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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Encantadia 2016: A Threat or an Afterthought

The returning ‘Encantadia’ will have their hands full against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ when it premieres this Monday. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

It will be the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ against Cardo (Coco Martin) of ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

A lot has been said about the impressive ratings of ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’. After all, this TV adaptation of the classic Fernando Poe, Jr. flick has been reaching the 40% mark of late, blowing out its embarrassed competitor (GMA’s ‘Poor Señorita’) in the dust.

But as ‘Encantadia’ gets underway this Monday, ‘Ang Probinsyano”s momentum could be in doubt. And GMA is going all out in this costly venture of theirs.

The 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’ will be headlined by the four Sang’gres, portrayed by Glaiza de Castro (as Pirena), Kylie Padilla (as Amihan), Gabbi Garcia (as Alena), and Sanya Lopez (as Danaya). Other notable cast members include Marian Rivera, Rocco Nacino, Solenn Heussaff, Ruru Madrid, John Arcilla and Dingdong Dantes.

Director Mark Reyes will breathe new life into this iconic fantaserye. Once again, computer-generated imagery (CGI) will be used extensively, but for this version, updated editing software will be used, along with various other technologies.

But the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not GMA will finally embrace the 16:9 widescreen high definition format. Considering GMA’s continued unwillingness to use the new format (even with the use of HD cameras), it is clear that their old-school mentality may hurt ‘Encantadia”s quality and appeal.

Which is why the Encantadia Saga Facebook fan page went as far as writing an open letter to GMA management. They claimed that using the 16:9 format will bring a full viewing experience to an epic program such as ‘Encantadia’, as opposed to 4:3 which cuts some of the details.

Still, the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not it will be able to overcome ‘Ang Probinsyano’. That said, the first week of the new ‘Encantadia’ will be very crucial, as they try to make an impact against an extremely formidable opponent.

Come this Monday, it will be ‘Encantadia’ against the world. Will they come out on top, or become the latest victim of ‘Ang Probinsyano”s dominance?

Find out starting July 18.

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With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

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As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel Won’t Begin Simultaneously

GMA’s Kambal Sirena begins its run a week ahead of ABS-CBN’s Dyesebel. (Photo courtesy of Bida Kapamilya)

The so-called ‘Sirena Wars’ on Philippine television will have to wait for another two weeks, as both GMA and ABS-CBN set their final episode dates for ‘Adarna’ and ‘Honesto’.

‘Adarna’, the fantaserye starring Kylie Padilla, airs its final episode tomorrow. Airing since November 18, 2013, ‘Adarna’ was supposed to revive GMA’s tried and tested fantaserye genre that has worked for them in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, the show failed to surpass expectations, due to the fact that a rival teleserye is superbly dominant in its timeslot.

That teleserye happened to be ‘Honesto’, which has been consistently atop the primetime ratings since its debut. Its superior ratings also translated into high trending figures in social media, with hashtags related to the show leading Twitter’s trending topics. The Raikko Mateo-starred series first aired on October 28, and will air its final episode on March 14.

The two series will be replaced by ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ respectively. The former, an original concept of the Kapuso network, will star Louise delos Reyes, while the latter, acquired by the Kapamilya network from Mars Ravelo’s estate, will star Anne Curtis.

Hype between the two series began last December, as both networks revealed the initial teasers for their respective mermaids. But while GMA began to heavily promote ‘Kambal Sirena’ during the months of January and February, ABS-CBN was slow to promote ‘Dyesebel’ as it continued to focus on its highly-rated programs ‘Honesto’ and ‘Got to Believe’. Nevertheless, viewers were salivating at the prospect of two mermaid-based series facing each other on primetime.

Both ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ will feature an equally stellar supporting cast. In ‘Kambal Sirena’, Aljur Abrenica will star as the leading man, while Wynwyn Marquez serves as the main villain. The series will also star Mickey Ferriols, Angelika dela Cruz, Gladys Reyes, Tessie Tomas, Mike Tan, Pancho Magno, Polo Ravales, Lotlot de Leon, Rich Asuncion, and Chanda Romero.

In ‘Dyesebel’, Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson will play the leading men, while Andi Eigenmann takes on a villainous role. Portraying supporting roles in the series will be Dawn Zulueta, Eula Valdes, Gabby Concepcion, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bangs Garcia, David Chua, Ai Ai delas Alas, Neil Coleta, Young JV and Ogie Diaz.

While ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ won’t begin at the same time, the rivalry between the two mermaid-based series will be something to look forward to. And it should add spice to what has been an already heated rivalry between the two major networks.

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‘Adarna’ Bumps ‘Genesis’ Off the Leadoff Spot

GMA’s new teleserye ‘Adarna’ will be Kylie Padilla’s first lead role in a primetime series.

Tonight’s GMA Telebabad lineup will have one change. ‘Adarna’, topbilled by Kylie Padilla and Geoff Eigenmann, will replace the recently concluded ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’. However, the program’s debut will also demote the Dingdong Dantes starrer ‘Genesis’ off the leadoff spot.

As it turned out, ‘Genesis’ was demoted amid its sensitivity towards its ‘end of the world’ storyline and the popularity of ABS-CBN‘s ‘Honesto’. Right now the Philippines is still recovering from the damage of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and it may not be good to follow a news program like ‘24 Oras‘ with a sci-fi Armageddon-based story of ‘Genesis’. The demotion should make sense because a possible public relations disaster would take place had ‘Genesis’ remained as the leadoff program.

In addition, the demotion was also necessary because ‘Genesis’ has been beaten consistently by ‘Honesto’ in the ratings. Whether it’s Nielsen or Kantar, it seems that the latter’s inexperienced lead star Raikko Mateo is outplaying the veteran Dingdong Dantes in terms of television viewership. The unexpected popularity of ‘Honesto’ also spread into social media, helping it become the most-watched program in its timeslot.

Because of that, GMA had to place ‘Genesis’ opposite ‘Got to Believe’, which stars the popular teen love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. However, ‘Got to Believe’ has also been a consistent top draw in its timeslot, and with the increasingly popular team-up of Bernardo and Padilla proving to be a hit, it would be an even difficult task for veterans like Dantes and on-screen partner Rhian Ramos to overcome the former viewership-wise. Nevertheless, ‘Genesis’ should be a more formidable opponent to ‘Got to Believe’ after the now-concluded ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ of Julie Anne San Jose and Kristoffer Martin failed to draw viewers.

Which brings us to ‘Adarna’, a modern retelling of the Ibong Adarna epic. This will be the first starring role for Kylie Padilla in a primetime series. Padilla, though a seasoned actress in her own right, has yet to play a major role in the ratings-rich primetime slot, and opposite five-year-old Mateo, expectations are high for the young veteran to make her mark. In ‘Adarna’, Padilla will be joined by leading men Eigenmann, Mikael Daez, fellow young actresses Ryza Cenon, Michelle Madrigal and Chynna Ortaleza, and veterans Jean Garcia and Jestoni Alarcon in helping her fulfill the daunting role of a half-human, half-bird character from a classic Filipino epic.

For Eigenmann, ‘Adarna’ will be his first teleserye after a long showbiz hiatus. As seen in a GMA News report, Eigenmann has slimmed down after battling weight issues prior to his sabbatical. Meanwhile Daez will appear in his first teleserye without on-screen partner Andrea Torres, whom he paired in the afternoon soap ‘Sana ay Ikaw na Nga‘, the morning ‘kiligserye’ ‘With a Smile’, and the gag show ‘Bubble Gang’.

‘Adarna’ makes its highly-anticipated debut tonight after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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