drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Maynila Turns 20

One of GMA’s longest-running programs is celebrating a milestone.

‘Maynila’, a drama anthology hosted by former Manila mayor and now congressman Lito Atienza, will enter its 20th year on television this month. The show recently premiered a three-part series last Saturday with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid in a starring role.

‘Maynila’ first aired on November 23, 1998. At the time, the show served as a vehicle for then-mayor Atienza to promote the city he headed back then, while providing inspirational and value-laden stories that young individuals can understand.

Initially aired on weekday afternoons, ‘Maynila’ moved to Saturday mornings in 2002 where they remain to this day. Over its 20-year history, ‘Maynila’ received numerous accolades including an Anak TV Seal award in 2006 and a special award in the 2017 PMPC Star Awards for being one of the longest-running drama anthologies.

In contrast to more serious drama anthologies like ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Magpakailanman’, ‘Maynila’ is generally considered as more light-hearted in tone. But in some instances such as the three-part series with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid, ‘Maynila’ may dwell into a darker route if necessary.

Still, it does not prevent the show from presenting stories that are deemed helpful and motivational to the youth. Which is exactly what Lito Atienza wanted on ‘Maynila’: a show that can help young ones, not only in Manila but in other cities as well, to be positive role models.

Twenty years after it first aired, ‘Maynila’ is still going strong. That said, viewers can only hope that the show will continue to provide stories that are worth learning for.

‘Maynila’ airs every Saturday at 9:45 a.m. on GMA.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

ABS-CBN Regional Cancels Agri Tayo Dito, MagTV Na

Not even the largest regional television network group in the Philippines is spared from the inevitable.

Just recently, ABS-CBN Regional announced the cancellation of its two weekend morning programs ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’. The former, which was hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ winner Ruben Gonzaga, had been on the air for six years, while the latter, starring various hosts in different regional networks, had been running for a decade.

Both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ earned Anak TV citations for being child-friendly programs. They also won several KBP Golden Dove and UPLB Gandingan Awards among other accomplishments.

No reason was given behind the cancellation of both programs. However, it is likely that ABS-CBN Regional pulled the plug for cost-cutting purposes, given the need to improve and strengthen all of its regional outlets and bring it to a high definition-ready standard of its Metro Manila flagship.

It is also possible that ABS-CBN Regional will not field in a replacement for both shows due to these aforementioned reasons. Instead, they are expected to show ‘Kapamilya Swak na Swak’ and ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ direct from Metro Manila.

The cancellation of ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ came months after the shutdown of the ABS-CBN Regional Channel last January. It is clear that ABS-CBN Regional is eyeing toward the future, and considering that its stations are still not up to par with Metro Manila’s, they had no choice but to cut some operating expenses.

The fate of the shows’ hosts and staff will also come into play. Given their loyal service to ABS-CBN, they could either be given an honorable discharge or a new role within the company.

Still, it remains to be seen what plans will ABS-CBN Regional bring to the table next. But for the Kapamilya viewers in the provinces, both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ will be sorely missed.

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entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Alamat Returns for Season 2

Six new stories highlight ‘Alamat”s second season, which premieres this Sunday. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The critically-acclaimed Filipino animated fantasy anthology ‘Alamat’ has a new season.

Premiering this Sunday on GMA, the second season of ‘Alamat’ will spotlight not only new stories, but also a new approach to storytelling. While Season 1 of ‘Alamat’ featured purely animation, Season 2 will now feature a mix of both animation and live-action.

The first season of ‘Alamat’ ran from July 12 to August 26, 2015, and introduced viewers to six different stories with a moral lesson. It earned an Anak TV Seal award earlier this year.

For the show’s second season, six new stories will be introduced, and these are:

  • Ang Bakunawa at ang Pitong Buwan
  • Alamat ng Gagamba
  • Alamat ng Dama de Noche
  • Alamat ng Saging
  • Alamat ng Sampaloc
  • Alamat ng Matsing

This season’s cast for ‘Alamat’ include Benjamin Alves, LJ Reyes, Bianca Umali, Franceska Farr, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Leo Martinez, Tonipet Gaba, Love Anover, John Feir, Zymic Jaranilla and Miggs Cuaderno. All are expected to play either a voice-only role, a live action role, or both.

With the critical success of Season 1, the pressure is on for ‘Alamat’ Season 2 to deliver the same, if not improved results. That said, expect ‘Alamat’ to provide not only entertainment, but also inspiration and positivity to not only kids, but also people of all ages.

‘Alamat’ Season 2 airs Sundays at 5:15 p.m. on GMA. It is produced by the GMA Public Affairs group.

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