minds Corporation, one of the block-timers for the said network, it featured people doing stuff in front of a camera whether for fame or just to send several greetings to the world. (It occasionally includes “Hoy! Magbayad ka na ng utang mo!” and similar announcements) The program was hosted by JM Rodriguez. As you may now realize, long before there was “Web Soup”, there was “On Air”. Main difference is that the people are just doing it for kicks in front of a camera inside a booth probably in a mall, not in front of a webcam connected to some gadget. JM Rodriguez’ “studio” consisted of a green screen that popped up that animated TV. That may have been the inspiration behind TV5’s former slogan “Shake Mo TV Mo”.
Being a host, JM Rodriguez managed to popularize some expressions on his program in between clips of ordinary people goofing in front of a camera. Sometimes they get used in comments about the clips themselves. A few of the expressions are as follows:
This is an abbreviated term for “astig” which is actually a “reversed” pronunciation of the word “tigas” (hard or tough). “Astig” is a Tagalog slang often attributed to people deemed badass. JM Rodriguez would then greet his viewers for a time with /’stig/ every time he gets to read a comment that found to be badass.
“Muzta” (with a /z/) is short for “kumusta”, a Tagalized form of the original Spanish greeting “Como esta”. JM Rodriguez would mention this either at the beginning of the program or after reading the name of a viewer that send his or her comment through SMS and printed on paper.
– Steady Lang
“Steady Lang” is JM Rodriguez’s response whenever it’s the viewers’ turn to greet him “Muzta”. It literally means “just steady” which is a way to say “I’m good”. He would say it while waving his hands sideways with the palms facing the floor. Think of some rappers expressing how everything is under control by swiping their hands sideways.
It’s like “Muzta” except that it was an expression derived from “What’s happening?”, commonly heard in some parties when something badass is going on. If ever there was an expression that served as a premonition to the kind of career shift that would happen to JM Rodriguez, it might be this.
JM Rodriguez turned out to be such a memorable host because he’s really, really funny to the point of letting his viewers make fun of him too. Just mention his nose. For viewers of “On Air” that loved sending their comments by SMS, one surefire way to catch his attention is by mentioning his nose. Both viewers/commenters and booth semi-regulars would end up talking about his nose whenever they run out of punchlines. On the other hand, it does not look bad. Maybe it’s more about the person and less about the nose. Still, it doesn’t make him any less adorable.
Occasionally during or after the “On Air” stint, JM Rodriguez would be seen at the Sunday variety show “ASAP” singing with other talents of the program. Apart from gigs like this, he gets invited to concerts like “The Music of Dreams” by ABS-CBN and the Ayala Foundation. No wonder it turned out to be a pleasant surprise to see him in the Sundance Audience Choice Award-winner “Metro Manila“.
But JM Rodriguez really proved his mettle in organizing events. Feedback is good regarding his bars Prive and 12 Monkeys. There is life after “On Air” after all since he enjoys life the way he plans his events. He has a career after hosting a show that developed a cult following. He’s one of the reasons why that experimental program was a hit to begin with. For a multi-talented man, he then found his niche in the bar scene. Partying as a career? He’s the guy.
In case it’s been awhile since you sent JM Rodriguez comments about “On Air” even if it’s more than a decade since the show folded up, you can still tell him what you think on Twitter and on Instagram. Much better if you try coming over to his establishments. You might end up meeting more people too. Just know how to hold your drink. Everyone would thank you for it.
Hopefully I get to be in one of those bars one day. You get to know it first if you are following me on my social media accounts, Kuya Manzano Fan Club on Facebook and @kuyamanzano on Twitter. It can be any reason like an awesome event that JM Rodriguez himself organized. Who knows? I’d be expecting your comments on social media. Gracias!