drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Desperate Times: Ika-5 Utos Represents GMA’s Last Hope for Six-a-Week Relevance

Let’s state the obvious to begin with.

On Monday, September 10, GMA will introduce a new drama called ‘Ika-5 Utos’. And the series will air from Monday to, not Friday, but Saturday afternoons after ‘Eat Bulaga’.

‘Ika-5 Utos” main plot centers around three families whose bonds will be destroyed by a series of incidents. The series, in particular, will take a look at the issue of hazing in college fraternities.

The cast of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ includes Jean Garcia, Gelli de Belen, Valerie Concepcion, Jake Vargas, Kiko Estrada, Inah de Belen, Tonton Gutierrez, Antonio Aquitania, Jeric Gonzales, Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda. The series, like its sister program ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, will be directed by Laurice Guillen.

So another teleserye that will air six times a week? It seems like GMA is obsessed with this new habit.

And since they do not have any further ideas to fill in on a Saturday afternoon (they do not even bother producing a program to match ABS-CBN’s ‘Pareng Partners’), they are stuck with using a teleserye as a desperate ploy to boost ratings. But as seen in the ill-fated tale that is ‘Contessa’, it was a flawed strategy to begin with.

The approach initially worked on ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ due to ‘insistent public demand’ (its finale earned around 20% despite airing on a Saturday). But when ‘Contessa’ took over viewers were soon fed up by GMA’s over-saturation tactics, and instead opted to watch either Vice Ganda running his mouth on national television or Netflix shows online.

As a result, ‘Contessa’ underachieved and GMA’s strategy backfired. With that in mind, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ is now stuck in the crossroads that will either appease its audience to watch the series or force GMA to finally admit the problems in its approach.

It will be interesting to see how this latest maneuver plays out. Can ‘Ika-5 Utos’ deliver on a six-a-week basis, or will GMA ever regret making this risky move?

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ika-6 na Utos Premieres Today on GMA Afternoon Prime

Sunshine Dizon is indeed a loyal and distinguished star.

Amid a string of talents who switch back and forth between network giants ABS-CBN and GMA, there was Sunshine Dizon. It had been two decades since she rose to stardom via the original ‘Anna Karenina’, and yet despite the ascension of younger stars in recent years, Sunshine stayed loyal to GMA, willing to play a role when necessary.

After her character Adhara was killed off in the 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’, Sunshine was given a new role in the upcoming series ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. The upcoming GMA Afternoon Prime series was a perfect fit for her, considering the recent issues that followed her separation with then-husband Timothy Tan.

In ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, Sunshine plays Emma, a sweet and cheerful souvenir merchant. She was married to a refined pilot named Rome (Gabby Concecpion), but their marriage was disapproved by Rome’s mother Margarita (Carmen Soriano) due to Emma’s poor upbringing.

As a result, Rome had no choice but to fall in love with another woman, a sexy and ambitious interior designer named Georgia (Ryza Cenon). Upon learning her husband’s fate, Emma vows to fight for the right to love her husband, and force Rome to stay away from Georgia.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ also stars Mike Tan, Rich Asuncion, Daria Ramirez, Marco Alcaraz, Mel Martinez, and Arianne Bautista. The series is directed by Laurice Guillen.

If the story of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ seems familiar, it is that the series is just another ‘kabitserye’, a subsection of the Filipino teleserye which centers on husbands or wives getting cheated by another man or woman. While most ‘kabitseryes’ air during the late evenings, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is a unique exception, in that it airs in the early afternoon.

That said, it will be interesting to see how a ‘kabitserye’ like ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will fare in an unfamiliar timeslot. Considering that ‘It’s Showtime”s popular ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment also airs during this time period, a tough challenge awaits ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, so good luck to the people behind this series.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Big Blow for Tubig at Langis with Resignation of Vivian Velez and Entry of New Rival

The resignation of Vivian Velez forces ‘Tubig at Langis’ to make adjustments. (Photo credit: Vivian Velez official Facebook)

A lot of adjustments await the ABS-CBN drama series ‘Tubig at Langis’.

On Sunday, March 6, cast member Vivian Velez announced on Facebook that she would irrevocably resign immediately from the show. The official announcement is as follows, as seen on this post below.

In an exclusive conversation with PEP.ph, Vivian cited Cristine Reyes’ rude behavior as a reason behind her resignation. According to Vivian, during one of their recent tapings, she and Cristine shared a designated standby room, but Cristine asked her to leave and then threw a fit by slamming the door and shouting at her.

Both ABS-CBN and Cristine’s camp have yet to issue a statement regarding Vivian’s resignation.

Vivian’s departure from ‘Tubig at Langis’ will be a huge blow to the series. Prior to her resignation, she played the role of Conching, the mother-in-law of Irene (Cristine Reyes), and had a pivotal role in the character progression of the latter.

Now that Vivian’s out, the series’ production team has no choice but to make revisions to the story. Writing off the character of Conching won’t be easy though.

Meanwhile, ‘Tubig at Langis’ will have a new rival starting today. GMA’s upcoming Afternoon Prime series ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, starring Bea Binene and Derrick Monasterio, will take over the slot of the just-concluded ‘Buena Familia’.

In ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, Bea will play the role of Ana, a feral child who was kidnapped and forced to live in isolation her entire life. After escaping from the clutches of Odessa (Ina Feleo), she was found in the woods by a psychology student named Calvin (Derrick), where he would try to reintegrate Ana back into society and show her the real meaning of true love and compassion.

Also starring in ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ are Raymart Santiago, Angelika dela Cruz, Kim Rodriguez, Rita Avila, Ramon Christopher, Luz Valdez, Shyr Valdez, Marco Alcaraz, and Jak Roberto. Laurice Guillen will direct the series.

With all the recent events taking place, this will not be an easy walk in the park this week for ‘Tubig at Langis’. The combination of an upcoming rival and a cast member’s resignation over the rude behavior of another may cast a spell on the series’ ratings, so it’s up to them to deliver despite all the odds.

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