drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Hanggang Saan Nears Finale

Two different sides of the story.

Indeed, the long run of ‘Hanggang Saan’ can be divided into two parts. One part featured a series that struggled right out of the gate, and the other part featured a series that became a winner in the viewers’ book.

‘Hanggang Saan’ first aired on November 27, 2017 amid a slump in Kapamilya Gold’s fortunes. When it began its run, rival GMA series ‘Haplos’ was still ruling its timeslot, and it also helped that its success was bolstered by its lead-in shows ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and ‘Impostora’.

The fact that ABS-CBN received some criticism for overemphasizing ‘kabitseryes’ in the afternoon weighed heavily on ‘Hanggang Saan’. At the time, it seemed like the series was on the verge of immediate cancellation with the way it performed from the start.

But when ‘Haplos’ was replaced by ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, ‘Hanggang Saan”s fortunes soon turned for the better. After scoring an average of only 12% in the ratings to ‘Haplos” 14%, ‘Hanggang Saan’ raised its mark to 14% whereas ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ fell to 10%.

In a similar manner as ‘Haplos’, ‘Hanggang Saan’ benefited from the success of ‘Asintado’, which replaced ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ as the Philippines’ top-rating afternoon series by late March. That, of course, helped save the series from the guillotine and assured that ‘Hanggang Saan’ would end on its own terms.

Overall, ‘Hanggang Saan’ will have a total of 108 episodes once it reaches its finale this Friday. While it didn’t come close to reaching the heights of Sylvia Sanchez’s previous series ‘The Greatest Love’, ‘Hanggang Saan’ still enjoyed a respectable performance on its own right.

That said, ‘Hanggang Saan”s successful run only added to Sylvia’s growing legend as a top-billing actress in her 50s. It may be a case of late blooming, but it was still good to see a career supporting actress turn into a bankable star at this point in her career.

The series also provided a boost to the careers of emerging stars Arjo Atayde (Sylvia’s real-life son) and Sue Ramirez. Both should be primed for greater roles in future projects.

On Friday afternoon, ‘Hanggang Saan’ will air its last episode. Notwithstanding the slow start, the most important thing here is the finish, and that is how this series will be remembered for it.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Streaking Haplos Faces New Challenger This Monday

‘Haplos’ is on a roll.

The GMA afternoon drama series has been picking up steam these past few months. Along the way, it claimed a pair of victims in ‘The Better Half’ and ‘The Promise of Forever’, both from ABS-CBN.

This series starring Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno offer a different wrinkle than the Kapamilya network’s repetitive fare of ‘kabitseryes’. Some elements of fantasy and mystery are involved in ‘Haplos’, with Angela (Sanya) and Lucille (Thea) starring as half-sisters with contrasting mystical elements.

That unique storyline enabled ‘Haplos’ to earn constant victories in the ratings, in the process causing plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. However, a new challenger awaits ‘Haplos’, and this time a familiar veteran actress comes into the fold.

Remember when Sylvia Sanchez ruled afternoons with her emotional portrayal of Gloria in ‘The Greatest Love’? That was seven months ago, and since then, Kapamilya Gold went on a steady decline while Afternoon Prime, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, soared to the occasion.

Starting this Monday, ABS-CBN will try to change that anew as they premiere their latest afternoon series ‘Hanggang Saan’. Sylvia will once again portray a mother in this series, except that her character Sonya is an unexpected criminal who was accused of killing an innocent man at the risk of prolonging her son’s life.

Joining Sylvia in ‘Hanggang Saan’ will be her real-life son Arjo Atayde, who will play the role of Sonya’s son Paco. Teresa Loyzaga and Sue Ramirez will play Jean and Anna, the closest friends of Sonya and Paco.

Also part of the cast are Ariel Rivera, Yves Flores, Maris Racal, Marlo Mortel, Nikko Natividad, Rommel Padilla, Nanding Josef, Anna Luna, Mercedes Cabral, Rubi Rubi, Viveika Ravanes, Sharmaine Suarez, Ces Quesada, Arnold Reyes, Maila Gumila, and Junjun Quintana. The series will be directed by Mervyn Brondial and Jeffrey Jeturian.

‘Hanggang Saan’ airs weekdays after ‘Pusong Ligaw’. It will replace ‘The Promise of Forever’.

Even with all the victories tucked in their pocket, the stars of ‘Haplos’ should not rest on their laurels. As ‘Hanggang Saan’ is about to make its debut, how long can ‘Haplos’ maintain its momentum?

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Greatest Love’s Last Week, Plus D’Originals’ Premiere Week

For one week only, it will be ‘The Greatest Love’ versus ‘D’Originals’.

This week will mark the last for ‘The Greatest Love’, the top-rating afternoon drama that starred Sylvia Sanchez as a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The series first premiered on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block on September 5, 2016, and will finish its 163-episode run this Friday afternoon.

‘The Greatest Love’, which also starred Dimples Romana, Andi Eigenmann, Matt Evans, Arron Villaflor, Ellen Adarna and Nonie Buencamino among others, was also a constant trending topic on social media. Its inspiring and tear-jerking storyline gripped the nation and the world, giving them greater awareness to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other side of the spectrum, GMA’s Public Affairs team will once again try to salvage whatever shortcomings the Entertainment team has had of late. Their latest project is a sexy comedy drama series, ‘D’Originals’, which will premiere today.

‘D’Originals’ (click its synopsis here) will be the network’s replacement to the short-lived ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, whose brief 53-episode run concluded last Holy Wednesday. ‘D’Originals’ will also be LJ Reyes’ second project in a row on the afternoon slot after starring as Angeli in ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’.

Also part of ‘D’Originals’ cast are Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Kim Domingo, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, Mark Herras, Meg Imperial, Archie Alemania, Lovely Abella, Mikoy Morales, Arny Ross, Elyson De Dios, and Chlaui Malayao. The director of the series is Adolf Alix Jr.

If ‘The Greatest Love”s impressive ratings are of any indication, then ‘D’Originals’ is in for a rude awakening. Recent GMAPA-produced entertainment shows (see ‘Dangwa’, ‘To the Top’, ‘#Like’) have failed to make a desirable impact, thus putting tremendous pressure on ‘D’Originals’ to defy all expectations.

With the dominance of ABS-CBN in the afternoon slot (save for the surprisingly popular ‘Ika-6 na Utos’), this is one battle that ‘D’Originals’ must win. Saving the reputation of both GMA Entertainment and GMA Public Affairs is a must for the series, otherwise the blame game should continue for both departments.

It’s either win or give up for ‘D’Originals’ and GMA Public Affairs. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Up for The Greatest Love: Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa

GMA’s push for movie remakes on television continues.

After the not-so successful run of ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ last year, GMA is attempting to turn another classic movie into a hit teleserye. This time, the target is the 1987 film ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, directed by Ishmael Bernal and starred Maricel Soriano, Lorna Tolentino and Gabby Concepcion.

The TV remake of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, to be directed by Gina Alajar and Aya Topacio, will star Julie Anne San Jose, LJ Reyes, Martin del Rosario and Benjamin Alves. They will be joined by Ms. Jean Garcia, Ara Mina, Victor Neri, Allan Paule, Geleen Eugenio, Janna Dominguez and Lharby Policarpio.

In this version of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, Santina (Julie Anne) is an orphaned girl who wound up working in a restaurant owned by Diony (Jean). Angeli (LJ) on the other hand is a homeless woman whom Diony later adopted.

Along the way, the lives of both Santina and Angeli took a more drastic turn as they try to gain the attention of Ephraim (Benjamin), Santina’s childhood friend. Both Ephraim and Angeli’s troubled past will also be revealed, both through Diony and Mariz (Ara).

Hype for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ has been heavy since its official announcement late last year. In fact, one of the series’ teasers featured a slapping scene involving Santina and Angeli in bathing suits, which set the tone for arguably another of the most seriously-toned series in Philippine television.

Still, despite all the frequent promotion, it remains to be seen if ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ will give ‘The Greatest Love’ a run for its money. The ABS-CBN series has been on a roll of late thanks to Sylvia Sanchez’s harrowing portrayal of an Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, they will be hard-pressed to match the former’s momentum.

That said, ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa”s first week will be a crucial one. Anyone who have seen the original film will look at it and see if the TV remake is worth watching.

‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ premieres this Monday after ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Underrated Series Sa Piling ni Nanay Down to Its Final Week

It was a quiet but lengthy run for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The GMA afternoon series’ final episode will air this Friday afternoon, completing a run of 150 episodes that began on June 27, 2016. Although its tenure was impressive, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will forever be overshadowed by two ABS-CBN dramas that gained even greater attention.

For starters, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, two equally compelling dramas on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. While ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ boast of an impressive cast of actors, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was no slouch either, as it starred ‘StarStruck’ batch 1’s Yasmien Kurdi, Mark Herras and Katrina Halili.

The story of ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was a complicated yet relatable subject, that of surrogacy. It was in this series where one daughter’s rights were challenged by two women: one who actually gave birth to, and the other demanding to adopt the child as her own.

Despite the fact that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was an inspiring tale, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay”s 12% average rating may be decent for the afternoon slot, but against both ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, it was still 2% short at best.

What derailed ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ were two standout moments that defined ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’. ‘Tubig at Langis’ featured several memorable confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza), while ‘The Greatest Love’ stood tall thanks to Gloria’s (Sylvia Sanchez) emotionally-charged portrayal of a woman gradually afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Needless to say, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ still performed well despite its shortcomings. The final count of 150 episodes should give its loyal viewers a reason to cheer and applaud.

As it enters its final week, one can only hope that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will leave with a lasting impression. They may not be victorious at the end, but what a run that was.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Teleserye Alert: The Greatest Love and Someone to Watch Over Me

Two new teleseryes premiere today on ABS-CBN and GMA respectively.

On the former’s Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Greatest Love’ will finally make its long-awaited debut. The series will star veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez in what is perhaps her most definitive starring role yet.

In ‘The Greatest Love’, Sylvia will play the role of Gloria, a mother of four who is determined to have a happy and lovely family. But a terrible secret soon broke the bond between Gloria and her children, and what remained of her are memories of her problematic past.

As the story goes on, Gloria begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a crippling disorder that could erase her memories. As a result, she must find a way to reunite with her children before her condition proves too much to overcome.

Gloria’s children will be portrayed by Dimples Romana (as Amanda), Matt Evans (as Andrei), Arron Villaflor (as Paeng), and Andi Eigenmann (as Lizelle). The supporting cast of ‘The Greatest Love’ will consist of Joshua Garcia, Nonie Buencamino, Rommel Padilla, Tonton Gutierrez, Ejay Falcon, Ellen Adarna, Junjun Quintana, Aleck Bovick, Luis Alandy, Bobby Andrews, Alex Medina, Mercedes Cabral, and Guji Lorenzana.

It will be interesting to see how ‘The Greatest Love’ fares on its first week. But as far as ABS-CBN is concerned, the recent streak of good fortune on Kapamilya Gold should be more than enough to ease the pressure on the newcomer.

Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, Mervyn Brondial, and Dado Lomibao, ‘The Greatest Love’ airs weekdays after ‘Doble Kara’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

Over on GMA’s Telebabad block, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will mark the full return of more serious dramas on primetime. The series will be headlined by Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins.

Like ‘The Greatest Love’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will explore the harsh effects of Alzheimer’s disease. In the upcoming series, TJ (Tom) is an office worker who is married to his wife Joanna (Lovi), but after TJ begins to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Joanna decides to take care of her ailing husband.

Soon after, Irene (Max), TJ’s ex-girlfriend, is allowed by Joanna to enter their home. After that, things begin to change as TJ loses memory of Joanna and instead recognizes Irene as his true love.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will also include Edu Manzano, Jackie Lou Blanco, Isay Alvarez, Ronnie Lazaro, Boy 2 Quizon, Ralph Noriega, and Frances Makil. The series will be directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how this upcoming GMA drama will fare against ‘Born for You’. With the latter series on a roll, and with GMA’s talent problems already well-documented, this is going to be a difficult journey for Lovi, Tom, Max and company.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ airs weeknights after ‘Descendants of the Sun’.

 

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