drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Up for JoChard: My Guitar Princess

GMA’s search for a hit late-morning series continues.

After failing to hit paydirt with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, GMA will once again try to give the popular JoChard (Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) love team a run for their money. Their latest attempt will come in the form of two young stars that will topbill the newest series ‘My Guitar Princess’, which premieres this Monday.

‘My Guitar Princess’ will be led by a pair of emerging Kapuso stars Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. In this series, Celina (Julie Anne) is a promising but insecure 18-year-old singer and guitarist whose mother Adele (Sheryl Cruz) does not approve of her singing in front of an audience.

Amid her mother’s objection, Celina insists on performing even if it means tearing their relationship apart. Soon after, Celina’s talents caught the eye of two men who seek to fall in love with her: Elton (Gil), a 20-year-old singer based abroad whom fans call the ‘prince charming of pop’, and Justin (Kiko Estrada), Celina’s long-time confidant.

Completing the cast of ‘My Guitar Princess’ are Isabelle de Leon, Jazz Ocampo, Marika Sasaki, Marc Abaya, Ralf King, Kier Legaspi, Frank Garcia, Maey Bautista, Rob Sy and Lui Manansala. It will be directed by Nick Olanka.

The popular love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (plus Robin Padilla as the third wheel) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will provide a very tough obstacle for Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. After all, these are a pair of young Kapuso stars who have been long underappreciated by the masses despite their immense talent.

That said, the only hope for GMA is to can maximize the potential of Julie Anne and Gil. Of course, it also helps that an aggressive social media and promotional campaign will benefit the show and its lead stars considering the network’s weaknesses in the two departments.

Still, it will not be easy for ‘My Guitar Princess’ to overcome ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. If GMA wants to avoid a repeat of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, they need to push the right buttons, otherwise another short series is in the offing.

‘My Guitar Princess’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Challenge for A Love to Last: I Heart Davao

It’s another rom-com vs. rom-com starting this Monday.

On GMA, the picturesque setting of Davao will be the focus of this soon-to-air primetime series. Enter ‘I Heart Davao’, the network’s newest offering on the Telebabad block.

In this up-and-coming series, Carla Abellana will play the role of Hope, a heart transplant recipient who goes to Davao in hopes of saving her family’s chocolate business. There, she meets Ponce (Tom Rodriguez), the proud yet pragmatic son of a chocolate haciendero who happens to be the former boyfriend of Hope’s donor.

Unfortunately for the two, their cultural differences and personalities become a challenge as they try to help each other out. It only gets more complicated when Hope’s childhood friend and businessman Paul (Benjamin Alves) arrives on the scene to rekindle their relationship.

According to GMA, 80% of ‘I Heart Davao”s scenes were shot in Davao in an effort to highlight the province’s amazing scenery. The network also made good use of the Davaoeño dialect by incorporating speaking lines in the said tongue.

‘I Heart Davao’ will also star Betong Sumaya, Maey Bautista, Ricardo Cepeda, Glenda Garcia, Racquel Villavicencio, Joel Saracho, Geraldine Villamil, Natileigh Sitoy, Kevin Sagra, Philip Lazaro, and Catherine Rem, with special participation by the Davao theater group Cine Madayaw. The series is directed by Marlon N. Rivera.

While ‘I Heart Davao’ should be a must-watch, they will face a very serious challenge from the start. ABS-CBN’s ‘A Love to Last’ is coming off a highly-rated wedding episode between Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo), and with latter still raking in episode victories on a consistent basis, the former’s winning aspirations will not be an easy one.

Add to that is the fact that it will be GMA Public Affairs who will shoulder the series’ burden. Considering the division’s many non-news programs that primarily focused on winning awards than ratings, it will not be a surprise to see ‘I Heart Davao’ follow the same path.

In any event, good luck to GMA in making ‘I Heart Davao’ a success. There is no doubt about its potential, but will it be more than enough?

‘I Heart Davao’ airs weeknights after ‘My Love from the Star’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Tado Tribute Week on Philippine TV

This week, the major television stations pay tribute to the late Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez through various programs.

On February 7, the Philippine showbiz industry lost comedian Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, who was killed in a bus accident at Mountain Province while documenting his travels via the ’40 Mountains’ project. As the community continues to mourn Tado’s death, the big TV networks are paying tribute this week to the long-haired comedian and political activist, whose unique brand of humor made him an icon of the indie scene.

Last Sunday, GMA News TV re-aired an episode of ‘Reel Time’ called ‘Misteryo sa Paraiso’. In the one-hour mini-documentary, Tado (along with co-host Patani) toured various spots in Camarines Norte, including a trip to the Boracay-like sandy beaches, the world’s oldest Rizal monument, and the oldest lighthouse in Palaui.

The next day, sister network GMA re-aired an episode of ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos. The episode, aired last September, focused on Tado’s personal life and his rise from an impoverished nomad to a famous comedian and activist. It marked one of only a few remaining TV appearances for Tado before his untimely death.

This afternoon, it is ABS-CBN’s turn to pay tribute to Tado. In the upcoming episode of ‘My Puhunan’, Karen Davila visited Tado’s ‘LimiTado’ store, where the comedian sells statement t-shirts and other memorabilia. The episode will also take a look at Tado’s tattoo shop ‘LimiTattoo’.

Then on Saturday, GMA News TV’s ‘Day Off’ will air Tado’s final television appearance. The episode, taped a few days before Tado’s fateful trip to Mountain Province, will showcase his unique brand of humor for the last time with hosts Pekto and Maey Bautista.

And next Sunday, TV5’s ‘Philip Lifestyle Guy’ will feature another of Tado’s final television appearances. In the episode, host Philip Abadicio joined Tado as they toured the city of Marikina and discovered the various hotspots within the city. It will also take viewers to a trip down Tado’s humble abode.

It is only fitting that for this week, each of the three major networks will set aside their differences and pay tribute to one of the pillars in the independent entertainment scene. Tado’s demise is a huge loss to the industry, and one that may never be replaced. Just ask buddy and fellow ‘Strangebrew’ host Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, who will always say to her lost friend, ‘TAMA!’

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