digital television, movies, online, Philippines, television, video on demand, VOD service

iWhat?: iWant Encounters Loading Issues Upon Launch

The new iWant is off to a rather inauspicious start.

Hours into its highly anticipated launch last November 17, iWant encountered a temporary slowdown caused by high volume of users. Many of them downloaded the new iWant in order to watch some of its new and original content, which included the hotly-discussed film ‘Glorious’ featuring a viral kissing scene involving lead stars Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca.

In response, iWant issued a statement saying that they are increasing capacity in order to meet the demands of its users. As of 10:00 p.m., the iWant app is now updated to version 4.0.2.

iWant also reported that the app now has over one million downloads and is used by over 10,000 users per hour. But with so many consumers knocking on the door, it was clear that ABS-CBN is not prepared for such high demand.

If the old iWant TV was smooth sailing to watch at times, then the same cannot be said to its successor. With some additional content such as the aforementioned original films and music to complement on-demand programs, films and live streams, ABS-CBN’s digital team found themselves in a conundrum over the possible increase in consumer demand.

Suffice to say, they failed to anticipate what took place next. And unfortunately for users of iWant (myself included), they took notice by bombarding iWant’s social media pages with plenty of complaints.

This is already the third day of iWant’s official operations and so far the ‘temporary slowdown’ that was revealed Saturday continues to linger. Even I began to question the capabilities of the new iWant, especially after my attempt to watch ANC’s live stream was constantly disrupted despite enjoying a strong internet connection.

Call it growing pains or simply impatience. For now, ABS-CBN’s digital team is working round the clock to improve and increase the capacity of iWant, but this is going to be a painful ordeal, so users must wait and see what happens in the next several days.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Mulawin vs. Ravena Premiere Means New Characters for Ang Probinsyano

The threat is indeed real.

With the premiere of GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ later tonight, long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ introduced a new slate of supporting actors that will add more color to an already endless story. They are:

  • John Arcilla
  • Angel Aquino
  • Ejay Falcon
  • Jhong Hilario
  • Lito Lapid
  • Mark Lapid
  • Sid Lucero
  • Long Mejia
  • Pokwang
  • Mitch Valdes

These actors will join the main cast that features Coco Martin, Ms. Susan Roces, Yassi Pressman and Awra Briguela, among others. Ironically, John Arcilla was last seen in the just-concluded GMA fantaserye (and ‘Ang Probinsyano”s archrival) ‘Encantadia’, where he was cast as Hagorn.

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The addition of new actors indicate that another fresh storyline for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is about to take shape. After all, a new rival in ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will come into play and the best way for the former to maintain viewer interest is to introduce new characters and plots to keep up with its latest adversary.

Speaking of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, the sequel to the popular early 2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’ is 12 years in the making. The original series (led by Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin) became a huge hit when it first aired, and with the creation of the sequel, the bar is raised even higher.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will feature stars such as:

  • Dennis Trillo (as Gabriel)
  • Heart Evangelista (as Alwina)
  • Carla Abellana  (as Aviona)
  • Tom Rodriguez (as Rodrigo)
  • Lovi Poe (as Magindara)
  • Regine Velasquez (as Sandawa)
  • Bianca Umali (as Lawiswis)
  • Derrick Monasterio (as Almiro)
  • Bea Binene (as Anya)
  • Miguel Tanfelix (as Pagaspas)
  • Ariel Rivera (as Panabon)
  • Chynna Ortaleza (as Reyna Rashana)
  • David Licauco (as Malik)
  • Dion Ignacio (as Siklab)
  • Valerie Concepcion (as Tuka)
  • Roi Vinzon (as Daragit)
  • JC Tiuseco (as Tangos)
  • Winwyn Marquez (as Ribery)
  • TJ Trinidad (as Greco)
  • Angelu de Leon (as Lourdes)
  • Bobby Andrews (as Dionisio)
  • Charee Pineda (as Savanna)
  • Joko Diaz (as Antonio)
  • Martin del Rosario (as Aramis)
  • Kiko Estrada (as Rafael)
  • Nova Villa (as Lola Elo)

Directors Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez will once again breathe life into ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, just as they did with the original ‘Mulawin’.

Heading into tonight, the challenge for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is a daunting one. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings juggernaut for nearly two years now and not even the efforts of its predecessor ‘Encantadia’ was enough to topple the former.

That said, the best chance for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ might come from viewers who are becoming disenchanted with ‘Ang Probinsyano”s endlessly dragging storyline. With the latter’s new characters coming into play, this may be an opportunity for some to switch channels and watch something different and pleasing.

Still, with too many loyal viewers siding with ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the task will not be an easy one. So, good luck to GMA in their efforts to sway the momentum away from Coco Martin and company.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

JaDine Returns with Till I Met You

JaDine is back on the small screen.

Seven months after the conclusion of the love team’s breakout TV hit ‘On the Wings of Love’, James Reid and Nadine Lustre return for a greater dose of ‘kilig’, but at the same time tackle more serious storylines. Their newest project, ‘Till I Met You’, will showcase a more mature JaDine, while it introduces a new star.

‘Till I Met You’ will focus on the lives of three people, each with a story to tell. Iris (Nadine) and Basti (James) are a couple and are set to marry, but things soon turn when Iris’ best friend Ali, played by JC Santos, is revealed to have a secret relationship with Basti.

Like more recent ABS-CBN dramas featuring their love teams, ‘Till I Met You’ will also highlight a particular tourist attraction. The early portion of the series was shot in Greece, a country that features a mild Mediterranean climate and a vast tradition of civilization and commerce.

Joining JaDine and JC on ‘Till I Met You’ are Carmina Villaroel, Zoren Legaspi, Pokwang, Angel Aquino, Kim Molina, Noel Trinidad and Robert Seña, with Richard Yap and Jay Manalo playing special roles. The series will be directed by Antonette Jadaone and Andoy Ranay, both of whom have been the directors of JaDine’s projects in the past.

The hype for ‘Till I Met You’ has been tremendous leading up to its premiere. News regarding the upcoming series became a constant trending topic on social media, and as such, fans of JaDine cannot stop talking about ‘Till I Met You”s hit potential.

This should cause a concern for GMA, whose continuous failures to concoct their own popular love teams have been well documented. The expected popularity of ‘Till I Met You’ could keep GMA out of it, especially now that they are airing a Koreanovela (in this case ‘Descendants of the Sun’) as a last resort.

It will be interesting to see how the new and improved JaDine will fare the second time around. But as far as viewers are concerned, there will be no surprises, as they are poised to once again generate high ratings for ABS-CBN based on past reputation.

‘Till I Met You’ premieres this Monday, and airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Destiny Rose, And I Love You So End Tomorrow

Another ‘Battle of the Finales’ takes place tomorrow afternoon.

ABS-CBN’s ‘And I Love You So’ and GMA’s ‘Destiny Rose’ will officially conclude after their respective runs of 70 and 130 episodes. The two series have been on a collision course since December of last year, with both shows exchanging ratings victories on numerous occasions.

‘Destiny Rose’ premiered on September 14, 2015, and was the latest GMA series to tackle LGBT issues (similar to ‘My Husband’s Lover’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’). The series starred Ken Chan as a transwoman, and was joined by Fabio Ide, Katrina Halili, Manilyn Reynes, Michael de Mesa and Joko Diaz, among others.

Replacing ‘Healing Hearts’ on Afternoon Prime, ‘Destiny Rose’ initially struggled in the ratings when it premiered, but soon managed to win the hearts of viewers with the transformation of Ken’s character into a woman. Like the two prior LGBT-themed GMA series, its story received numerous praise from critics.

‘And I Love You So’, on the other hand, premiered on December 7, 2015, and it starred Julia Barretto and Miles Ocampo as rivals turned stepsisters. They were joined by Dimples Romana, Tonton Gutierrez and Angel Aquino, among others.

Premiering as a replacement to the short-lived Kapamilya series ‘Walang Iwanan’, ‘And I Love You So’ proved that it can keep up with ‘Destiny Rose’ in the ratings. But unlike their fellow Kapamilya Gold dramas ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’ and ‘Tubig at Langis’, ‘And I Love You So’ was unable to dominate, which should bother the cast given the potential of both Julia and Miles.

In any event, this should be an exciting ‘Battle of the Finales’. For ‘And I Love You So’ and ‘Destiny Rose’, it’s all about finishing on a right note, and tomorrow afternoon, viewers will find out how their stories conclude.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN and GMA have announced replacements for the two series. The Kapamilya network will go back to airing Koreanovelas with ‘My Love Donna’, while the Kapuso network will counter with ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

More on that in upcoming articles.

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drama, entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Revamp for Kapamilya Gold

‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ may be affected in the regional networks as Kapamilya Gold revamps its lineup with the move of the NCA block to late nights. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

A brand-new Kapamilya Gold awaits viewers later today.

As previously announced, ‘And I Love You So’ will take over the slot once occupied by the recently concluded (albeit short-lived) series ‘Walang Iwanan’. The new series, starring Julia Barretto, Miles Ocampo, Angel Aquino and Dimples Romana, will air after ‘All of Me’.

The revamp does not end there, however. Starting today, the News and Current Affairs block will no longer air on Kapamilya Gold, and will instead move back to its original timeslot following ‘Bandila’.

The NCA block lineup will remain the same following the timeslot change. ‘Mission Possible’ airs on Mondays, followed by ‘My Puhunan’ on Tuesdays, ‘Red Alert’ on Wednesdays, ‘Sports U’ on Thursdays, and ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ on Fridays.

Now that the NCA block has moved to late nights, how will this affect the Kapamilya Gold lineup in the regions? As it stands, this is how the Kapamilya Gold block will look like starting today, as far as Metro Manila viewers are concerned.

2:45 p.m. – Doble Kara

3:30 p.m. – All of Me

4:15 p.m. – And I Love You So

5:00 p.m. – Kapamilya Deal or No Deal

One program likely to be affected with the change in the regions will be ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’. With the regional networks’ own broadcast of ‘TV Patrol’, they may be forced to preempt ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ in their area.

As such, the ‘available in select areas’ advisory may apply during episode previews for ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’, in order to inform viewers of a possible preemption. Here’s how it may potentially look like in the regional networks.

2:45 p.m. – Doble Kara

3:30 p.m. – All of Me

4:15 p.m. – And I Love You So

5:00 p.m. – Kapamilya Deal or No Deal/TV Patrol regionals

That said, ABS-CBN has a decision to make regarding Kapamilya Gold in the regions. After all, they don’t want to risk shedding some viewers outside Metro Manila with this move.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Walang Iwanan Ends Friday; And I Love You So to Take Over

This Friday marks a rather short conclusion to ‘Walang Iwanan’.

Premiering on October 19, ‘Walang Iwanan’ managed to air just 35 episodes, which is shorter than a typical ABS-CBN teleserye. No one expected this to happen, considering the Kapamilya network’s high standards when it comes to their teleseryes.

But there are some reasons why ‘Walang Iwanan’ had to end sooner. Beauty Gonzales is due to give birth either within this month or early next year, while Jhong Hilario will be busy running for public office next year.

As for ‘Walang Iwanan”s ratings, the series averaged a 10% rating throughout its run. On the other hand, GMA’s ‘Destiny Rose’ managed a 14% rating per episode according to the Kantar national ratings.

The same goes to AGB Nielsen’s Mega Manila ratings, where ‘Destiny Rose’ performed better than ‘Walang Iwanan’. Overall, ‘Walang Iwanan”s ratings was a letdown from its predecessor ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’.

Still, it was not an excuse for them to have a short run. After all, there are other circumstances that led to its tenure of over two months.

Next up for ABS-CBN will be Julia Barretto’s first teleserye since 2013’s ‘Mirabella’. Julia’s new series, ‘And I Love You So’, will feature her and Miles Ocampo as stepsisters turned archrivals, all for the love of one man, portrayed by Inigo Pascual.

The story of ‘And I Love You So’ will revolve around the rivalry between the characters of Julia and Miles, who soon found out they were stepsisters. Their lives would change, however, when their parents, portrayed by Dimples Romana and Tonton Gutierrez, reunite and become engaged.

But just as they begin living a normal life, the latter’s first wife, portrayed by Angel Aquino, returns after years of estrangement and seek revenge on his new fiancée. With it comes a series of events that will test the family’s determination to stay together and mend some old wounds.

‘And I Love You So’ will be the latest collaboration between ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment, whose track record of producing successful teleseryes has been well-documented. But for Julia Barretto, it is about redemption, especially after an inauspicious debut as a lead star in ‘Mirabella’.

That said, ABS-CBN hopes that ‘And I Love You So’ will help bring the best out of Julia. But whether or not it will translate to better ratings remains to be seen, so good luck.

‘And I Love You So’ premieres this Monday after ‘All of Me’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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