action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Erich X 3: The Blood Sisters on ABS-CBN Starting Monday

If two-in-one is not enough, why not three-in-one.

This is exactly what ABS-CBN will look to do starting this Monday when Erich Gonzales portrays three different characters in ‘The Blood Sisters’. But for older viewers, an actor playing a trio of characters is nothing new.

During the late 1990s, another Kapamilya drama pulled the same stunt when ‘Saan Ka Man Naroroon’ saw Claudine Barretto play three characters of differing personas. Considering the difficulty of this maneuver, the three-in-one storyline was rarely replicated, until now.

In ‘The Blood Sisters’, Erich is the one in three-in-one. First, she is Erika, a bar dancer and a doting mother whose profession keeps her son alive amid his battle with a chronic illness.

A gruesome murder at the bar leads to a chase that nearly costs Erika’s life. Along the way, however, she finds out that she has two twin sisters: Carrie and Agatha, both of whom will be crucial in realizing the truth about their upbringing.

The triplets were raised by a surrogate mother and were separated after an agreement their parents made fell through. Once they reunite, they will look to find the truth amid the dangers in their lives.

Also part of ‘The Blood Sisters’ are Enchong Dee, Ejay Falcon, AJ Muhlach, Cherry Pie Picache, Dina Bonnievie, Jestoni Alarcon, Ruby Ruiz, and Pamu Pamorada. It will be directed by Jojo Saguin and is under the production of Dreamscape Entertainment.

For Erich Gonzales, the 5:45 slot is nothing new to her, having previously starred in ‘Katorse’ and ‘Tanging Yaman’. But ‘The Blood Sisters’ is drastically different from all the previous dramas she participated in, as it will mark the entry of a more sexier and sultrier Erich.

Considering how ‘Wildflower’ raised expectations for the said timeslot, the bar is definitely much higher for ‘The Blood Sisters’ to scale. Still, it remains to be seen if a new-look Erich Gonzales will deliver the same if not better-than-impressive ratings for her new drama as she did a few years ago.

The floor is now hers to take. Good luck.

‘The Blood Sisters’ airs weeknights before ‘TV Patrol’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Bouncing Back: Julia Montes Returns in Asintado

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold badly needs a boost.

For months, the block has struggled against a resurgent GMA Afternoon Prime. It was clear that Kapamilya Gold has gone stale with a repetitive ‘kabitserye’ formula, and as a result, viewers tuned away in favor of series that had campy scenes (‘Ika-6 na Utos’), one actress playing two contrasting personalities (‘Impostora’), and allusions to the supernatural (‘Haplos’).

This Monday, Kapamilya Gold will try to return to relevance with a familiar face and a new attitude. Enter ‘Asintado’, the newest afternoon series starring daytime drama’s undisputed queen in Julia Montes.

In ‘Asintado’, Julia is Ana, a member of a rescue team who looks to make her adoptive family proud. After saving Gael (Paulo Avelino) from a mining accident, she became his personal nurse and eventually fell in love with each other.

But just as their relationship blooms, Gael’s ex-girlfriend Samantha (Shaina Magdayao) returns to try to win back his heart, even if it means killing Ana. Fortunately, Ana was saved by Xander (Aljur Abrenica), only to find out later on that Gael and Samantha are about to get married.

Just as Ana is plotting her revenge, she finds out that Samantha was her long-lost sister. Samantha, as it turned out, was lost in the fire that killed their parents.

The search for love and justice in ‘Asintado’ will also involve a veteran supporting cast consisting of Lorna Tolentino, Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel, Agot Isidro, and Nonie Buencamino. The series will be directed by Onat Diaz and Lino Cayetano.

If Julia’s previous series ‘Doble Kara’ helped Kapamilya Gold reclaim the ratings lead from Afternoon Prime, then ABS-CBN should look for ‘Asintado’ to do the same. Still, the series will be up against a formidable foe in ‘Impostora’, and battling a tested star in Kris Bernal will not be a walk in the park.

But considering Julia Montes’ star power, facing such an obstacle is no big deal. That said, it will be up to her to lead Kapamilya Gold back to where it wants to be.

‘Asintado’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Can The Promise of Forever Help Reverse Kapamilya Gold’s Slide?

ABS-CBN may be the country’s most-watched network last month, but weekday afternoons are a different story.

Over the last few weeks, GMA’s Afternoon Prime became the most-watched block from 2:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. While ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ remains the most-watched program during weekday afternoons, its follow-up dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were not far behind in dispatching the opposition.

The recent change of fortune in the weekday afternoon slots should cause plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. Both ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and the soon-to-conclude ‘The Better Half’ were derisively labeled ‘kabitseryes’, and viewers became fed up with the direction ABS-CBN is taking.

Looking to address concerns that Kapamilya Gold is becoming increasingly stale, ABS-CBN decided to change things up with a new teleserye that is drastically different from the recent norm. Enter ‘The Promise of Forever’, starring Paulo Avelino and the network’s new addition Ritz Azul.

‘The Promise of Forever’ tells the story of Nicolas (Paulo), an immortal man who saves Sophia (Ritz) from a burning house and years later fall in love with each other. However, inside Nicolas lies a curse that prevents him from entering into a relationship while at the same time preventing him from feeling the pain of loss.

Moreover, Sophia’s lover Philip (Ejay Falcon) and Nicolas’ descendant Marlon (Tonton Gutierrez) were out to ruin their lives. With that in mind, it will be up to Nicolas to overcome the curse while preserving his relationship with Sophia.

‘The Promise of Forever’ will also star Cherry Pie Picache, Amy Austria, Benjie Paras, Susan Africa, Ynna Asistio, and Nico Antonio. It will be directed by Darnel Villaflor and Hannah Espia.

The lead-up to the premiere of ‘The Promise of Forever’ is a cautionary tale of biding one’s time. A trade trailer for the series was released in November of last year, but it took nearly ten months before ABS-CBN realized that the time is finally right.

However, with Kapamilya Gold mired in a slump, is ‘The Promise of Forever’ worth the long wait? One can only hope that this series will turn things around for the suddenly beleaguered block and in turn restore the faith of viewers that had betrayed the network of late.

‘The Promise of Forever’ airs weekday afternoons on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. Timeslot to be determined.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

You’re My Home Premieres Tonight

ABS-CBN is adding a fifth teleserye to Primetime Bida’s already formidable lineup.

The latest entry on the block is ‘You’re My Home’, the long-awaited project of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta. The series was first planned two years ago, but numerous casting and story changes delayed the project until this year.

The original cast of ‘You’re My Home’ would have featured Richard and Dawn along with Enchong Dee, Shaina Magdayao, Iza Calzado, Cherry Pie Picache, Ella Cruz and Francis Magundayao. Instead, ABS-CBN decided to start over and rework the casting process.

With the exception of Richard and Dawn, the rest of the cast will now feature Jessy Mendiola, JC de Vera, Tonton Gutierrez, Paul Salas, Precious Lara Quigaman, Assunta De Rossi, Jobelle Salvador, Mika Dela Cruz, Minnie Aguilar, Peewee O’Hara, Belle Mariano, Bugoy Carino, and Raikko Mateo. The series will be directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Star Creatives will handle production.

‘You’re My Home”s story will revolve around a family’s search for a lost son and the questions that surround his disappearance. The Fontanilla family of Grace (Jessy), Gabriel (Richard), Marian (Dawn) and Rahm (Sam) will have to find a way to not only look for their son Vince (Paul), but also fix a relationship that was ruined by his disappearance.

As mentioned earlier, ‘You’re My Home’ will be the network’s fifth teleserye on the Primetime Bida block. Counting the three other teleseryes on Kapamilya Gold and the late-morning series ‘Ningning’, ABS-CBN will now have a total of nine teleseryes every weekday, further demonstrating the network’s depth, creativity and financial capabilities.

It will be interesting to see if five teleseryes on primetime will translate to better ratings. ‘You’re My Home’ may be a can’t miss, but whether or not it will whet viewers’ appetites in the late-evening remains to be seen.

‘You’re My Home’ premieres tonight after ‘On the Wings of Love’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Carmela’ Meets New Rival

Coco Martin, Kim Chiu, Julia Montes and Jake Cuenca top-bill the upcoming drama series ‘Ikaw Lamang’, which debuts on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida on March 10.

The past few weeks have not been good for ‘Carmela’. Rival series ‘Got to Believe’, scheduled to end this March 7, has not only beaten the former in its timeslot, but also out-trended them in social media. In addition, TV5’s PBA Philippine Cup playoff games have leapfrogged past ‘Carmela’ in terms of both ratings and social media impact. And now a new rival program awaits.

Enter ‘Ikaw Lamang’, the upcoming ABS-CBN Primetime Bida series which will replace ‘Got to Believe’ on March 10. The series will feature a powerhouse cast headlined by Kim Chiu, Julia Montes, Coco Martin and Jake Cuenca. Veteran actors Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III, Cherry Pie Picache, Cherie Gil and John Estrada will complement the lead cast of characters. 

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be the first project together for Montes and Martin since their highly-rated series ‘Walang Hanggan’ two years earlier. It will also mark Chiu’s first primetime project since ‘Ina, Kapatid, Anak’, and her second without on-screen partner Xian Lim. Chiu, Martin and Cuenca also previously worked together in ‘Tayong Dalawa’ in 2009.

The upcoming drama series will be a huge test for the four lead stars in terms of on-screen chemistry, familiarity and their acting abilities. But viewers should not worry. ‘Ikaw Lamang’ is a showcase that pits four of the most bankable personalities in the small screen, and when mixed with a well-written script and a highly touted supporting cast, it translates into a potentially high-rated drama series that will attract many viewers.

Which means that more problems lay ahead for viewers of ‘Carmela’. Despite debuting strongly last January, ‘Carmela’ has suffered of late thanks to the lack of social media presence and declining ratings. The lack of interest and viewership surrounding ‘Carmela’ should be a cause of concern to GMA management, who will now pressure the writers to improve the script and develop the characters further. And when up against a star-studded cast in ‘Ikaw Lamang’, they are at a disadvantage.

With that, good luck to the writers of ‘Carmela’. I hope you improve its storyline in order to impress and attract viewers, otherwise ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will continue to overwhelm the show just like what ‘Got to Believe’ did.

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