action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Return of Alyas Robin Hood

This is not a rerun.

On Monday, August 14, GMA announced the return of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ to the small screen. The second season (or Book 2 in teleserye lingo) will bring back almost the same cast with the addition of new actors to spice up the series.

Continuing the same series after a lengthy hiatus is nothing new to Philippine television. In 2007, ABS-CBN’s ‘Maging Sino Ka Man’ received a second season after a break of six months; take note that this does not include sequels of a particular series such as the ‘Encantadia’ trilogy or the ‘Lobo’ franchise.

The new season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will once again be headlined by Dingdong Dantes as Pepe, the former vigilante-turned-lawyer. New challenges await the protagonist, such as the kidnapping of his mother, the revelation of some of his secrets, and a powerful evil force that threatens the city.

Andrea Torres will reprise the role of Venus, Pepe’s ally and love interest. But instead of bringing back Megan Young’s character Sarri for season 2, GMA brought in Solenn Heussaff to portray Pepe’s other love interest, Iris.

Also returning for season 2 will be Ms. Jaclyn Jose, who will once again breathe life to Pepe’s mother Judy. Rounding out the mix of returning and new cast members are Ruru Madrid, Edu Manzano, Gary Estrada, Paolo Contis, Jay Manalo, Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana, Gio Alvarez, KC Montero, Lindsay de Vera, Dave Bornea, Rob Moya, Antonette Garcia and Luri Nalus.

The first season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ ran from September 19, 2016 to February 24, 2017. The series, while a decent performer with 115 episodes in total, could not get past ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’ in the ratings.

On its second season, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will go up against the KathNiel-led series ‘La Luna Sangre’. Considering that the latter is raking in at least 35% in the national ratings of late, ‘Alyas Robin Hood”s task became even more difficult now that they face the popular tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (not to mention former GMA star Richard Gutierrez).

Still, for loyal followers of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ who stuck through the difficult times, the return of the series is like a breath of fresh air. With GMA keeping the faith, one can only hope that the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will last just as long as the first.

Directed by Dominic Zapata, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Alyas Robin Hood to Premiere Monday Despite Continuous Criticisms

There will be an ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ after all.

The upcoming GMA fantasy action series will see the light of day starting this Monday. This despite the many criticisms that the show faced, particularly its similarities to the American series ‘Arrow’.

But for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ lead star Dingdong Dantes, he remains confident with the new project despite the negative reviews of it. He, like Suzette Doctolero and Redgie Magno before him, also defended ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, claiming that it is based on the legend of Robin Hood.

The story of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ involves the character of Pepe (Dingdong) who was arrested for the alleged murder of his father Jose (Christopher de Leon). After surviving a violent prison break, he assumes the Alyas Robin Hood persona in order to find the real culprit while at the same time redeeming himself.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will also star Andrea Torres and Megan Young as Pepe’s confidant and love interest, respectively. As mentioned earlier, Christopher de Leon will have a special role as Pepe’s father.

The rest of the supporting cast includes Ms. Cherie Gil, Sid Lucero, Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Paolo Contis, Gary Estrada, Dennis Padilla, John Feir, Tanya Gomez, Gio Alvarez, Lindsay de Vera, Dave Bornea, Caprice Cayetano, Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana and Ces Quesada. The series will be directed by Dominic Zapata.

With so many criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, they might have a hard time attracting viewers early on. Although their opponent, the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’, is struggling of late, the negative publicity that affected ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ could give the latter an opportunity to regain some of their viewers.

Still, it will be interesting to see what kind of story ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will turn out to be. For the viewers who have tuned in to ‘Arrow’ and criticized ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ the first time around, it’s best for them to watch the latter and see for themselves.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ airs weeknights after ‘Encantadia’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Bubble Gang 20th Anniversary Special This Friday

The logo for the 20th anniversary season of ‘Bubble Gang’. The anniversary special airs this Friday on GMA. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The 20th anniversary of ‘Bubble Gang’ will be celebrated this Friday.

For this year, the annual ‘Bubble Gang’ anniversary special will be treated as a documentary, produced by none other than the GMA News and Public Affairs department. The documentary will highlight the rich history of the 20-year-old gag show, featuring interviews from past and present cast members, as well as behind-the-scenes personnel.

As always, the special will not be complete without the trademark sketches that have made ‘Bubble Gang’ so endearing. The skits will not only feature the current cast, but also some of the former mainstays as well.

Currently one of the country’s longest-running programs, ‘Bubble Gang’ first premiered on October 20, 1995. The show has attracted a loyal following over the years, and continues to gain new fans as technology and popular culture evolved.

One of the show’s driving forces is Michael V, who along with Antonio Aquitania, has been part of ‘Bubble Gang’ since its first episode. Bitoy is currently the show’s creative director, formulating most of the show’s endearing skits.

Just recently, Michael V released ‘The Bubble Bible’, a book that features humorous quotes from some of Bitoy’s memorable ‘Bubble Gang’ characters. In essence, ‘The Bubble Bible’ was considered a tribute to the entertainer who has made ‘Bubble Gang’ the country’s longest-running gag show, and a culmination of the show’s 20th year.

‘Bubble Gang”s other current cast members include Boy 2 Quizon, Betong Sumaya, Mikael Daez, Paolo Contis, Sef Cadayona, Rufa Mae Quinto, Chariz Solomon, Jackie Rice, Sam Pinto, Gwen Zamora, Max Collins and Andrea Torres. Supporting players include Diego Llorico, Mykah, Moymoy Palaboy, Denise Barbacena, RJ Padilla, Arny Ross, Joyce Ching, Jan Manual and Juancho Trivino.

To date, ‘Bubble Gang’ has aired 1,003 episodes during its 20-year history. The documentary this Friday will be the show’s 1,004th.

The hashtag for this year’s anniversary special will be #IMBG20. For those unaware of how ‘Bubble Gang’ started, this should help them understand how it all began, and how it evolved into the gag show it is today.

The ‘Bubble Gang’ 20th anniversary documentary airs this Friday after ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Rival for On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ is getting new competition starting this Monday.

For the past several months, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s breakthrough series has been on a roll against its closest competitor, ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though both series premiered on the same night (August 10), it is clear that GMA’s older generation of talents (Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo) are now a blip on the radar against ABS-CBN’s youngsters.

This Monday will be no exception, as they will once again emphasize experience over youth in their latest series, ‘Little Nanay’. The series will star Kris Bernal as an intellectually disabled 25-year-old mother, who will be taken care of by her own daughter, portrayed by Chlaui Malayao.

Speaking of experience, two Filipino showbiz legends will play major roles in ‘Little Nanay’. Nora Aunor will act as the rock star grandmother to Kris’ character, while Eddie Garcia will play the role of a rich and adoptive grandfather.

Other cast members of ‘Little Nanay’ include Bembol Roco, Mark Herras, Juancho Triviño, Keempee de Leon, Gladys Reyes, Hiro Peralta, Wynwyn Marquez, Sunshine Dizon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Jinri Park, Paolo Contis and Renz Fernandez. Multi-awarded actor and director Ricky Davao will be at the helm.

In contrast to the more serious tone of ‘My Faithful Husband’, ‘Little Nanay’ will be presented in a mostly comedic manner. This was GMA’s response to the more light-hearted approach of ‘On the Wings of Love’, which in turn was a departure from the mostly mature dramas that ABS-CBN aired in the 9:15 p.m. timeslot.

By all accounts, this will be a tough challenge for ‘Little Nanay’. With ‘On the Wings of Love’ still winning in the ratings game, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Little Nanay’ will be able to keep up with the former.

That said, an imposing task awaits ‘Little Nanay’. It’s up to Kris Bernal to prove that GMA’s so-called ‘oldies’ are still goodies.

‘Little Nanay’ premieres this Monday at 9:15 p.m., right after ‘Beautiful Strangers’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: Bubble Gang Turns 20

Michael V (center) has been the driving force behind ‘Bubble Gang’, now entering its 20th year on the air. (Photo credit: GMA Network/Bubble Gang Official Facebook)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

GMA’s ‘Bubble Gang’ will have its 20th anniversary special next month.

The theme is still a mystery at the moment, but based on teasers from the show’s social media accounts, it appears that it will be a mostly formal occasion. The show’s current and past cast members will be on hand, as is a die-hard fan who will be invited on the said anniversary episode.

Indeed, ‘Bubble Gang’ has come a long way since premiering on October 20, 1995. Every Friday night, viewers were treated to the show’s assortment of parodies and skits that reference both pop culture and real-life situations, most of which end with the cast members showing disbelief in the most humorous way possible.

At the heart of ‘Bubble Gang”s longevity is Michael V. One of two original cast members left on the show (the other is Antonio Aquitania), Bitoy also acts as its creative director, formulating most of ‘Bubble Gang”s infamous skits and characters, not to mention composing and singing the opening theme song.

It was with ‘Bubble Gang’ where Michael V (real name Beethoven Bunagan) achieved his greatest success. Whether he’s Mr. Assimo, Tata Lino and Donya Ina, or even past characters such as Junee Lee, Yaya and Lito, Bitoy’s portrayals with these personas helped him become one of the most popular entertainers of his generation.

Bitoy even showcases his musical talent on the show, as part of his Myusik Tagalog Bersyon and Music English Version skits. One such song was ‘Sinaktan Mo ang Puso Ko’, which became a hit single.

But ‘Bubble Gang’ isn’t just about Michael V alone. Over the years, the show featured a revolving cast of talents, from Ogie Alcasid, Wendell Ramos, Maureen Larrazabal and Rufa Mae Quinto, to Boy 2 Quizon, Paolo Contis, Betong Sumaya and Chariz Solomon.

Even the skits evolve as well, just as trends in pop culture and everyday life were also in the midst of a transformation. Just ask the long-running ‘Ang Dating Doon’, which made some numerous changes during its run.

Despite the constant changes in both the skits and the cast members, one thing is still certain about ‘Bubble Gang’: they can still make people laugh. And after 20 years, they are still going strong.

Come this November, ‘Bubble Gang’ will have its 20th anniversary special. For long-time viewers of the show, it is a deserving tribute.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

High Expectations Await ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ Sans Marian

There is considerable pressure for Rhian Ramos as ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter”s premiere nears.

After all, she was chosen to replace the teleserye’s original lead star Marian Rivera, who had to back out from the series due to her impending pregnancy. That said, a talent as big as Marian’s looms so large that high expectations were quickly bestowed on Rhian’s shoulders upon getting the nod as her replacement.

In the upcoming series, Rhian will play the role of Jade Tanchingco, an heiress of a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family. With the help of her father, she sought for a suitor, even going as far as giving the bachelor P5 million if he is successful in wooing her.

But as it turned out, Jade would reveal herself as a lesbian, throwing her family into a series of revelations that will challenge her personal truths. It’s up to her to choose what’s important: family or her lesbian lovers.

Joining Rhian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will be Glaiza de Castro, Al Tantay, Luis Alandy, Katrina Halili, Mike Tan, Chynna Ortaleza, Sheena Halili, Ms. Gloria Romero, Pauleen Luna, Paolo Contis, TJ Trinidad, Charee Pineda, Stephanie Sol, Glydel Mercado and Tony Mabesa. Dominic Zapata, famous for another same-sex drama in ‘My Husband’s Lover’, will direct the upcoming series.

The success of ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will depend on how Rhian will be able to portray the lesbian lover role effectively, and on how viewers will respond to her performance. It will also be a huge test to see how the series fares well against its upcoming rival, ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’.

Nevertheless, GMA is confident that Rhian will be an able replacement for Marian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. Now GMA must hope that their faith in Rhian in the series will pay off.

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ premieres this Monday after ‘Let the Love Begin’ on GMA Telebabad.

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