documentaries, lifestyle, Philippines, public affairs, television

Gina Lopez’s G Diaries This Sunday on ABS-CBN

Gina Lopez has come home.

After a controversial 10-month run as environment secretary, Lopez embarks on a new role, that of a television personality. Her 13-episode series, ‘G Diaries’, serves as a platform of her past experience, as she dives deep into the country’s most scenic locations while continuing to advocate environmental protection.

As previously mentioned, ‘G Diaries’ is a homecoming of sorts for Lopez. Prior to her stint as environment secretary, Lopez served a variety of roles within the ABS-CBN family, most notably as managing director of the Lingkod Kapamilya foundation.

In ‘G Diaries’, Lopez pays a visit into some of the country’s must-see attractions, and along the way she will meet new friends and talk about preserving the environment. According to Lopez herself,

“‘G Diaries’ seeks not only to entertain viewers and promote the Philippines as a majestic travel destination but also to inform and incite action, for everyone to be part of the collective effort to preserve the environment and bequeath it in its healthiest state to the next generation.”

All 13 episodes of ‘G Diaries’ will be directed by esteemed Hollywood director, producer and writer Wil Harper. The series will kick off with a signature prelude film featuring celebrities such as Sharon Cuneta, Eddie Garcia and Charo Santos-Concio.

While ‘G Diaries’ may be just another travel program, there is one aspect of the show that is worth looking at. Not only will viewers see some new destinations, but they will also look at the environmental and aesthetic aspect that each locale presents.

That said, awareness of one’s surroundings is put to a premium in this series. And for those who want to become environmentalists someday, this show is worth watching.

The premiere episode of ‘G Diaries’ will air this Sunday before ‘ASAP’, after which it will air every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on ABS-CBN. The series will also be seen on Lifestyle Network and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Why GMA’s Teleserye Countdown Timer is Overrated?

GMA is going to great lengths in hopes of winning back its audience.

The past two weekends saw the network post a countdown timer for their soon-to-air series ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘My Love from the Star’ (see example from ‘Dear Uge’ below). This timer was flashed during most GMA programs (exceptions are variety shows, other blocktimed programs and select GMA News shows).

The reason is unclear, but it is presumed that GMA is using the timer to promote and add some hype to their upcoming series. To be honest, though, the utilization of a countdown timer for nothing but promotion of a program is very overrated.

For starters, GMA has long been an advocate of the countdown timer, having been used to advertise not only dramas but also variety shows and other network-produced programming. However, not even the addition of a timer is enough to jack up ratings of a particular show.

‘Encantadia’, for example, had a countdown timer in the days leading up to its premiere last year. Unfortunately, despite the good reviews and the positive reception from viewers, the fantaserye failed to keep up with the juggernaut that is ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

GMA also made a countdown timer for AlDub’s ‘Destined to Be Yours’. Even though it was hyped well, the series regularly fell short to ‘My Dear Heart’ mainly because Maine Mendoza’s acting is still raw by viewers’ standards.

Contrast that to ABS-CBN’s own approach to promote a teleserye. Rather than utilizing a countdown timer like GMA does, they take advantage of the hype through social media, on-demand streaming and a strong regional and global presence.

So where does GMA stand at this point? Considering that they still have a long way to go before closing in on ABS-CBN’s national (and global) superiority, they should focus more on strengthening their regional and international reach, a deficiency that they continue to endure for many years now.

The power of social media is also a necessity for GMA to aggressively promote their programs. However, they must engage more in order to make an impact.

There are plenty of options to promote a drama. But a countdown timer for GMA teleseryes and other programs? That is unnecessary and distracting.

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hits, music, songs, United States

Billboard Hot 100: June 3, 2017

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of June 3, 2017.

1. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber – Despacito. No. 1 last week.

2. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like. No. 2 last week.

3. DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – I’m the One. No. 3 last week.

4. Ed Sheeran – Shape of You. No. 4 last week.

5. Kendrick Lamar – Humble. No. 5 last week.

6. The Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay – Something Just Like This. No. 7 last week.

7. Future – Mask Off. No. 6 last week.

8. Lil Uzi Vert – XO TOUR Llif3. No. 8 last week.

9. Zedd & Alessia Cara – Stay. No. 9 last week.

10. Miley Cyrus – Malibu. No. 64 last week.

All videos of the Top 10 songs can be viewed above. Our thanks to Billboard for this week’s Hot 100 Top 10.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

An Untimely Entrance for My Love from the Star

Heart has a new opponent, albeit for a short time.

Beginning Monday, GMA will premiere the Philippine remake of the hit Korean drama ‘My Love from the Star’. The adaptation will be led by Jennylyn Mercado, who will portray Jun Ji-hyun’s role as Steffi, and Gil Cuerva, who takes on Kim Soo-hyun’s role as Matteo.

The original version of ‘My Love from the Star’ first made waves in the Philippines back in 2014, as it became a top-rating Koreanovela on GMA’s late afternoon slot. GMA then re-aired the Koreanovela during early 2015, but failed to rekindle its past success.

Despite that, GMA decided to push through with the Filipino adaptation of ‘My Love from the Star’. While Jennylyn Mercado was confirmed to play Steffi, the role of Matteo remained a mystery for several months until little-known Gil Cuerva got the nod.

Completing the cast of ‘My Love from the Star’ are Gabby Eigenmann, Christian Bautista, Glydel Mercado, Renz Fernandez, Jackie Rice, Migo Adecer, Melissa Mendez, Spanky Manikan, Nar Cabico, Analyn Barro, Valentin, Moi Marcampo and Pauline Mendoza. Director Joyce Bernal will be at the helm of the series, plus Rhian Ramos will have a special role as Steffi’s rival.

The premiere of ‘My Love from the Star’ comes at a not-so fortunate time. ABS-CBN recently announced that ‘My Dear Heart’ is nearing its conclusion, with the finale of the series to take place around June.

This means that Jennylyn, Gil and company will not have enough time to prove themselves against ‘My Dear Heart”s quintet of Heart Ramos, Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Coney Reyes and Ria Atayde. However, with ‘La Luna Sangre’ expected to replace ‘My Dear Heart’ once it ends, ‘My Love from the Star’ should have a big headstart against KathNiel this early.

It remains to be seen if the Filipino remake of ‘My Love from the Star’ can either equal or exceed the success of the original Korean series. With plenty of expectations from both Koreanovela and Kapuso fans, the series can only hope that they will deliver even if the odds are against them.

‘My Love from the Star’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Full House No More: Full House Tonight Airs Finale Saturday

‘Full House Tonight’ airs its finale this Saturday night. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA’s own attempt to recreate ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Filipinos is officially out.

The last episode of ‘Full House Tonight’ will take place this Saturday night, owing to host Regine Velasquez’s inclusion to the cast of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. However, Regine’s addition to the said fantaserye is not the main reason why ‘Full House Tonight’ will come to an end.

First airing on February 18, 2017, ‘Full House Tonight’ was a comedy-musical variety show that focuses on comedic performances from a select group of professional comedians. In essence, this program was viewed as a primetime version of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, and it drew comparisons to the long-running American variety show ‘Saturday Night Live’.

Unfortunately, ‘Full House Tonight’ failed to deliver during its soon-to-be 14-episode run. The show was placed against powerhouse ABS-CBN reality shows ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ and ‘I Can Do That’, and the expectations to stand out against both shows were too much to bear.

Not only that, most of the comedians in ‘Full House Tonight’ were hardly household names at all. That, along with Regine’s co-hosts/performers being relegated to the background, contributed to its demise.

It’s a shame that ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down swinging after this Saturday. Let’s face it, Regine hosting a comedy show is an insult to her reputation, considering her lack of comedic background unlike her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Perhaps GMA would have spiced the show up with guest celebrity hosts rather than Regine pulling all the strings. Had they done that, not to mention further training for the comedians and stars involved (if any), ‘Full House Tonight’ would have lasted longer than the 14 episodes it will accumulate at the end.

Alas, ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down as one of the most forgettable programs in GMA lore. If there is any consolation, it was that they put a lot of effort to produce a show like this, even if it goes in vain.

Come this Saturday, a final round of applause will be needed to send off ‘Full House Tonight’. So long, and good riddance.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The End of Destined to Be Yours

AlDub needs improvement, period.

This has been a recurring theme for the tandem ever since ‘Destined to Be Yours’ premiered on February 27, 2017. The onus was that Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are not ready to be certified primetime stars just yet, either because the expectations are too overwhelming or that the tandem still has a lot of work to do chemistry-wise and skills-wise (particularly Maine, who obviously lacked prior acting experience).

Indeed, the intent of GMA is to run ‘Destined to Be Yours’ as short as possible, and that is exactly what happened. Only 63 episodes of ‘Destined to Be Yours’ will have aired once it concludes this Friday, thus putting them in a dubious list of short-lived teleseryes that fail to reach the typical 80-episode threshold.

Still, even with an uncharacteristically short run, ‘Destined to Be Yours’ should have been winning according to AlDub loyalists, right? Considering that AlDub enjoyed a tremendous crossover appeal in both social media and on the small screen, the series should have had a winning streak in the ratings and trending topics game.

Instead, a child actress by the name of Nayomi ‘Heart’ Ramos’ (joined alongside Coney Reyes, Ria Atayde, Zanjoe Marudo and Bela Padilla) overwhelmed AlDub. The fact that the ABS-CBN drama series ‘My Dear Heart’ constantly defeated ‘Destined to Be Yours’ in the ratings does not sit well with AlDub fans.

Unfortunately, that is the reality of it all. Alden and Maine together are simply not primetime material for the moment.

With the impending conclusion of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, there is plenty more work to do for AlDub. While they will still be an integral part of ‘Eat Bulaga’ for years to come, GMA should start working on their skills and chemistry in hopes of elevating the duo to the same heights as KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine.

Unfortunately, they will not have someone like Cathy Garcia Molina to guide them. That said, GMA must look for someone with equal capabilities as the former in order to turn AlDub to a success story, and that alone is not easy.

For now, rest easy AlDub. After that, it’s time to get back to business.

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