drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Challenge for A Love to Last: I Heart Davao

It’s another rom-com vs. rom-com starting this Monday.

On GMA, the picturesque setting of Davao will be the focus of this soon-to-air primetime series. Enter ‘I Heart Davao’, the network’s newest offering on the Telebabad block.

In this up-and-coming series, Carla Abellana will play the role of Hope, a heart transplant recipient who goes to Davao in hopes of saving her family’s chocolate business. There, she meets Ponce (Tom Rodriguez), the proud yet pragmatic son of a chocolate haciendero who happens to be the former boyfriend of Hope’s donor.

Unfortunately for the two, their cultural differences and personalities become a challenge as they try to help each other out. It only gets more complicated when Hope’s childhood friend and businessman Paul (Benjamin Alves) arrives on the scene to rekindle their relationship.

According to GMA, 80% of ‘I Heart Davao”s scenes were shot in Davao in an effort to highlight the province’s amazing scenery. The network also made good use of the Davaoeño dialect by incorporating speaking lines in the said tongue.

‘I Heart Davao’ will also star Betong Sumaya, Maey Bautista, Ricardo Cepeda, Glenda Garcia, Racquel Villavicencio, Joel Saracho, Geraldine Villamil, Natileigh Sitoy, Kevin Sagra, Philip Lazaro, and Catherine Rem, with special participation by the Davao theater group Cine Madayaw. The series is directed by Marlon N. Rivera.

While ‘I Heart Davao’ should be a must-watch, they will face a very serious challenge from the start. ABS-CBN’s ‘A Love to Last’ is coming off a highly-rated wedding episode between Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo), and with latter still raking in episode victories on a consistent basis, the former’s winning aspirations will not be an easy one.

Add to that is the fact that it will be GMA Public Affairs who will shoulder the series’ burden. Considering the division’s many non-news programs that primarily focused on winning awards than ratings, it will not be a surprise to see ‘I Heart Davao’ follow the same path.

In any event, good luck to GMA in making ‘I Heart Davao’ a success. There is no doubt about its potential, but will it be more than enough?

‘I Heart Davao’ airs weeknights after ‘My Love from the Star’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Meant to Be Down to Last Five Episodes

The search for ‘the one’ is down to its last week.

In the final week of ‘Meant to Be’, Billie (Barbie Forteza) has a choice to make. For the past 118 episodes, Billie’s heart is chased by four men: Fil-Chinese Yuan (Ken Chan), Fil-Brit Ethan (Ivan Dorschner), Fil-Indian Jai (Addy Raj) and pure-blooded Filipino Andoy (Jak Roberto), and now, she must pick who among the four will fit her best.

In an unprecedented move, GMA asked viewers and fans the same question as Billie. Voting for ‘the one’ took place from June 4 to 18 on GMA’s official website, with each entry qualified for the opportunity to win a Samsung J7 smart phone and a meet-and-greet with the ‘Meant to Be’ cast.

The winner of the poll will be determined throughout the final five episodes of ‘Meant to Be’. That said, viewers must wait with bated breath to see who among their favorites won Billie’s heart.

First aired on January 9, 2017, ‘Meant to Be’ premiered on the same night as its current rival ‘A Love to Last’. But for the first two weeks of its run, ‘Meant to Be’ was pitted against ‘Till I Met You’, the ABS-CBN drama series that starred James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

Luckily for ‘Meant to Be’, they began their run on a strong note, as they took advantage of an underachieving opponent. But once ‘A Love to Last’ moved down to challenge the former, the tables turned against them.

While ‘Meant to Be’ still enjoyed impressive ratings (on average, the series raked in 14% per episode), they were unable to contain ‘A Love to Last”s 18% or better mark. Nevertheless, ‘Meant to Be’ still had some memorable moments that could make Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo) say wow, such as Billie’s bikini moment with the boys.

Summer came early for JEYA and Billie! 🔥😍 #MTBBeachBodyReady 📷 : @akosila

A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on

According to Ken Chan on Pep.PH, ‘Meant to Be’ was initially aimed to last six weeks. But the surprisingly positive reception from viewers (notwithstanding its shortcomings against ‘A Love to Last’) extended the series to a mere six months, which is still noteworthy.

As ‘Meant to Be’ enters its final week, the chase for Billie’s heart is on. Regardless of the outcome, viewers and fans alike should be pleased with how this feel-good story turn out.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Love to Last and Meant to Be: Primetime’s Opening Salvos This 2017

Two new teleseryes get their baptism of fire in the second week of 2017.

On ABS-CBN, Bea Alonzo and Ian Veneracion star in the upcoming series ‘A Love to Last’. A family drama, ‘A Love to Last’ tells the story of Andeng (Bea) and Anton (Ian), two individuals whose fates intertwined thanks to the crumbling relationships with their significant others.

Andeng, a breadwinner and a successful events organizer, was about to get married when she caught her fiancé cheating with another woman. Anton, on the other hand, was a company president and CEO, married to Grace (Iza Calzado) and had three children, only to see her leave and file for annulment.

Both eventually found love with each other in the most unexpected of ways. However, Andeng must first deal with Anton’s marital problems in hopes of gaining his acceptance.

‘A Love to Last’ also stars Enchong Dee, Julia Barretto, Ronnie Alonte, JK Labajo and Hannah Vito. It is directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Richard Arellano.

Fresh from the successful-but-not-quite-impressive run of ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ABS-CBN is pinning its hopes on ‘A Love to Last’ to reverse a downward trend of sub-30% ratings in recent months. But as Bea and Ian were already industry veterans with nothing left to prove, it remains to be seen if viewers can still accept them as a force in primetime.

Over on GMA, a much lighter story will take place in the upcoming series ‘Meant to Be’, starring Barbie Forteza, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Addy Raj and Ivan Dorschner. It will be Barbie’s first primetime series since the not-so successful team-up with Andre Paras in ‘That’s My Amboy’ last year.

Joining them in this complicated love story are the ‘Triplets’ of ‘That’s Entertainment’ in Sheryl Cruz, Tina Paner and Manilyn Reynes, along with Keempee de Leon, Sef Cadayona, Mika dela Cruz, Stephanie Sol, Zymic Jaranilla and Ms. Gloria Romero. It will be directed by LA Madridejos.

In ‘Meant to Be’, Billie (Barbie) is an independent millenial whose life would soon revolve among the four men who will try to woo her heart; namely Fil-Brit Ethan (Ivan), Fil-Indian Jai (Addy), pure-blooded Filipino Macoy (Jak), and Fil-Chinese Yuan (Ken). But choosing the only guy that will fill her heart is not the only problem for Billie.

Billie will also deal with the crumbling relationship of her parents Wilton (Keempee) and Amelia (Manilyn), and the unemployment of her brother Bats (Sef). In addition, a sub-plot about Billie’s friendship with Mariko (Mika), and the once-formidable bond between Amelia, Suzy (Tina) and Beatriz (Sheryl) as a girl group will also be explored.

‘Meant to Be”s premiere will come at a not-so opportune time, as the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’ reaches its final two weeks. With only a few episodes to prove themselves, it will be a huge challenge for this rom-com to make a first impression to Kapuso viewers.

Either way, both ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘Meant to Be’ are worth the wait for those who anticipate it. Good luck to both shows.

‘A Love to Last’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, while ‘Meant to Be’ airs weeknights after ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Disappointing Run for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’

‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ is ending with a whimper.

The drama series starring Bea Alonzo and Paulo Avelino will officially conclude their run later tonight. ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ will be replaced by the Filipino adaptation of the Korean series ‘Two Wives’.

Premiering on June 16 amid high expectations, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ failed to replicate or even surpass the success of its predecessor ‘The Legal Wife’. This despite the fact that the show is a constant trending topic on Twitter, and a ratings winner according to Kantar.

The high point of the series came on the September 19 episode. The kissing scene between Emmanuelle (Alonzo) and Patrick (Avelino) not only became a top trending topic on Twitter nationally, but also globally.

The momentum continued on the September 24 episode, where Emmanuelle finally confessed to Patrick that she is indeed his ‘dead’ wife Rose. Like the September 19 episode, it trended both nationally and globally on Twitter.

Still, despite its social media success, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ only managed to score a 15-20% rating in every episode, a far cry from the 25-30% that ‘The Legal Wife’ managed during its run.

Making matters worse, rival ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ began to turn things around. The recently concluded GMA series gave ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a scare, both on Kantar and AGB Nielsen.

Even though they recaptured the momentum with the entry of ‘Hiram na Alaala’, the damage has been done. ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ proved to be a letdown from the success of ‘The Legal Wife’.

Now ABS-CBN hopes that ‘Two Wives’, starring Erich Gonzales, Jason Abalos and Kaye Abad, will be a huge improvement over ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’. The upcoming teleserye, as mentioned earlier, is an adaptation of a Korean series that aired in 2012.

As for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, it was a good series, but not a great one that would rank among the Kapamilya network’s greatest teleseryes. Indeed, they are a disappointment.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Mrs. Real’ Has a New Rival

‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ replaced the highly-rated series ‘The Legal Wife’ last Monday. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ is off to a poor start, but fortunately for them, their erstwhile rival ended its run the previous week. However, a new challenger awaits.

‘The Legal Wife’ finished its run last Friday to the tune of a 36.2% rating. That stat, according to Kantar, was more than quadruple than that of ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which finished a paltry 8.8%. In addition, topics related to the program were among the most trended on Twitter.

‘The Legal Wife’ also beat ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ in the AGB Nielsen ratings. The former drew a 32.3% while the latter managed a 12.8% nationally.

The finale saw Monica (Angel Locsin) and Adrian (Jericho Rosales) separate and enter a new chapter of their lives. Their separation came after several tumultuous years of marriage, which only intensified after Nicole (Maja Salvador), Monica’s friend, got into an affair with Adrian.

With ‘The Legal Wife’ now a thing of the past, ABS-CBN is now banking on its replacement to deliver similar, if not higher, numbers that the former achieved throughout its run. Enter ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, which premiered on the vacated timeslot of ‘The Legal Wife’ last night.

The new series marked the return of Bea Alonzo into the primetime spotlight. In her first television series since ‘A Beautiful Affair’ over a year ago, Alonzo will be playing two different roles in the series. First, she is Rose, a woman who was accused for a crime she did not commit. Then as the series go on, she undergoes plastic surgery in order to assume the role of Emmanuelle, a feisty lawyer with a mission for revenge.

Joining Alonzo will be Paulo Avelino, Albert Martinez, Dina Bonnevie, Maricar Reyes, Tonton Gutierrez, Eddie Garcia, Anita Linda, and Susan Roces. Jerome Pobocan and Trina Dayrit will direct the series.

While it is still early to predict the amount of viewers that the program will receive, it is expected that the series will become a highly-rated one, although not as highly-rated as its predecessor ‘The Legal Wife’. And based on ABS-CBN’s recent track record of airing highly-rated series, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ is assured to be a ratings winner.

On the other hand, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ is facing an uphill battle. After an unimpressive 8.8% performance last Friday, the the directors of the series will now have to devise some strategies in hopes of not repeating this performance again. Otherwise, an easy victory for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ will await the former.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Dyesebel’ Teaser on ABS-CBN

Many posts ago, I wrote about my thoughts on ABS-CBN and GMA trading their own shows. It stemmed from the fact that several former ABS-CBN programs were picked up by GMA and later made it their own. But on this example, ABS-CBN returned the favor.

A trailer for the new version of ‘Dyesebel‘ recently aired during the ‘Primetime Bida’ block. The teaser for the new ‘Dyesebel’ came in months after ABS-CBN and the estate of Mars Ravelo signed a contract to produce and air the beloved mermaid heroine, along with other Ravelo classics ‘Darna‘ and ‘Captain Barbell‘. Previously all three were aired on GMA, with ‘Darna’ and ‘Captain Barbell’ being produced on two separate occasions.

The teaser for the new ‘Dyesebel’ can be seen on the video below.

Immediately after the release of the teaser, questions were raised as to who will play the role of ‘Dyesebel’. Some of the candidates mentioned for the role were Kapamilya veterans Bea Alonzo, KC Concepcion, Anne Curtis, Kristine Hermosa, Erich Gonzales, Julia Montes and Julia Barretto. Based on the aforementioned candidates, I think the producers of the upcoming teleserye will be selecting a veteran who is willing and able to show some skin during the series.

The previous version of ‘Dyesebel’ was a big hit for GMA, catapaulting the Kapuso network atop the primetime ladder during its run. With ABS-CBN turning the tables of late thanks to emerging stars such as Jessy Mendiola and the KathNiel tandem (Kathryn Bernardo & Daniel Padilla), it is no doubt that their version of ‘Dyesebel’ will pull the network’s primetime dominance to even greater heights, and perhaps surpass the ratings generated by GMA’s own adaptation.

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