comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Light: Playhouse to Premiere Monday on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is keeping things light and loose every weekday mornings.

While GMA took on a more serious route with ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, ABS-CBN continues its tradition of romantic comedies and child-oriented dramas to the 11:15 a.m. slot. And their newest series ‘Playhouse’ is no exception.

‘Playhouse’ will star Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo as Patty and Marlon, two college lovers who will eventually get married only to split up after a series of struggles. The rest of the main plot are as follows.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

After of a long time living separately, the two meet again as Patty files for an annulment to formally separate with Marlon. But just when they think everything is over between them, an unfortunate tragedy will change their lives forever.

Their friends Emily and Brad will get into an accident, leaving their child Robin (Justin James Quilantang) behind. As the kid’s legal guardians, Patty and Marlon will be forced to stay together under one roof to take care of Robin and make sure he gets the love he needs. This gives Marlon the opportunity to patch things up with Patty, despite her constant disapproval.

Will Robin be the key to giving Patty and Marlon a second chance?

Also part of ‘Playhouse’ will be up-and-coming teen stars Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin, who will play enemies-turned-lovers Zeke and Shiela. The rest of the cast will include Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou De Guzman, Smokey Manaloto, and Maxene Magalona.

Here is a little spin on the formulas that ABS-CBN uses for its late-morning dramas. While ‘Playhouse’ is for the most part a romantic comedy, it is also a child-oriented series since child actor Justin James Quilantang will play a vital role here as the child that Patty and Marlon are forced to take care of.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this hybrid format will work in this increasingly competitive late-morning slot. In spite of ABS-CBN’s success on that timeslot, ‘Playhouse’ will still have its work cut out here and if they win right away it will boost its confidence.

‘Playhouse’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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action, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, reality show, suspense, talent show, television

ABS-CBN Shakes Up Weekend Lineup with Entry of I Can See Your Voice

Changes are indeed aplenty on ABS-CBN this weekend.

Last weekend marked the season 3 finale of ‘Bet on Your Baby’. The 36th and final episode was aired last Sunday and it featured a reunion of original ‘Mara Clara’ stars Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes.

Although ‘Bet on Your Baby’ enjoyed impressive ratings throughout its run, the game show faltered in its final few episodes, prompting ABS-CBN to shelve it for the time being. Initially, ‘Bet on Your Baby’ was to be replaced by ‘I Can See Your Voice’, but ABS-CBN made a drastic move and placed the program on primetime starting this weekend.

Hosted by Luis Manzano alongside judges Angeline Quinto, Alex Gonzaga, Kean Cipriano, Wacky Kiray and Andrew E, ‘I Can See Your Voice’ is the first Kapamilya franchised program to originate from Korea. For more information on its game play, click this link.

‘I Can See Your Voice’ will air every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sunday after ‘Rated K’. All told, ABS-CBN will bring back the game/talent/reality show format at the 9:30 p.m. slot, something that was not seen since ‘I Can Do That’ ended.

The premiere of ‘I Can See Your Voice’ casts some doubt on the fate of ‘Lethal Weapon’. The Tagalized American action series aired its 14th episode last Saturday, and according to some knowledgeable sources, the first season of ‘Lethal Weapon’ still had four more episodes to go.

However, no teaser for the next episode was aired, and for some unexplained reason, ABS-CBN effectively canceled ‘Lethal Weapon’ before its season really ended. This despite the fact that the program enjoyed good ratings during its short run.

As for the vacated slot of ‘Bet on Your Baby’, ABS-CBN decided to fill the Saturday slot with a rerun of the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ anthology series. Then on Sundays, ABS-CBN opted to extend ‘Kapamilya Weekend Blockbusters’ instead of adding another program to its slate.

It will be interesting to see how these changes will affect ABS-CBN’s weekend lineup. But for those who await to see ‘I Can See Your Voice’ on the small screen, good luck and have fun.

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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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

LizQuen Returns via Dolce Amore

LizQuen is back, on the small screen that is.

The celebrated love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has a new drama series coming up this Monday, as ABS-CBN launches ‘Dolce Amore’. The said series will take over the timeslot of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, who ironically replaced the LizQuen-starred ‘Forevermore’ nearly ten months earlier.

In ‘Dolce Amore’, Liza (as Serena) and Enrique (as Tenten) were raised without the guidance of their real parents. Serena grew up in Italy by her adoptive parents, while Tenten’s youth was spent in an orphanage.

Their worlds would soon collide once Serena landed in the Philippines. While searching for answers regarding her origins, she unexpectedly met Tenten, and the pair’s lovely adventures would soon take off.

Also joining the cast of ‘Dolce Amore’ are Matteo Guidicelli, Cherie Gil, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Edgar Mortiz, Rio Locsin, Kean Cipriano, Sunshine Cruz, Andrew E and Frenchie Dy. Mae Cruz Alviar and Cathy Garcia-Molina will direct the series.

Based on the love team’s success in ‘Forevermore’ and in the movies ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Everyday I Love You’, ‘Dolce Amore’ is expected to become a hit anew for ABS-CBN. This should pose a problem for its upcoming rival, GMA’s ‘That’s My Amboy’, which has struggled out of the gate since its first week.

But while the series is poised to continue the recent winning streak of other ABS-CBN dramas, it will also face a lot of scrutiny. Just last month, an open letter addressed to co-director Cathy Garcia-Molina accused her of cursing and disrespecting two ‘Forevermore’ cast members, a accusation she denied.

Expectations aside, ‘Dolce Amore’ should give the LizQuen tandem an opportunity to expand their repertoire as actors. After breaking out in ‘Forevermore’, a more experienced and mature Liza and Enrique awaits viewers come this Monday.

‘Dolce Amore’ premieres February 15 after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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entertainment, hits, music, reality show, songs, talent show, television

In 100 Words: Your Face Sounds Familiar Season 2

‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ returns for another season.

Eight celebrity contestants will once again portray local or foreign singers in the hopes of joining Melai Cantiveros as the talent show’s grand winner. The eight celebrities will be:

  • Sam Concepcion
  • KZ
  • Kakai Bautista
  • Michael Pangilinan
  • Myrtle Sarrosa
  • Eric Nicolas
  • Kean Cipriano
  • Denise Laurel

‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ will once again be hosted by Billy Crawford, with Season 1 Grand Winner Melai now joining Billy as the show’s ‘Katrofamiliar’. Gary Valenciano, Sharon Cuneta and Jed Madela will serve as judges.

Season 1 of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ became a huge hit for ABS-CBN in the first half of 2015. Now the Kapamilya network hopes that Season 2 would equal, if not surpass the success of Season 1.

‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ season 2 premieres this Saturday, and airs weekends on ABS-CBN. Timeslot to be determined.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Inday Bote and Bridges of Love, Coming Soon

Summer gets closer with a pair of new teleseryes coming soon on ABS-CBN.

Expected to air on Primetime Bida within a few weeks, the two new teleseryes will be:

Bridges of Love – starring Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. John Lloyd Cruz and Xian Lim were originally cast in the upcoming series before backing out for various reasons.

Inday Bote – starring Alex Gonzaga, Matteo Guidicelli, Kean Cipriano, Izzy Canillo and Alonzo Muhlach. Adopted from the 1985 film starring Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Richard Gomez and Charito Solis.

The two teleseryes are expected to replace ‘Two Wives’ and ‘Bagito’ respectively. More details will come in future articles, so stay put.

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