drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

The Last Stand of La Luna Sangre

The most physically demanding series in the careers of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will come to an end this week.

After 185 episodes, ‘La Luna Sangre’ officially closes its curtain Friday night. The third series in the ‘Lobo’ trilogy, ‘La Luna Sangre’ saw Kathryn and Daniel (as Malia and Tristan respectively) grow up from being mere mortals to full-fledged vampires while enduring some of the toughest challenges that proved their worth.

But KathNiel was not the only main attraction. The series also marked a comeback of sorts for Richard Gutierrez, who as the villainous Sandrino, tried to convince Malia to join the dark side.

The original duo of ‘Imortal’ in Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz likewise made a cameo earlier on as Lia and Mateo respectively, though Angel returned midway through the series as Jacintha. The duo’s presence helped connect the story of ‘La Luna Sangre’ to its predecessor.

Throughout its lengthy run, ‘La Luna Sangre’ provided an avenue for new talent to shine. The series would mark the acting debut of another rising love team in MayWard (Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber), as well as former ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ participant Tony Labrusca.

Not to be outdone are industry veterans who were also part of ‘La Luna Sangre’, namely Randy Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Maricar Reyes and Albert Martinez. Overall, an estimate of over 50 actors, whether in a supporting or cameo role, were included in ‘La Luna Sangre’.

As far as its performance is concerned, ‘La Luna Sangre’ far and away made a huge impression. The series constantly earned ratings in the 30s while it dispatched its GMA rivals in ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2 and ‘Kambal Karibal’.

That said, the high ratings and the long run of ‘La Luna Sangre’ are further proof of KathNiel’s wide commercial appeal. But more than just KathNiel’s brilliance is the fact that both Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez rekindled some huge memories of past GMA projects, albeit not as a love team of years past.

It will be an interesting final five episodes for this thrilling ABS-CBN primetime series. Best of luck to ‘La Luna Sangre’ on making its last stand.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense

La Luna Sangre, Third in the Lobo Franchise, Premieres Monday

The third series in the ‘Lobo’ franchise is about to unfold.

Starting Monday, the popular tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will grace the small screen anew in ‘La Luna Sangre’, the third installment in a saga that began with ‘Lobo’ and continued with ‘Imortal’. The new series, which will be set in the world of werewolves and vampires, will also have Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz playing special roles.

Picking up from where ‘Imortal’ left off, ‘La Luna Sangre’ begins with the former’s lead characters Lia (Angel) and Mateo (John Lloyd) now living a simple life as mortal beings. During their transition to normalcy, they raised a daughter named Maila (Kathryn).

Unknown to them, a prophecy called “La Luna Sangre” is about to haunt them. The prophecy says that “the child of the most powerful vampire and the chosen wolf will end the evilness of the vampire imprinted with the cursed ink”.

Shortly after raising Maila, a vampire named Sandrino (Richard Gutierrez) arrived in an attempt to kill Lia and Mateo, and in the process turn Maila over to the dark side. Try as they might, Lia and Mateo have no more powers to save them, and in the end, Maila was orphaned to Sandrino’s world in hopes of fulfilling the prophecy.

But after turning 21, it turns out Maila was still a mortal woman, and she decided to leave the dark side in order to resume her normal life. There, she met and befriended Tristan (Daniel), a young man who seeks to kill one of the vampires that killed his father.

As the story goes along, Maila’s thoughts will be conflicted between vampire hunter Tristan and the dark world she left behind. That said, expect ‘La Luna Sangre’ to encounter some twists and turns in this haunting struggle between immortality and justice.

The supporting cast of ‘La Luna Sangre’ will include the likes of Randy Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Desiree del Valle, Niña Dolino, Dino Imperial, Bryan Santos, Ina Raymundo, Nikki Valdez, Mike Agassi, Joross Gamboa, Tony Labrusca and Sue Ramirez. It will be directed by Cathy Garcia Molina and produced by Star Creatives.

If the previous small screen success of KathNiel (and of Cathy Garcia Molina) is any indication, then expect ‘La Luna Sangre’ to enjoy a similar path. Still, it will not be easy to follow a pair of popular predecessors in ‘Lobo’ and ‘Imortal’, so let’s see how this upcoming series will unfold in front of millions of viewers.

‘La Luna Sangre’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Marian Rivera Won’t Face Angel Locsin in Primetime

Instead of facing Angel Locsin, Marian Rivera will face Kathryn Bernardo as ‘Carmela’ debuts this Monday opposite ‘Got to Believe’.

GMA has announced the airing schedule for the upcoming series ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’. And as expected, Marian Rivera will not face Angel Locsin in the same timeslot, even as fans of both camps clamor for the two ex-Darna stars to clash at the same time.

‘Carmela’ will face ‘Got to Believe’ on its timeslot. The latter series, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, have been on a roll of late thanks to high ratings and social media returns, and the entry of ‘Carmela’ gives them the opportunity to battle another veteran star in Marian Rivera. Previously, ‘Got to Believe’ toppled the Dingdong Dantes-starrer ‘Genesis’, leading to its rather premature finish before the end of 2013.

On the other hand, Angel Locsin’s new teleserye ‘The Legal Wife’ will be up against Jennylyn Mercado’s series ‘Rhodora X’. In a lead-up to their upcoming primetime face-off, Mercado made it clear that she wanted no part in her ex-boyfriend Luis Manzano’s reconciliation with Locsin, and she wished them good luck in their romance. Mercado last appeared on the GMA Network via the reality competition series ‘Anak Ko Yan’, which once faced ‘Minute to Win It’ hosted by Luis Manzano. Meanwhile this is Locsin’s first teleserye since ‘Imortal’ in 2010, and during that span, she co-starred in the sitcom ‘Toda Max’ and made several movies.

In addition to ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’, GMA will roll out another teleserye in its ‘Telebabad’ block. ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’ will replace ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ in the sunset slot. The new teleserye, starring Kim Rodriguez and Kristoffer Martin, will be the latest in a series of attempts to topple the long-running ABS-CBN series ‘Annaliza’, which has defeated both ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ since debuting in May 2013. And like Julie Vega in the original series, Andrea Brillantes has been splendid in playing the titular character, leading to its consistently high ratings.

Even as GMA tries to counter ABS-CBN with their new primetime offerings, I expect another ratings beatdown from the Kapamilya network. Simply put, GMA cannot beat ABS-CBN anymore, and I have made it clear that the race has already been conceded.

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