Philippine Music: Comprehending The Idiocy Of A Platinum Album

Jovit Baldivino: Platinum Album Awardee

Jovit Baldivino: Platinum Album Awardee

Just recently, I read about how Pilipinas Got Talent winner Jovit Baldivino received a platinum status for his debut album entitled Faithfully. According to ABS-CBN news, because of Baldivino’s recent success in reaching platinum, ABS-CBN will now host a major concert featuring Jovit Baldivino at the Aliw Theater on November 13.

Performing with Jovit Baldivino are the likes of Yeng Constantino, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Kim Chiu and Sam Milby as special guests.

OK – so what does a platinum album really mean in the Philippines? In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) declares an album reaches gold status when it has sold more than 500,000 copies. It reaches platinum status when the album has sold more than 1,000,000 copies. That’s in the United States.

Here in the Philippines, the equivalent body of the US RIAA is the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI). Now, the PARI has its own set of rules. The PARI awards a gold status to an album if it has sold 10,000 copies, and it awards platinum status if the album has sold 20,000 copies.

20,000 copies for a platinum album? That’s a far cry from the global standard of 1 million. Those 20,000 copies can be easily bought out by the recording company. In the case of Jovit Baldivino, it is plausible that the 20,000 copies were paid for and bought by ABS-CBN, and  were probably given for free during Wowowee or whatever noon time variety show they have. Of course, I merely allege.

ABS-CBN news does well to self-promote their own talent. After all, it is ABS-CBN who manages Jovit Baldivino as a talent, gave him his recording deal, and will be in charge of promoting his career further. They play his songs from the album regularly on their own radio stations (both AM and FM), and have him guest and sing on their TV shows, both for cable and the local nationwide broadcast.  As an added bonus , ABS-CBN has already cast Baldivino on different TV shows of the network to promote his versatile talent.  Then, there will be the articles to follow on ABS-CBN owned publications, websites and partner sites. We even haven’t tackled the other non-ABS-CBN media outlets who will also jump on this promotion from magazines to newspapers, and other internet and social media, like Yahoo, where I chanced upon it.

Clearly, there is some kind of bias in this kind of self-promotion that any average Filipino doesn’t see off the bat. You find the talent, hone  it and flex your muscles of self-promotion, covering it up with pretty ribbons and shiny gift wrapping. You throw around some money – and maybe even buy 20,000 copies of an album – and present the success to an estimated 90,000,000 Filipinos all over the country, plus some more from all over the world. What a promotional machinery! What a media giant!


The truth of the matter is – the platinum status of Jovit Baldivino’s album (and of other ABS-CBN or Star Recording artists like Nina, Kris Aquino, Charice Pempengco, Sam Milby, Toni Gonzaga among others) are not platinum as the world knows it to be. And yet,  you can read about it on the Internet, at Yahoo, and it will give the false impression to the rest of the world that his album has made the same sales as big artists in the US who hit 1 million in record sales. Or maybe I just think it does.

I believe that whenever a Filipino artist hits platinum, there should be an asterisk that says he sold 20,000 copies only, so as not to mislead others to think that they follow the American trend of 1 million copies. That’s just my opinion. I think the colonial mental state when it comes to music is somehow US-shaped, and this could be a misleading thing. Or maybe it’s just me who doesn’t get it.

Of course, this platinum status varies in each country. In places like Peru, the platinum threshold is only at 6,000 albums sold. But that’s probably because only Peruvians can understand Peruvian songs and singers.

Anyway – I’m not out to rain on the parade on the success of artists like Jovit Baldivino. I’m not crab mentality-ing. In fact, it’s great that he’s hit the big leagues and is making something with his talent. At least I know he’s got talent. There are some artists who can’t even sing for shit. Did anyone say Willie Revillame, or did I hear Kris Aquino?

I guess what I’m really irked about is how networks like ABS-CBN put all sorts of spin on the issue, manipulating it from its inception to its perch in the glitzy havens of showbusiness. They throw around  their monopolizing media powers to deceive their audience into believing that they bring out greatness with whatever they bake in their oven – even if  just because the minority of 20,000 platinum-building Filipinos (of an estimated total of 90 million plus citizens) paid for it.

Maybe there’s just something wrong with the rules of PARI to think that sales of 20,000 albums are good for a platinum status, even if, in reality, it doesn’t even make up 1 percent of the total population. And yet, there are the media powers who make it sound BIG, albeit their selfish interests.

I might be  wrong, but there is something idiotic about it. And I think it might be that they’re the idiots, or maybe I am.

Note: I don’t work for GMA (the network or the former President).

41 Responses to “Philippine Music: Comprehending The Idiocy Of A Platinum Album”

  1. I hope you chose to someone else (someone filthy rich who is still taking advantage of this so called idiocy) instead of Jovit. The guy is just working hard to get his family out of poverty. He just managed to get his foor in the door and people like you start writing articles like this. There are lots of greedy rich celebrities in the Philippines who are being supported by ABS-CBN. Please focus more on them rather than someone like Jovit who just wants his sibling to get good education and food on the table.

    • I have nothing against Jovit. I really hope he does well to make it good. However, the idiocy has to be shown through some example. And at the moment – that was it.

    • Wait, before you start down that finally doing more than sing for dinner song. Jovit, is an awesome talent with special pipes who gets to decide (part of life) if his family eats chicken or steak right now. It appears he chooses steak right now he is losing his personality which is also a huge part of becoming and over night star. He performs in a way that makes him look silly at times they put way to much make-up on him, they do shit to his hair that make me openly laugh and don’t get me started on the way he pimps himself.he struts as if he is a body builder. I realize he his working his ass off but the greed is giving him steak if he decided on chicken he will have steak the rest of his life. Why is his first concert in Aust. you can’t upload onto utube therefore, you are going to pay to see.

    • Maxene Rosales Says:

      I love jovit’s fantastic voice, I will buy 50 CDS of his album and share it with those who appreciates him !!!

  2. Jovit Baldivino International (JBI) Says:

    Comparing USA and Philippines is very insane! That is the reason why we have our own set of rules about recording award. This article is unfair. Ofcourse ABS-CBN will promote Jovit Baldivino. What do you expect? ABS-CBN will leave Jovit on his own? The network is too kind helping a poor talented kid. I bought CD’s of Jovit. Our JBI Hongkong group just bought 2 dozens of Jovit’s CDs.

  3. making stories like abs-cbn buying the copies for jovit is a sign of your idiocy. where is your proof that abs bought the copies for jovit? why in the hell would you compare the platinum status in the states to a country like the philippines who has a small per capita income who many of the population cannot even afford to buy a single album. P200 for food is huge for people who work so hard with little pay.
    i realized you now that you are just craving for attention and whatever you are writing is but a “chismis”.

    • I don’t have proof. I merely allege.

    • Because there are no hand outs in the real world. Fame is a world wide achievement. If you people do not see what the greedy people around Jovit is doing then your part of the problem. This kid has talent beyond and away form the Manila. He needs to fire everyone around him move back home finish school, then hire some one like Mutt Jeff and then you will see talent like never before from your land something to be proud of. You people did not notice Arnel Pineda (makes me know hard work and the love of something can make dreams come true) until he joined Journey and his talent is far better then anything greedy abs has on there prostitution list. Why wasn’t Arnel signed with them, maybe because he wasn’t going to sale his sole Jovit is a kid that makes you responsible.

      • I apologize to (Robert) Mutt, his last name is Lang and I for what ever reason wrote Jeff in my previous comment.

        Jovit look someone like Mutt Lang up you will be writing and sing your own songs and your talent will put you on top of the world of talent but if you stay with the current system you will be washed up in two years. Call Arnel if he trust you he will guide you in the right direction. Arnel is your idol and your people would not give him the time of day before Journey ask why when he is the most awesome most talented hardworking humble man in all of the world of show biz. I bet its because he was not willing to sale his soul.

  4. Both the dudes above are WRONG — KKK and Duque. If anybody doesn’t know why, and needs an explanation why I said they are BOTH wrong, that “anybody” needs to think harder and deeper.

  5. people in the local music industry created the rules according to the philippine standard simply because we are in the philippines so they don’t cater for international criteria… was there any local artist to have reached one million sale?

    • Good question. 🙂

    • yup.Regine Velasquez hailed as the best selling artist of all time in the Philippines sold more than 3.5+ Million in the Philippines and 500,000+ in other Asia’s Countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Hongkong, China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. wikipedia. Listen without prejudice was her album launched in asia way back 1990’s . i guess in 1994.

      • the 3.5 million is the total accumulated number of units sold from Regine’s albums and not only with a particular album. And as far as I am concerned awards are given per album. So far only Jose Mari Chan was able to sold almost close to a million units for his Christmas in Our Hearts album and another 800,000 units for his Constant Change album

  6. PARI’s metrics were lowered down because of PIRACY, we used to have 40,000 Units for Platinum during 90’s probably that was the time when Jose Mari Chan got his Diamond Record or equivalent to 400,000 Units or 10x Platinum.. On 2009 there was an issue with Nina getting a Diamond Record for selling 200,000 Units only.

  7. there’s actually a long debate with this, record companies can’t even show us the real figures.. I wonder why Sharon Cuneta, on 2007 got 2x Platinum after 2 days of the release of her Isn;t It Romantic Album whereas there was no PROOF to this, through record sales i.e Odyssey or any Department Stores or Astrovision , the album was not even included on its TOP 10 list during its release so why the hell that album achieved Double Platinum without REAL FIGURES.

  8. another debate is in the case of Regine Velasquez’s R2K album on 1999. Odyssey figures showed that the R2K album was on its TOP 10 list for the entire year. Visit The album’s last certification was 6x Platinum on 2003.

    Jaya’s self-titled album received 8x Platinum during her shining moments, the age of cassette tapes!

    Sarah Geronimo’s debut album got 7x platinum from 2003 to 2005, the age of digital downloads and piracy.


    • JJ Duque Says:

      Thank you very much for adding to the contribution. I knew there was something amiss in the system of handing out platinums and stuff. But whether it was an inside collusion thing, or a corrupt practice of awarding, it is truly sad that the supposed fans of these people are being misled by the powers that be.

  9. ASAP Platinum Circle Awards yearly recognizes those who achive Platinum status regardless of record companies or TV networks the artists belong to. Following that since 2004, I wonder why last December 2010 they did not include Willie Revillame who got Triple Platinum on January 2010 for the album Ikaw Na Nga, and not even Sharon Cuneta who got Diamond Record Award and Quadruple Platinum on January 2010 for the album Isnt It Romantic Volume 1 and 2, this is not understandable since both artist are from the network in the case of Sharon and Star Records for Willie.

    I would understand that they did not include Michael V. for having Platinum Award on 2007, and Jaya achieved Gold Record Award on May 2009 both artist are from GMA Records, which I reckon they abstain felt that their artists were being used by the rival show, it was when Janno Gibbs received a Platinum Circle Award because his album Seven reached Platinum on 2004. Although Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez of Universal Records, Kyla of Polyeast, still gets recognition from ASAP Platinum Circle Awards..

    Elite Platinum Circle Award equates to having an outstanding music achievements were given to Gary Valenciano was the first, no particular order: Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta, Jose Mari Chan, Yoyoy Villame, APO Hiking Society, Nina and lately Martin Nievera..

    • JJ Duque Says:

      Just wondering. Where do they get the evidence on the sales of the records? Do music stores submit anything? Or is the bulk purchase order from the record companies count as sales for the recording company even if they actually haven’t really sold in the music outlets? How does ASAP Platinum Circle determine these figures? Just curious.

  10. I also wonder but here’s what I know..

    PARI or the Philippine Association of Recording Industry, our own RIAA, approves all the certification, record companies submit to PARI the actual sales figures in units.. I dont know what equates per unit, if per unit means per copy of the album

    PARI’s Metrics for Platinum from 40,000 units to 25,000 units to 20,000 units.
    for Gold Record from 20,000 to 15,000 to 12,500 units..

    ASAP Platinum Circle Awards are given in cooperation with PARI since they are the one who validates all certifications.

    I dont know if this is true that Thalia’s local album under EMI Philippines had Diamond Record.

    Regine Velasquez’s Covers 1 album achieved Platinum status after 3 days, it was awarded to her on SOP on 2004 by Viva Records, her Low Key achieved Gold status after a week and was awarded to her on SOP on 2009, her Fantasy album achieved Gold status after 2 weeks and was awarded at Party Pilipinas on 2010 certified by Universal Records,

    the same with Christian Bautista’s Romance Revisited album and Dingdong Dantes Dance Album that achieved Gold status after a week and was awarded on 2009.

    Those I believed to be true because their albums ranked No.1 in Record Bars the time it was released and given the certifications..

    I just cant stand and would like to find out how the hell Sharon Cuneta got 2x platinum in 2 days and a Diamond and Quadruple platiunum when in fact it was not awarded to her and no figures from record bars can prove that. Sony BMG has to explain a lot to this matter.

    Meanwhile, Nina hit a controversy when her album Nina Live received Diamond Record, but Warner Music was quick to react on that matter, so they use the recent metrics set by PARI, which critics says is wrong because the album was released during the time PARI has different metrics. Nina Live album was certified 8x platinum in 2006 and then 10x platinum on 2009.

    • JJ Duque Says:

      Yes, I’ve read up on PARI and their certifications, and I’m still confused. I can understand how some pop stars (i.e. Regine Velasquez and the like) might get their platinums and all because of the media backing form their management, who have the capacity to give them radio air-time, TV exposure and all.

      However, we hardly ever hear of any bands – like maybe Razorback, Sandwich, Eraserheads, Bamboo – achieve the same kind of status. Maybe a one-time godl or platinum, but not multiple unlike these other artists, who have network management. Kidna makes you wonder.

      • in the case of Eraserheads, Bamboo, Rivermaya, PAROKYA NI EDGAR albums consistently receives Gold to Platinum Record Achievements to this day.. Not to mention that in their heydays banda like ERASERHEADS, Side A and all achieved more than 1 Platinum to 6x Platinum even 8x Platinum , ..

        Bandang Siakol during 90’s:
        Recognitions Gained:
        On July 19, 1996 over 20,000 copies were sold and was given the “Gold Record Award” at noontime show “Eat… Bulaga!
        On October 5, 1996 over 40,000 copies were sold and was given the “Platinum Award” at noontime show “Sang Linggo Napo Sila”
        On November 9, 1996 over 80,000 copies were sold and was given the “Double Platinum Award” at noontime show “Sang Linggo Napo Sila”.
        Presents the Album “Tayo na sa Paraiso” is considered as a “Quadruple Platinum Awardee”.
        All Awards was given and certified by the Philippines Association of the Records Industry. (P.A.R.I.)

  11. well…FYI…NINA is not a star record artist or even a abs artist….she is semi regular in asap thats it…and kris aquino’s album is a COMPILATION ALBUM WHICH IS THERES A VARIOUS ARTIST WHO SING A CERTAIN SONG NOT KRIS SINGING A SONG…

  12. Im not too proud of this, but me and my husband download all the songs that we want here in abroad..except for jovit’s cds which we purchased after leaving our number in our record outlet in the philippines so they can call us as soon as some stocks are available! And no im not from abs cbn. Mr. Jj, you said you have nothing against jovit? Or abs cbn ..? But your article suggested a doubt..a sarcastic assumption that could hurt.. An attack thatvwas uncalled for.. was not jovit who invented how much to sell to have this platinum accolade right?? But the way you hemed the what could have been can be taken personally by him..the same as abs cbn..without a proof,it can be insulting.. But hey, freedom of speech right and thats how you feel…but i will choose not to excercise my freedom on you, not because im a coward but because i dont have to…all im saying is, if YOU are jovit b. and somebody say..hey you got platinum…then someone will tell you…dont smile too much..its not really platinum…dont be too happy… How would you feel??? Funny thing, is fans tend to take for their your outlandish doubts annoyed the fan in me..cant wait to meet your own fan(s), and hear what they think of your platinum.

  13. preposterous Says:

    Prejudice… that’s what i don’t like about some Pinoys… why not be happy for someone instead of finding some holes… that’s absurd!

  14. It’s sad how much damage piracy have caused in the music industry. You get a Platinum certificate for just 20k copies?? In other countries that’s already considered a flop. I just wish just Philippine’s music industry would improve. Who knows? Maybe this year, we’ll see a bit of improvement with the help of Mymusicstore, the new anti piracy law, and the fact that PARI now includes digital sales ^_^

  15. Where is the other list of best albums..?

  16. first of all don’t compare US and Ph music certification qualification. because US is giant music industry plus they have more than twice population than philippines. and their economy are far better than philippines.. in philippines not everybody can afford cd. the music industry in philippines is very huge in the 80’s 90’s and early 2000’s where in fact westlife self titled album sold half million in ph in 2000. and the piracy of music really affects the music industry in PH.. so don’t compare the two because there are bigger country that is better compare to US. like china with almost 2 billiob population but the platinum is 20,000 only, russia 10,000 for platinum. korea that is really huge but certify platinum album with 10,000 copies..

  17. Ramon R. Resurreccion Says:

    1. Filipino people are aware of the “20,000” album for a platinum in our country. The info was not hidden in the internet
    2. It is not business wise for a network to buy 20,000 units to have that platinum award… hello… this is business..
    3. statistically wise the 20,000 units is just a right ratio for the country’s music industry market share which is lower than 15% (US had more or less 0.1% of ratio for platinum against its market share and Philippines has also more or less 0.1% of ratio for platinum against its market share… which imply that both country is statistically tie in their criteria for platinum album.. this is also the same with other third world country….

  18. Warzelle Says:

    I dont usually buy crappy funny recordings especially from a cheap talent Live Jovit!!

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