action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Bagani: ABS-CBN’s Most Controversial Series Yet

The hype surrounding ‘Bagani’ has been on a high for the past few months.

On the good side, this upcoming ABS-CBN drama series will be led by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, one of the Philippines’ most popular love teams today. On the bad side, however, ‘Bagani’ has been beset by controversy from the start.

When the trailer for ‘Bagani’ first popped out, netizens immediately compared it to ‘Encantadia’ due to its similar themes and landscape. The discussion even spread to the writers of the two shows, namely Suzette Doctolero and Mark Duane Angos.

‘Bagani’ also drew flak for its questionable casting choices. While the series was inspired from pre-colonial Philippines, some of the cast were not pure-blooded Filipinos, particularly the LizQuen tandem and co-star Matteo Guidicelli.

Writer Mark Duane Angos defended ‘Bagani”s casting decisions and setting in a series of tweets.

Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding ‘Bagani’, fans can’t help but be excited over the return of LizQuen to the small screen. This time, however, the duo will be engaged in plenty of action as fight scenes will become the norm in ‘Bagani’.

That doesn’t mean any moment of ‘kilig’ will be nonexistent. There will still be occasional cheesy scenes that make viewers gush, just not much due to the serious physicality involved.

So far, the confirmed lead cast of ‘Bagani’ include Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, Sofia Andres, Makisig Morales and Matteo Guidicelli. An extended cast is yet to be revealed.

Star Creatives will handle the production duties for ‘Bagani’. It will be directed by Richard Arellano and Lester Pimentel.

With the impending debut of ‘Bagani’, ABS-CBN has entered the world of epicseryes (for which the likes of ‘Encantadia’ were derived). But unlike GMA whose production of ‘Encantadia’ drained much of their finances, ABS-CBN should pose no concern for ‘Bagani’ as far as money as concerned, and if the series rates well, it will not be a big problem.

Still, it remains to be seen if the various controversies will affect ‘Bagani’ in any way. LizQuen may give this series a boost, but it may also cost them some disgruntled viewers in the process.

‘Bagani’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida. In the meantime, here is the full trailer for the series.

action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Erich X 3: The Blood Sisters on ABS-CBN Starting Monday

If two-in-one is not enough, why not three-in-one.

This is exactly what ABS-CBN will look to do starting this Monday when Erich Gonzales portrays three different characters in ‘The Blood Sisters’. But for older viewers, an actor playing a trio of characters is nothing new.

During the late 1990s, another Kapamilya drama pulled the same stunt when ‘Saan Ka Man Naroroon’ saw Claudine Barretto play three characters of differing personas. Considering the difficulty of this maneuver, the three-in-one storyline was rarely replicated, until now.

In ‘The Blood Sisters’, Erich is the one in three-in-one. First, she is Erika, a bar dancer and a doting mother whose profession keeps her son alive amid his battle with a chronic illness.

A gruesome murder at the bar leads to a chase that nearly costs Erika’s life. Along the way, however, she finds out that she has two twin sisters: Carrie and Agatha, both of whom will be crucial in realizing the truth about their upbringing.

The triplets were raised by a surrogate mother and were separated after an agreement their parents made fell through. Once they reunite, they will look to find the truth amid the dangers in their lives.

Also part of ‘The Blood Sisters’ are Enchong Dee, Ejay Falcon, AJ Muhlach, Cherry Pie Picache, Dina Bonnievie, Jestoni Alarcon, Ruby Ruiz, and Pamu Pamorada. It will be directed by Jojo Saguin and is under the production of Dreamscape Entertainment.

For Erich Gonzales, the 5:45 slot is nothing new to her, having previously starred in ‘Katorse’ and ‘Tanging Yaman’. But ‘The Blood Sisters’ is drastically different from all the previous dramas she participated in, as it will mark the entry of a more sexier and sultrier Erich.

Considering how ‘Wildflower’ raised expectations for the said timeslot, the bar is definitely much higher for ‘The Blood Sisters’ to scale. Still, it remains to be seen if a new-look Erich Gonzales will deliver the same if not better-than-impressive ratings for her new drama as she did a few years ago.

The floor is now hers to take. Good luck.

‘The Blood Sisters’ airs weeknights before ‘TV Patrol’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Revenge of the Morning Romantic Comedy: ABS-CBN Premieres Sana Dalawa ang Puso

The ‘kilig’ is back on ABS-CBN’s late-morning slot.

This Monday, the Kapamilya network will launch its latest weekday morning romantic comedy series. ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will mark the reunion of ‘Be Careful with My Heart”s Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap, but now they are joined by Robin Padilla who will be the third banana in this light-hearted saga.

Jodi will play two different roles in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: Lisa, the hardworking and strict boss of the Laureano Group of Companies, and Mona, a collector of bets in cockfights. According to Jodi, playing two characters will not be an easy task but it will also be an exciting one and added that this will be one of her more challenging roles in her career.

In ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, Lisa is forced by her father Juancho (Christopher de Leon) to marry their rival’s son Martin (Richard), and in order to run away from this responsibility, she decides to hide and live with Leo (Robin), one of the company’s workers. Meanwhile, Mona struggles to save his own father from peril after he was involved in a networking scam.

Along the way, Mona and Lisa cross paths and seek to solve each other’s problems. But it remains to be seen if they are able to sort all kinds of issues.

After going the more serious route with ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’, ABS-CBN realized that the late-morning slot is better off with light-hearted series in order to give the audience something to laugh and love. After all, the network already has too many dark, mature and tear-jerking dramas that overloading these could burn out viewers.

And what better way to reboot than the Jodi-Richard tandem, whose prior success in the slot should bode well for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. Still, it remains to be seen if the series will be just as successful as ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, but if the addition of Robin Padilla is of any indication, it should do just fine.

‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali.

action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Bouncing Back: Julia Montes Returns in Asintado

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold badly needs a boost.

For months, the block has struggled against a resurgent GMA Afternoon Prime. It was clear that Kapamilya Gold has gone stale with a repetitive ‘kabitserye’ formula, and as a result, viewers tuned away in favor of series that had campy scenes (‘Ika-6 na Utos’), one actress playing two contrasting personalities (‘Impostora’), and allusions to the supernatural (‘Haplos’).

This Monday, Kapamilya Gold will try to return to relevance with a familiar face and a new attitude. Enter ‘Asintado’, the newest afternoon series starring daytime drama’s undisputed queen in Julia Montes.

In ‘Asintado’, Julia is Ana, a member of a rescue team who looks to make her adoptive family proud. After saving Gael (Paulo Avelino) from a mining accident, she became his personal nurse and eventually fell in love with each other.

But just as their relationship blooms, Gael’s ex-girlfriend Samantha (Shaina Magdayao) returns to try to win back his heart, even if it means killing Ana. Fortunately, Ana was saved by Xander (Aljur Abrenica), only to find out later on that Gael and Samantha are about to get married.

Just as Ana is plotting her revenge, she finds out that Samantha was her long-lost sister. Samantha, as it turned out, was lost in the fire that killed their parents.

The search for love and justice in ‘Asintado’ will also involve a veteran supporting cast consisting of Lorna Tolentino, Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel, Agot Isidro, and Nonie Buencamino. The series will be directed by Onat Diaz and Lino Cayetano.

If Julia’s previous series ‘Doble Kara’ helped Kapamilya Gold reclaim the ratings lead from Afternoon Prime, then ABS-CBN should look for ‘Asintado’ to do the same. Still, the series will be up against a formidable foe in ‘Impostora’, and battling a tested star in Kris Bernal will not be a walk in the park.

But considering Julia Montes’ star power, facing such an obstacle is no big deal. That said, it will be up to her to lead Kapamilya Gold back to where it wants to be.

‘Asintado’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Streaking Haplos Faces New Challenger This Monday

‘Haplos’ is on a roll.

The GMA afternoon drama series has been picking up steam these past few months. Along the way, it claimed a pair of victims in ‘The Better Half’ and ‘The Promise of Forever’, both from ABS-CBN.

This series starring Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno offer a different wrinkle than the Kapamilya network’s repetitive fare of ‘kabitseryes’. Some elements of fantasy and mystery are involved in ‘Haplos’, with Angela (Sanya) and Lucille (Thea) starring as half-sisters with contrasting mystical elements.

That unique storyline enabled ‘Haplos’ to earn constant victories in the ratings, in the process causing plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. However, a new challenger awaits ‘Haplos’, and this time a familiar veteran actress comes into the fold.

Remember when Sylvia Sanchez ruled afternoons with her emotional portrayal of Gloria in ‘The Greatest Love’? That was seven months ago, and since then, Kapamilya Gold went on a steady decline while Afternoon Prime, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, soared to the occasion.

Starting this Monday, ABS-CBN will try to change that anew as they premiere their latest afternoon series ‘Hanggang Saan’. Sylvia will once again portray a mother in this series, except that her character Sonya is an unexpected criminal who was accused of killing an innocent man at the risk of prolonging her son’s life.

Joining Sylvia in ‘Hanggang Saan’ will be her real-life son Arjo Atayde, who will play the role of Sonya’s son Paco. Teresa Loyzaga and Sue Ramirez will play Jean and Anna, the closest friends of Sonya and Paco.

Also part of the cast are Ariel Rivera, Yves Flores, Maris Racal, Marlo Mortel, Nikko Natividad, Rommel Padilla, Nanding Josef, Anna Luna, Mercedes Cabral, Rubi Rubi, Viveika Ravanes, Sharmaine Suarez, Ces Quesada, Arnold Reyes, Maila Gumila, and Junjun Quintana. The series will be directed by Mervyn Brondial and Jeffrey Jeturian.

‘Hanggang Saan’ airs weekdays after ‘Pusong Ligaw’. It will replace ‘The Promise of Forever’.

Even with all the victories tucked in their pocket, the stars of ‘Haplos’ should not rest on their laurels. As ‘Hanggang Saan’ is about to make its debut, how long can ‘Haplos’ maintain its momentum?

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Getting Serious: ABS-CBN Goes No More Mr. Nice Guy with The Good Son

It will be a new-look and more serious Primetime Bida starting next week.

Gone were the ‘kilig-seryes’ that permeated the fifth slot of ABS-CBN’s ever-popular evening block. With all due respect to JaDine (‘On the Wings of Love’, ‘Till I Met You’) and TonDeng (Ian Veneracion and Bea Alonzo of ‘A Love to Last’), this formula is starting to wear thin.

Instead, ABS-CBN goes back to a more serious approach that made ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’ runaway successes. The newest drama, ‘The Good Son’, despite its designation as a family drama, leans more on the mature and dark side.

While rival GMA continues to lean too much on aging and at times overexposed veterans for their primetime dramas, ABS-CBN cashes in on their deep roster of young talent for ‘The Good Son’. The series will be led by Jerome Ponce, Nash Aguas, Joshua Garcia and McCoy de Leon, and joining them are fellow rising stars Loisa Andallo, Elisse Joson and Alexa Ilacad.

In ‘The Good Son’, Jerome (as Enzo), Nash (as Calvin), Joshua (as Joseph) and McCoy (as Obet) are four siblings who live a simple and happy life without their father Victor (Albert Martinez), a man whose identity remains a secret. But Victor’s mysterious death led to a series of events that saw the four siblings accused of murder, and the ensuing battle to prove who is innocent from the crime is on.

‘The Good Son’ will also include Mylene Dizon, Eula Valdez, John Estrada, Ronnie Lazaro, Jeric Raval, Alex Medina, and Kathleen Hermoso. The series will be directed by Manny Palo and Andoy Ranay.

Considering ABS-CBN’s reputation for turning rising stars into superstars, the pressure is now on ‘The Good Son”s up-and-coming actors to continue this budding trend. However, it remains to be seen if the series’ untested group of young talent will thrive in the high-stakes block that is primetime.

It will also be interesting to see how the viewers react to a change of formula from a light drama to a more serious one. That said, ‘The Good Son’ should be a series that may either make or break Primetime Bida’s unpredictable fifth slot.

‘The Good Son’ airs weeknights after ‘La Luna Sangre’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.