drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Curtains Close on Mulawin vs. Ravena

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will air its final episode this Friday, concluding a brief 85-episode run. (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)

Who would have thought this will end so soon.

After 85 episodes and a timeslot change, the end is drawing near for the GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. The series that began as a follow-up to the successful (as far as GMA is concerned) fantaserye ‘Encantadia’ had high expectations from the start, only to fizzle amid intense competition from ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘La Luna Sangre’.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was the sequel to the highly successful mid-2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’. The series was headlined by Dennis Trillo, Heart Evangelista, Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Regine Velasquez among others.

First aired on May 22, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was initially pitted against the long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’. But while ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ gained a substantial audience, it was not enough to withstand the dominance of Cardo (Coco Martin) and company.

On August 14, GMA made a bold move by moving ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to the second slot in exchange for the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. This meant new competition for the former as it went up against ‘La Luna Sangre’, which ironically featured former ‘Mulawin’ lead stars Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin.

GMA even went as far as bringing some of the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, thus connecting the two series together. But not even the presence of Pirena (Glaiza de Castro) and Lira (Mikee Quintos) saved the series, and as a result, GMA decided to end ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ following its final episode this Friday.

Considering GMA’s high standards for their fantaseryes, it was disappointing to see ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ run for only a short period of time. After all, production of such series is not easy to begin with as logistics, finances, props, talents and special effects factor in alongside overall performance.

Still, for the viewers who have tuned in to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ from the beginning, the story was not that bad. GMA may have had its shortcomings, but at least they gave their 100% effort in bringing the tale of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to life.

Come this Friday, it will be one last stand for the Mulawin and the Ravena tribes. It may not be a graceful exit, but as far as ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is concerned, it will be one hell of an ending.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Mulawin vs. Ravena Premiere Means New Characters for Ang Probinsyano

The threat is indeed real.

With the premiere of GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ later tonight, long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ introduced a new slate of supporting actors that will add more color to an already endless story. They are:

  • John Arcilla
  • Angel Aquino
  • Ejay Falcon
  • Jhong Hilario
  • Lito Lapid
  • Mark Lapid
  • Sid Lucero
  • Long Mejia
  • Pokwang
  • Mitch Valdes

These actors will join the main cast that features Coco Martin, Ms. Susan Roces, Yassi Pressman and Awra Briguela, among others. Ironically, John Arcilla was last seen in the just-concluded GMA fantaserye (and ‘Ang Probinsyano”s archrival) ‘Encantadia’, where he was cast as Hagorn.

Another chapter soon. #FPJAP

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The addition of new actors indicate that another fresh storyline for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is about to take shape. After all, a new rival in ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will come into play and the best way for the former to maintain viewer interest is to introduce new characters and plots to keep up with its latest adversary.

Speaking of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, the sequel to the popular early 2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’ is 12 years in the making. The original series (led by Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin) became a huge hit when it first aired, and with the creation of the sequel, the bar is raised even higher.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will feature stars such as:

  • Dennis Trillo (as Gabriel)
  • Heart Evangelista (as Alwina)
  • Carla Abellana  (as Aviona)
  • Tom Rodriguez (as Rodrigo)
  • Lovi Poe (as Magindara)
  • Regine Velasquez (as Sandawa)
  • Bianca Umali (as Lawiswis)
  • Derrick Monasterio (as Almiro)
  • Bea Binene (as Anya)
  • Miguel Tanfelix (as Pagaspas)
  • Ariel Rivera (as Panabon)
  • Chynna Ortaleza (as Reyna Rashana)
  • David Licauco (as Malik)
  • Dion Ignacio (as Siklab)
  • Valerie Concepcion (as Tuka)
  • Roi Vinzon (as Daragit)
  • JC Tiuseco (as Tangos)
  • Winwyn Marquez (as Ribery)
  • TJ Trinidad (as Greco)
  • Angelu de Leon (as Lourdes)
  • Bobby Andrews (as Dionisio)
  • Charee Pineda (as Savanna)
  • Joko Diaz (as Antonio)
  • Martin del Rosario (as Aramis)
  • Kiko Estrada (as Rafael)
  • Nova Villa (as Lola Elo)

Directors Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez will once again breathe life into ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, just as they did with the original ‘Mulawin’.

Heading into tonight, the challenge for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is a daunting one. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings juggernaut for nearly two years now and not even the efforts of its predecessor ‘Encantadia’ was enough to topple the former.

That said, the best chance for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ might come from viewers who are becoming disenchanted with ‘Ang Probinsyano”s endlessly dragging storyline. With the latter’s new characters coming into play, this may be an opportunity for some to switch channels and watch something different and pleasing.

Still, with too many loyal viewers siding with ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the task will not be an easy one. So, good luck to GMA in their efforts to sway the momentum away from Coco Martin and company.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Final Week for Magpahanggang Wakas, Someone to Watch Over Me

2017 gets underway with two teleseryes concluding their respective runs this Friday.

On one end, there is the ABS-CBN primetime series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. The latest in a series of ‘kabitseryes’, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ starred Jericho Rosales, Arci Muñoz and John Estrada in a story that involves a romantic love triangle and a man wrongly accused of murder and was thought to have been killed.

On the other end is the GMA primetime series ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, starring Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Max Collins. Like ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, this series featured a love triangle, this time with a plot centering on a man who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ premiered on September 5, and was initially pitted against the short-lived series ‘Born for You’. But after the latter’s conclusion, many expected to see ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ go up against the former.

Unfortunately, ABS-CBN had other ideas. On September 19, the network demoted ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot of Primetime Bida, and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ was placed in the second slot, opposite another debuting series in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

But while ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ regularly got the better of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ in the Kantar national ratings, it averaged only 26%, a far cry from the 30% or better numbers of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Dolce Amore’ earlier in 2016. Much has been said about its plot line, which may have turned viewers off due to its obvious familiarity.

As for ‘Someone to Watch over Me’, it only scored an average of 12% during its run. But unlike previous GMA dramas that aired in this timeslot, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ actually fought well, pushing the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’ to the limit in more recent episodes.

Overall, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will have aired for 80 episodes, while ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will have a total of 90 episodes. Not bad, but not good for either network’s standards.

In the end, it is clear that the success of the so-called ‘kabitserye’ is wearing thin. It was a tried and tested formula, but for those who have seen this plot before, it is no longer a healthy obsession.

This Friday, both ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will have one last chance to impress themselves. One can only hope that the two series will end on a high note, after all these difficult times.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Born for You to End in Two Weeks

There is not enough time for GMA’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ to warm up.

That is because its opponent, ABS-CBN’s ‘Born for You’, will end in two weeks’ time. The Kapamilya series starring Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador will air its final episode on September 16.

‘Born for You’ had been on the air since June 20, when it replaced the Kim Chiu and Xian Lim-starrer ‘The Story of Us’. The series marked the first time that Elmo (a former GMA star and current off-screen boyfriend of Janine Gutierrez) and Janella were paired on television.

Though ‘Born for You’ consistently won over ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ in the ratings game, it seems like ABS-CBN is not happy with its performance. The show started strong on its very first week, getting an average of 18%, but after that, ratings hovered between 16-17% during July and early August.

Then in the past two weeks, ‘Born for You”s ratings fell to around the 14% mark. This gave ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ a fighting chance, and though they still fell short, on some nights, they managed to narrow the gap to 1% or less.

Overall, ‘Born for You’ will become a rarity among ABS-CBN dramas. With only 65 episodes, it is one of the shortest-lived dramas ABS-CBN has ever produced, and considering that it aired on the top-rating Primetime Bida block, it is even rarer for a series to air that short on primetime.

The underwhelming performance of ‘Born for You’ could force ABS-CBN to consider breaking up the on-screen love team of Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador. Given the inexperience of the duo together, and the fact that Elmo is still linked to Janine Gutierrez in real life, ABS-CBN may need to find another role for both he and Janella, but not as a love team.

Still, the Kapamilya network may give them another chance together. But that will only depend on both proper timing and a right story that will help them grow and mature as actors.

Only two weeks remain in the run of ‘Born for You’. They need to prove that they can still win big, or else, it will be the trio of Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins in ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ who will be the ones smiling.

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New Teleserye Alert: The Greatest Love and Someone to Watch Over Me

Two new teleseryes premiere today on ABS-CBN and GMA respectively.

On the former’s Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Greatest Love’ will finally make its long-awaited debut. The series will star veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez in what is perhaps her most definitive starring role yet.

In ‘The Greatest Love’, Sylvia will play the role of Gloria, a mother of four who is determined to have a happy and lovely family. But a terrible secret soon broke the bond between Gloria and her children, and what remained of her are memories of her problematic past.

As the story goes on, Gloria begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a crippling disorder that could erase her memories. As a result, she must find a way to reunite with her children before her condition proves too much to overcome.

Gloria’s children will be portrayed by Dimples Romana (as Amanda), Matt Evans (as Andrei), Arron Villaflor (as Paeng), and Andi Eigenmann (as Lizelle). The supporting cast of ‘The Greatest Love’ will consist of Joshua Garcia, Nonie Buencamino, Rommel Padilla, Tonton Gutierrez, Ejay Falcon, Ellen Adarna, Junjun Quintana, Aleck Bovick, Luis Alandy, Bobby Andrews, Alex Medina, Mercedes Cabral, and Guji Lorenzana.

It will be interesting to see how ‘The Greatest Love’ fares on its first week. But as far as ABS-CBN is concerned, the recent streak of good fortune on Kapamilya Gold should be more than enough to ease the pressure on the newcomer.

Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, Mervyn Brondial, and Dado Lomibao, ‘The Greatest Love’ airs weekdays after ‘Doble Kara’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

Over on GMA’s Telebabad block, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will mark the full return of more serious dramas on primetime. The series will be headlined by Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins.

Like ‘The Greatest Love’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will explore the harsh effects of Alzheimer’s disease. In the upcoming series, TJ (Tom) is an office worker who is married to his wife Joanna (Lovi), but after TJ begins to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Joanna decides to take care of her ailing husband.

Soon after, Irene (Max), TJ’s ex-girlfriend, is allowed by Joanna to enter their home. After that, things begin to change as TJ loses memory of Joanna and instead recognizes Irene as his true love.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will also include Edu Manzano, Jackie Lou Blanco, Isay Alvarez, Ronnie Lazaro, Boy 2 Quizon, Ralph Noriega, and Frances Makil. The series will be directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how this upcoming GMA drama will fare against ‘Born for You’. With the latter series on a roll, and with GMA’s talent problems already well-documented, this is going to be a difficult journey for Lovi, Tom, Max and company.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ airs weeknights after ‘Descendants of the Sun’.

 

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A Not-So ‘InTENse’ Premiere for Beautiful Strangers, My Faithful Husband

‘InTENse’ is not the kind of word that is expected in GMA’s new-look Telebabad.

Contrary to what GMA claims in the plugs (see video above) for the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’, the ‘inTENse’ moniker seems to apply more towards its two rival teleseryes on ABS-CBN. ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, for one, has been the obsession of many since episode one, and now they are joined by ‘On the Wings of Love’, another potential top-rater.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has been in every viewer’s radar since the project was announced last February, and now the can’t-miss series has been given the green light. It will be the first teleserye for the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre (a.k.a. JaDine), but for those familiar of their work, they should be no strangers to success.

After all, JaDine starred in the hit movies ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, and more recently ‘My Hopeless Romantic’. The duo also starred in ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, fueling their popularity even further.

But ‘On the Wings of Love’ will not be the only series that GMA needs to worry about. The ever-popular ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be bolstered further with the arrival of Bea Bianca, portrayed by Sarah Carlos, whose role is to be the third wheel in the Angelo-Yna (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively) love affair.

Both ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’ should have their hands full facing KathNiel and JaDine, respectively. While the two series will have a good amount of star power (Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo), they are still at a disadvantage.

A one-two punch on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida awaits the two premiering series on GMA Telebabad. For a network that still lives in the past when it comes to its stars, this is a mismatch in hell.

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