drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Curtains Close on Mulawin vs. Ravena

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will air its final episode this Friday, concluding a brief 85-episode run. (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)

Who would have thought this will end so soon.

After 85 episodes and a timeslot change, the end is drawing near for the GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. The series that began as a follow-up to the successful (as far as GMA is concerned) fantaserye ‘Encantadia’ had high expectations from the start, only to fizzle amid intense competition from ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘La Luna Sangre’.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was the sequel to the highly successful mid-2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’. The series was headlined by Dennis Trillo, Heart Evangelista, Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Regine Velasquez among others.

First aired on May 22, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ was initially pitted against the long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’. But while ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ gained a substantial audience, it was not enough to withstand the dominance of Cardo (Coco Martin) and company.

On August 14, GMA made a bold move by moving ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to the second slot in exchange for the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. This meant new competition for the former as it went up against ‘La Luna Sangre’, which ironically featured former ‘Mulawin’ lead stars Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin.

GMA even went as far as bringing some of the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, thus connecting the two series together. But not even the presence of Pirena (Glaiza de Castro) and Lira (Mikee Quintos) saved the series, and as a result, GMA decided to end ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ following its final episode this Friday.

Considering GMA’s high standards for their fantaseryes, it was disappointing to see ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ run for only a short period of time. After all, production of such series is not easy to begin with as logistics, finances, props, talents and special effects factor in alongside overall performance.

Still, for the viewers who have tuned in to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ from the beginning, the story was not that bad. GMA may have had its shortcomings, but at least they gave their 100% effort in bringing the tale of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ to life.

Come this Friday, it will be one last stand for the Mulawin and the Ravena tribes. It may not be a graceful exit, but as far as ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is concerned, it will be one hell of an ending.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Full House No More: Full House Tonight Airs Finale Saturday

‘Full House Tonight’ airs its finale this Saturday night. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA’s own attempt to recreate ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Filipinos is officially out.

The last episode of ‘Full House Tonight’ will take place this Saturday night, owing to host Regine Velasquez’s inclusion to the cast of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. However, Regine’s addition to the said fantaserye is not the main reason why ‘Full House Tonight’ will come to an end.

First airing on February 18, 2017, ‘Full House Tonight’ was a comedy-musical variety show that focuses on comedic performances from a select group of professional comedians. In essence, this program was viewed as a primetime version of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, and it drew comparisons to the long-running American variety show ‘Saturday Night Live’.

Unfortunately, ‘Full House Tonight’ failed to deliver during its soon-to-be 14-episode run. The show was placed against powerhouse ABS-CBN reality shows ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ and ‘I Can Do That’, and the expectations to stand out against both shows were too much to bear.

Not only that, most of the comedians in ‘Full House Tonight’ were hardly household names at all. That, along with Regine’s co-hosts/performers being relegated to the background, contributed to its demise.

It’s a shame that ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down swinging after this Saturday. Let’s face it, Regine hosting a comedy show is an insult to her reputation, considering her lack of comedic background unlike her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Perhaps GMA would have spiced the show up with guest celebrity hosts rather than Regine pulling all the strings. Had they done that, not to mention further training for the comedians and stars involved (if any), ‘Full House Tonight’ would have lasted longer than the 14 episodes it will accumulate at the end.

Alas, ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down as one of the most forgettable programs in GMA lore. If there is any consolation, it was that they put a lot of effort to produce a show like this, even if it goes in vain.

Come this Saturday, a final round of applause will be needed to send off ‘Full House Tonight’. So long, and good riddance.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Mulawin vs. Ravena Premiere Means New Characters for Ang Probinsyano

The threat is indeed real.

With the premiere of GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ later tonight, long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ introduced a new slate of supporting actors that will add more color to an already endless story. They are:

  • John Arcilla
  • Angel Aquino
  • Ejay Falcon
  • Jhong Hilario
  • Lito Lapid
  • Mark Lapid
  • Sid Lucero
  • Long Mejia
  • Pokwang
  • Mitch Valdes

These actors will join the main cast that features Coco Martin, Ms. Susan Roces, Yassi Pressman and Awra Briguela, among others. Ironically, John Arcilla was last seen in the just-concluded GMA fantaserye (and ‘Ang Probinsyano”s archrival) ‘Encantadia’, where he was cast as Hagorn.

The addition of new actors indicate that another fresh storyline for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is about to take shape. After all, a new rival in ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will come into play and the best way for the former to maintain viewer interest is to introduce new characters and plots to keep up with its latest adversary.

Speaking of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, the sequel to the popular early 2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’ is 12 years in the making. The original series (led by Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin) became a huge hit when it first aired, and with the creation of the sequel, the bar is raised even higher.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will feature stars such as:

  • Dennis Trillo (as Gabriel)
  • Heart Evangelista (as Alwina)
  • Carla Abellana  (as Aviona)
  • Tom Rodriguez (as Rodrigo)
  • Lovi Poe (as Magindara)
  • Regine Velasquez (as Sandawa)
  • Bianca Umali (as Lawiswis)
  • Derrick Monasterio (as Almiro)
  • Bea Binene (as Anya)
  • Miguel Tanfelix (as Pagaspas)
  • Ariel Rivera (as Panabon)
  • Chynna Ortaleza (as Reyna Rashana)
  • David Licauco (as Malik)
  • Dion Ignacio (as Siklab)
  • Valerie Concepcion (as Tuka)
  • Roi Vinzon (as Daragit)
  • JC Tiuseco (as Tangos)
  • Winwyn Marquez (as Ribery)
  • TJ Trinidad (as Greco)
  • Angelu de Leon (as Lourdes)
  • Bobby Andrews (as Dionisio)
  • Charee Pineda (as Savanna)
  • Joko Diaz (as Antonio)
  • Martin del Rosario (as Aramis)
  • Kiko Estrada (as Rafael)
  • Nova Villa (as Lola Elo)

Directors Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez will once again breathe life into ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, just as they did with the original ‘Mulawin’.

Heading into tonight, the challenge for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is a daunting one. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings juggernaut for nearly two years now and not even the efforts of its predecessor ‘Encantadia’ was enough to topple the former.

That said, the best chance for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ might come from viewers who are becoming disenchanted with ‘Ang Probinsyano”s endlessly dragging storyline. With the latter’s new characters coming into play, this may be an opportunity for some to switch channels and watch something different and pleasing.

Still, with too many loyal viewers siding with ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the task will not be an easy one. So, good luck to GMA in their efforts to sway the momentum away from Coco Martin and company.

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dance show, entertainment, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Bet ng Bayan: A Future Flop in the Making?

Auditions for GMA’s upcoming reality talent show ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are currently ongoing. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Despite the clear signs of decline on the part of the GMA Artist Center, the network remains defiant in its attempt to hone new stars.

Thus, another attempt at a reality talent show was conceptualized.

Enter ‘Bet ng Bayan’, GMA’s latest attempt at finding new artists and performers. The upcoming reality program will be hosted by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Alden Richards, and it will premiere either this August or September.

Auditions for ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are currently ongoing in various parts of the country, and will run until the first week of August.  The show will feature solo, duo, and group singers, dancers, and novelty performers over 15 years old.

Let’s face it, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is essentially a copycat of ABS-CBN’s ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ and TV5’s ‘Talentadong Pinoy’. While GMA claims that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is an original concept of theirs, it is clear that they borrowed several aspects of ‘PGT’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ into their reality talent program.

It is also clear that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ is just another move by GMA to replenish their weekend lineup. Already decimated by numerous lineup changes and four movie blocks, they now hope that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will be their saving grace to their weekend woes. But with ABS-CBN continuing to impose their will on the opposition, it will be an even tougher task for ‘Bet ng Bayan’ to achieve, considering that GMA’s previous weekend reality talent show ‘Protege’ failed to attract viewers during its two-season run.

The producers of ‘Bet ng Bayan’ are definitely under pressure to make the series work. And with GMA’s current roster of artists struggling to stay relevant, they hope that fresh blood will come with this program. However, it remains to be seen if ‘Bet ng Bayan’ can really deliver ‘the next big star’.

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concerts, documentaries, entertainment, live events, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Concerts, Documentaries and Live Events a Rarity on SNBO

The concert ‘Voices of Love’ will be aired this Sunday on GMA’s SNBO.

On Sunday, GMA’s ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ will air the Valentine’s Day ‘Voices of Love’ concert featuring Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez. In many ways, the concert serves as a much-needed respite from the repetitive Filipino-dubbed movies that have been airing on SNBO for some time. Unfortunately, airing these events are becoming increasingly rare on SNBO, and it didn’t help that GMA’s lack of revenue made it difficult to air something other than movies.

SNBO, for its part, has not fared well of late in the ratings against ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best’. Much of the blame is centered on its broadcast of old Filipino-dubbed movies that has alienated movie fans of all ages. (Remember the infamous ‘SNBO Double Treat’?) This was in contrast to ‘Sunday’s Best”s high-quality offerings that range from a variety of documentaries and recent live events to the latest English-language films and Star Cinema releases. And when this program follows the highly-rated talk show ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, it is total disaster for SNBO.

But for this Sunday, movies on both SNBO and ‘Sunday’s Best’ will be taking a backseat.  In addition to GMA’s ‘Voices of Love’, ABS-CBN will be airing a documentary entitled ‘Lakwatsero sa Hokkaido’, in which Robi Domingo’s recent trip to Japan was covered. It will be interesting to see how a concert on SNBO will fare against a documentary on ‘Sunday’s Best’, but on a night where no movies were scheduled, it means a better option for viewers to end their weekend.

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comedy, entertainment, music, Philippines

Ogie Alcasid Moves On

Kapuso No More: Ogie Alcasid moves from GMA to TV5.

Ogie Alcasid had been a Kapuso for nearly two decades, and during his lengthy tenure with GMA he has played the role of actor, comedian and concert performer every week. This past week Alcasid confirmed that he is returning to TV5 after an 18-year absence, and as seen on last night’s episode of ‘Bubble Gang‘, Alcasid is no longer seen in any of the sketches.

One of the signs that Alcasid is indeed out of the long-running gag show is on the shortened opening billboard, which did not show the names of the regular cast members and special guests. While Alcasid’s image still appears on the commercial bumpers, he was not seen in any of the sketches last night, furthering the fact that Alcasid is no longer a regular player on Bubble Gang.

Alcasid also ceased to appear on Sunday All Stars. Originally a judge on the variety show, he was replaced by comedian, Startalk host and Eat Bulaga mainstay Joey de Leon, who also appears on TV5 every Saturday on ‘Hayop sa Galing’.

Alcasid’s 18-year tenure with GMA has been one of the most productive. Most of his 18 years as a Kapuso was spent as a regular player on Bubble Gang and as a performer on SOP and Party Pilipinas. Alcasid also dabbled as an actor, particularly in the teleserye Daddy Dearest. He also played major roles in Bubble Gang spinoff movies such as Yaya and Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie and Boy Pick-Up: The Movie. He was also a host on several other GMA programs, such as Hole in the Wall. But perhaps the most fruitful result of his GMA tenure was his relationship with fellow performer Regine Velasquez, whom he married two years ago and bore a son Nathan.

With the impending move of Ogie Alcasid to TV5, we wish him the best of luck in his endeavors as a new member of the Kapatid Network.

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