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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Can AlDub Rule Primetime with Destined to Be Yours?

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s biggest test lies ahead.

After spending over a year captivating viewers with their spontaneous ‘kilig’ and acting skills on ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye, the popular love team now moves over to primetime for a new challenge. As a reward to their enduring success, GMA and APT Entertainment gave Alden and Maine a new project in hopes of conquering a new audience.

Enter ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the upcoming drama series which will air later tonight on GMA Telebabad. It will be Alden’s first lead primetime series since the ill-fated mini-drama ‘Ilustrado’, while it will be the first for the still-relative newcomer Maine.

In ‘Destined to Be Yours’, Benjie (Alden) is an up-and-coming architect who spearheads a construction project in the mountainous area of Pelangi. As fate would have it, he meets Sinag (Maine), a radio jock in the province, and the two soon fell in love with each other.

However, their philosophical differences would soon get in the way of their relationship. That said, it will be up to them to sort their issues and find true love within their hearts.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ will also star Janice de Belen, Boots Anson Roa, Lotlot de Leon, Gardo Versoza, Tommy Abuel, ina Feleo, Ronnie Henares, Sheena Halili, Dominic Roco, Juancho Trivino, RJ Padilla, and Koreen Medina. It will be directed by Irene Villamor.

While Alden and Maine have established themselves as a love team to be reckoned with, conquering primetime will not be easy for the two. The dominance of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, in particular, has taken its toll on GMA Telebabad, and for the network, giving AlDub a teleserye of their own could be the block’s last chance at survival.

It will also be interesting to see if AlDub on primetime can win over netizens on social media. Considering how highly successful ABS-CBN is in drawing millions of tweets for their shows, GMA will definitely have their hands full trying to make an impact online with AlDub’s newest series.

As AlDub takes over GMA Telebabad, it remains to be seen if their overwhelming success on noontime will translate over to primetime. With high expectations mounting, GMA can only hope that Alden and Maine will deliver and reverse course for the seemingly moribund Telebabad block.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ airs weeknights after ‘Encantadia’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Big Challenge for Magkaibang Mundo

It’s been a rough 2016 for GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

Since the start of the year, ratings for the said block have gradually plummeted, while ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. The ratings were so bad that by early April, GMA decided to cease producing any further episode teasers in an effort to save money.

But rather than admit defeat, they continued to produce new dramas, and today, they will have a new teleserye coming up. The upcoming series, ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, will mark the on-screen return of Louise delos Reyes for the first time since ‘Kambal Sirena’, and she will be paired with Juancho Triviño for this unusual drama.

In ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, Louise is Princess, the heiress of a couple (played by Assunta de Rossi and Gabby Eigenmann) who owns a shoe business. She was orphaned when her father died and her mother was forcibly separated from her, and from then on, she was harshly treated by her aunt and step-cousins.

Initially, she found comfort in Jeffrey (Dion Ignacio), but Princess soon realized that she already harbored her true feeling to a dwarf named Elfino (Juancho). Both were close since they were children, and while growing up, Princess again turned to Elfino for solace and hope, which eventually led to a relationship between the two.

Joining them in ‘Magkaibang Mundo’ are Rez Cortez, Gina Alajar, Maricar de Mesa, Isabelle de Leon, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Liezl Lopez, and Marika Sasaki. The viewers will also be introduced to YouTube sensation Balang, who will play one of Elfino’s friends.

While ‘Magkaibang Mundo’ has been promoted heavily leading up to its premiere, there are still two big obstacles facing the series. One is its ability to keep up with the final 30 minutes of ‘It’s Showtime’ and the first 10 of ‘Doble Kara’, and two, GMA’s recent decision to stop airing episode teasers of their dramas.

These two challenges will not be easy for ‘Magkaibang Mundo’. Still, if they can overcome these dwarfing obstacles, then it should help spike the series’ ratings in the long run.

Hopefully GMA can commit to this series for a long time. After all, with so much frustration over the poor ratings of their dramas, all they need now is some victories to right the ship, along with some badly-needed promotion.

Directed by Mark Sicat de la Cruz, ‘Magkaibang Mundo’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wish I May Ends Tomorrow

‘Wish I May’ is down to its final episode.

The GMA Afternoon Prime series, whose story focuses on a rare genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’, will conclude tomorrow afternoon after a run of 88 episodes. It will be replaced by ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Juancho Triviño.

Named after a hit song by fellow Kapuso star Alden Richards, ‘Wish I May’ starred Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, along with Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez and Rochelle Pangilinan, among others. It was co-directed by Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz.

‘Wish I May’ was originally announced in October of last year to coincide with the AlDub phenomenon, but the premiere of the highly-anticipated series was delayed by a three-month extension of its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’. It finally hit the airwaves on January 18, however, the long wait took its toll.

Not only did ‘Wish I May’ fail to make an impact, but its low ratings came at the same time as the decline of AlDub’s popularity. By the time the series aired, viewers were once again switching to ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ to watch the revival of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ instead of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Kalyeserye’.

Even worse for ‘Wish I May’ is the impressive performance of rival series ‘Doble Kara’. Ratings for both series consistently favor the latter, and as ‘Wish I May’ continued to fall short of expectations, it came to a point that GMA decided to lessen the promotion of the series by early April.

Suffice to say, it’s a decision that justified ‘Wish I May”s inability to succeed. The series whose premiere had been long overdue to begin with is about to end with a whimper.

‘Wish I May’ may be unique thanks to its focus on ‘chimerism’, but its long-delayed premiere will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. That said, it’s going to be a long day at the office for GMA management, wondering what might have happened if ‘Wish I May’ premiered as originally scheduled.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Bubble Gang 20th Anniversary Special This Friday

The logo for the 20th anniversary season of ‘Bubble Gang’. The anniversary special airs this Friday on GMA. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The 20th anniversary of ‘Bubble Gang’ will be celebrated this Friday.

For this year, the annual ‘Bubble Gang’ anniversary special will be treated as a documentary, produced by none other than the GMA News and Public Affairs department. The documentary will highlight the rich history of the 20-year-old gag show, featuring interviews from past and present cast members, as well as behind-the-scenes personnel.

As always, the special will not be complete without the trademark sketches that have made ‘Bubble Gang’ so endearing. The skits will not only feature the current cast, but also some of the former mainstays as well.

Currently one of the country’s longest-running programs, ‘Bubble Gang’ first premiered on October 20, 1995. The show has attracted a loyal following over the years, and continues to gain new fans as technology and popular culture evolved.

One of the show’s driving forces is Michael V, who along with Antonio Aquitania, has been part of ‘Bubble Gang’ since its first episode. Bitoy is currently the show’s creative director, formulating most of the show’s endearing skits.

Just recently, Michael V released ‘The Bubble Bible’, a book that features humorous quotes from some of Bitoy’s memorable ‘Bubble Gang’ characters. In essence, ‘The Bubble Bible’ was considered a tribute to the entertainer who has made ‘Bubble Gang’ the country’s longest-running gag show, and a culmination of the show’s 20th year.

‘Bubble Gang”s other current cast members include Boy 2 Quizon, Betong Sumaya, Mikael Daez, Paolo Contis, Sef Cadayona, Rufa Mae Quinto, Chariz Solomon, Jackie Rice, Sam Pinto, Gwen Zamora, Max Collins and Andrea Torres. Supporting players include Diego Llorico, Mykah, Moymoy Palaboy, Denise Barbacena, RJ Padilla, Arny Ross, Joyce Ching, Jan Manual and Juancho Trivino.

To date, ‘Bubble Gang’ has aired 1,003 episodes during its 20-year history. The documentary this Friday will be the show’s 1,004th.

The hashtag for this year’s anniversary special will be #IMBG20. For those unaware of how ‘Bubble Gang’ started, this should help them understand how it all began, and how it evolved into the gag show it is today.

The ‘Bubble Gang’ 20th anniversary documentary airs this Friday after ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Rival for On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ is getting new competition starting this Monday.

For the past several months, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s breakthrough series has been on a roll against its closest competitor, ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though both series premiered on the same night (August 10), it is clear that GMA’s older generation of talents (Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo) are now a blip on the radar against ABS-CBN’s youngsters.

This Monday will be no exception, as they will once again emphasize experience over youth in their latest series, ‘Little Nanay’. The series will star Kris Bernal as an intellectually disabled 25-year-old mother, who will be taken care of by her own daughter, portrayed by Chlaui Malayao.

Speaking of experience, two Filipino showbiz legends will play major roles in ‘Little Nanay’. Nora Aunor will act as the rock star grandmother to Kris’ character, while Eddie Garcia will play the role of a rich and adoptive grandfather.

Other cast members of ‘Little Nanay’ include Bembol Roco, Mark Herras, Juancho Triviño, Keempee de Leon, Gladys Reyes, Hiro Peralta, Wynwyn Marquez, Sunshine Dizon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Jinri Park, Paolo Contis and Renz Fernandez. Multi-awarded actor and director Ricky Davao will be at the helm.

In contrast to the more serious tone of ‘My Faithful Husband’, ‘Little Nanay’ will be presented in a mostly comedic manner. This was GMA’s response to the more light-hearted approach of ‘On the Wings of Love’, which in turn was a departure from the mostly mature dramas that ABS-CBN aired in the 9:15 p.m. timeslot.

By all accounts, this will be a tough challenge for ‘Little Nanay’. With ‘On the Wings of Love’ still winning in the ratings game, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Little Nanay’ will be able to keep up with the former.

That said, an imposing task awaits ‘Little Nanay’. It’s up to Kris Bernal to prove that GMA’s so-called ‘oldies’ are still goodies.

‘Little Nanay’ premieres this Monday at 9:15 p.m., right after ‘Beautiful Strangers’ on GMA Telebabad.

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