documentaries, lifestyle, Philippines, public affairs, television

Gina Lopez’s G Diaries This Sunday on ABS-CBN

Gina Lopez has come home.

After a controversial 10-month run as environment secretary, Lopez embarks on a new role, that of a television personality. Her 13-episode series, ‘G Diaries’, serves as a platform of her past experience, as she dives deep into the country’s most scenic locations while continuing to advocate environmental protection.

As previously mentioned, ‘G Diaries’ is a homecoming of sorts for Lopez. Prior to her stint as environment secretary, Lopez served a variety of roles within the ABS-CBN family, most notably as managing director of the Lingkod Kapamilya foundation.

In ‘G Diaries’, Lopez pays a visit into some of the country’s must-see attractions, and along the way she will meet new friends and talk about preserving the environment. According to Lopez herself,

“‘G Diaries’ seeks not only to entertain viewers and promote the Philippines as a majestic travel destination but also to inform and incite action, for everyone to be part of the collective effort to preserve the environment and bequeath it in its healthiest state to the next generation.”

All 13 episodes of ‘G Diaries’ will be directed by esteemed Hollywood director, producer and writer Wil Harper. The series will kick off with a signature prelude film featuring celebrities such as Sharon Cuneta, Eddie Garcia and Charo Santos-Concio.

While ‘G Diaries’ may be just another travel program, there is one aspect of the show that is worth looking at. Not only will viewers see some new destinations, but they will also look at the environmental and aesthetic aspect that each locale presents.

That said, awareness of one’s surroundings is put to a premium in this series. And for those who want to become environmentalists someday, this show is worth watching.

The premiere episode of ‘G Diaries’ will air this Sunday before ‘ASAP’, after which it will air every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on ABS-CBN. The series will also be seen on Lifestyle Network and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Shortened Final Week Awaits Little Nanay, You’re My Home

Only five episodes remain for ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’.

Both series will officially conclude this Holy Wednesday, March 23. Since Maunday Thursday and Good Friday will feature special religious-themed programming, the final week of the two shows will be uncharacteristically abbreviated than usual.

GMA’s ‘Little Nanay’ first aired on November 16, 2015, and will have run for 129 episodes by the time it ends. The series starred Kris Bernal, Chlaui Malayao, Nora Aunor and Eddie Garcia, among others.

‘Little Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ from the moment it premiered, but the series endured poor ratings against the KathNiel-starred drama. Not even a change of timeslot from January 11 onward helped change its fortunes, as they didn’t come close to the feats achieved by ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’.

On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s ‘You’re My Home’ first aired a week earlier, on November 9. The series, which starred Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez, Jessy Mendiola and JC de Vera, among others, will have a total of 136 episodes once it concludes.

‘You’re My Home’ was created essentially to take advantage of GMA’s weaker offerings during the late evening slot. While the series started slow, it has since earned respectable ratings, and helped consolidate the dominance of ABS-CBN during weekday primetime.

The conclusions of both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ mark a rare occasion in which a drama series will end on Holy Wednesday. As mentioned earlier, regular programming on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are set aside for religious-themed programs, hence the shorter final week.

That said, with only three episodes remaining before the Paschal Triduum kicks in, expect ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ to have a compelling conclusion. One can only hope that the two series will make a final impression as they enter the homestretch.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Rival for On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ is getting new competition starting this Monday.

For the past several months, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s breakthrough series has been on a roll against its closest competitor, ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though both series premiered on the same night (August 10), it is clear that GMA’s older generation of talents (Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo) are now a blip on the radar against ABS-CBN’s youngsters.

This Monday will be no exception, as they will once again emphasize experience over youth in their latest series, ‘Little Nanay’. The series will star Kris Bernal as an intellectually disabled 25-year-old mother, who will be taken care of by her own daughter, portrayed by Chlaui Malayao.

Speaking of experience, two Filipino showbiz legends will play major roles in ‘Little Nanay’. Nora Aunor will act as the rock star grandmother to Kris’ character, while Eddie Garcia will play the role of a rich and adoptive grandfather.

Other cast members of ‘Little Nanay’ include Bembol Roco, Mark Herras, Juancho Triviño, Keempee de Leon, Gladys Reyes, Hiro Peralta, Wynwyn Marquez, Sunshine Dizon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Jinri Park, Paolo Contis and Renz Fernandez. Multi-awarded actor and director Ricky Davao will be at the helm.

In contrast to the more serious tone of ‘My Faithful Husband’, ‘Little Nanay’ will be presented in a mostly comedic manner. This was GMA’s response to the more light-hearted approach of ‘On the Wings of Love’, which in turn was a departure from the mostly mature dramas that ABS-CBN aired in the 9:15 p.m. timeslot.

By all accounts, this will be a tough challenge for ‘Little Nanay’. With ‘On the Wings of Love’ still winning in the ratings game, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Little Nanay’ will be able to keep up with the former.

That said, an imposing task awaits ‘Little Nanay’. It’s up to Kris Bernal to prove that GMA’s so-called ‘oldies’ are still goodies.

‘Little Nanay’ premieres this Monday at 9:15 p.m., right after ‘Beautiful Strangers’ on GMA Telebabad.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Half-Sisters Extended Anew

‘The Half-Sisters’ has been extended until January 2016, after GMA initially reported that the series would end this October. (Photo credit: GMA Network/The Half-Sisters Official Facebook)

The longest-running afternoon drama today just doesn’t seem to end.

Director Mark Reyes has confirmed that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will be extended until January 2016. Counting the prior 17 months, the series will now have a total of 20 months on its current tenure.

In addition, Reyes confirmed that a new story arc is in the works. He teased that this arc will be edgier and more controversial, but did not disclose any further details because it needs the approval of a variety of sectors, from network management to the cast.

Considering that lead stars Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino are maturing as actresses, this may be the best course of action for the series. But then again, it’s up to the two young stars to convince themselves that they are ready for the next step.

Since debuting in June 2014, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been one the Philippines’ top-rated programs. Its lengthy run has been very impressive, so much so that veteran actors Gloria Romero, Eula Valdes, Cherie Gil and Eddie Garcia have made special appearances at one point, all with the intent of adding more flavor to the story.

But while ‘The Half-Sisters’ remained a hit with viewers, they seem to show signs of decline in recent months. The entry of ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’, in particular, has given ‘The Half-Sisters’ its toughest rival yet, since the former starred Julia Montes, a very successful primetime drama performer.

As a result, GMA made an announcement earlier this month that ‘The Half-Sisters’ would be down to its last four weeks, in hopes of ending the series on a high note. This report was later retracted, however, and no further mention of its impending conclusion was made in later episode previews.

Its presumed replacement, ‘Dangwa’, was then moved to a late-morning timeslot. And when director Mark Reyes made the confirmation, ‘The Half-Sisters” run will officially go on for an even longer period.

Now that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will continue until the new year, expect even further twists and turns in a series that has featured many of them. But how much longer will the viewers stick around? Only time will tell.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Be Careful’ Departs, ‘Give Love on Christmas’ Premieres

So long, Maya and Sir Chief.

After over two years, the ABS-CBN kiligserye ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ finally took a bow earlier today. The series finale featured a scene in Vigan where Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) and Sir Chief (Richard Yap) reminisced the good times of their relationship, followed by Maya’s surprise 30th birthday and live farewell special.

Thus, for the first time since July 9, 2012, a new program will enter the fray in the pre-noontime slot.

Over the next six weeks, ABS-CBN will air three different stories as part of its ‘Give Love on Christmas’ specials. The first of these stories will run from December 1 to December 12, preceding ‘It’s Showtime’.

‘The Gift Giver’ will be headlined by veteran actor Eddie Garcia, with supporting roles from Aiko Melendez, Dimples Romana, Carlo Aquino, Louise Abuel, Gerald Madrid and Nadine Samonte. Alicia Alonzo will appear in a special role.

In ‘The Gift Giver’, Garcia will play Ernest, whose hope in life was to work hard and sacrifice just to have a complete and joyful family. But the death of his wife Laura (Alonzo) soon took its toll on the relationship between himself and his children, and now Ernest will try to renew ties with the rest of his family just in time for Christmas.

In addition to ‘The Gift Giver’, two other stories will be seen in the ‘Give Love on Christmas’ specials: ‘The Gift of Life’, starring Gerald Anderson and Maja Salvador, and ‘Exchange Gift’, starring Paulo Avelino and KC Concepcion. The two stories will be aired on a still-yet-to-be-determined date.

On the verge of once again earning the tag of ‘Philippines’ No. 1 station’, ABS-CBN rewarded its loyal viewers with an early Christmas bonus. ‘Give Love on Christmas’ will be the last ABS-CBN offering of the year, and it should provide a fitting conclusion to another banner year for the Mother Ignacia-based network.

Standard
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.

Standard