anime, entertainment, Philippines, television

Newly-Redubbed Voltes V to Air on GMA Astig Authority This Week As Part of 40th Anniversary

The legend returns: ‘Voltes V’ will air anew on GMA starting tomorrow, featuring a new Filipino dub. (Screenshot courtesy of Toei, Nippon Sunrise, Telesuccess Productions and GMA Network)

‘Voltes V’ is back.

As part of the anime’s 40th anniversary, GMA announced that a redubbed version of ‘Voltes V’ will be aired starting tomorrow morning on the network’s Astig Authority block. The fresh new Filipino dub of ‘Voltes V’ will feature the following Kapuso stars:

  • Derrick Monasterio (as Steve Armstrong)
  • Jak Roberto (as Mark Gordon)
  • Hiro Peralta (as Big Bert Armstrong)
  • Bea Binene  (as Jamie Robinson)
  • Ken Chan (as Prince Zardos)

The voices of Little John Armstrong, Dr. Ned Armstrong, Mary Armstrong, Dr. Smith, Commander Robinson, Dr. Hook, Draco, Zandra, Zuhl and other characters will also be dubbed by various voice actors. However, it is unknown if GMA will give credit to these voice actors for their roles in the redubbed ‘Voltes V’.

‘Voltes V’, a brainchild of Tadao Nagahama (also the man behind ‘Daimos’), was first aired on GMA in 1978. However, it was soon banned by then-President Ferdinand Marcos (along with the aforementioned ‘Daimos’ and other robot anime) for being ‘too violent’.

It was only after the People Power Revolution that ‘Voltes V’ triumphantly returned on air through various TV channels (most notably ABS-CBN and IBC-13). In 1999, ‘Voltes V’ was brought back by GMA in both English and Filipino dubs (along with the four unaired episodes known as ‘Voltes V: The Liberation’), and instantly became popular with a new generation of viewers.

The renewed popularity of ‘Voltes V’ also inspired the ‘Bubble Gang’ segment ‘Ang Dating Doon’ (a parody of the religious program ‘Ang Dating Daan’) to adopt the anime’s opening song as its theme. The skit even brought a toy version of the robot on numerous occasions.

In 2005, ABS-CBN’s Hero channel aired a new Filipino dub of ‘Voltes V’ (known as ‘Voltes V Evolution’), starring the likes of Jett Pangan and Sandara Park. However, the new dub was poorly received.

The 2017 dub of ‘Voltes V’ may be a celebration for the anime’s 40th anniversary, but it remains to be seen if the redub will be worth watching. Considering that ‘Magandang Buhay’ has had some winning moments in recent episodes, this will be a tough task for the returning series to overcome.

Still, for those too young to remember the battle between the Boazanians and the Earth’s special forces, ‘Voltes V’ will be a new experience for all of them. Win or lose, this new dub should give them a fresh perspective on how good overcomes evil, and how bloodlines were revealed.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

In 100 Words: Ogie Alcasid Officially a Kapamilya

Say hello to new ABS-CBN star Ogie Alcasid.

The multi-awarded singer-songwriter officially inked a contract with ABS-CBN yesterday. formally welcoming him on the Kapamilya camp. This is now his second stint with ABS-CBN after starting his entertainment career with the said network over two decades ago.

Ty so much for the warm welcome @abscbnonline #abscbn #excited #overwhelmed #grateful #humbled #tyLord

A post shared by Ogie Alcasid (@ogiealcasid) on

Ogie, who also carved a career as a comedian on shows like ABC-5’s ‘Tropang Trumpo’ and GMA’s ‘Bubble Gang’, is currently a judge on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ and ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan. He also joins a rare list of couples who work on separate networks, as wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid remains under contract with GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The End of A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo?

Is it really over for ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’?

Last Thursday, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its so-called season finale, with the hashtag #A1ThankYou. In the episode, Digna (Jaclyn Jose) held a Thanksgiving party to celebrate the return of Kaycee (Denise Barbacena) and her reconciliation with her husband Rolly (Gardo Versoza).

While the episode probably signaled the conclusion of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ as viewers know it, the show’s Facebook page tried to pacify concerns by promising another season in the near future. Still, any hope of a return may be questionable considering the year-round approach of Filipino programming.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ first premiered on June 2, 2016 as GMA’s first weeknight sitcom in nearly a decade. The show immediately lived up to its billing as a sexually-themed sitcom, emphasizing more mature situations that are not suitable for young kids.

The premiere of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ was at the time an attempt to revive the seemingly moribund KiliTV block. In fact, GMA promoted both ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ in various 30-second clips in order to draw interest from comedy fans.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ did not exactly revive the glory days of KiliTV. The sitcom initially fared well against ABS-CBN’s Filipino-dubbed ‘Jane the Virgin’, but it soon lost momentum against the ever-popular yet controversial ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’.

Let’s face it, ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ was not a bad sitcom. It was a fresh concept that is as daring as it can get, in contrast to more family-oriented sitcoms that viewers became accustomed to.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ also helped GMA reduce its overdependence on Koreanovelas. During its 26-episode run, various GMA Koreanovelas run for only three times a week, enabling it to run a lot longer than usual.

But now that the sitcom is all but history (for now), expect Koreanovelas to once again dominate GMA’s late-night programming. It’s a sad development considering that GMA wanted to place another show on weeknights to alleviate its burden on Koreanovelas.

It remains to be seen if ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ will ever come back as promised. But for now, it’s good riddance for the show.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Bubble Gang’s 21-Gang Salute Special

All hail ‘Bubble Gang’!

On November 25 and December 2, the Philippines’ longest-running gag show will celebrate its 21st year on air with a two-part special. Titled ‘Bubble Gang: 21-Gang Salute’, the episodes will feature skits that will pay tribute to the country’s greatest comedians of all time.

‘Bubble Gang’ has been on the air since October 20, 1995, with Michael V and Antonio Aquitania the only remaining holdovers from the show’s first episode. Last year saw the departures of Sam Pinto, Max Collins, Rufa Mae Quinto, Gwen Zamora and Joyce Ching, and the promotions of Kim Domingo, Valeen Montenegro, Arra San Agustin, Jak Roberto and Arianne Bautista to the main cast.

A new ‘Bubble Gang’ opening billboard will also premiere within the special. That said, tune in this and next Friday for another unforgettable anniversary presentation of ‘Bubble Gang’, only on GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Goin’ Bulilit’s Real Archrival, Eleven Years After

Remember ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’?

For those who have grown up watching ‘Bubble Gang’ for the past 21 years, some may not remember this short-lived spinoff. Yes, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ was GMA’s own attempt to counter ABS-CBN”s ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, using their own child stars in hopes of replicating the same formula that made its parent show a success.

‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ first premiered on May 8, 2005, four months after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ took off. The notable cast members of the show include BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, Ella Guevara, Miguel Tanfelix, Sam Bumatay, Empress Schuck and Joyce Ching.

The show was essentially an introduction to several ‘StarStruck Kids’ alumni, as it was one of their first projects following the conclusion of the reality series. It also introduced viewers to BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, whose claim to fame at the time was on a Tide commercial.

While ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ showed some promise, it failed to make an impact against the well-established ‘Goin’ Bulilit’. The fact that the spinoff was hastily created from the start contributed to its short run, and as a result, GMA cancelled ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ following its final episode on August 7, 2005.

Overall, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ lasted only 14 episodes. On the contrary, ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ has aired over 550 episodes since 2005, and has seen a fair amount of child talent come and go.

Although ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ met its unfortunate end after a near-four month run, some of its stars found success in the years after the show’s cancellation. Miguel Tanfelix, for instance, reemerged in shows like ‘Niño’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ and ‘Ismol Family’, while Joyce Ching became a main cast member on ‘Bubble Gang’ and is also seen in the teleserye ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Despite that, the lesson that ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ provided was difficult to accept for GMA and its management. Let’s face it, had ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remained on the air today, more up-and-coming talent would have been showcased.

Alas, GMA’s own mistakes only served to doom the show. To this day, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remains a show that GMA regrets, and after 11 years, it continues to haunt the network and its Artist Center for its inability to hone new stars.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, United States

Jane the Virgin About to Conclude, Says ABS-CBN

Apparently ABS-CBN does not realize the difference between American and Filipino series.

Such is the case for ‘Jane the Virgin’, the Tagalized American comedy-drama series that premiered in the Philippines last March 28. The series, which starred Gina Rodriguez as the titular Jane, was recently renewed by the American cable network The CW for a third season.

Yet ABS-CBN insists that ‘Jane the Virgin’ will come to an end soon. A teaser for its presumed conclusion was recently released by ABS-CBN and has been airing on the network during commercial breaks (see trailer video below).

If the ABS-CBN management were smart enough, they should know the difference between a typical Filipino teleserye and an American series. Look at these contrasts.

American series

  • A season consists of at least 20 episodes
  • An American television season lasts from October to May
  • An American series airs weekly, with a few preemptions for special events in between
  • If successful, they are usually renewed for another season, otherwise they can be cancelled

Filipino series

  • A season ranges from at least 60 episodes to at most 160 episodes, usually divided by ‘book’
  • There is no such thing as a Filipino television season; programs air year-round
  • A Filipino series airs five times a week, except during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
  • Cancellations rarely happen in Filipino series, but renewals to extend its run take place

From the perspective of ABS-CBN, it appears that the reason why ‘Jane the Virgin’ is about to ‘end’ is because of ratings and a desire for another experiment. As it currently stands, ‘Jane the Virgin’ averages around 7% per episode, which is good enough to beat a GMA Asianovela but not against comedy programs ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Bubble Gang’.

This means that based on ratings alone, ABS-CBN might not bring back ‘Jane the Virgin’ in the foreseeable future. Even though a third season is expected to air in the United States this October, there is a possibility that it may not be aired at all in the Philippines.

If this is indeed the end for ‘Jane the Virgin’ in the Philippines, expect nothing less than an impressive finish. Hopefully ABS-CBN can reconsider its so-called ‘decision’ on this beloved American series, otherwise they will have to regroup.

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