drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Streaking Haplos Faces New Challenger This Monday

‘Haplos’ is on a roll.

The GMA afternoon drama series has been picking up steam these past few months. Along the way, it claimed a pair of victims in ‘The Better Half’ and ‘The Promise of Forever’, both from ABS-CBN.

This series starring Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno offer a different wrinkle than the Kapamilya network’s repetitive fare of ‘kabitseryes’. Some elements of fantasy and mystery are involved in ‘Haplos’, with Angela (Sanya) and Lucille (Thea) starring as half-sisters with contrasting mystical elements.

That unique storyline enabled ‘Haplos’ to earn constant victories in the ratings, in the process causing plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. However, a new challenger awaits ‘Haplos’, and this time a familiar veteran actress comes into the fold.

Remember when Sylvia Sanchez ruled afternoons with her emotional portrayal of Gloria in ‘The Greatest Love’? That was seven months ago, and since then, Kapamilya Gold went on a steady decline while Afternoon Prime, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, soared to the occasion.

Starting this Monday, ABS-CBN will try to change that anew as they premiere their latest afternoon series ‘Hanggang Saan’. Sylvia will once again portray a mother in this series, except that her character Sonya is an unexpected criminal who was accused of killing an innocent man at the risk of prolonging her son’s life.

Joining Sylvia in ‘Hanggang Saan’ will be her real-life son Arjo Atayde, who will play the role of Sonya’s son Paco. Teresa Loyzaga and Sue Ramirez will play Jean and Anna, the closest friends of Sonya and Paco.

Also part of the cast are Ariel Rivera, Yves Flores, Maris Racal, Marlo Mortel, Nikko Natividad, Rommel Padilla, Nanding Josef, Anna Luna, Mercedes Cabral, Rubi Rubi, Viveika Ravanes, Sharmaine Suarez, Ces Quesada, Arnold Reyes, Maila Gumila, and Junjun Quintana. The series will be directed by Mervyn Brondial and Jeffrey Jeturian.

‘Hanggang Saan’ airs weekdays after ‘Pusong Ligaw’. It will replace ‘The Promise of Forever’.

Even with all the victories tucked in their pocket, the stars of ‘Haplos’ should not rest on their laurels. As ‘Hanggang Saan’ is about to make its debut, how long can ‘Haplos’ maintain its momentum?

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

MMFF in Challenging Position With Emphasis on Quality

MMFF mainstays such as 'Enteng Kabisote' are a thing of the past as organizers emphasize more on quality than commercial success in this year's filmfest. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

Without blockbuster franchises and stars such as Vic Sotto’s ‘Enteng Kabisote’ series, the new-look MMFF faces an uphill battle this year. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

This is a From the Tube special report. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not reflect those of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival will be a different experience for moviegoers and viewers alike.

Gone are the top drawers, big-spending production outfits and movie franchises that made the MMFF an annual Christmas tradition. Instead, the eight official full-length films will feature mostly independent productions, some of which were previously screened in other film festivals around the world.

The eight entries are:

  • Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough – directed by Marlon Rivera; stars Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos, and Cai Cortez
  • Die Beautiful – directed by Jun Robles Lana; stars Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, and Iza Calzado
  • Kabisera – directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; stars Ms. Nora Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Luis Alandy, Jason Abalos, and RJ Agustin
  • Oro – directed by Alvin Yapan; stars Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Joem Bascon
  • Saving Sally – directed by Avid Liongoren; stars Rhian Ramos, and Enzo Marcos
  • Seklusyon – directed by Erik Matti; stars Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
  • Sunday Beauty Queen – directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez; stars Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, and Rudelyn Acosta
  • Vince & Kath & James – directed by Ted Boborol; stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte

The selections were based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%). In essence, the MMFF organizers wanted to feature a greater emphasis on quality rather than commercialism alone.

Even though the change in approach is crucial in providing a more even playing field, promoting these films could pose a challenge. Many of the films were produced by independent companies, while a majority of them feature second or third-tier actors, some of whom are relative unknowns.

Let’s face it, while Eugene Domingo has box-office potential (‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in millions during its initial run), she is no Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda. And while Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are not a bad tandem, they are no AlDub or KathNiel in the appeal department.

The major television networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA, once major players in the MMFF, are in a similar predicament. In previous years, both played a big role in the success of MMFF entries, but with this year’s field, they may not be a factor at all.

This does not mean that all eight films are bad, however. They are still worth watching as far as moviegoers go, but it will be up to them to become seriously interested with these entries.

Come Christmas Day, all eyes will be on the eight Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Still, it remains to be seen if this year’s filmfest will be a blockbuster or a flop.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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drama, entertainment, talk show, television

Ningning Premiere Kicks Off the Battle of the Child Stars

Jana Agoncillo (center) will star in an upcoming series ‘Ningning’, which will be placed in the pre-noontime slot opposite fellow child star Ryzza Mae Dizon. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Two of the country’s most recognizable child stars today will face off this Monday.

In the red corner is GMA/TAPE’s own Ryzza Mae Dizon, formerly the 2012 Little Miss Philippines grand winner. ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ is her first television project outside of ‘Eat Bulaga’, and it ushered Ryzza into the role of the country’s youngest talk show host.

In the blue corner is ABS-CBN’s own Jana Agoncillo, formerly known as ‘Baby’ in the hit primetime series ‘Dream Dad’. ‘Ningning’ will be her second starring role in a drama series, and her first in the pre-noontime slot.

‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ may be considered a ‘show within a show’ as part of ‘Eat Bulaga’, but on its own right, it was a decent and entertaining talk show, with the titular 10-year-old host proving to be a kid of many talents. Now Ryzza’s standing as one of the country’s top child stars will be put to the test as Jana Agoncillo comes into play.

In ‘Ningning’, Jana plays the titular character who is cheerful, hopeful and lovely. Set in San Vicente, Palawan, ‘Ningning”s jovial nature will be put to the test through a variety of obstacles that her family and her community faces.

Joining Jana in breathing life out of ‘Ningning’ will be Beauty Gonzales, Ketchup Eusebio, Sylvia Sanchez, Vandolph Quizon, Nyoy Volante, Rommel Padilla, Mercedes Cabral, Pooh, and John Steven de Guzman. Nonie Buencamino and Franco Daza will appear in a special participation.

Before ‘Ningning’ was officially announced as the replacement for the departing ‘Oh My G’, two other upcoming dramas were also considered. There is ‘On the Wings of Love’, starring the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre, and there is ‘Be My Lady’, starring Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga.

However, when news of an upcoming GMA/TAPE drama series starring Ryzza Mae Dizon and Aiza Seguerra came to light, ABS-CBN chose ‘Ningning’ instead. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show”s days are being numbered.

By all indications, this should be an interesting battle. While Ryzza has more mileage in terms of exposure, Jana is not far behind, and based on her success in ‘Dream Dad’, expect her to be as effective in ‘Ningning’.

‘Ningning’ premieres this Monday, July 27, before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

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