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.

Meant to Be Down to Last Five Episodes

The search for ‘the one’ is down to its last week.

In the final week of ‘Meant to Be’, Billie (Barbie Forteza) has a choice to make. For the past 118 episodes, Billie’s heart is chased by four men: Fil-Chinese Yuan (Ken Chan), Fil-Brit Ethan (Ivan Dorschner), Fil-Indian Jai (Addy Raj) and pure-blooded Filipino Andoy (Jak Roberto), and now, she must pick who among the four will fit her best.

In an unprecedented move, GMA asked viewers and fans the same question as Billie. Voting for ‘the one’ took place from June 4 to 18 on GMA’s official website, with each entry qualified for the opportunity to win a Samsung J7 smart phone and a meet-and-greet with the ‘Meant to Be’ cast.

The winner of the poll will be determined throughout the final five episodes of ‘Meant to Be’. That said, viewers must wait with bated breath to see who among their favorites won Billie’s heart.

First aired on January 9, 2017, ‘Meant to Be’ premiered on the same night as its current rival ‘A Love to Last’. But for the first two weeks of its run, ‘Meant to Be’ was pitted against ‘Till I Met You’, the ABS-CBN drama series that starred James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

Luckily for ‘Meant to Be’, they began their run on a strong note, as they took advantage of an underachieving opponent. But once ‘A Love to Last’ moved down to challenge the former, the tables turned against them.

While ‘Meant to Be’ still enjoyed impressive ratings (on average, the series raked in 14% per episode), they were unable to contain ‘A Love to Last”s 18% or better mark. Nevertheless, ‘Meant to Be’ still had some memorable moments that could make Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo) say wow, such as Billie’s bikini moment with the boys.

Summer came early for JEYA and Billie! 🔥😍 #MTBBeachBodyReady 📷 : @akosila

A post shared by Barbie Forteza (@barbaraforteza) on

According to Ken Chan on Pep.PH, ‘Meant to Be’ was initially aimed to last six weeks. But the surprisingly positive reception from viewers (notwithstanding its shortcomings against ‘A Love to Last’) extended the series to a mere six months, which is still noteworthy.

As ‘Meant to Be’ enters its final week, the chase for Billie’s heart is on. Regardless of the outcome, viewers and fans alike should be pleased with how this feel-good story turn out.

A Love to Last and Meant to Be: Primetime’s Opening Salvos This 2017

Two new teleseryes get their baptism of fire in the second week of 2017.

On ABS-CBN, Bea Alonzo and Ian Veneracion star in the upcoming series ‘A Love to Last’. A family drama, ‘A Love to Last’ tells the story of Andeng (Bea) and Anton (Ian), two individuals whose fates intertwined thanks to the crumbling relationships with their significant others.

Andeng, a breadwinner and a successful events organizer, was about to get married when she caught her fiancé cheating with another woman. Anton, on the other hand, was a company president and CEO, married to Grace (Iza Calzado) and had three children, only to see her leave and file for annulment.

Both eventually found love with each other in the most unexpected of ways. However, Andeng must first deal with Anton’s marital problems in hopes of gaining his acceptance.

‘A Love to Last’ also stars Enchong Dee, Julia Barretto, Ronnie Alonte, JK Labajo and Hannah Vito. It is directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Richard Arellano.

Fresh from the successful-but-not-quite-impressive run of ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ABS-CBN is pinning its hopes on ‘A Love to Last’ to reverse a downward trend of sub-30% ratings in recent months. But as Bea and Ian were already industry veterans with nothing left to prove, it remains to be seen if viewers can still accept them as a force in primetime.

Over on GMA, a much lighter story will take place in the upcoming series ‘Meant to Be’, starring Barbie Forteza, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Addy Raj and Ivan Dorschner. It will be Barbie’s first primetime series since the not-so successful team-up with Andre Paras in ‘That’s My Amboy’ last year.

Joining them in this complicated love story are the ‘Triplets’ of ‘That’s Entertainment’ in Sheryl Cruz, Tina Paner and Manilyn Reynes, along with Keempee de Leon, Sef Cadayona, Mika dela Cruz, Stephanie Sol, Zymic Jaranilla and Ms. Gloria Romero. It will be directed by LA Madridejos.

In ‘Meant to Be’, Billie (Barbie) is an independent millenial whose life would soon revolve among the four men who will try to woo her heart; namely Fil-Brit Ethan (Ivan), Fil-Indian Jai (Addy), pure-blooded Filipino Macoy (Jak), and Fil-Chinese Yuan (Ken). But choosing the only guy that will fill her heart is not the only problem for Billie.

Billie will also deal with the crumbling relationship of her parents Wilton (Keempee) and Amelia (Manilyn), and the unemployment of her brother Bats (Sef). In addition, a sub-plot about Billie’s friendship with Mariko (Mika), and the once-formidable bond between Amelia, Suzy (Tina) and Beatriz (Sheryl) as a girl group will also be explored.

‘Meant to Be”s premiere will come at a not-so opportune time, as the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’ reaches its final two weeks. With only a few episodes to prove themselves, it will be a huge challenge for this rom-com to make a first impression to Kapuso viewers.

Either way, both ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘Meant to Be’ are worth the wait for those who anticipate it. Good luck to both shows.

‘A Love to Last’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, while ‘Meant to Be’ airs weeknights after ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ on GMA Telebabad.

Pangako Sa ‘Yo Down to Final Week

One of the country’s top-rated drama series on primetime is about to bid farewell.

On Friday, February 12, the final episode of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will air on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. The series, which first aired on May 25, 2015, will have a total of 190 episodes in all by the end of its run.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, a remake of the 2000 series starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa, again told the love story of Angelo and Yna, now portrayed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively. Throughout the series, Angelo and Yna were faced with several obstacles, but their love for each other still prevailed against all odds.

But as ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ reaches its conclusion, a pair of shocking truths will await the duo. That said, Angelo and Yna will need to face this final test before they can finally fulfill their promise of love and happiness to each other.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ was a ratings juggernaut throughout its run, as it consistently ranked among the top-rated programs in the country, based on Kantar’s figures. It even hit the 40% mark on a few occasions.

What made its domination even more impressive was that earlier this year, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ managed to beat all three ongoing GMA Telebabad series in one calendar month. During the month of January, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ faced ‘Little Nanay’, ‘Because of You’ and ‘That’s My Amboy’ in succession, and the former defeated them all.

It also made a huge impression on Twitter, particularly in an episode where the future Amor Powers (Jodi Sta. Maria) vowed for revenge against the Buenavistas, portrayed by Angelica Panganiban (as Claudia) and Ian Veneracion (as Eduardo). The series, particularly the KathNiel tandem, earned numerous awards, sold out merchandise, and even attracted jam-packed crowds to its promotional events.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ also made history by holding a talent search for the character of Bea Bianca. That contest was won by Sarah Carlos, and her brief but memorable portrayal of Vanessa del Bianco’s original character paved the way for Sarah to become a MYX VJ at the start of this year.

Overall, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ lived up to the expectations of the original. The series proved that the KathNiel tandem can indeed play more mature roles, while at the same time, it gave Jodi, Angelica and Ian a new lease in their showbiz careers.

This week’s final few episodes should be intense. Don’t miss the much-awaited finale of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

The Impact of Pangako Sa ‘Yo on Philippine TV

The original ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa, will always be remembered in Philippine television lore.

Airing from 2000 to 2002, the series was considered the first teleserye in Philippine television. The popularity of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ forever changed the landscape of primetime television viewing in the country.

Before ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, primetime on Philippine television was at its most diverse, ranging from local and foreign sitcoms, action, variety and suspense programs to even animes and cartoons. However, the mid-90s foreshadowed the eventual dominance of dramas in the primetime slot, beginning with RPN-9’s ‘MariMar’ and later with ABS-CBN’s ‘Mara Clara’.

Then on November 13, 2000, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ premiered on what would later become the Primetime Bida slot (ABS-CBN did not dub the primetime block as such until 2002). The series quickly made an impact, and by 2001 it was the hottest program in the country viewership-wise.

The success of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ proved to be the last straw for GMA as a niche-oriented upscale network. Midway through 2001, GMA cancelled its Anime Assault (later known as Astig Authority) anime block from its primetime lineup and replaced them with their own teleseryes, a precursor of what later became GMA Telebabad.

However, GMA’s own lineup of teleseryes were no match for ABS-CBN’s, and eventually forced the network to introduce the fantaserye genre, which turned the tables in the mid-to-late 2000s. ABS-CBN stuck to their tried and tested formula of traditional teleseryes, even though they briefly flirted with fantaseryes, and later introduced sexual, social, political, value-oriented and culture-oriented themes to their teleseryes.

By the time ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ finished its run on September 20, 2002, much of the primetime scene on weeknights, if not entirely, were dominated by teleseryes. Today, with the exception of the early evening newscasts, teleseryes are aplenty in the 5:50-11:00 p.m. window, with each episode lasting for 40-45 minutes.

Fast forward to 2015, and the remake of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will make its way onto Primetime Bida this coming Monday. The premise is virtually similar to the original, with the love story of Yna Macaspac (Kathryn Bernardo) and Angelo Buenavista (Daniel Padilla) dominating the series along with the love triangle between Amor Powers (Jodi Sta. Maria), Claudia Buenavista (Angelica Panganiban) and Eduardo Buenavista (Ian Veneracion).

But like all recent remakes, the story of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be shortened, revised and compressed to today’s teleserye standards, with a timetable of at least four to eight months depending on the ratings. Still, fans of the original series cannot wait to revisit the tale that first captivated the nation in the early 2000s.

The original ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s place in Philippine television history has been secured. Now it’s up to the new version to make a similar impact.

The remake of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ airs this Monday after ‘Nathaniel’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.