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.

action, comedy, dance show, documentaries, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, movies, music, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, religion, suspense, talent show, television

FTT Year 2014 in Review: GMA

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the GMA Network, who endured yet another frustrating year.


In a year where anything could go wrong, only a few bright spots remained on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

GMA’s Afternoon Prime emerged as the network’s top performer on weekdays, with ‘Villa Quintana’ and its successor ‘The Half Sisters’ leading the way. Also enjoying impressive performances were ‘The Borrowed Wife’, ‘Yagit’, ‘Innamorata’ and ‘Ang Lihim ni Annasandra’.

Afternoon Prime’s predecessor ‘Eat Bulaga’ remained a force on noontime, gaining some notoriety for its ‘Suffer Sireyna’ segment. Fellow long-running programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘I-Witness’ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’ also continued to impress viewers.

Perhaps the most welcome sight on the Kapuso network this year was the return of the Sunday TV Mass after a four-year absence. In response to criticisms that GMA was biased towards Catholics, they got the services of Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI) to broadcast the weekly mass every Sunday morning, thus appeasing their Catholic viewers for now.

And finally, GMA earned numerous awards in both local and international award-giving bodies. GMA News and Public Affairs, in particular, continued to garner praise for its excellent journalistic work by winning another Peabody Award, in addition to numerous New York Festival awards.


If there is one network who deserves much of the blame for its failures, it is GMA. And 2014 was just another tough year for the No. 2 network.

GMA Telebabad continued to be an underwhelming performer for the Kapuso network. Virtually every teleserye GMA threw at its disposal failed to make an impact, including the four-week long historical drama series ‘Ilustrado’, who performed badly against its rivals from Mother Ignacia.

The 19-year old ‘Startalk’ also underperformed this year, with timeslot changes to blame for its poor performance. Neither a return to Sundays (vs. ‘Buzz ng Bayan’/’The Buzz’), nor a transfer back to Saturdays (vs. ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’) helped ‘Startalk”s performance this year.

An ongoing purge to GMA’s weekend programming proved to be not as tense as last year, although the slumping ‘Sunday All Stars’, a clear candidate for cancellation, moved to a later time to avoid ‘ASAP’. Three movie blocks on Sundays, along with ‘Asian Horror Stories’ on Saturdays, did not help GMA at all.

Being the king at answering ABS-CBN’s every move, GMA countered ‘Meteor Garden’ and other Kapamilya throwback Asianovelas by re-airing ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Coffee Prince’ and others, none of which were successful. GMA also countered ABS-CBN by airing ‘Marian’, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ versus its rival’s programs, again to negative results.

Controversy also affected GMA in 2014. Both Aljur Abrenica and embattled GMA employees under the name ‘Talents Association of GMA’ filed lawsuits against the network for various complaints, while Sen. Bong Revilla’s arrest due to the PDAF scandal prompted the network to cancel ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to avoid any negative publicity.

Overall, it was an abysmal year for GMA, both in terms of ratings, financial performance, and standards of quality.


Ramon Ang may have taken some of the shares, but GMA’s fortunes continue to revolve around their aging pair of owners in Felipe Gozon and Gilberto Duavit. So expect another difficult and trying year on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

‘Second Chances’, a long-overdue series, will kick off GMA’s slate of new programs this 2015, but it remains to be seen whether or not will there be second chances for the said network this year. One thing’s for sure: a wild ride continues for the men and women inside the GMA Network Center.

drama, entertainment, Korea, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

‘Full House’ Returns and Other Changes on Afternoon Prime

‘Si Mama Bear, si Papa Bear, si Baby Bear!’ One of the most iconic phrases in Asianovela lore is back.

GMA announced that the Koreanovela ‘Full House’ will be re-aired on Afternoon Prime. The series, which made Korean singer Rain a full-fledged superstar in his home country, was one of the Kapuso network’s most popular and recognizable Koreanovelas.

First aired in 2005 on GMA Telebabad, ‘Full House’ became an instant success, at a time when GMA was dominating primetime television. The popularity of the original ‘Full House’ led to several more re-runs in the morning, and eventually a Filipino adaptation in 2009, starring Heart Evangelista and Richard Gutierrez.

The return of ‘Full House’ is just one of several changes that will take place on Afternoon Prime beginning today.

In response to ABS-CBN’s tweaking of ‘Kapamilya Gold’, GMA decided to counter with their own revision of Afternoon Prime. Both ‘The Half-Sisters’ and ‘Dading’ will retain their old timeslots, but that is it.

‘May Queen’, the Koreanovela starring Han Ji Hye, will now be seen at 4:05 p.m. The series replaced ‘Jewel in the Palace’ as the closing program on ‘Afternoon Prime’ early in September, but it did not fare well against ‘Pretty Man’ ratings-wise.

Now up against ‘Ana Manuela’, GMA hopes that ‘May Queen’ will enjoy an even better performance against a telenovela whose ratings have constantly fluctuated since its debut.

Also moving to a new timeslot is the News and Public Affairs block, consisting of ‘Alisto’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The block will again compete with ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs block (‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’, ‘Red Alert’), which had moved to a later timeslot since late August.

And finally, ‘Full House’ will be assigned as the closing program on Afternoon Prime. The re-run of ‘Full House’ will take on ‘Pretty Man’ in its timeslot.

The response that GMA made to ABS-CBN was swift and stirring. Now the question is, will Afternoon Prime take advantage of their revised schedule? Let’s see what happens this week on both networks.

drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

So Long, Throwback Asianovelas (For Now)

Throwback Asianovelas are taking a bow, at least for now.

ABS-CBN’s ‘Lovers in Paris’ and GMA’s ‘Jewel in the Palace’ will air their final episodes later today. The two Asianovelas were re-aired as part of the 10th anniversary of the genre’s Philippine television debut.

‘Lovers in Paris’ was the second Asianovela to re-air on the Kapamilya network this year, after ‘Meteor Garden’. The love story between Carlo (Park Shin-Yang) and Vivian (Kim Jung-Eun) became a huge hit when it first aired, and it even received an equally successful local adaptation starring Piolo Pascual and KC Concepcion.

The re-run of the original ‘Lovers in Paris’ became a decent hit on ABS-CBN’s ‘Umaganda’ slot, despite the fact that the early morning block receives fewer viewers than ABS-CBN’s other programming blocks.

Meanwhile, ‘Jewel in the Palace’ re-aired on GMA in order to respond to the successful re-run of ‘Meteor Garden’. The tale of a medieval Korean physician named Jang Geum (Lee Young-Ae) became GMA’s first true hit Asianovela, and it helped viewers forget about the commercial failure of ‘My MVP Valentine’.

‘Jewel in the Palace’ also fared decently well on GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’ slot, even though it was matched up against ABS-CBN’s own hit Koreanovelas ‘The Heirs’ and ‘My Girl’.

Nevertheless, it became clear to both networks that neither ‘Lovers in Paris’ nor ‘Jewel in the Palace’ will equal, if not surpass, the impact that ‘Meteor Garden’ has had to the Asianovela craze. The F4-starred Asianovela remains a benchmark for other Asianovelas to come, and if there is one thing that both networks learned, it is that no one will ever top ‘Meteor Garden’ as the greatest Asianovela ever aired on Philippine television.

Right now, both networks will focus on their newest Asianovelas. But for the fans of these classic Asianovelas, it was fun while it lasted.

drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Final Week for Mirabella; Lovers in Paris Airs in the Morning

The final episode of ‘Mirabella’ will air this Friday, July 4.

ABS-CBN’s ‘Mirabella’ enters its final week.

Just as GMA is beginning to warm up with the debut of ‘My BFF’ later today, ABS-CBN has decided to pull the plug on Julia Barretto’s debut teleserye. The final episode of ‘Mirabella’ is scheduled this Friday, July 4.

‘Mirabella’, a series that featured Barretto in two contrasting roles, debuted on March 24. The daughter of Marjorie Barretto played Mira, a woman with a strange wood-like skin, and as the series progressed, she morphed into her beautiful alter ego in Bella.

Both characters would later attract the attention of Jeremy, played by Enrique Gil, who soon became the subject of her affection.

In its four months on air, ‘Mirabella’ was unable to maintain the high level of success attained by its predecessor ‘Annaliza’. Nevertheless, the series averaged better than 20% in the TNS Kantar ratings, which is not bad even though it is the lowest-rated teleserye on the ‘Primetime Bida’ block.

However, in the GMA-dominated AGB Nielsen ratings, ‘Mirabella’ only averaged less than 15%, while rival series ‘My Love from the Star’ was a hit, averaging over 20% per episode.

Even though ‘Mirabella’ was a decent hit by ABS-CBN standards, its uncharacteristically low 20% rating only justifies that the series will be a mere short-term fix. Still, it was a good debut for Julia Barretto, and it will only give her greater amounts of exposure.

‘Mirabella’ will be replaced by ‘Pure Love’ this July 7.

Lovers in Paris Rerun Today

Meanwhile, ‘Lovers in Paris’ will be placed in the mid-morning slot. The re-run of the successful Koreanovela replaces ‘Kapamilya Kiddie Blockbusters’ starting today on the ‘Umaganda’ block.

Because ‘The Heirs’ will continue to air this week, the rivalry between ‘Lovers in Paris’ and ‘Jewel in the Palace’ will not happen anytime soon, if not altogether. Instead, ‘Lovers in Paris’ will be up against ‘Return of the Wife’, the third sequel to GMA’s highly successful ‘Temptation of Wife’, which has been airing since late May.

‘Lovers in Paris’ starred Park Shin-Yang and Kim Jung-Eun as Carlo and Vivian, respectively. The series was a hit when it first aired in 2005, and its success eventually led to an equally successful Filipino adaptation starring KC Concepcion and Piolo Pascual in 2009.


drama, entertainment, movies, Philippines, Sports, television

Is ABS-CBN Set to Join GMA and TV5’s Bandwagon?

A re-run of ‘The Heirs’ will air this Sunday morning on ABS-CBN.

In recent years, ABS-CBN has stayed away from airing re-runs of teleseryes and dubbing foreign films in the Filipino language. But when they aired ‘Transporter 3’ in Filipino last week, it appears as if ABS-CBN has joined the bandwagon that was started by their rivals TV5 and GMA.

Soon after, ABS-CBN followed the lead of its arch-rival thanks to this announcement.

ABS-CBN decided to air a ‘Royal Rewind’ of ‘The Heirs’, the hit Koreanovela starring Lee Min Ho, beginning this Sunday. This was in response to GMA’s highly-rated re-run of ‘My Love from the Star’, which outrated the NBA Playoffs, Pinoy Pride and Nonito Donaire boxing matches, and Kapamilya Blockbusters on the same timeslot.

Curiously, neither program air on the same timeslot during weekdays. ‘The Heirs’ is matched up against the re-run of ‘Jewel in the Palace’, while ‘My Love from the Star’ opposes ‘Mirabella’.

The re-run of ‘The Heirs’ is basically a retaliation made by ABS-CBN. GMA, for their part, has capitalized on the former’s delayed broadcast of sporting events to gain some high ratings for ‘My Love from the Star’, unlike before when their Tagalized movies in the morning rate less than ABS-CBN’s. And it was only logical, since people with internet connection would know the results in real time.

But with the NBA season about to end, and with the next ‘Pinoy Pride’ still a few months away, ABS-CBN decided to retaliate by counterprogramming GMA’s Asianovela with one of their own, all for the sake of getting high ratings on the timeslot they failed to dominate of late. If this is one of those ‘bandwagon’ acts that ABS-CBN committed, so be it.

Going back to ABS-CBN’s airing of ‘Transporter 3’ in Filipino, it is rare to have the network air a movie on Sunday nights. After all, 3/4 of ‘Sunday’s Best’ broadcasts is concentrated on concerts, live events and documentaries. But when they aired ‘Transporter 3’ in Filipino last week, it was a stab in the back, considering that the network has avoided the same route as TV5 and GMA’s ‘masa’-oriented English-language films.

For ABS-CBN, it is a matter of staying away from the rivals’ desperation tactics. Even though the network is now the undisputed No. 1 ratings-wise, viewers can only hope that the Kapamilya network will continue to stick to what works best, and that is airing unique programs that will appeal to all classes.