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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