drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

Kambal Karibal Starts Tonight, Seeks to Topple La Luna Sangre

KathNiel, meet BiGuel.

It seems like nothing can stop ABS-CBN’s ‘La Luna Sangre’. After all, since it premiered last June it became the second most-watched teleserye in the Philippines behind only ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

Three times GMA has tried to curb the dominance of ‘La Luna Sangre’, and three times they miserably failed. After striking out with ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2, they decided to go fire with fire by going with a supernatural theme and a love team.

Their response is a teleserye titled ‘Kambal Karibal’, starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. In the series, twin sisters Crisanta and Criselda (Bianca) battle for the love of both her family and Diego (Miguel), with the already dead Criselda consumed by Crisanta’s increasing affection for Diego and her mother.

The story begins with the death of Criselda from a rare disease, leaving her spirit behind that only appears to Crisanta. But after Crisanta gains the favor of Diego and her mother, Criselda decides to inhabit another person’s body in an attempt to stop Crisanta from getting the love that she deserves.

‘Kambal Karibal’ also stars Jean Garcia, Marvin Agustin, Alfred Vargas, Carmina Villarroel, Gloria Romero, Christopher De Leon, Jeric Gonzales, Pauline Mendoza, Rafa Siguion Reyna, Sheree, Racquel Montessa, and Kyline Alcantara. Katrina Halili and Gardo Versoza will also play special roles in the series.

If ‘La Luna Sangre”s ratings of over 30% and a disparity of over 15% are any indication, then ‘Kambal Karibal’ is in for a rude awakening. The powerhouse cast of ‘La Luna Sangre’, led by Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Kapuso castoffs Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez, continues to wreak havoc, and it will be very difficult for BiGuel to overcome KathNiel.

Nevertheless, the battle between ‘La Luna Sangre’ and ‘Kambal Karibal’ should be an interesting one. Not only will this be a competition between love teams, it will also be a fight between vengeful vampires and possessed spirits.

Directed by Don Michael Perez, ‘Kambal Karibal’ airs weeknights after ‘Super Ma’am’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Juan Happy Love Story Debuts Tonight, To Face The Story of Us

GMA continues to have fun with romantic comedies.

Their latest, ‘Juan Happy Love Story’, takes it even further with the addition of a more daring and naughty approach. Premiering tonight on GMA Telebabad, the series stars Dennis Trillo and Heart Evangelista as two lovers with differing views in both romance and life.

In ‘Juan Happy Love Story’, Juan (Dennis), a responsible businessman and a ‘chick boy’, and Happy (Heart), a feisty family-oriented woman who relied on signs to find her true love, were two individuals with contrasting perspectives. Still, they fell in love and tied the knot, but unfortunately, they cannot bear a child of their own.

Instead, they found a bubbly six-year-old orphan named Katkat (Leanne Bautista), but marital problems intervened and they separated. Nevertheless, Happy allowed Juan to live with her in hopes of legally adopting Katkat, however, their relationship was put to the test with the entry of Bob (Joross Gamboa) and Agatha (Kim Domingo).

Bob, a childhood friend of Happy, and Agatha, a business partner of Juan, attempted to court the two individually. With their relationship in doubt, it is up to Juan and Happy to put their differences aside and reconcile anew, hoping to finally live a normal life with their adopted daughter.

Joining the extended cast of ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ are Gloria Romero, Nick Lizaso, Gardo Versoza, Lotlot de Leon, Erika Padilla, Dominic Roco, Vincent Magbanua, Rob Moya, Arianne Bautista, Koreen Medina, and Vince Gamad. The series is directed by Lord Alvin Madridejos.

‘Juan Happy Love Story’ should have an uphill battle to begin with. Its opponent, ABS-CBN’s ‘The Story of Us’, has been on a roll, and with the love team of Kim Chiu and Xian Lim already well-established to the viewing public, it’s going to be a daunting task for both Dennis Trillo and Heart Evangelista to find a niche early on.

This is a light-hearted romantic series that GMA cannot afford to lose. After failing to hit paydirt with ‘Because of You’ and ‘That’s My Amboy’, their last ray of hope now rests on ‘Juan Happy Love Story’, whose success will depend on how viewers will welcome this new mix of comedy and raunchiness.

‘Juan Happy Love Story’ airs weeknights at 9:15 p.m. after ‘Once Again’ on GMA Telebabad.

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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.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

GMA Goes Value-Oriented with ‘Nino’

The new GMA Telebabad offering ‘Nino’ will begin on May 26.

With ‘Carmela’ about to finish its run this Friday, GMA decided to take a more simple approach in creating their teleseryes. The new series, titled ‘Nino’, is GMA’s latest attempt towards creating teleseryes that focuses on optimism, hope and good values.

This type of teleserye is not new to viewers. In fact, ABS-CBN  has capitalized on child stars such as Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, and Raikko Mateo to create simple yet heartwarming teleseryes that were embraced by the viewing public. These usually consist of stories of faith (‘May Bukas Pa’), humility (‘100 Days to Heaven’) and honesty (‘Honesto’), and in each of the shows, the child star was the lead protagonist who sets the tone for the duration of the series.

Not to be outdone, GMA has attempted this formula a few times. However, the remake of the Julie Vega classic ‘Mga Mata ni Anghelita’, starring a young Krystal Reyes, and the Barbie Forteza-Joshua Dionisio starrer ‘Pilyang Kerubin’ failed to click with viewers. They decided to abandon this concept, that is, until the project ‘Nino’ came along.

The upcoming series centers on a mentally challenged teenage boy named Nino, portrayed by Miguel Tanfelix. Throughout the series, Nino will guide people to a journey towards inspiration, hope and optimism amid all challenges. And with the help of his ‘Tukayo’, played by David Remo, Nino is determined to change the life of his town through miraculous means.

The series will also introduce the ‘Naynay Commandments’, a series of values and good manners that teaches people the importance of integrity and honesty in everyday life. It also inspires parents to become responsible in raising their children.

‘Nino’ will also feature an all-star cast that features Tom Rodriguez, Katrina Halili, Lotlot de Leon, Neil Ryan Sese, German Moreno, Dante Rivero, Bianca Umali, Gerald Napoles, Ces Quesada, Luz Valdez, Gloria Romero, Renz Valerio, Julian Trono and Vincent Magbanua.

GMA executives should be optimistic about ‘Nino’. Having seen its rival ABS-CBN succeed with this type of teleserye, there is no question that ‘Nino’ has the potential to attract a big number of viewers. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Nino’ will pull GMA’s fortunes back on the green side.

Nino is slated to air this Monday, right after ’24 Oras’.

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