Filipino TV Dramas

Last year, in Summer 2014, I was hooked on binged-watching several Korean Dramas (I still I've seen some recently and I'm currently watching 3 new ones that are on air in SK right now...I'll post a list of recent ones I've seen very soon), TW-Dramas and Spanish Telenovelas.

This year, I'm still watching some K-Dramas and TW-Dramas on my downtime. I haven't really seen any new Spanish Telenovelas as there isn't one at the moment that really interest me or grab my attention like the few I've seen last year. Now, I'm onto watching Filipino TV series (which I've actually seen 4 last year and about 2 this year...thus far), but I haven't seen many, just these 6 ones I've listed here. Well, I'm currently watching one of these six Filipino TV Dramas listed here, with 5 of them, I've already seen. The Rich Man's Daughter (TRMD) is the only Filipino TV series I'm interested in watching at this time as it has my full time and attention watching it this summer.

Read my thoughts/review of TRMD (warning: it's a long one!) below and the other 5 series I've previously seen (in random order)...

The Rich Man's Daughter (2015)
starring Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro, Luis Alandy
(source: promo photos via official TRMD FB page)

Synopsis: Jade (Rhian Ramos) comes from a wealthy family dedicated to their traditions and she's ready to marry the handsome David (Luis Alandy). But everything changes in her life when she meets the attractive lesbian and wedding coordinator, Althea (Glaiza de Castro). A strong bond between the two women emerges, that will test Jade's commitment to her conservative family and their values. (via IMDB)

My Thoughts/Review: Currently watching this Filipino TV Drama series, which is currently airing (and is getting closer to the end...with its reported short 3 months run...unfortunately, it's not going to be extended...) in the Philippines on GMA Network on its Primetime slot on weeknights at 9:15 PM. It's the first Lesbian theme TV series in the Phillippines. Thanks to people who uploads this series on DM (Daily Motion) and YT (YouTube). I'm very grateful to them as I would not have been able to watch this without those awesome and fast video uploaders who upload new episodes an hour (or 2) after its live airing. I'm straight (as in "straighter than Althea's hair" to quote Batchi Luna, LOL!), but I love and am addicted to watching this wonderful series. I'm hooked right after seeing the first episode! I've seen every episode since its premiere last May 11th. It's currently on Episode 47 (I believe, if I'm not mistaken), with today's Twitter hashtag: #TRMDBlackmail (I liked the previous hashtag title: #TRMDTogether). I love watching this series because it was not only addictive, but it was fast-paced, about 30 minutes long (sans commercials, of course, 'cause I'm watching it on either DM or YT, since I'm not in the Philippines), very well-written (from the same writer of My Husband's Lover...see my thoughts and review below...although the last few episodes and some others before those has been aired are getting on my nerves and were frustrating to watch...not so much on my favorite main characters, but mostly on the same annoying supporting characters...ugh! When will Jade and Althea catch a break or Althea's heartache ends? When will Jade find out about her father and David's plans or Willa and David's plan to break up JaThea? *sigh*), touching (at times), emotional (had me on a cry-fest a lot of times), has a kilig (in English it means "shiver of delight" or something) factor (as in whenever I see JaThea, the acronym for the main couple characters: Jade + Althea = JaThea...they had me in the feels...even Jade said, "JaThea is the new love team of the year"...not verbatim, but close enough), made me laugh (esp. the Grandma named Ama, who has dementia and only remembers Jade...and recently Althea...and keeps looking for her past love named "Jun-Jun," lol...and Willa and Batchi's one-liners) at times, made love and root for Jade & Althea's romantic relationship/scenes (I "heart" these lipstic/lez couple...I guess that makes me, oddly, a JaThea fan shipper...LOL...first time I've ever ship a same sex couple...I mostly watch and ship hetero couples in TV or Movies), and its great casting and excellent performances from the main to supporting cast (especially the superb acting and amazing on-screen chemistry between the main leads: Rhian Ramos (who replaced Marian Rivera at the last minute due to her delicate pregnancy...I think Rhian was a perfect replacement and fits the character more than Rivera...) as Jade and Glaiza de Castro as Althea. They are just so gorgeous and perfectly cast as JaThea together! Their acting's so natural and believable. Love all their scenes together! I've heard and seen Rhian Ramos in a few of her films I've seen and her previous TV Drama series, My Destiny, which I saw last year...see my thoughts and review of it below...but I've never heard of Glaiza de Castro before this series started. She is a new discovery for me (much like my now favorite K-Actress, the versatile and triple-treat Yoon Eun Hye), having not seen her before prior to TRMD. I must say, I'm a big fan now. She's such a triple treat: a very good actress, dancer, and singer/songwriter (she performed one of the two official TRMD theme songs, "Till It's Time") ...with a great and humble personality...and gorgeous too. She's the whole package! As does Rhian, she sings/raps and a very good actress too. They both are!).

The first 10 episodes of TRMD (The Rich Man's Daughter) were great and a must-see! It was fast-paced and got me hooked, but lately the recent episodes had been a roller-coaster of disappointments, one after another and is becoming redundant and just meh...with too many crazy plot twists and more heartbreak for Jade & Althea. Their secret relationship just kept on going round and round in circles, it's dizzying...after the unexpected Jade & David's wedding, it got even more and more complicated and their relationships is now tumbling down for the worst. Even Althea is feed up with how it's been going on and the last couple episodes, she told Jade to pick already...between her or her family. Of course, Jade was torn...she loves both, but she can only pick one or the other. Will she pick Althea, "the love of her life" or her family (hopefully, excluding her beloved Ama and loving and supportive siblings, her older brothers...because she can always keep in contact with them)? Then, Jade denied Althea (and hurt her feelings) in front of her Ankong (Jade's grandfather). Althea, in the last 2 previous episodes had enough, she told Jade, "It hurts and tiring to love you. I'm sick and tired of it. I don't want to anymore!" She actually broke up with her! But then, again...perhaps it's for their own good. They need time and space. I still love JaThea even though their roller-coaster relationship frustrate me sometimes, much as I love them individually and as a couple. Jade needs to grow up and mature...she's so naive and gullible a lot of times. And Althea, she was so awesome at the beginning of the calm and collected, strong, intelligent, independent, classy, and charming (I can see why Jade fell in love with her. Love when they call each other this lovely terms of endearment: "Love-Love" or when they say "I heart You" to each cute and adorable! Love their little, sweet, and romantic moments together especially the forehead-to-forehead/nose-to-nose moments reminds me of my favorite Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy's second proposal scene/moment in Pride & Prejudice movie)...though I didn't expect her to be perfect, but her character has turned into a miserable and weak one and have been through a lot of constant heartache and pain right after her not so perfect and ugly past...she'd rather forget...has been revealed with an abusive husband named Tommy and her recently reunited, adorable son Miggy...and her emotional outburst...always crying lately in almost every scene/episode...poor girl...can't seem to catch a break...and now her ever-growing jealousy of Jade and David's relationship as newlyweds...can't say I blame her! That arranged JaVid married status and Tommy's appearance ruined the once fun and exciting to watch Jade's horrible parents: Oscar and Amanda in the mix constantly gets on my nerves. They are the bad guys in this series. They need to get over it, accept Jade for who she really is, leave Jade and JaThea alone! While I still love this series (as I've invested my time in watching every episode good or bad...), it's been unpleasant to watch recently with those unrealistic, soapy, and crazy turn of events and tends to drag at times (as fast-paced as it was at the beginning). Filipino TV Drama series (or Soap Operas...I guess, the head writer referred this series to it, which doesn't seem like it was at the beginning, but does...and that's what I don't like about it heading that direction) typically and tend to do this...start of really good in the beginning, then lose its way in the middle and towards the end...can't they keep it consistent and cohesive?...sometimes it gives a satisfying ending, but a lot of times just turned for the worst and ruined the whole series. It's a shame because this series is actually terrific (sans Jade's crazy parents, Tommy's appearance, and JaVid's wedding, which was not necessary, in my just made it worse and more complicated and no progress and character development for either Jade's character and JaThea's relationship) when it focuses on the great moments and scenes between Jade & Althea...and how they fell in love and were fighting for their love. Also, it started off really good and I was hooked. But now, it's turning for the worse. I still watch it...but I mostly just skip the scenes that I don't care to watch for...and just watch the JaThea scenes (even they are starting to get on my nerves too, with their constant bickering...but at least, they're still adorable to watch...), lol. Hopefully, this series will have a great and happy ending for my favorite OTP that is JaThea. They better! The writers sure love to torture their viewers. Ugh! If not for them and the amazing chemistry and great acting of team RaStro (Ramos and de Castro) duo, I would've stop watching and dropped this series as soon as that evil Tommy entered the picture or David returned from the states, as it's becoming heavy, angsty, and too melodramatic as far as the story lines goes. But I'm still watching this all the way through the end for JaThea (with roller-coaster of emotions) and hoping for their happily (without interruptions or villains getting in their way) ever after ending. TRMD writers don't disappoint me! LOL! Overall (and thus far), this series is still very good and it's already one of my few favorite Filipino TV series I've seen.

My Destiny (2014)
starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Rhian Ramos
Lorna Tolentino, Al Tantay
Synopsis: My Destiny is the story of Grace Dela Rosa, a woman who's willing to sacrifice everything, even her romantic aspiration, for her family. Grace decided to work abroad and walk away from her own family to give way to her sister's happiness. Saddened by Grace's decision to work abroad, Matthew continues his medical studies. Matthew then meets Joy at medical school. Joy is the younger sister of Grace who suffers from leukemia. She's losing her will to live until she meets Matthew. Will Joy's illness lead her to fulfilling her heart's desires? Can Grace and Matthew fight for their love when they know that Joy's life is on the line? Will Joy learn to sacrifice for her sister's happiness? Can Agnes sacrifice the happiness of Grace to keep her dying daughter Joy happy?

My Thoughts/Review: I saw this Filipino romantic-drama TV series last year. The main reason I watched this all because of the great cast: Carla Abellana as Grace, Tom Rodriguez as Matthew, Rhian Ramos as Joy (love her more as Jade in TRMD...Joy was unbearable to watch and annoying and got on my nerves for the most part on this series. Though her unexpected demise in the end was very sad), Lorna Tolentino as Mama Agnes, and Al Tantay as Papa Arnold (I liked him more in this series, not so much in The Richman's Daughter...such a contrast!). I did loved and enjoyed watching this series...well, at least the first (lighter) half episodes were so good, funny, and romantic. The middle and towards the end dragged on. I think I've skipped the episodes that were not focused on Gramatt (Grace & Matt) couple. The unusual Joy and Letlet friendship though was at least lighter and made me laugh as well as the GraMatt romantic and funny moments. I think I've skipped the heavier/more angsty scenes/episodes. I mostly read comments on its FB page for recaps/discussions on episodes I've missed and got back to watching the final happy ending episode. I loved the final episode. It was most definitely a satisfying ending and made up for past episodes that I didn't care to watch for. At least this series gave my favorite OTP, Grace & Matthew, their destined happy ending with a beautiful wedding to remember with their young daughter as their flower girl and their family (on both sides) giving them their blessings. In the end, GraMatt are each other's destiny and their true love for each other wins.

My Husband's Lover (2013)
starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Dennis Trillo
Synopsis: Vincent got his girlfriend Lally pregnant while they were still in college. So they decided to get married even if the two of them were not ready for the responsibility and Vincent's mother, Elaine, was very much against it. Thus Lally's married life was never smooth-sailing because of Elaine. But for the love of her husband, Lally endures the hardships in dealing with her mother-in-law and with he support of her father-in-law. However, when Lally got pregnant with their second child, Vincent suddenly became distant and cold towards her.

Unknown to Lally, Vincent is keeping a secret from her; it is also a secret he has kept from everyone else since he was young. Vincent is a closeted homosexual man who never came out for fear that it'll destroy his family. However, everything changed when he once again crosses paths with Eric - his greatest love. Unlike Vincent, Eric is openly gay. But, just like Vincent, he is still in love with him.
Eventually, the two men start an affair and Vincent tries to hide the affair from Lally by showering her with gifts and attention. However, Lally's intuition tells her that something is wrong in her seemingly perfect marriage. That's when she starts to investigate and she eventually learns of Vincent's darkest secret.

My Thoughts/Review: After watching the beautiful love-team of the gorgeous and dimpled couple TomCar (an acronym fans affectionately called for Tom Rodriguez & Carla Abellana) in both My Destiny (TV Series) and So It's You (movie), I found out that they first co-starred in My Husband Lover (from the same creator/head writer of current series The Rich Man's Daughter I'm watching), the first Gay theme TV Series in the Philippines. Also, I found that all 94 episodes were uploaded (in HD with English subtitles) and available on YT. I was late in watching this series, but I'm glad all episodes were still available to watch on YT. This was a great series. I was hooked watching MHL from the first episode to the last. Good thing I watched this series a year later and not during its broadcast time, as I got to marathon the series without the torture of waiting for the next episode to come or when it be uploaded in either DM or YT. This series with a great cast was very well-written, fast-paced, an emotional roller coaster (in a good  way), and just addictive to watch, with a satisfying and happy ending for the main characters that I rooted for. It rarely disappoints and kept me watching. I don't watch a lot of Filipino TV series (just a select few like this one) as they tend to drag on with too many filler episodes to fill the gaps of longer and extended episodes...I often lost interest, when it becomes too long, dull and unbearable to watch. Not this one, the 94 episodes, while it seems too long, didn't seem too long at all. I loved and enjoyed watching this series. Tom & Carla as Vincent and Lally were great in their roles/characters as does Dennis Trillo as Eric. When I first saw the title of this series that led me to watching it, I thought the title was interesting. I love that Lally, the main lead and narrator was stunned to find out that her husband Vincent had a secret lover...not just another woman lover/mistress, but an unexpected and secret gay lover that she didn't see coming. That was a clever plot twist! Something interesting and refreshing, for a change. Great series and a must-see!

Innamorata (2014)
starring Max Collins, Dion Ignacio, Luis Alandy, Jackie Rice
Synopsis: It is a dramatic and mystifying story that will reassure every woman that in spite of all Esperanza/Esper (Max Collins) struggles, fears and insecurities, there is a kind of love so powerful it makes all things beautiful.

My Thoughts/Review: I loved and enjoyed watching Innamorata, which was an afternoon TV Series in the Philippines last year (during Summer). I got to watch this on YT at the same day it aired live, but saw it on a later time. I loved Max Collins, as she was great here in her first leading role as Esperanza aka Esper in this series. I first saw her in Pahiram Ng Sandali (Borrowed Moments/Chasing Moments) and she caught my interest as she was very good in it. In this series, I loved and enjoyed watching Max as Esper even more (and even preferred her lead role her over her supporting role as Cindy in PNS). Her character Esper had a rare skin disease that caused her to look ugly on the outside (thankfully, not on the inside, she remain a great and caring person), but with the help of the magical necklace, she transformed into a sophisticated and beautiful young woman whenever she wears it. The price of looking gorgeous with the necklace though was losing the people she loved most. She was great in this series. I rooted for her character, her friendship and eventual true love Dencho, her childhood friend (who I preferred she'd end up with instead of Edwin, played by Luis Alandy aka David in TRMD, whom I didn't like for Jade either, lol...). There were some ups and downs along the way and a few crazy twists and turns (but not as too crazy and disappointing as TRMD's recent episodes...), but the satisfying ending more than made up for them. Also, the OTP I rooted for from the very beginning still ended up together despite all the ups and downs they've gone through, so I was very glad with how the story and series ended happily and wonderfully for everyone.

Full House (2009)
(Filipino Version adapted from Korean's K-Drama of same title)
starring Heart Evangelista, Richard Gutierrez

Synopsis: Jessie (Heart Evangelista) is a naive writer who gets swindled out of everything she owns, including her house, by her brother, Donald, and his pregnant girlfriend, Lisette. Stranded in Prague, she manages to borrow money from the famous actor Justin Lazatin (Richard Gutierrez) to return to the Philippines. On her return, she finds her house was bought by Justin. Then, big news breaks that he will marry someone. Justin has a big problem, so he asks Jessie to fake a marriage. They agree to stay married for 1 year, enough time to repay Justin's loan to Jessie.

My Thoughts/Review: I loved and enjoyed watching the original Korean version of Full House, but I really loved and enjoyed watching this Filipino remake version more. I got hooked watching it from the first episode to the last (all 65 episodes). While this version deviate in some things like some parts of the story, a few character changes (I loved the second male lead in the K-Drama version more than on this one. While the second female lead was okay in the K-version, not so in the Filipino version. She was rather psycho and obsessed with the main male lead, Justin, which was the weakest part of this series), it was still fun, hilarious, and entertaining to watch for the most part especially Jesse & Justin. Heart Evangelista as Jesse and Richard Gutierrez as Justin Lazatin were great. They were great together as the main leads and OTP. Their pairing, banter, and wonderful acting (especially Heart Evangelista was so funny in a lot of her scenes/episodes and just made me LOL a lot of times. She was great on the heavy and melodramatic scenes as well as got me in a cry-fest too) kept me watching even the frustrating episodes (though mostly it was the crazy annoying second female lead that was really what made some of those episodes frustrating and unbearable to watch). I just loved and enjoyed watching this series for the most part, especially for the main OTP of Justin & Jesse. Loved the main theme song ("Fallin") too, which was so catchy ("I keep on fallin', fallin' in love with you...") and perfect for Jesse & Justin. The ending was so beautiful too. Overall, this was a great romantic-comedy series. It was worth-watching. I'm glad I found all the episodes uploaded on YT several months ago.

Pahiram Ng Sandali / Chasing Moments (2012)
starring Dingdong Dantes, Lorna Tolentino,
Christopher De Leon, Max Collins 
Synopsis: Alex and Cindy find love and inspiration in each other's arms. However, the young couple parted ways when Cindy left to study abroad. She promised to comeback for Alex. Though devastated, the latter continues his life and begins to pursue his dreams. Through hard work and diligence, Alex fulfilled his long time dream of becoming a photo journalist. Here he crosses paths with Janice, an older woman, works as an editor-in-chief in one of the famous tabloids in the country. Janice manages her career with flying colors but such a failure when it comes to family matters [she craves for her husband's love and attention and battles to win her only daughter's affection]. On the other hand, Alex, being an unwanted child decided to carry out his vengeance plans against his biological father by becoming extremely successful. These two lonely souls finds solace in each other, and despite their age gap and social differences, prove that anyone can be bound in friendship. But their special friendship grows into an unlikely romance. Things get more complicated when Alex learns that Janice is Cindy's mother!

My Thoughts/Review: I stumbled upon watching this series on YT when it was still airing live on TV about a year and a half ago or two. I didn't catch the beginning as it already started and halfway through at the time. Thankfully, I found earlier episodes still available to watch on YT. This was a very good series, but like TRMD, it frustrated me a lot of times towards (mostly) in the middle and closer to the end. Don't get me started with the ending it was great, but still bittersweet and sad at the same time, but a least every character had his/her own closure. There were still some great scenes and moments, but the cry fest was too much, the annoying and clinging mistress (she got some nerve! Ugh! Great job on the actress though! She made me hate her, lol...), the mother-daughter constantly fighting - I get that Cindy was pissed that her mother Janice had a fling with her boyfriend Alex, but she didn't know that he was her BF at the time and when she did find out, she stopped seeing him. It's Cindy who never listens and let Janice explain...she keeps punishing her mother, which was annoying because she doesn't even try to see how and what her mother was going through and resolved things. Her father was the worst with a shameless mistress, yet she let him off so easy. Her mother was there for her even more than he ever was for her and for their family (glad they at least reunited and tried to work together to repair their relationship in the end), and Alex's family issues (but his was not the worst compared to Cindy's broken family) as well as the dragging on of the story that keeps frustrating the viewers. Thank goodness, I skipped watching (just read recaps and comments on PNS FB page from fans) and just watched the last few episodes...they finally, tie in the loose ends and end it nicely. It was great to see mother and daughter (Janice and Cindy) working on their relationship, the mistress don't deserved it, but she's lucky Janice (when she shouldn't have to) was nice enough to help her with her pregnancy and the hardship she was going through with it, and Alex with Cindy and their baby finally reunited...too bad Alex was ill and well, you'll just have to watch the to not spoil it...if he survive or not...Max Collins & Dingdong Dantes were great as Cindy & Alex. It was their love team or romantic pairing that got me watching this series.


Jimmy Pham said…
ya, this good movie, I like My Destiny, but if Joy join this love, i think i will give up this movie because sad actings.

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