action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cain at Abel: Ang Probinsyano’s 11th Challenger

Coco Martin finds a familiar challenger yet again.

The last time Dingdong Dantes took on Coco Martin”s top-rating series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, he was unable to overcome said juggernaut. Dingdong’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ (season 2) only lasted a month before it was demoted to a later timeslot.

Now he teams up with Dennis Trillo in a new primetime series ‘Cain at Abel’. And in the lead-up to the series premiere, Dingdong himself conceded that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is in a different league altogether and his only objective for ‘Cain at Abel’ is to keep loyal Kapuso viewers happy and excited regardless of ratings performance.

From GMA’s Public Relations team:

“‘Cain at Abel’ is an action-family drama about two brothers, Daniel (Dingdong) and Miguel (Dennis), who grew up in two very different worlds. As children, they were separated by fate. Daniel was raised comfortably in the city by his father. Miguel, on the other hand, was taken by his mother who later changed his name to Elias. They relocated to a poor fishing village where they struggled to make ends meet.

Years later, Daniel and Miguel/Elias were drawn together by their mutual affections: the father who brought them apart, the mother they yearn for, and the woman they both love.”

Solenn Heussaff (Abigail) and Sanya Lopez (Margaret) will play the respective love interests of Daniel and Miguel/Elias. The rest of the cast includes Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, Bing Pimentel, Renz Fernandez, Ervic Vijandre, Marc Abaya, Carlo Gonzalez, Boy 2 Quizon, Pauline Mendoza, Vince Vandorpe, Shyr Valdez, Leandro Baldemor, and Euwenn Aleta.

For the first few episodes of ‘Cain at Abel’, Yasmien Kurdi, Diana Zubiri, Gio Alvarez, Rafael Rosell, David Remo, Seth dela Cruz, and Ashley Cabrera will appear as younger versions of the lead characters. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez, Toto Natividad, and Mark Reyes.

If Dingdong’s prognostication were to be believed, it is clear that defeating ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is out of the question. The long-running series, as Dingdong said, is ‘in a different league’ now and for ‘Cain at Abel’ the aim now is to just make Kapuso viewers entertained.

So much for the ‘rivalry’. Anyway, good luck to ‘Cain at Abel’ as it gets underway this Monday.

‘Cain at Abel’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Postscript: Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka; Preview: My Special Tatay

From one advoca-serye to another.

Friday marked the final episode of ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, an AIDS-themed drama that starred Yasmien Kurdi, Martin del Rosario, Jackie Rice and Mike Tan. The series ran for 132 episodes and posted decent ratings despite airing against ‘Hanggang Saan’ and ‘Araw Gabi’.

Even though ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ had a rather up-and-down run, its 132 episodes suggest that it was a success. The show fulfilled its purpose of showing one’s struggles of living with AIDS, a deadly disease that remains virtually incurable.

Still, with that kind of inconsistency in the ratings it is clear that GMA is still finding a cure for its afternoon mood swings. Which leads to the next series that will replace ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’.

‘My Special Tatay’, to be led by Ken Chan, will focus on mental illnesses. As the intellectually challenged father Boyet, Ken will portray a man who suffers from Mild Intellectual Disability with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Despite his mental shortcomings and other people’s doubts, Boyet grew up as a kind-hearted man with a positive outlook. However, his life would turn upside down once he finds out that he has a child.

Also part of ‘My Special Tatay’ are Jestoni Alarcon, Teresa Loyzaga, Carmen Soriano, Lilet, Candy Pangilinan, Arra San Agustin, Rita Daniela, Jillian Ward, Bruno Gabriel, and JK Giducos. Initial episodes of the series will feature special guest appearances from Matt Evans, Empress Schuck, Valeen Montenegro, and Ashley Rivera.

Once again, GMA will use the power of advocacy as a weapon to send a message to its viewers. This time, the focus is on mental health problems and ‘My Special Tatay’ will take a look at how a person deals with intellectual disabilities.

However, it remains to be seen if ‘My Special Tatay’ will be more consistent in overcoming ‘Araw Gabi’. While GMA is working on a good cause, high viewer support remains a must and unless ‘My Special Tatay’ proves a point their hard work will go for nothing.

Directed by LA Madridejos and Conrado Peru, ‘My Special Tatay’ airs weekdays after ‘The Stepdaughters’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

AIDS-Themed Series Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka to Premiere Monday

A new GMA series that focuses on AIDS will enter the fray this Monday.

‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, which GMA dubbed as an ‘advoca-serye’, will take a look at one of mankind’s deadliest diseases. The series will be led by Yasmien Kurdi, Martin del Rosario, Jackie Rice and Mike Tan.

Yasmien, as Thea, is a simple probinsyana with a promising career as a public accountant. She falls in love and marries a handsome and charming lad named Marco (Mike) (against the latter’s mother’s wishes), and is later blessed with fraternal twins.

However, Thea’s life soon changed upon testing positive for the HIV virus. After Marco filed for legal separation and takes the two kids with him, Thea loses her will to live as the HIV worsens, until an unexpected meeting with her daughter convinces Thea to fight not only the disease but also herself.

While Thea and Marco endures this struggle to live together, two other characters will also play big roles. Lawrence (Martin) is Jackie’s college friend and an AIDS victim, while Ava (Jackie) is Marco’s ex-girlfriend who, despite going in and out of the U.S., is still determined to settle with him.

‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ also stars Gina Alajar, Shamaine Buencamino, Charee Pineda, Ina Feleo, Mike “Pekto” Nacua, Catherine Rem, Caprice Cayetano and Seth dela Cruz. The series will be directed by Roy Iglesias.

This is not the first time that a particular Filipino drama series featured a storyline involving AIDS. Back in 2013, TV5 (now T5N) aired the weekly drama series ‘Positive’ starring Martin Escudero and it also focuses on AIDS.

However, in the case of ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, it will be a five-times-a-week drama that will delve deeper into one person’s struggles to deal with AIDS. Viewers who know all too well about this deadly disease and the consequences of an afflicted person’s actions should relate to this series as well.

Despite the unique premise of this series, it remains to be seen if it will be able to pick up from where ‘Haplos’ left off. That said, the pressure is now on ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ to deliver and inspire viewers with a one-of-a-kind story that would make them cry.

‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ airs weekdays after ‘The Stepdaughters’ 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

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.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

TV5/VIVA Partnership Updates

‘Tasya Fantasya’ is one of several TV5 and VIVA-produced programs lined up this year. (Photo credit: TV5)

The partnership between TV5 and VIVA Entertainment is off to a flying start.

Four programs will highlight the first few months of the TV5/VIVA collaboration. They are: ‘Born to Be a Star’, ‘Ang Panday’, ‘Tasya Fantasya’, and ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’.

‘Born to Be a Star’ is VIVA’s latest attempt in discovering future talents. Premiering February 6, the talent search show will be hosted by Ogie Alcasid, alongside Yassi Pressman and Mark Bautista.

Judges for ‘Born to Be a Star’ are Pops Fernandez, Aiza Seguerra, Andrew E and Christian Bautista. The show held auditions recently, with the hope of finding the most promising voices in the country.

‘Ang Panday’, starring Richard Gutierrez, is the latest made-for-TV adaptation of the Carlo J. Caparas classic. It will also star Bangs Garcia, Alonzo Muhlach, Regine Tolentino, Jack Reid, Christopher de Leon and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, with its premiere date still to be determined.

‘Ang Panday’ is no stranger to both film and television. Fernando Poe, Jr., Bong Revilla and Janno Gibbs have starred in the film adaptations, while Jericho Rosales starred in the TV adaptation that ABS-CBN once aired.

‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ marks the return of Claudine Barretto to teleserye genre in nearly a decade. The upcoming series is a made-for-TV remake of the 1985 film starring Chanda Romero, Tommy Abuel and Janice de Belen.

Also included in ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ are Cesar Montano, Meg Imperial, Diether Ocampo, Dindi Gallardo, Roxanne Barcelo, Samantha Lopez, Bernard Palanca, Janelle Jamer, Bret Jackson, Issa Pressman, Mariel de Leon and Nathalie Colipano. The series is scheduled to premiere February 15.

And finally, ‘Tasya Fantasya’ will introduce viewers to budding VIVA star Shy Carlos. Like ‘Panday’, it was created by Carlo J. Caparas, and has also been made into a film and TV series, starring Kris Aquino and Yasmien Kurdi respectively.

‘Tasya Fantasya’ will also star Mark Neumann in his latest project for the network. Also included in the series, which premieres February 6, are AJ Muhlach, Ara Mina, John Lapus, Candy Pangilinan, Donnalyn Bartolome, Giselle Sanchez, Malak So, Arvic Romero, Jasmine Hollingworth, and Kim Molina.

Aside from the programs, VIVA and TV5’s satellite TV affiliate Cignal also joined forces in the launch of the Sari-Sari Network. The said channel features purely entertainment content, and also handles production responsibilities for TV5’s entertainment group.

It will be a very busy period for Vic del Rosario and company as far as content is concerned. That said, it’s up to TV5 to try and make an impact this year.

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