drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko Looks to Make Saturdays Relevant Anew

As stubborn as they come.

Even in a losing cause GMA continues to defy the norm. Their insistence comes in the form of one afternoon drama that airs from Monday to Saturday.

Initially they only used this formula for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, by far their most successful afternoon drama in the recent past. But later dramas such as ‘Contessa’ and ‘Ika-5 Utos’ proved to be flukes as neither show was able to keep viewers tuned in six times a week.

And after only 36 episodes, GMA demoted ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to a later timeslot to make way for yet another ‘kabitserye’. As far as the new series ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ is concerned, there is no need to explain, not even the story itself.

(Spoiler alert: one of the lead characters is a gay man who underwent sexual reassignment surgery ala Jake Zyrus to become a woman)

For those who still want to check in on the plot, just click this link. Enough said.

Anyway, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will be led by Kris Bernal, Rayver Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jason Abalos. The supporting cast will include Lotlot de Leon, Devon Seron, Annalyn Barro, Caprice Cayetano, Jean Saburit, Ricardo Cepeda, Maricris Garcia, Matthias Rhoads, and Phil Noble.

While ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ has some recognizable names and an intriguing yet familiar storyline, the challenge now for the show is its ability to keep viewers glued to their seats from Monday to Saturday. Considering its opponent is ‘It’s Showtime’, it is not going to be an easy task, especially on Saturdays.

That said, GMA can only hope that ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will give Vice Ganda and company a lot more than they can chew. If not, then it will not be a surprise to see GMA demote this series and try a new strategy every Saturday.

Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ airs every Monday to Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Loose: GMA Premieres The One That Got Away Tonight

Three ladies, one guy, all for the promise of rekindling one’s love.

This theme will be premise of GMA’s newest romantic comedy series ‘The One That Got Away’. Premiering later tonight, the series will be led by four of GMA’s most sought-after lead stars, namely Rhian Ramos, Max Collins, Lovi Poe and Dennis Trillo.

The central character behind ‘The One That Got Away’ will be Liam (Dennis), the owner of an organic farm and the ideal boyfriend. Soon after, however, he meets a fatal accident and when he wakes up from a coma, his three ex-girlfriends are inside the hospital room to meet him.

These three ex-girlfriends are as follows:

  • Alex (Lovi) – her relationship with Liam was approved by both family and friends, but they broke up as soon as her personal goals got in the way.
  • Darcy (Max) – met and fell in love with Liam as soon as he broke up with Alex; however, she later ended her relationship with him to pursue opportunities abroad.
  • Zoe (Rhian) – after her parents separated, she and Liam fell in love with each other, but they broke up due to Zoe’s insistence to stick with Liam amid his busy schedule.

All three, as it seems, are still in love with Liam even after going their separate ways. But it will be up to Liam to choose his one true love.

Rounding out the cast of ‘The One That Got Away’ are Ivan Dorschner, Migo Adecer, Jason Abalos, Bembol Roco, Snooky Serna, Luz Valdez, Ervic Vijandre, Ayra Mariano, Nar Cabico, Ashley Rivera, Sophie Albert, Jason Francisco, Patricia Ismael, Dea Formilleza, and Euwenn Aleta. It will be directed by Mark dela Cruz and Conrado Peru.

‘The One That Got Away’ will be the latest in a series of romantic comedies that GMA will offer in the third slot of Telebabad. But despite the premise of ‘good vibes’ and ‘light-heartedness’, GMA has yet to figure out a way to make their romantic comedies succeed every night.

Going up against ‘The Good Son’, a more serious and mature drama that ABS-CBN currently offers, will be a huge test for the veteran foursome of Dennis Trillo, Lovi Poe, Max Collins and Rhian Ramos. One can only hope that ‘The One That Got Away’ will put up a good fight and give Kapuso viewers something to enjoy and love.

‘The One That Got Away’ airs weeknights after ‘Kambal Karibal’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Langit Lupa

It’s all down to one final week for ‘Langit Lupa’.

This Friday, ABS-CBN will air the 108th and final episode of ‘Langit Lupa’, the late weekday morning drama starring Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor. The series tells the story of two best friends whose origins and issues with their parents test their bond together.

Also starring in ‘Langit Lupa’ are Yam Concepcion, Alessandra de Rossi, Patrick Garcia, Jason Abalos, Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. The series is directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

‘Langit Lupa’ first premiered on November 28, 2016 and made an immediate impact, earning a rating of 17.5% to rule its timeslot against GMA’s ‘Trops’, which only scored 8.7%. From that point on, ‘Langit Lupa’ continued ABS-CBN’s dominance in the late-morning slot, averaging around 15% compared to ‘Trops” 9% in Kantar.

The series was also a regular trending topic on social media, with viewers praising the acting abilities of child stars Yesha and Xia. The latter’s performances on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ likewise boosted not only her individual popularity, but also of the show with which she stars.

Despite its success, ‘Langit Lupa’ may be considered one of ABS-CBN’s more underrated late-morning series. Unlike another child-starred drama in ‘Ningning’ (starring ‘Dream Dad”s Jana Agoncillo), the two child stars of ‘Langit Lupa’ are essentially rookies in the field of entertainment, thus their performances and recognition still have more room for improvement.

Nevertheless, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents the first big leap in the careers of Yesha and Xia. With ABS-CBN’s growing reputation as a ‘child star factory’, greater things are expected for the two in terms of their career path.

Come this Friday, it will be the cutest finale journey for Princess (Yesha) and Esang (Xia). For viewers who have tuned in to ‘Langit Lupa’ from the beginning, a memorable and wonderful conclusion awaits.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

Star Circle Quest Returns as Segment of It’s Showtime

‘Star Circle Quest’ returns soon as a segment of ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’. (Screenshot and logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Remember ‘Star Circle Quest’?

Before ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ became the so-called ‘instant ticket’ to stardom for some of ABS-CBN’s top stars, there was the reality talent search show called ‘Star Circle Quest’. Between 2004 and 2011, two teen and three kids editions of SCQ were produced, and several of its alumni made their mark in the business.

While ‘Star Circle Quest’ proved to be no match for ‘StarStruck’ in terms of popularity and star factor, it was nevertheless credited for discovering stars that soon became mainstays on ABS-CBN programming. Here is a look at some of the network’s most memorable personalities whose careers began as Questors on the show:

  • Sandara Park
  • Joross Gamboa
  • Roxanne Guinoo
  • Melissa Ricks
  • Michelle Madrigal
  • Nash Aguas
  • Sharlene San Pedro
  • Erich Gonzales
  • Jason Abalos
  • Arron Villaflor
  • Bugoy Carino
  • Izzy Canillo
  • Xyriel Manabat

Six years after its last edition aired, ABS-CBN announced that ‘Star Circle Quest’ will be revived as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. Auditions for the segment commenced last month, with teenagers aged 13 to 19 years old trying to impress the judges with their dancing, singing and acting skills.

As SCQ will now be relegated into a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’, reality show elements will be minimized due to the live nature of the program. Nevertheless, for the many people who became fans of SCQ from the beginning, the prospect of its revival is an exciting one to say the least.

ABS-CBN has yet to announce the start date of the competition, so stay tuned for further updates.

In a related development, a kids’ edition of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will take the place of the just-concluded adult edition starting today. Auditions for the competition were well underway, and will follow the same format as the original.

And finally, a second installment of ‘Funny One’ will also begin soon. Auditions for ‘Funny One’ began last month alongside SCQ, with the aim of discovering the country’s next great comedian.

The resurgence of ‘It’s Showtime’ following the Pastillas Girl-Kalyeserye debacle is a breath of fresh air for ABS-CBN. And following the success of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, expect a lot more from the show once it unveils ‘Star Circle Quest’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids’ and ‘Funny One’ to its menu.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Langit Lupa Premieres Today

The kids are back on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

Starting today, up-and-coming child stars Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor topbill the Kapamilya network’s newest daytime series ‘Langit Lupa’. The program will focus on Yesha and Xia as two best friends with contrasting origins.

In ‘Langit Lupa’, the wealthy young girl Princess (Yesha) befriended a simple but loving lass Esang (Xia). Their friendship grew stronger as time goes by, but along the way, their mothers’ forgotten past was revealed.

Princess’ mother Lala (Yam Concepcion) and Esang’s mother Dey (Alessandra de Rossi) were once the best of friends and business partners. However, when Dey fell ill, Lala and her husband Ian (Patrick Garcia) failed to give Dey’s husband Joey (Jason Abalos) money for medication, leading to Dey’s death and some ill will against Lala and Ian.

‘Langit Lupa’ will also star Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. It will be directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

For Yesha and Xia, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents their first big break as child stars. Yesha emerged as the grand winner of the Promil-Pre School i-Shine Talent Camp, while Xia came to prominence as the grand winner of ‘It’s Showtime”s Mini Me competition.

While the two have played supporting roles in several ABS-CBN dramas, playing the lead role will be a tremendous challenge. Then again, considering the success that ABS-CBN has had in introducing new child stars, the pressure should not be a problem for Yesha and Xia.

 

Speaking of success, it will also be interesting to see if ‘Langit Lupa’ can continue the momentum generated by ABS-CBN late-morning dramas. With each previous drama having won the hearts of viewers, the onus is on ‘Langit Lupa’ to keep it going.

That said, the first week of ‘Langit Lupa’ will be crucial in establishing its own footprint on Kapamilya lore. For Yesha and Xia, this initial test begins now, as they hope to raise their profiles among Kapamilya network’s child stars of legend.

‘Langit Lupa’ airs weekdays at 11:30 a.m. on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

MMFF in Challenging Position With Emphasis on Quality

MMFF mainstays such as 'Enteng Kabisote' are a thing of the past as organizers emphasize more on quality than commercial success in this year's filmfest. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

Without blockbuster franchises and stars such as Vic Sotto’s ‘Enteng Kabisote’ series, the new-look MMFF faces an uphill battle this year. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

This is a From the Tube special report. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not reflect those of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival will be a different experience for moviegoers and viewers alike.

Gone are the top drawers, big-spending production outfits and movie franchises that made the MMFF an annual Christmas tradition. Instead, the eight official full-length films will feature mostly independent productions, some of which were previously screened in other film festivals around the world.

The eight entries are:

  • Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough – directed by Marlon Rivera; stars Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos, and Cai Cortez
  • Die Beautiful – directed by Jun Robles Lana; stars Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, and Iza Calzado
  • Kabisera – directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; stars Ms. Nora Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Luis Alandy, Jason Abalos, and RJ Agustin
  • Oro – directed by Alvin Yapan; stars Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Joem Bascon
  • Saving Sally – directed by Avid Liongoren; stars Rhian Ramos, and Enzo Marcos
  • Seklusyon – directed by Erik Matti; stars Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
  • Sunday Beauty Queen – directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez; stars Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, and Rudelyn Acosta
  • Vince & Kath & James – directed by Ted Boborol; stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte

The selections were based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%). In essence, the MMFF organizers wanted to feature a greater emphasis on quality rather than commercialism alone.

Even though the change in approach is crucial in providing a more even playing field, promoting these films could pose a challenge. Many of the films were produced by independent companies, while a majority of them feature second or third-tier actors, some of whom are relative unknowns.

Let’s face it, while Eugene Domingo has box-office potential (‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in millions during its initial run), she is no Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda. And while Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are not a bad tandem, they are no AlDub or KathNiel in the appeal department.

The major television networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA, once major players in the MMFF, are in a similar predicament. In previous years, both played a big role in the success of MMFF entries, but with this year’s field, they may not be a factor at all.

This does not mean that all eight films are bad, however. They are still worth watching as far as moviegoers go, but it will be up to them to become seriously interested with these entries.

Come Christmas Day, all eyes will be on the eight Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Still, it remains to be seen if this year’s filmfest will be a blockbuster or a flop.

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