The long and storied rivalry between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘SOP’ has been well-documented.
For 13 years, the two Sunday variety shows duke it out for not only high ratings, but also the best performance. While ‘SOP’ managed to become successful, it failed to sustain the momentum that the now 21-year-old ‘ASAP’ enjoys nowadays.
Successor GMA variety shows in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’ followed suit, but neither proved to be a match to ‘ASAP’. As a result, GMA abandoned the purely musical variety format in favor of ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s comedy-infused approach, which was initially successful but now struggles to regain form.
With ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ employing a new cast and a new outfit in APT Entertainment, the performers that were once part of GMA’s past variety shows were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, it led them to ‘ASAP’, and their performances on the said show felt like a throwback to many who watched ‘SOP’ for years.
While Kyla, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal and Jona Viray were the first former ‘SOP’ stars to join ‘ASAP’, the biggest surprise came in July, when long-time ‘SOP’ cornerstone Ogie Alcasid stepped into the ‘ASAP’ stage for the first time. Not long after, Jaya came aboard, and last Sunday, a tribute for Ogie included a reunion between the two ‘SOP’ icons.
Backstage, another former ‘SOP’ mainstay paid a visit to the ABS-CBN studio. Ogie’s wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, who remains under contract with GMA, was at the dressing room reuniting with her old ‘SOP’ pals.
The reunion of former ‘SOP’ stars became a much-needed boost to ‘ASAP’, as it defeated ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ by 1.6% that day. Despite that, many are still hoping for a full reunion, as Regine remains a GMA talent while another former ‘SOP’ cornerstone in Janno Gibbs was nowhere to be found.
With so many performers in tow, how much longer can ‘ASAP’ sustain this high-quality trend? Only time will tell, but for now, enjoy this reunion of old rivals.