comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Match: Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw Ends Short Run This Friday

Not even close.

After only 38 episodes and nearly two months on the air, GMA decided to pull the plug on ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, the late-morning romantic comedy starring Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. And its performance was never strong to begin with.

Matched up against the ABS-CBN late-morning series ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ failed to catch up with the viewing public. The series premiere of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ only scored 8.8% against ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s 17.1%, setting the tone for the rest of its run.

Overall, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ managed a paltry 9% per episode. On the other hand, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ averaged 17%.

Even the total number of episodes was lower than the TAPE-produced blocktimers that formerly occupied the late-morning slot. That said, it was a shame for GMA to not even try to keep up with JoChard (the love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) and Robin Padilla despite the insurmountable odds.

But to each network’s credit, both shows engaged a friendly rivalry even if ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ was cut short. In the lead-up to its premiere, Camille Prats and Jodi Sta. Maria wished good luck to each other on social media, clearly indicating that there are no hard feelings between them as far as competition goes.

Still, it would have been better if GMA kept on going with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’. Such a low number of episodes is considered a huge letdown by GMA’s standards and for a network with so many high expectations, it is very frustrating to see that happen.

Now that ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ is about to end, one can only hope that the series will end on a positive note. The least they can do now is salvage some measure of pride and make the most out of these last few episodes.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s New Rival to Sana Dalawa ang Puso Premieres Monday

GMA has a new series coming up to counter ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

After over a month of staying away from the dreaded love team that is Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between), GMA will once again look to defeat the popular tandem. This time, however, they will not have the benefit of TAPE Inc. as a blocktimer and production partner.

Instead, the new series ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be self-produced by the network, the first time they have done that in a pre-noontime show since ‘Cielo de Angelina’ in 2012. But unlike the latter which is more of a tear-jerker, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be done in the same way as ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: a romantic comedy.

‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be headlined by Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. Camille (as Ginny) and Neil (as Lance) are single parents still attached to their past, but with some common ground between them (e.g. living in the same condo, enjoy the same brand of coffee), it seems like a relationship is about to bloom.

Their lives will also intertwine with that of their children. Ginny’s daughter Marione (Ayra) and Lance’s son Benjie (Bruno) are also on the verge of falling in love, but it remains to be seen if either or both of their relationships will flourish.

GMA is no stranger to morning romantic series, having aired ‘With a Smile’ and ‘Dangwa’ in years past. Unfortunately, the presence of TAPE’s pre-noontime shows prevented GMA from seriously challenging ABS-CBN’s popular late-morning dramas, which led to both shows’ failure to make an impact.

The curse of ‘JoChard’ has become a long-standing dilemma for GMA ever since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ premiered in 2012. That said, GMA can only hope for the best with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, as this could be their last-ditch attempt to overcome the problem.

If they fail on this objective, it will not be a surprise to see the network return to a pupal state and fill the airtime with ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’. It is either all-out or stay out as far as GMA is concerned.

Directed by Tata Betita and Jojo Nones, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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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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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Is ‘Wish I May’ Too Late the Hero?

‘Wish I May’ has been given the go-signal by GMA.

After a long and tenuous delay, the series, named after a popular song by Alden Richards, will finally make its debut. The question is, will ‘Wish I May’ be worth the wait?

The journey of ‘Wish I May’ began in October of last year, when GMA released a pair of short teasers for the series. Regularly played during commercial breaks, many thought the series would premiere within that month, given its release at the height of the AlDub phenomenon.

Unfortunately, it never materialized. Already penciled in as a lead-out program to ‘Eat Bulaga’ (whose Kalyeserye featured the AlDub tandem), ‘Wish I May”s premiere was postponed when its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ was given a three-month extension.

The series was also considered for Telebabad, but GMA chose to air ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ instead. Eventually, GMA revealed the premiere date of ‘Wish I May’ in the teaser video below, which premiered before the end of 2015.

Which leads to today’s long-awaited premiere. ‘Wish I May’, although named after Alden’s hit song, will not feature Alden himself nor his Kalyeserye partner Maine Mendoza, for obvious reasons.

Instead, the lead stars of the series will be Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, popularly known as the BiGuel tandem. The premise of the series will involve two teens (Bianca and Miguel) falling in love with each other amid tumultuous circumstances involving their families, brought about by the genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’.

Also starring in ‘Wish I May’ are Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Glydel Mercado, Rochelle Pangilinan, Mark Herras, Alessandra de Rossi, Neil Ryan Sese, Juan Rodrigo, Marni Lapuz, Ash Ortega, Sancho delas Alas and Prince Villanueva. Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz will direct the series.

The premiere of ‘Wish I May’ comes at a time when the AlDub phenomenon was presumed to have winded down. While ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye continues to rack up millions of tweets with each episode, ratings for the show were on the decline, as viewers find the skit boring, repetitive and uninspiring of late.

Although GMA was able to capitalize on AlDub’s success by placing ‘Wish I May’ after ‘Eat Bulaga’, having endured a lengthy delay may not help the show’s cause at all. Had it premiered during the height of AlDub’s popularity (‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ presentation, to be specific), they may have had a chance to succeed.

Still, GMA’s hopes were on ‘Wish I May’ to flourish in the same way its predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ did. However, it remains to be seen if the series will be worth watching after several months of hype.

‘Wish I May’ airs weekdays at 2:35 p.m. on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Fourth Opponent for Streaking ‘Forevermore’

There is no stopping ‘Forevermore’ as their run winds down.

The ABS-CBN drama series, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, has been on top of the primetime world ever since it debuted in October of last year. So far, ‘Forevermore’ overcame the challenges of ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Strawberry Lane’ and ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ of rival station GMA, beating each series by a wide margin.

Now a fourth opponent awaits the streaking teleserye.

Starting this Monday, May 4, ‘Forevermore’ will go up against ‘Let the Love Begin’, the newest GMA teleserye starring Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia. The upcoming series should not be confused with the movie of the same title, starring Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin, which was released a decade ago under the GMA Films banner.

‘Let the Love Begin’ will also mark the return of Ai-Ai Delas Alas to the GMA camp after over a decade with ABS-CBN. Joining her in various supporting roles will be Gardo Versoza, Donita Rose, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Neil Ryan Sese, Gladys Reyes, and Ms. Gina Pareño.

Other members of the cast include Noel Trinidad, Phytos Ramirez, Abel Estanislao, Ricardo Cepeda, Joko Diaz, Rita Daniela, Ar Angel Aviles, Nomer Limatog, Angeli Bayani, Sancho Delas Alas, Therese Malvar, and Ren Escano.

The series will revolve around the cordial friendship between Jeni (Ai-Ai) and Tony (Gardo), who work for a fictional radio program that focuses on love advice. A major problem would later shatter their friendship, but their paths would soon cross again thanks to a blooming relationship between their children Erick (Ruru) and Pia (Gabbi).

‘Let the Love Begin’ may have been scheduled to air on the vacated timeslot of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, but the series’ first few weeks may come too late to prove its worth against ‘Forevermore’. As seen in the teaser below, ABS-CBN made it clear that ‘Forevermore”s run would end very soon in favor of a new drama.

Still, the prospect of ‘Forevermore’ taking on a new Kapuso love team is hard to resist. They have already overcome the duo of Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali, and now it is up to Ruru and Gabbi to show their potential against LizQuen.

‘Let the Love Begin’ premieres this Monday after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

GMA Goes Value-Oriented with ‘Nino’

The new GMA Telebabad offering ‘Nino’ will begin on May 26.

With ‘Carmela’ about to finish its run this Friday, GMA decided to take a more simple approach in creating their teleseryes. The new series, titled ‘Nino’, is GMA’s latest attempt towards creating teleseryes that focuses on optimism, hope and good values.

This type of teleserye is not new to viewers. In fact, ABS-CBN  has capitalized on child stars such as Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, and Raikko Mateo to create simple yet heartwarming teleseryes that were embraced by the viewing public. These usually consist of stories of faith (‘May Bukas Pa’), humility (‘100 Days to Heaven’) and honesty (‘Honesto’), and in each of the shows, the child star was the lead protagonist who sets the tone for the duration of the series.

Not to be outdone, GMA has attempted this formula a few times. However, the remake of the Julie Vega classic ‘Mga Mata ni Anghelita’, starring a young Krystal Reyes, and the Barbie Forteza-Joshua Dionisio starrer ‘Pilyang Kerubin’ failed to click with viewers. They decided to abandon this concept, that is, until the project ‘Nino’ came along.

The upcoming series centers on a mentally challenged teenage boy named Nino, portrayed by Miguel Tanfelix. Throughout the series, Nino will guide people to a journey towards inspiration, hope and optimism amid all challenges. And with the help of his ‘Tukayo’, played by David Remo, Nino is determined to change the life of his town through miraculous means.

The series will also introduce the ‘Naynay Commandments’, a series of values and good manners that teaches people the importance of integrity and honesty in everyday life. It also inspires parents to become responsible in raising their children.

‘Nino’ will also feature an all-star cast that features Tom Rodriguez, Katrina Halili, Lotlot de Leon, Neil Ryan Sese, German Moreno, Dante Rivero, Bianca Umali, Gerald Napoles, Ces Quesada, Luz Valdez, Gloria Romero, Renz Valerio, Julian Trono and Vincent Magbanua.

GMA executives should be optimistic about ‘Nino’. Having seen its rival ABS-CBN succeed with this type of teleserye, there is no question that ‘Nino’ has the potential to attract a big number of viewers. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Nino’ will pull GMA’s fortunes back on the green side.

Nino is slated to air this Monday, right after ’24 Oras’.

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