drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asintado’s Newest Challenger: The Stepdaughters

A new opponent awaits ‘Asintado’.

After taking out ‘Impostora’, the ABS-CBN afternoon drama will face a different challenger starting today. Looking to match wits with Julia Montes will be Katrina Halili and real-life couple Megan Young and Mikael Daez, who will lead GMA’s newest drama series ‘The Stepdaughters’.

The story of ‘The Stepdaughters’ revolve around two women who were both beautiful and intelligent but have contrasting personalities. Mayumi (Megan) is a chemistry graduate with dreams of setting up her own makeup line, while Isabelle (Katrina) already manages one, yet as an only child she grew self-centered and spoiled.

Francis (Mikael), a head product engineer, becomes Mayumi’s love interest, even though Isabelle pleads to love her back. The growing dislike between Mayumi and Isabelle grows even more apparent when Mayumi’s mother Luisa (Glydel Mercado) and Isabelle’s father Hernan (Gary Estrada) get married, making them stepsisters.

‘The Stepdaughters’ also star Allan Paule, Angelu de Leon, Sef Cadayona and Samantha Lopez, with the special participation of Dion Ignacio. It will be directed by Paul Sta. Ana.

As ‘The Stepdaughters’ makes its debut, they will have their hands full in trying to solve ‘Asintado. Since premiering last month, the Julia Montes-led drama revitalized ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block, and if not for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ they would have taken the mantle of afternoon’s top drama series.

But if ‘The Stepdaughters’ want to defeat ‘Asintado’, they will have to convince viewers that veterans such as Megan Young and Katrina Halili are still worth watching. After all, GMA’s overdependence on older stars has become a problem this decade and it cost them a majority of their audience.

It will be interesting to see how ‘The Stepdaughters’ can help rekindle Afternoon Prime’s flickering fortunes. After a strong finish in the second half of 2017, the block finds itself in the doldrums once again and it will be up to ‘The Stepdaughters’ to put them back to relevance.

‘The Stepdaughters’ air weekdays after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

Kambal Karibal Starts Tonight, Seeks to Topple La Luna Sangre

KathNiel, meet BiGuel.

It seems like nothing can stop ABS-CBN’s ‘La Luna Sangre’. After all, since it premiered last June it became the second most-watched teleserye in the Philippines behind only ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

Three times GMA has tried to curb the dominance of ‘La Luna Sangre’, and three times they miserably failed. After striking out with ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2, they decided to go fire with fire by going with a supernatural theme and a love team.

Their response is a teleserye titled ‘Kambal Karibal’, starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. In the series, twin sisters Crisanta and Criselda (Bianca) battle for the love of both her family and Diego (Miguel), with the already dead Criselda consumed by Crisanta’s increasing affection for Diego and her mother.

The story begins with the death of Criselda from a rare disease, leaving her spirit behind that only appears to Crisanta. But after Crisanta gains the favor of Diego and her mother, Criselda decides to inhabit another person’s body in an attempt to stop Crisanta from getting the love that she deserves.

‘Kambal Karibal’ also stars Jean Garcia, Marvin Agustin, Alfred Vargas, Carmina Villarroel, Gloria Romero, Christopher De Leon, Jeric Gonzales, Pauline Mendoza, Rafa Siguion Reyna, Sheree, Racquel Montessa, and Kyline Alcantara. Katrina Halili and Gardo Versoza will also play special roles in the series.

If ‘La Luna Sangre”s ratings of over 30% and a disparity of over 15% are any indication, then ‘Kambal Karibal’ is in for a rude awakening. The powerhouse cast of ‘La Luna Sangre’, led by Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Kapuso castoffs Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez, continues to wreak havoc, and it will be very difficult for BiGuel to overcome KathNiel.

Nevertheless, the battle between ‘La Luna Sangre’ and ‘Kambal Karibal’ should be an interesting one. Not only will this be a competition between love teams, it will also be a fight between vengeful vampires and possessed spirits.

Directed by Don Michael Perez, ‘Kambal Karibal’ airs weeknights after ‘Super Ma’am’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

D’Originals Enters Final Week

It is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’, as GMA called it.

This week will mark the final five episodes of the GMA Public Affairs-produced comedy-drama series ‘D’Originals’. The series features a story of three married women and their doting husbands, whose quiet lives were thrown into chaos thanks to three young ladies.

Led by Jaclyn Jose, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, LJ Reyes, Mark Herras, Lovely Abella, Kim Domingo, Archie Alemania and Meg Imperial, ‘D’Originals’ became a different form of what is derisively called a ‘kabitserye’. The shift to a more humorous tone while maintaining an intensely dramatic approach made the series stand out.

The premiere of ‘D’Originals’ took place on April 17, 2017. The series initially faced ‘The Greatest Love’ during the latter’s final week, but its strong performance in the ratings was too much for ‘D’Originals’ to handle.

Following the conclusion of ‘The Greatest Love’, ABS-CBN made an unexpected timeslot change. Rather than facing a new drama in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘D’Originals’ had to contend with another ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’, a series that had been raking in impressive ratings within two months of its tenure.

Although ‘D’Originals’ managed to improve their ratings performance as the weeks progressed, it was not enough to overcome ‘The Better Half’. In the end, GMA decided to cancel ‘D’Originals’ following its 60th episode this Friday.

The short and uninspiring run of ‘D’Originals’ marked the latest in a series of missteps for the GMA Public Affairs team. It is obvious that the department’s foray into entertainment shows is destroying its reputation, but considering the many question marks surrounding GMA’s entertainment division, they had no choice but to step in.

Nevertheless, the story of ‘D’Originals’ is not bad as many perceived. It is just too unfortunate to be up against a pair of dramas that are more compelling.

Come this Friday, it is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’ for ‘D’Originals’. But it remains to be seen if they will leave a final impression on the viewers.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Greatest Love’s Last Week, Plus D’Originals’ Premiere Week

For one week only, it will be ‘The Greatest Love’ versus ‘D’Originals’.

This week will mark the last for ‘The Greatest Love’, the top-rating afternoon drama that starred Sylvia Sanchez as a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The series first premiered on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block on September 5, 2016, and will finish its 163-episode run this Friday afternoon.

‘The Greatest Love’, which also starred Dimples Romana, Andi Eigenmann, Matt Evans, Arron Villaflor, Ellen Adarna and Nonie Buencamino among others, was also a constant trending topic on social media. Its inspiring and tear-jerking storyline gripped the nation and the world, giving them greater awareness to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other side of the spectrum, GMA’s Public Affairs team will once again try to salvage whatever shortcomings the Entertainment team has had of late. Their latest project is a sexy comedy drama series, ‘D’Originals’, which will premiere today.

‘D’Originals’ (click its synopsis here) will be the network’s replacement to the short-lived ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, whose brief 53-episode run concluded last Holy Wednesday. ‘D’Originals’ will also be LJ Reyes’ second project in a row on the afternoon slot after starring as Angeli in ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’.

Also part of ‘D’Originals’ cast are Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Kim Domingo, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, Mark Herras, Meg Imperial, Archie Alemania, Lovely Abella, Mikoy Morales, Arny Ross, Elyson De Dios, and Chlaui Malayao. The director of the series is Adolf Alix Jr.

If ‘The Greatest Love”s impressive ratings are of any indication, then ‘D’Originals’ is in for a rude awakening. Recent GMAPA-produced entertainment shows (see ‘Dangwa’, ‘To the Top’, ‘#Like’) have failed to make a desirable impact, thus putting tremendous pressure on ‘D’Originals’ to defy all expectations.

With the dominance of ABS-CBN in the afternoon slot (save for the surprisingly popular ‘Ika-6 na Utos’), this is one battle that ‘D’Originals’ must win. Saving the reputation of both GMA Entertainment and GMA Public Affairs is a must for the series, otherwise the blame game should continue for both departments.

It’s either win or give up for ‘D’Originals’ and GMA Public Affairs. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Underrated Series Sa Piling ni Nanay Down to Its Final Week

It was a quiet but lengthy run for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The GMA afternoon series’ final episode will air this Friday afternoon, completing a run of 150 episodes that began on June 27, 2016. Although its tenure was impressive, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will forever be overshadowed by two ABS-CBN dramas that gained even greater attention.

For starters, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, two equally compelling dramas on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. While ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ boast of an impressive cast of actors, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was no slouch either, as it starred ‘StarStruck’ batch 1’s Yasmien Kurdi, Mark Herras and Katrina Halili.

The story of ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was a complicated yet relatable subject, that of surrogacy. It was in this series where one daughter’s rights were challenged by two women: one who actually gave birth to, and the other demanding to adopt the child as her own.

Despite the fact that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was an inspiring tale, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay”s 12% average rating may be decent for the afternoon slot, but against both ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, it was still 2% short at best.

What derailed ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ were two standout moments that defined ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’. ‘Tubig at Langis’ featured several memorable confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza), while ‘The Greatest Love’ stood tall thanks to Gloria’s (Sylvia Sanchez) emotionally-charged portrayal of a woman gradually afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Needless to say, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ still performed well despite its shortcomings. The final count of 150 episodes should give its loyal viewers a reason to cheer and applaud.

As it enters its final week, one can only hope that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will leave with a lasting impression. They may not be victorious at the end, but what a run that was.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Dominant Tubig at Langis Faces New Rival

It is no secret that ‘Tubig at Langis’ is a clear ratings winner in its timeslot.

From the moment it premiered, the ABS-CBN afternoon series captivated audiences with its controversial and intense storyline. While the acrimonious departure of Vivian Velez helped fuel the fire, the frequent confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes), Clara (Isabelle Daza) and occasionally Lucy (Dionne Monsanto) only added to its mystique and popularity.

Along the way, three rival series went down to ‘Tubig at Langis’. First it was ‘Buena Familia’, then ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ (currently ongoing, but is now up against ‘Doble Kara’), and most recently ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

Now they await a fourth opponent. Enter GMA’s newest afternoon series ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The upcoming GMA drama reunites three former aspirants from season 1 of ‘StarStruck’: Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, and Katrina Halili. The three will play a central role in a plot that tackles the issue of surrogacy.

In ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, Ysabel (Yasmien) works as a personal assistant to Scarlet (Katrina). But Scarlet is unable to bear a child, so Ysabel agrees to become a surrogate in order to pay the bills for her daughter Maymay’s bone marrow transplant.

Tragedy struck Ysabel when Maymay dies in an unfortunate accident. Depressed and lonely, she decides to break up her surrogacy agreement with Scarlet and flees alongside her daughter, naming her Maya (Sofia Jayzel Cabatay) in honor of the fallen Maymay.

Unknown to Ysabel, Jonas (Mark) is secretly in love for her. But upon realizing Ysabel’s intentions of raising Maya instead of giving it to Scarlet, Jonas decides to cease ties with her, and the battle is on between Ysabel and Scarlet for the rights of Maya.

‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ also stars Nova Villa, Bettina Carlos and Antonio Aquitania. It will be directed by Gil Tejada, Jr.

As ‘Tubig at Langis’ prepares for a new opponent, how much longer can they keep up their momentum? And for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, how will they be able to overcome the odds placed against them?

These and more will come starting this Monday afternoon. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ airs weekdays after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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