drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Curtains Close on Mulawin vs. Ravena

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will air its final episode this Friday, concluding a brief 85-episode run. (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)

Who would have thought this will end so soon.

After 85 episodes and a timeslot change, the end is drawing near for the GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. The series that began as a follow-up to the successful (as far as GMA is concerned) fantaserye ‘Encantadia’ had high expectations from the start, only to fizzle amid intense competition from ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘La Luna Sangre’.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was the sequel to the highly successful mid-2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’. The series was headlined by Dennis Trillo, Heart Evangelista, Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Regine Velasquez among others.

First aired on May 22, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was initially pitted against the long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’. But while ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ gained a substantial audience, it was not enough to withstand the dominance of Cardo (Coco Martin) and company.

On August 14, GMA made a bold move by moving ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to the second slot in exchange for the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. This meant new competition for the former as it went up against ‘La Luna Sangre’, which ironically featured former ‘Mulawin’ lead stars Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin.

GMA even went as far as bringing some of the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, thus connecting the two series together. But not even the presence of Pirena (Glaiza de Castro) and Lira (Mikee Quintos) saved the series, and as a result, GMA decided to end ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ following its final episode this Friday.

Considering GMA’s high standards for their fantaseryes, it was disappointing to see ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ run for only a short period of time. After all, production of such series is not easy to begin with as logistics, finances, props, talents and special effects factor in alongside overall performance.

Still, for the viewers who have tuned in to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ from the beginning, the story was not that bad. GMA may have had its shortcomings, but at least they gave their 100% effort in bringing the tale of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to life.

Come this Friday, it will be one last stand for the Mulawin and the Ravena tribes. It may not be a graceful exit, but as far as ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is concerned, it will be one hell of an ending.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

I Heart Davao to End Friday

Talk about a regular occurrence.

After the Koreanovela remake series ‘My Love from the Star’ ended its 55-episode run Friday night, it is the turn of ‘I Heart Davao’ to take the cancellation ax. This time, its run is not even close, with 40 episodes in total.

‘I Heart Davao’, the latest entertainment project of GMA Public Affairs, premiered on June 26 as a replacement to ‘Meant to Be’. The series starred Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Benjamin Alves, with Catherine Rem playing a special role as the heart donor to Carla’s character.

80% of ‘I Heart Davao”s scenes were shot in Davao, while the characters learned the Davaoeño dialect to further infuse the region’s culture into the series. Throughout the course of its run, viewers learned to appreciate the distinct and friendly appeal Davao has to offer, from its scenery to the people involved.

Despite ‘I Heart Davao”s unique approach, its performance was not enough to overcome rival ABS-CBN series ‘A Love to Last’. That, coupled with the involvement of GMA Public Affairs, made it clear that the series is destined to run for only a short period of time.

While ‘I Heart Davao’ was still a great series as far as promoting one’s culture is concerned, they do not deserve a short 40-episode run. Had GMA Public Affairs not meddled with its production, then this series would have lasted much longer.

Nevertheless, for viewers who stuck with ‘I Heart Davao’ despite the overwhelming odds, it was a great experience to see the beautiful landscape of Davao. As unfortunate as it was to end so soon, the captivating and tear-jerking scenes of ‘I Heart Davao’ will forever be embedded into the viewers’ hearts.

This Friday will be the conclusion of an inspiring yet brief love affair with Davao and its culture. For ‘I Heart Davao’, all they need is a lasting impression so that viewers will remember all the good things that this show can offer.

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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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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.

Another chapter soon. #FPJAP

A post shared by Dreamscape PH (@dreamscapeph) on

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

Karelasyon Officially Cancelled by GMA

The one-time archrival of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ is now history.

Last Saturday marked the 108th and final episode of the GMA drama anthology series ‘Karelasyon’. Hosted by (and occasionally featured) Carla Abellana, the series focused on love and relationship stories that has hostility, jealousy, temptation and infidelity written on it.

‘Karelasyon’ first premiered on April 11, 2015, and as such, it was GMA’s own response to rival ABS-CBN’s revival of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’. While the series had some moments of ratings glory during its run, it was no match to the more superior and compelling stories that ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ presents.

On September 3, 2016, ‘Karelasyon’ was demoted to a later timeslot, which remained for the rest of its run. The change did little to improve ratings, as ‘Karelasyon’ regularly fell short to its new opponent in ‘SOCO’.

So why did ‘Karelasyon’ fail to pan out? Looking at its format, it was clear that the show has no place in GMA’s Saturday afternoon lineup due to these factors.

Similarity to Wish Ko Lang

Anyone who watches ‘Wish Ko Lang’ lately know that the program is no longer the wish-giving public service show that the now-ABS-CBN News personality Bernadette Sembrano once hosts. Under Vicky Morales, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ became just another drama anthology in GMA’s scheme of things.

That said, the similarity between ‘Karelasyon’ and ‘Wish Ko Lang’ made viewers too uncomfortable. GMA would have been smart to cancel ‘Wish Ko Lang’, but instead they gave ‘Karelasyon’ the boot.

Case Solved and Imbestigador

‘Case Solved’ and ‘Imbestigador’ also added to ‘Karelasyon”s issues. Both shows may have the words ‘public service’ and ‘docu-drama’ written all over it, but their occasional focus on love stories that end in tragedy may have also turned viewers off.

Entry of Ika-6 na Utos to the Saturday Lineup

When GMA decided to extend the weekday afternoon drama ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturdays, it turned out to be the last straw for ‘Karelasyon’. The former continued its momentum that it established on weekdays, while the latter sunk even further.

Despite airing for over two years, ‘Karelasyon’ will forever be remembered as a show that was aired at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Its format alone may be intriguing, but from the looks of it, GMA concocted a grave mistake on their part.

Thanks for the good (and bad) memories, ‘Karelasyon’. This show is worth forgetting for.

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Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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