comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ogie Added to Home Sweetie Home, Now Up Against Bitoy Every Saturday

From co-stars to opponents.

Ogie Alcasid and Michael V were the faces of ‘Bubble Gang’ for a majority of the show’s run. Many of ‘Bubble Gang”s most memorable skits were focused on the two men, whether it is Yaya and Angelina, Cheche Bureche, Pickup Lines or the Sexballs boy group.

However, Ogie moved on from ‘Bubble Gang’ and GMA in 2013, and after a three-year spell with the then-TV5, he joined ABS-CBN last year. Yet despite gaining prominence as an occasional performer on ‘ASAP’, as well as composer and judge on several ABS-CBN talent shows, the itch to rekindle those comedic chops soon got the best of him.

Earlier this week, ABS-CBN announced that Ogie Alcasid would be added to the cast of the sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Ogie’s role in the sitcom will be similar to what Jodi Sta. Maria (‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’) and Erich Gonzales (‘The Blood Sisters’) do: that of playing at least two different characters.

In ‘Home Sweetie Home’, Ogie plays fraternal twins Ireneo (or Neo) and Irenea. Neo is the childhood friend of Julie (Toni Gonzaga) who soon invests on the Walang Kapares pastry shop and restaurant, while Irenea becomes JP’s (Piolo Pascual) love interest.

With the addition of Ogie Alcasid to ‘Home Sweetie Home’, a very interesting subplot develops. ‘Home Sweetie Home”s archrival ‘Pepito Manaloto’ stars Michael V, and his former ‘Bubble Gang’ co-stars in Ogie and Rufa Mae Quinto now find themselves on the opposite side of the fence.

But don’t expect this rivalry to be a fierce one. In fact, off the camera, Ogie, Bitoy and Rufa Mae remain friendly to each other despite their different network allegiances.

Already one of ABS-CBN’s top-rated programs on Saturday nights, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ could only get better with the entry of one of the Philippines’ most versatile talents. Still, it will be interesting to see how Ogie’s addition will spice up this popular sitcom.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Bubble Gang’s 21-Gang Salute Special

All hail ‘Bubble Gang’!

On November 25 and December 2, the Philippines’ longest-running gag show will celebrate its 21st year on air with a two-part special. Titled ‘Bubble Gang: 21-Gang Salute’, the episodes will feature skits that will pay tribute to the country’s greatest comedians of all time.

‘Bubble Gang’ has been on the air since October 20, 1995, with Michael V and Antonio Aquitania the only remaining holdovers from the show’s first episode. Last year saw the departures of Sam Pinto, Max Collins, Rufa Mae Quinto, Gwen Zamora and Joyce Ching, and the promotions of Kim Domingo, Valeen Montenegro, Arra San Agustin, Jak Roberto and Arianne Bautista to the main cast.

A new ‘Bubble Gang’ opening billboard will also premiere within the special. That said, tune in this and next Friday for another unforgettable anniversary presentation of ‘Bubble Gang’, only on GMA.

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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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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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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

My Opinion on Censoring Rufa Mae’s Cleavage on Bubble Gang

The first ‘Bubble Gang’ of 2014 brought a little change to the viewers. In the aftermath of the infamous ‘Susie Lualhati’ skit that drew the ire of MTRCB officials, GMA Network decided to censor all instances of Rufa Mae Quinto showing her cleavage throughout ‘Bubble Gang’.

I think blurring Rufa Mae’s cleavage is not the right idea. What GMA should have done is to convince Rufa Mae to wear less revealing outfits during skits, so that it appears more decent to younger viewers. And in my opinion, if GMA wants to physically censor something, it should only apply to the buttocks, female breasts and male testicles during more sexually related skits.

Rufa Mae Quinto has been a part of ‘Bubble Gang’ for over a decade now. But unlike fellow sexy comedienne and cast member Chariz Solomon, Rufa Mae seems more adept at using her body in skits, thinking that her figure would be great at eliciting laughter from the audience. However, in an era where the MTRCB is more stringent in enforcing a more family-friendly programming, Rufa Mae should start reinventing herself by wearing less revealing outfits and using her body more decently, in order to adopt to a changing viewership landscape.

In case you missed Rufa Mae’s blurred cleavage, here is the episode of ‘Bubble Gang’ that aired last night.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ Answers ABS-CBN’s ‘Dyesebel’

Louise delos Reyes will play the role of a mermaid in her newest series ‘Kambal Sirena’.

I would like to correct my previous post regarding Louise delos Reyes‘ preparations for her role as a mermaid. Delos Reyes will not appear in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Carmela’, starring Marian Rivera. Instead she is preparing for a more prominent role in her upcoming teleserye ‘Kambal Sirena’.

By all accounts ‘Kambal Sirena’ can be considered as GMA’s response to ABS-CBN‘s own version of ‘Dysebel’, whose previous version starring Marian Rivera aired on GMA in 2009. While the storyline has yet to be revealed, the cast members are now being revealed piece by piece. In addition to delos Reyes, Wyn Marquez is committed to play a villainous role in the series, while Mike Tan will now play delos Reyes’s love interest.

For delos Reyes, it will be her third lead role in a drama series after ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘Alakdana‘. The selection of delos Reyes to play a mermaid was not surprising, considering that her recent performance in ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ gave viewers a glimpse of her capability to be a primetime player.

This was not the first time that the Kapuso network responded with their own mermaid series. In 2004, GMA released ‘Marinara‘ in response to ABS-CBN’s ‘Marina’. ‘Marinara’, the first so-called ‘kwelanovela’, starred sexy comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto, while ‘Marina’ was played by Claudine Barretto. Despite the fact that GMA responded with their comedic parody of an ABS-CBN teleserye, it was a fantaserye in ‘Mulawin‘ that overwhelmed ‘Marina’ in the ratings, at a time when GMA’s fantaseryes were the talk of television.

‘Kambal Sirena’ is set to be released in the first quarter of 2014, as part of a new wave of teleseryes on the GMA Telebabad block that included ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’.

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