comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Inday Will Always Love You to Give Since I Found You a Run for Its Money

Talk about a lethargic follow-up.

After a strong premiere week, harsh reality hits the ABS-CBN primetime romantic comedy series ‘Since I Found You’. From averaging in the 20s its first week, its ratings are now down to around 18%.

To make matters worse, its closest competitor (in this instance GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’) made an inspiring rally to pull to within 3%. Although it may not be enough to overcome the deficit by the time the series ends tonight, it should give ABS-CBN plenty of concern when it comes to the fourth teleserye in Primetime Bida’s lineup.

Starting Monday night, a new headache for ‘Since I Found You’ will come in the form of Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. Their new series ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is set in Cebu and will feature the culture and the sights and sounds of this popular Visayan city.

In ‘Inday Will Always Love You’, Happylou (Barbie) is a Manileña lechon store assistant who decides to return to Cebu in search of her father and to help her impoverished family who lives near the train tracks. Encountering the rich and kind Sir Philip (Ricky Davao), she begins to take care of him after the latter suffered a heart attack, and in turn, he helps Happylou search for her father.

Sir Philip also introduces Happylou to Patrick (Derrick), his nephew, and the two begin to forge a healthy relationship. But Patrick’s mother Amanda (Gladys Reyes) and his girlfriend Ericka (Kim Rodriguez) will look to put a wrench in their plans, and when Sir Philip dies, they look to make Happylou’s life a living hell.

Also part of the cast are Juancho Trivino, Manilyn Reynes, Nova Villa, Tina Paner, Super Tekla, the “Lumen Twins” Charisse and Charlotte Hermoso, Kimpoy Feliciano, Buboy Villar and Fliptop artists Mzhayt and Price Tagg. It will be directed by Monti Parungao and Rember Gelera.

If the premise of ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ sounds familiar, then one should remember another locally-themed romantic comedy in ‘I Heart Davao’. Both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs and the setting was based on a popular tourist destination in the Philippines.

But if ‘I Heart Davao”s brief run is any indication, then ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is in for a reality check. Still, with its incoming competitor ‘Since I Found You’ not doing exactly well in spite of its ratings, one can expect ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ will enjoy a longer tenure and perhaps steal some victories from its rival.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ can change the primetime romcom arms race. With that, best of luck to this series.

‘Inday Will Always Love You’ airs weeknights after ‘Kambal Karibal’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

My Korean Jagiya to Quietly End Tomorrow Night

No thrills, no fanfare, no anything.

Simply put, Friday’s conclusion of GMA’s ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be a quiet one. After 105 episodes, the series will officially come to an end with very little promotion whatsoever.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ starred the unlikely pairing of Heart Evangelista and Korean actor Alexander Lee. First airing on August 21, 2017, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ became the first Filipino drama series to feature a few scenes taped in Korea.

The series was initially pitted against ‘A Love to Last’ during its first month on air. Not surprisingly, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ struggled, getting around 9-10% in the ratings versus the 18-20% that ‘A Love to Last’ earns.

‘My Korean Jagiya”s ratings improved somewhat once ABS-CBN premiered the more serious drama ‘The Good Son’. Still, despite improving its average by around 1 or 2%, it was not enough to win their timeslot.

It also didn’t help that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ received very little support of late outside of GMA’s commercial breaks. While its teasers were present on the GMA Drama Facebook page, GMA management has apparently stopped uploading such videos on its official YouTube page (despite its claim of over four billion views and counting).

Despite the lack of support and its overall performance, it was still worth noting that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was able to make it past the 100th episode. Reaching 100 episodes was not bad, but GMA would have celebrated such a milestone had the series rated well (at least there was a sizable population of Korean expats watching the show).

Much like its predecessor ‘I Heart Davao’, promoting a particular culture became quite a theme for ‘My Korean Jagiya’. Uniting Filipinos and Koreans in one roof, the series helped expand the unlikely yet fruitful love affair between Filipinos and the Korean lifestyle.

That said, regardless of its shortcomings, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was a terrific show to watch. Any Korean drama fan in the Philippines would love to appreciate this one-of-a-kind drama.

Come tomorrow night, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will look to leave one final imprint to its fans. It will be an interesting ending to see, so find out what fate awaits the love story between Gia (Heart) and Kim (Alexander).

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Love to Last, For the Last Time

The curtains finally fall on the Andeng-Anton saga.

On Friday, September 22, ‘A Love to Last’ will air its final episode. The ABS-CBN primetime drama series has been on the air since January 9, and for the most part, it was a ratings success.

Initially, ‘A Love to Last’ replaced ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ on Primetime Bida’s fourth slot. While the series defeated GMA’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ in its first two weeks, ABS-CBN quickly realized that ‘A Love to Last’ was not a good fit for the fourth slot.

On January 23, ‘A Love to Last’ was moved to the fifth slot replacing the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’, and would stay that way for the remainder of its run. Despite criticisms that the show was a ‘snoozefest’ (one commenter even labeled it as an ‘antok-serye’), ‘A Love to Last’ was able to thrive in its new timeslot.

Along the way, ‘A Love to Last’ surged past ‘Meant to Be’ (which premiered on the same day as ‘A Love to Last’), ‘I Heart Davao’ and ‘My Korean Jagiya’ in the ratings game. The series was also popular on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, ‘A Love to Last’ will have a total of 183 episodes when it was all said and done. That total alone is quite impressive considering that the series was assigned to the fifth slot where viewership is less than those of the first four slots.

For viewers who have tuned in to ‘A Love to Last’ from the beginning, the love story between Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo) was a thrill to watch. The duo showed remarkable chemistry despite the fact that it was the first time that they were paired together.

It also helped that Iza Calzado, as Andeng’s rival Grace, showed some poise and character in her first foray as a villain. Her portrayal of Grace proved that Iza is just as effective playing the bad girl as she was playing the good girl.

Finally, the supporting cast of ‘A Love to Last’ should be commended for adding plenty of flavor to the series. Throughout its run, Julia Barretto, JK Labajo, Ronnie Alonte and Enchong Dee have had their moments to shine, and the success of ‘A Love to Last’ only added to their growing reputations as stars on the rise.

Come this Friday, the love story of Anton and Andeng is about to end. But for the viewers of ‘A Love to Last’, the series’ memories will last a lifetime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Challenger for A Love to Last: My Korean Jagiya

‘A Love to Last’ has a new opponent.

Through 158 episodes (as of August 18, 2017), the ABS-CBN primetime series has overcome all challenges thrown at them. Initially pitted against ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 1 (10 episodes from January 9-20), ‘A Love to Last’ has since made mincemeat of fellow romantic comedy series ‘Meant to Be’ (108 episodes from January 23-June 23) and ‘I Heart Davao’ (40 episodes from June 27-August 18).

Now they look to claim another victim starting next week. However, their next opponent is no ordinary romantic comedy.

In the past several years, both GMA and ABS-CBN imported several successful Korean dramas to fill in programming hours. Now GMA takes over Korean cultures and landscapes in the form of ‘My Korean Jagiya’.

Leading the way for ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be Heart Evangelista. Her character Gia is a Korean grade school tutor and a dedicated K-drama fan girl who was nonetheless teased that she is next in her family to become an old maid.

Gia’s dream is to meet her long-time crush and once-famous Korean superstar Kim Jun-ho, portrayed by top Korean star Alexander Lee. At first, Gia searched for Kim in Korea while on a scholarship training, but wound up returning to Manila to find Kim drunk and beaten by gangsters in a bar, beginning a seemingly fruitful friendship.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ will also star Janice de Belen, Ricky Davao, Iya Villania, Edgar Allan Guzman, Valeen Montenegro, Frances Makil Ignacio, Myke Solomon, Jinri Park, Divine Aucina, and Khane dela Cruz. Korean stars David Kim, Michelle Oh, and Jerry Lee will play special roles in the series as well.

Parts of ‘My Korean Jagiya’ were shot in South Korea, and featured several key spots that were made famous by several iconic Koreanovelas such as ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’, My Love from the Star’ and ‘Winter Sonata’. The Seoul Film Commission and Seoul Metropolitan Government assisted the series’ producers in the production process.

While ‘My Korean Jagiya’ is a uniquely wonderful series for both Filipinos and Koreans to enjoy, their biggest hurdle to success comes in the form of ‘A Love to Last’. Despite being perceived as ‘boring’ in the minds of critics, ‘A Love to Last’ continues to beat all comers, and this is something that should concern ‘My Korean Jagiya’ a lot.

One can only hope that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will not be the short-lived drama that befell more recent romcoms ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘I Heart Davao’. If the series can somehow go beyond 80 episodes, then that should be good enough for their morale.

Directed by Mark Reyes, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ airs weekdays after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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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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