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, hits, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Full House Tonight: A Poor Man’s Version of Sunday PinaSaya

Seems like GMA is producing its own ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ for Saturday nights.

Hoping to make good use of their otherwise lethargic Saturday primetime lineup, GMA decided to go all out and unveil a new comedy-musical variety show. The show is called ‘Full House Tonight’, and its lead host is none other than Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Yes, Regine is still with Channel 7 (she also hosts ‘Sarap Diva’ on the same channel) even as her husband Ogie Alcasid moved over to archrival ABS-CBN in order to become a judge on ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. Talk about a divorce of the professional kind.

Anyway, ‘Full House Tonight’ will feature a mix of sketches, improvisational comedy, parody and stand-up comedy with a hint of stage musical performances thrown in for good measure. Of course, there will be some special guests to spice up the show.

In essence, ‘Full House Tonight’ is ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on a Saturday night, or perhaps more like a Filipino working man’s version of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. At worst it could be another ‘Comedy Central Market’ or ‘Comedy Bar’.

‘Full House Tonight’ will also feature Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Joross Gamboa as Regine’s co-hosts. They will be joined by comedians Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Terry Gian, Sarah Brakensiek, Tammy Brown, and Nar Cabico.

A daunting task lies ahead for ‘Full House Tonight’ as they begin their run this Saturday. The show will premiere against ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and based on the latter’s strong ratings as it nears its conclusion, there is no doubt that ‘Full House Tonight’ will have its hands full in trying to win this battle.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Full House Tonight’ can reinvigorate GMA’s Sabado Star Power primetime. The show may have an interesting and novel format, but it will be up to the viewers to judge.

‘Full House Tonight’ airs every Saturday night after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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action, comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

That’s My Amboy Premieres Tonight

The AnBie love team takes its act to primetime.

Fresh from a successful run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza now gear themselves up for their first lead role in a primetime series. The duo star in ‘That’s My Amboy’, a light-hearted series that airs starting tonight.

‘That’s My Amboy’ tells the story of Maru (Barbie), a young but determined girl, and Bryan (Andre), a rising actor. Their story began when Bryan was blamed for the accident that involved Maru’s stepfather, and in order to pay for the damages, Maru was hired as his personal assistant.

At first, Maru and Bryan’s relationship was tense and jittery. But an incident that affected Bryan soon brought the two together, and the once distant relationship turned into a friendly, and eventually, lovely one.

Also starring in the series are Tonton Gutierrez, John Arcilla, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher. It will be directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, with the help of Dominic Zapata.

‘That’s My Amboy’ was slated to replace ‘MariMar’ in the network’s Telebabad block (the latter ended January 8). However, the series premiere was delayed for two weeks due to a conflict of interest, since ‘The Half-Sisters’ was still ongoing at the time.

That led to a rather unusual programming lineup on Telebabad, where the block only had two teleseryes, a movie block, and a two Koreanovelas. This week, Telebabad will go back to its usual lineup of three teleseryes and two Koreanovelas, and thus, changes in schedule will be utilized.

‘That’s My Amboy’ will be placed opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, which means that the KathNiel-starred series will have faced all three ongoing Telebabad dramas in a three-week span. Although ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will only have two more weeks in its run, it remains an imposing challenge to ‘That’s My Amboy’, considering the series has beaten ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ in those three weeks.

That said, the AnBie love team will have its work cut out for them. Although they’ve been successful in the afternoon, primetime is a very different animal, which only adds pressure to the duo.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premieres later tonight after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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