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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

Here is Part I of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Return of Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ was on the brink of waving the white flag when rival ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye segment (starring AlDub) became wildly popular in the second half of 2015. So in order to get back on track, they decided to revive a singing competition that was successful in the era of black and white television.

Thus on the second day of 2016, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was brought back as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. The segment would set the tone for ‘It’s Showtime”s renaissance, as it recaptured the ratings lead from ‘Eat Bulaga’ by the third week of January.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’…

Kalyeserye Concluded, Revived, Then Concluded Again

The long-running Kalyeserye segment had been on a roll since its debut on July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, the return to form of ‘It’s Showtime’, coupled by the presumed seven-month suspension of Paolo Ballesteros (a.k.a. Lola Tidora) and fans’ apparent frustration over repetitive and predictable storylines, led to a decline in popularity for the segment.

Along the way, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza took time off to record and promote the film ‘Imagine You and Me’. With the desire to push the duo to new territory, ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to end Kalyeserye on September 3, although they revived the skit from October 15 to December 17 with a new chapter.

Both Alden and Maine are scheduled to star in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Destined to Be Yours’ beginning next year, putting Kalyeserye’s future in doubt.

KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine’s Reign on Primetime Continues

ABS-CBN’s ‘Big Three’ love teams continued to roll in 2016. The year began with ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, reigning on the 8:40 timeslot, followed by its replacement ‘Dolce Amore’, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, which debuted on February 15.

Unfortunately, although James Reid and Nadine Lustre began the year with the highly successful ‘On the Wings of Love’, they failed to keep the momentum going when ‘Till I Met You’ premiered on August 29 to a rather lukewarm reception in the ratings. As a result, on September 19, ABS-CBN moved the series’ timeslot to 9:30 p.m., which eventually paid off.

But for every successful pairing, there are some love teams that did not click at all, as seen in this next entry.

AnBie, AlNine and ElNella: The Lost Love Teams

Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras were paired in the long-running afternoon drama ‘The Half-Sisters’, which finally came to an end on January 15. Two weeks later, they received a primetime push with ‘That’s My Amboy’, but the series ended in late April with just 68 episodes and little fanfare.

Its successor, Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez’s ‘Once Again’, did not even come close, clocking at only 59 episodes from May to July. Over at ABS-CBN, Janine’s ex-boyfriend Elmo Magalona was paired with Janella Salvador in ‘Born for You’, but the series made little impact either, lasting 65 episodes from June to September.

It remains to be seen if the three love teams will have a chance to redeem themselves next year. But in the meantime, let’s move on.

Sexy Time in 2016

The trend towards sensually mature programs continued in 2016. On ABS-CBN, ‘Pasion de Amor’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ stood out, with Coleen Garcia, Ellen Adarna, Arci Muñoz, Isabelle Daza and Cristine Reyes emerging to showcase their newfound abilities in a more raunchy setting.

Over on GMA, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ provided a new dimension for stars Rhian Ramos, Andrea Torres and Joyce Ching to show their chops. But perhaps their greatest contributions were ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ and ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, both of which feature a mix of comedy and sensuality.

If 2016 set the tone for more sexual themes with SPG ratings all over the place, then what else is in store come 2017? Find out soon.

In the meantime, Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Doble Kara Turns One; Tubig at Langis to End This Week

The ‘one-year teleserye club’ has just inducted another member.

Last week, ‘Doble Kara’ celebrated its first anniversary with an Instagram post from lead star Julia Montes. The said post can be seen below.

This day is the day nagsimula ang lahat sa teleserye sa hapon sa buhay naming mga DK family…. would like to grab this opportunity na magpasalamat sa lahat ng bumubuo ng DK…. First sa Abs-Cbn/ Dreamscape … sa taong laging naniniwala sa kakayanan ko simula't simula kay sir Deo @montie08 ….sa adprom na kasama namin sa pagpromote … sa buong Creative @rondellindayag , at sa writers @danix8 and the whole team kanila kuya dave and the rest na nagpapagod and nagiisip ng napakagandang kwento ng kambal …sa editing /scoring para sa mga eksena …sa mothership na nageedit ng kambal kanila kuya Carlo … Sa directors (direk Manny /Direk Trina) pati sila Direk spoonky … sa mga A.D namin …#ram stylist na isa peg ko sa kambal 😂 @nericbeltran Sa mga staff from original up to now PM @ericksalud … sa mga crew (ang aming love na mga boys sa set) sa bigrock/lights mga cameraman &utility men … mga talent na nainvolve at nakaeksena namin sa show … Mga cast from @mina_villarroel to tatay ariel @allentdizon tita Glo , Tita alicia @patriciajavier1 @korekkajohn @anjodamiles @zackwey @samuelmilby @ea_guzman @rayvercruz @maxenemagalona @missmylenedizon @unitednationsofalora And sa aking mga naging kakambal ss show …most specially i wanna say thank you @cjacleus my twin!! Ndi magiging possible ang twin without you …. MARAMING SALAMAT sa lahat na patuloy na nanunuod ng Doble Kara … 1 taon po ang pinagsamahan natin patuloy pang magsasama sama kaya marami pa po kayong dapat abangan …. #DobleKara1taon

A post shared by Julia Montes (@montesjulia08) on

Produced by Dreamscape, ‘Doble Kara’ first hit the small screen on August 24, 2015. The series, which starred Julia Montes as twin sisters Sara and Kara, became an immediate hit, and soon after, it overtook the equally long-running GMA series ‘The Half-Sisters’ as afternoon’s must-watch teleserye.

‘Doble Kara’ maintained its dominant status even as GMA rolled out ‘Wish I May’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ and ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ to combat the said threat. And on Wednesday, August 24, ‘Doble Kara’ celebrated its first anniversary on television with this riveting confrontation between Sara and Kara.

‘Doble Kara’ joins ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ as the only ABS-CBN dramas of the current decade to last at least a year. Other ‘one-year teleserye club’ members from ABS-CBN include ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘Only You’, Kaytagal Kang Hinintay’, ‘Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan’ and the original ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, among others.

Meanwhile, Kapamilya Gold’s other teleserye is wrapping up this week.

‘Tubig at Langis’, the series starring Cristine Reyes, Zanjoe Marudo and Isabelle Daza, will air its final episode this Friday, September 2. The immediate conclusion of ‘Tubig at Langis’ had been planned in advance, as Isabelle Daza’s wedding with Adrien Semblat is set to take place eight days after the show’s finale.

First airing on February 1, ‘Tubig at Langis will have aired for a total of 152 episodes. The series was not without controversy, however, as it had to deal with the acrimonious departure of Vivian Velez one month into its run.

Despite that, ‘Tubig at Langis’ was able to win consistently in the national ratings. Along the way, it dominated past GMA rivals ‘Buena Familia’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ during its long eight-month run.

The series was also a constant trending topic on social media. Viewers all over the world remain hooked to ‘Tubig at Langis’ thanks to some heart-wrenching confrontations involving Irene (Cristine) and Clara (Isabelle).

Now that ‘Tubig at Langis’ will end this week, ABS-CBN can only hope that a memorable finale is in store. For the viewers, production staff and the cast, this is going to be an ending to remember.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Dominant Tubig at Langis Faces New Rival

It is no secret that ‘Tubig at Langis’ is a clear ratings winner in its timeslot.

From the moment it premiered, the ABS-CBN afternoon series captivated audiences with its controversial and intense storyline. While the acrimonious departure of Vivian Velez helped fuel the fire, the frequent confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes), Clara (Isabelle Daza) and occasionally Lucy (Dionne Monsanto) only added to its mystique and popularity.

Along the way, three rival series went down to ‘Tubig at Langis’. First it was ‘Buena Familia’, then ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ (currently ongoing, but is now up against ‘Doble Kara’), and most recently ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

Now they await a fourth opponent. Enter GMA’s newest afternoon series ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The upcoming GMA drama reunites three former aspirants from season 1 of ‘StarStruck’: Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, and Katrina Halili. The three will play a central role in a plot that tackles the issue of surrogacy.

In ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, Ysabel (Yasmien) works as a personal assistant to Scarlet (Katrina). But Scarlet is unable to bear a child, so Ysabel agrees to become a surrogate in order to pay the bills for her daughter Maymay’s bone marrow transplant.

Tragedy struck Ysabel when Maymay dies in an unfortunate accident. Depressed and lonely, she decides to break up her surrogacy agreement with Scarlet and flees alongside her daughter, naming her Maya (Sofia Jayzel Cabatay) in honor of the fallen Maymay.

Unknown to Ysabel, Jonas (Mark) is secretly in love for her. But upon realizing Ysabel’s intentions of raising Maya instead of giving it to Scarlet, Jonas decides to cease ties with her, and the battle is on between Ysabel and Scarlet for the rights of Maya.

‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ also stars Nova Villa, Bettina Carlos and Antonio Aquitania. It will be directed by Gil Tejada, Jr.

As ‘Tubig at Langis’ prepares for a new opponent, how much longer can they keep up their momentum? And for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, how will they be able to overcome the odds placed against them?

These and more will come starting this Monday afternoon. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ airs weekdays after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

End of the Line for The Millionaire’s Wife

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is down to its final two episodes.

Led by Andrea Torres in what GMA calls her most mature series yet, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will officially conclude its 67-episode run tomorrow afternoon. All series long, viewers were able to witness the life of single mother-turned-rich wife Luisa (Andrea), and her struggles to deal with two things: money, and love and compassion for others.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, which also starred Robert Arevalo, Mike Tan, Jaclyn Jose, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Rich Asuncion, first premiered on March 14 as a replacement to ‘Destiny Rose’. Initially, the series started strong, registering a 12.5% national rating; in contrast, rival ABS-CBN Koreanovela ‘My Love Donna’ only earned a 9.1% mark on its own premiere day.

The dominance of ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ soon led to the cancellation of the poorly-performing ‘My Love Donna’. Then on April 11, the Kapamilya network placed ‘Tubig at Langis’ opposite ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, and from that point on, the momentum turned in the former’s favor.

While ‘Tubig at Langis’ carried its average ratings of 15% or better to its new timeslot, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ continued to score 12% with each passing episode; only this time, they were on the losing end. The former’s confrontational scenes involving Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza) proved to be a hit, and it doomed the latter.

Notwithstanding its impressive start early in its run, it was clear that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ finally met its match in ‘Tubig at Langis’. While Andrea Torres was able to make the most of her evolving artistic repertoire, ABS-CBN still had the edge in terms of storytelling, and this gave ‘Tubig at Langis’ the advantage.

Now that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will come to an end, let’s just hope that the final episodes of this series will bring a lasting impression to its viewers. Otherwise, it may end up as the latest in a string of GMA teleserye letdowns.

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It’s Showtime Extended, Kapamilya Gold Down to Three Programs

A game of one-upmanship continues on ABS-CBN.

The Kapamilya network’s afternoon slot had a different look beginning yesterday. With the conclusion of the Koreanovela ‘My Love Donna’ last Friday, ABS-CBN chose not to replace the said program, and reduced Kapamilya Gold to just two teleseryes (‘Doble Kara’, Tubig at Langis’) and ‘Game ng Bayan’.

On top of that, ‘It’s Showtime’ had its running time extended to three hours, and as a result, Kapamilya Gold now begins much later, at 3:15 p.m.

By all accounts, it seems like ABS-CBN is once again trying to give GMA a run for its money. With the 30-minute extension, ‘It’s Showtime’ now has to contend not only with perennial rival ‘Eat Bulaga’, but also the teleserye ‘Wish I May’, whose run will come to an end soon.

Over at Kapamilya Gold, ‘Doble Kara’ will now have to face ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, while ‘Tubig at Langis’ will be up against ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’. And with the exception of regional networks, ‘Game ng Bayan’ will once again have to contend with the first 45 minutes of ‘Wowowin’.


Overall, the move provided some sense of anticipation for ABS-CBN. Knowing that GMA and TAPE, Inc. could extend ‘Eat Bulaga’ to another 30 minutes in case of a lack of replacement for ‘Wish I May’, ABS-CBN quickly took action, in hopes that GMA may indeed make a game-changing response.

Still, is three hours on weekdays too much for ‘It’s Showtime’? And is the three-program approach on Kapamilya Gold all worth it for ABS-CBN?

Let’s face it, ‘It’s Showtime’ may have overtaken ‘Eat Bulaga’ following its low point that is the AlDub vs. Pastillas rivalry, but they don’t need a 30-minute extension on weekdays. After all, the viewers need some siesta time as well, not to mention the fact that the hosts’ busy schedule were being compromised by this extension.

And what about Kapamilya Gold? With just two teleseryes and a move to a later timeslot, this may not bode well for the block’s ratings, especially with GMA consistently taking over the lead at around 4:00 p.m. in the lead-up to ‘Wowowin’.

That said, this latest programming change of ABS-CBN in the afternoon may not be helpful in the long run. While they are still winning, this new lineup will not make sense if they started to lose steam.

Now that ABS-CBN once again tweaked its afternoon lineup, will GMA respond to its rival’s move? Find out soon.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: The Millionaire’s Wife Premieres Today

Andrea Torres returns to drama with the upcoming series ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

The series, which also stars the likes of Mike Tan, Robert Arevalo, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Jaclyn Jose, tells the story of a woman who had to choose between two things: love or money, in order to save her life. ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will be directed by Albert Langitan, with Roy Iglesias serving as its creative director.

Replacing ‘Destiny Rose’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is expected to have a great start to its run, considering its opponent is an ABS-CBN Koreanovela in ‘My Love Donna’ (some areas will receive ‘Game ng Bayan’ instead). Still, it remains to be seen whether or not Andrea Torres’ return to drama will pay off.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ airs weekdays at 4: 15 p.m., after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’.