drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kapag Nahati ang Puso: A Worthy Challenger or Another Footnote to Sana Dalawa ang Puso

This time, GMA is taking things seriously to the late-morning slot.

After failing to hit paydirt with the light romantic comedy ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and the light musical drama ‘My Guitar Princess’, GMA decided to go with a much heavier approach. The new series, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, is uncharacteristic for a late-morning drama in which the story is more serious and emotional.

Coincidentally, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will star Bea Binene, who will once again encounter the faces of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ in Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap. The last time JoChard and Bea faced each other was in 2012, when the former’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ sent the latter’s ‘Cielo de Angelina’ packing after only a few weeks.

And much like their previous encounter, JoChard’s light-heartedness (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between) will clash with Bea’s serious and dramatic demeanor. So how will this latest installment play out?

But back to ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ in general. In the series, Bea plays Claire, a young woman who grew up without any memory of her parents.

Her biological mother is Rio (Sunshine Cruz), a simple island beauty who soon falls in love with Nico (Zoren Legaspi), a rich and happy-go-lucky tourist from Manila. However, Nico’s ex-girlfriend Miranda (Bing Loyzaga) thwarted their relationship, causing Rio to lose her family and leaving Nico to take care of Claire.

When Rio later returns to the Philippines a successful woman, she and Claire cross paths not knowing that the latter was the former’s mother. Both would end up falling in love with Joaquin (Benjamin Alves), and along with a jealous Miranda, will soon threaten to destroy both of their lives.

Also part of ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ are David Licauco, Raquel Villavicencio, Robert Ortega, Sharmaine Santiago, Geleen Eugenio, Nar Cabico and Freddie Webb in a special participation. The series is directed by Gil Tejada Jr.

Considering the streak of good fortune for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, GMA will once again be hard-pressed to give this series a run for its money. That said, the network can only hope that ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will not turn into yet another 35 or 50-episode bust of its predecessors and instead become a decent 80-episode series that viewers will always talk about.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Quietly Cancels My Guitar Princess

The writing is on the wall for ‘My Guitar Princess’.

No less than the show’s star Julie Anne San Jose confirmed the fate of ‘My Guitar Princess’ with a simple tweet. The series will officially wrap up this Friday, July 13, but it seems like GMA made no effort to hype up the finale.

‘My Guitar Princess’ first premiered on May 7, 2018 as a replacement to ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’. From the moment it aired, however, it was clear that the series would still be no match to the late-morning juggernaut that is ABS-CBN’s ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

On average, ‘My Guitar Princess’ only scored 9% in the ratings, compared to the 15% that ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ normally manages. In recent episodes, ‘My Guitar Princess’ earned a paltry 7%, a noticeable drop-off that forced GMA to throw in the towel.

It also did not help that viewers criticized Julie Anne San Jose’s acting chops in the series. Considering the lack of improvement on that part coupled with the poor ratings of ‘My Guitar Princess’, it will not be surprising to see GMA no longer giving Julie Anne any more acting roles and focusing on her recording career instead.

GMA was also unwilling to promote ‘My Guitar Princess’ via episode teasers. While GMA made a YouTube page for the show, only highlights and off-screen performances were uploaded.

But here is some good news. ‘My Guitar Princess’ will finish with 50 episodes, 12 more than predecessor ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’.

The bad news: the series’ run is still short by GMA’s standards. And to make matters worse, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ is nearing 120 episodes by Friday, adding insult to injury for the Kapuso network.

Mercifully speaking, viewers who were cringed by ‘My Guitar Princess’ should be relieved that this series will officially come to a conclusion. Suffice to say, GMA made another series that was destined to fail, starring a so-called ‘multi-talented’ artist whose shortcomings as an actress are well-documented.

Perhaps Julie Anne San Jose should be better off working as a singer and retire from acting for good. After all, she is a great singer but not a good actor.

As for Gil Cuerva, the onus is on him to either improve as an actor or focus full-time as a model. Following two unsuccessful series, it is possible that acting is not on his cards.

In the end, GMA can only hope that ‘My Guitar Princess’ will have a graceful exit. The series may be bad, but at least they still tried.

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Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Tipid Mode: ABS-CBN’s Call of NBA Finals No Longer On-Site in Recent Years

Talk about cutting costs.

In case no one has paid attention yet, the Filipino-language commentary of the 2018 NBA Finals on ABS-CBN Channel 2 is currently held inside the network’s studios in Quezon City. No, not in Oakland, California or in Cleveland, Ohio.

Unless you’re TJ Manotoc who made the trip to the U.S. alone for the past five years (this year’s Finals will be his first since getting the call to join ABS-CBN’s North America Bureau), the commentators have stayed home for the most part. And there are reasons why they were no longer required to take the trip stateside to call the Finals.

First off, there are concerns surrounding budget. Considering the network’s long-term vision of digitalization, anything that involves plane tickets, hotel reservations, visas and working permits for at least a three-week trip may be too much of a burden for ABS-CBN.

It also did not help that the NBA returned to a 2-2-1-1-1 setup for the Finals starting in 2014. Going back and forth to different cities between Games 4-7 only adds to the cost.

Next, ABS-CBN is on a tight schedule. They made the NBA Finals available in both Channel 2 and S+A (and in different commentary languages) for this particular reason because the former has a strict schedule to follow, whereas the latter has greater flexibility with it.

In the case of overtime games like what happened in Game 1 last Friday, Channel 2 immediately ended its broadcast within minutes of the final buzzer in order to make way for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. This means that the local commentators would have no choice but to immediately bid farewell rather than dive deeper into the game.

And finally, ABS-CBN changed its commentary approach in the Finals in order to appeal to the masses. Which is why, whether traditional basketball viewers liked it or not, they hired Benjie Paras to join alongside Ronnie Magsanoc and Boom Gonzalez in order to describe the game in a simpler manner to fit the average Filipino’s needs.

Sending this trio stateside may be awkward to begin with considering their more liberal and oftentimes unorthodox style of commentary. But they were promoted to call the Finals for a reason: to make the NBA game easier for Filipino masses to understand.

With all due respect to the likes of Quinito Henson and Andy Jao (who were the first to actually call an NBA Finals direct from the U.S.), times are really changing. And ABS-CBN’s rather radical decision to stay home than call the Finals stateside may be their wisest decision yet considering their plans for the long-term.

People may not like this new approach but there is no other option. ABS-CBN is thinking about the future, and viewers must understand it.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Up for JoChard: My Guitar Princess

GMA’s search for a hit late-morning series continues.

After failing to hit paydirt with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, GMA will once again try to give the popular JoChard (Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) love team a run for their money. Their latest attempt will come in the form of two young stars that will topbill the newest series ‘My Guitar Princess’, which premieres this Monday.

‘My Guitar Princess’ will be led by a pair of emerging Kapuso stars Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. In this series, Celina (Julie Anne) is a promising but insecure 18-year-old singer and guitarist whose mother Adele (Sheryl Cruz) does not approve of her singing in front of an audience.

Amid her mother’s objection, Celina insists on performing even if it means tearing their relationship apart. Soon after, Celina’s talents caught the eye of two men who seek to fall in love with her: Elton (Gil), a 20-year-old singer based abroad whom fans call the ‘prince charming of pop’, and Justin (Kiko Estrada), Celina’s long-time confidant.

Completing the cast of ‘My Guitar Princess’ are Isabelle de Leon, Jazz Ocampo, Marika Sasaki, Marc Abaya, Ralf King, Kier Legaspi, Frank Garcia, Maey Bautista, Rob Sy and Lui Manansala. It will be directed by Nick Olanka.

The popular love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (plus Robin Padilla as the third wheel) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will provide a very tough obstacle for Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. After all, these are a pair of young Kapuso stars who have been long underappreciated by the masses despite their immense talent.

That said, the only hope for GMA is to can maximize the potential of Julie Anne and Gil. Of course, it also helps that an aggressive social media and promotional campaign will benefit the show and its lead stars considering the network’s weaknesses in the two departments.

Still, it will not be easy for ‘My Guitar Princess’ to overcome ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. If GMA wants to avoid a repeat of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, they need to push the right buttons, otherwise another short series is in the offing.

‘My Guitar Princess’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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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, 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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