Friday, July 03, 2015

The History of Radio in the Philippines

Edmundo A. Reyes wrote the book  The History of Amateur Radio in the Philippines. His original call sign was KA10R, his last one was DU10R. The book is both a history of Ham radio in the Philippines, and his autobiography.  It was published in 1974 and runs for 233 delightfully arcane pages. I don't know what the size of the printing was, but the only U.S. Library I can find with a copy is Yale. That image below is from the Old Old Timers Club, (OOTC) which is how I have the below image.

Reyes first began broadcasting in 1933. At the time there were only a handful of commercial radio stations on air in the Philippines. The first was KZKZ-AM, which began broadcasting from Manila in 1922 on 729 kHz. It was owned by Henry Hermann, the owner of an Electrical Supply Company. It started out at 5 watts, and by 1924 was operating at 100 watts when it was sold to the Radio Corporation of the Philippines (RCP).  They in turn launched KZRC-AM in Cebu in 1929 broadcasting with a 100-watt transmitter. In 1926 RCP began working on a Manila-San Francisco service.  KZRH may have signed on in 1933, but other sources claim 1939. But those are commercial stations. There was still radio before that.

In a 1920 Commercial and Government Radio Stations of the U.S. report I found the below list. Most list multiple frequencies. All were owned by the Philippine Insular Government. In other words, the radio band was already hopping by 1933 when Eduardo got his ham license.
  • KPB - (600,1000 Mhz) - Amuguis, PI
  • KEW - (600, 1200 Mhz) - Balabac PI
  • KZAB - (600, 1200, 1500, 1800, and 2400 Mhz) - Basco, PI 
  • KEO - (600, 952 Mhz) - Bongao, PI
  • KPC - (3000 Mhz) - Batangas, PI
  • KEV - (750 Mhz) - Cagayan de Sulu, PI
  • KPI  - (600, 1200 Mhz) - Cebu, PI
  • KPJ  - (600, 1200 Mhz) - Culion, PI
  • KIF  -  (600, 1200 Mhz) - Davao, PI
  • KPM - (600,1200 Mhz) - Hoilo, PI
  • KPN  - (200 Mhz) -Isabela de Basilan, PI
  • KIL  - (600, 1200, 1900 Mhz) - Jolo, PI 
  • KPZ - (600, 952 Mhz) - Mati, PI
  • KIZ  - (600, 1200 Mhz) -Malabang, PI
  • KPV - (600,900 Mhz) - Malangas, PI
  • KPW - (600, 1200 Mhz) - Malita, PI
  • KPX - (600, 952, 1200 Mhz) - Port Lebak, PI
  • KIV - (600, 1200 Mhz) - Puerto Princesa, PI
  • KIY - (600, 1200 Mhz) -San Jose, PI
  • KPY - (300, 600 Mhz) - San Francisco, PI
  • KED - (600 Mhz) - Siasi, PI
  • KIW - (1220 Mhz) - Zamboanga, PI


While Reyes book is reputed to be the best, it is not the only book about radio history specific to the Philippines.  Nonetheless, it's a tome I need to add to the library at some point. There are still a handful of other notables:
  • The History and Development of the Radio Control Office - Judith Guthertz (1972)
  • Stay Tuned: The Golden Years of Philippine Radio - Ben Ancieto (2007)
  • Radyo: An Essay on Philippine Radio - Elizabeth Enriquez (2008)