Channel 5 beefing up entertainment content

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    ‘We are revving up our entertainment content creation and will need creatives, talents, directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, etc. – Manny V. Pangilinan’

    Joshua Garcia gets his biggest break in Regal Entertainment’s “Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” as he is going solo and this will prove if he could now stand on his own minus his usual ka-love team, Julia Barretto, who left him for “Between Maybes” with Gerald Anderson, and we all know what happened during its filming.

    “Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan,” directed by Chito Roño, is one of the official entries chosen by the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Executive Committee for December.

    Actually, we’re not even sure if the pandemic would be over by December, but, nevertheless, the Screening Committee feels it’s better to be prepared. The other three entries are “Magikland” (the last film from the late Director Peque Gallaga which is now in post-production), “Praybeyt Benjamin 3” (ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc./Viva Communications Inc.) starring Vice Ganda, and “The Exorcism of My Siszums” (Tincan Productions), starring sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga, directed by Fifth Solomon.

    Among the four entries, the most promising is “Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” and we’re happy for Mother Lily and Roselle Monteverde because last year, they failed to make it in the annual filmfest. This is a horror film and we can be sure it will give us a good scare as Chito Roño has a good track record in making effective horror flicks like “Feng Shui,” “Sukob” and “The Healing.”

    “Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” is based on the bestselling mystery novel by Bob Ong, whose previous works, “Aba Nakakabasa Na Pala Ako” and “Lumayo Ka Nga sa Akin,” were filmed by Viva Films.

    The book is written like the narrator’s diary. Joshua plays the narrator, Galo, an engineering student in Manila who goes home to their province to be with his sick grandma. This is Mama Susan, played by Angie Ferro (whose career was revived in the award-winning indie film “Lola Igna”), a member of a creepy religious group whose weird members have a weekly meeting in her house that’s full of statues of different saints.

    His lola eventually dies, but while he’s looking after her remains, she suddenly stands up and walks toward him.

    Supporting Joshua and Angie in the movie are Melissa Mendez and Ricardo Cepeda as his aunt and uncle in Manila, child star Red Bustamante, and Patrick Quiroz, Kelvin Miranda, Miko Gallardo and Henz Villaraiz as his barkada.

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    Sharon Cuneta thanked Jennylyn Mercado for supporting ABS-CBN and its employees who lost their jobs after the station’s shut down. She wrote a special message addressed to Jennylyn: “Salamat, Ms. Jennylyn Mercado. @mercadojenny Mabuti ka pa at ibang mga Kapuso, nakikiramay sa lungkot at pagluluksa naming mga Kapamilya. Sa industriyang ito, iisang pamilya at puso lang naman meron tayong lahat. Salamat sa pakikiisa mo, ninyo sa amin. Sana lahat katulad mo at ng iba pang Kapusong nalulungkot at dumadamay sa amin.

    “Masakit ‘yung nadapa na, tinatadyakan pa ng iba. Nakakakilabot ‘yung nakita pa naming nagdidiwang at nagsasaya noong hindi binigyan ng bagong prangkisa ang ABS-CBN. Kinatutuwaan ba ang sakit ng wala namang masamang ginawa sa ‘yo?

    “Hindi biro ang tanggalan ng hanapbuhay ang 11,000 na tao – dahil sa bawat isa sa 11,000 na yan, may ilang miyembro pa ng pamilyang nada­may ang buhay sa pagkawala ng trabaho ng isa.

    “God bless you and all of you Filipinos who grieve with us. Para kaming yung mga inatakeng bigla sa Pearl Harbor nung WW2. Sa loob ng 2 buwan, bigla na lang ‘binomba’ ang bahay namin at sa pagtanggal sa trabaho ng marami – ngayon pa – sa gitna ng krisis at pandemya – paghahanapin ninyo ng ibang trabaho – parang halos pinatay niyo na rin ang kabuhayan ng napakaraming pamilya.

    “Hindi naman prioridad ngayon kung dapat ba palitan ang pangalan ng NAIA o hindi o palitan ang sampaguita as our national flower. Doon na muna tayo sa totoo at mahalaga.

    Nasunog nyo na ang tahanan namin. Tama na muna ang pag-iisip ng kung ano o sino pa ang puwedeng gamiting pantakip ng tunay na dapat sinosolusyunan ngayon. HINDI TAYO NANANALO AGAINST COVID-19.”

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    There are speculations that ABS-CBN talents and staff who will be losing their jobs will be applying for work at Channel 5 (no longer TV5), especially after their top honcho, Manny V. Pangilinan, announced that they’re beefing up the network’s programming.

    MVP recently announced: “We are revving up our entertainment content creation and will need creatives, talents, directors, scriptwriters, cameramen, etc. If these are willing and able to work with us, we’re prepared to offer alternative jobs for the relevant displaced workers over time.”

    As of now, it’s said that most of the new shows will be blocktimers and not really produced by the station itself. We heard Mr. Tony Tuviera of APT Entertainment, who’s producing “Eat Bulaga” for GMA 7, got many of the 7 p.m. slots on weeknight primetime. Their first program will be a game show aired Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with Jose Manalo as main host.

    Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays will have Paolo Ballesteros and Wally Bayola hosting another game show tentatively titled “Ang Bawal na Game Show” (what an unappetizing title, if you’d ask us).

    As we all know, Channel 5 is considered the sports channel and they’re the home of PBA Games, which has been temporarily shelved because of the pandemic. They just better make sure they won’t be sidelined once the games return as this was what happened to

    “Ang Panday,” which starred Richard Gutierrez, before. They spent so much for its production but it didn’t click because it didn’t have a fixed timeslot since the priority then was the basketball games.

    Another blocktimer is “Bangon Talentadong Pinoy,” to be shown every Saturday at 8 p.m., hosted by Ryan Agoncillo and produced by Perci Intalan of IdeaFirst Company.

    Then there are new BL (boys love) shows which we doubt if they would click as it’s now so common and can be seen on You Tube. Another blocktimer is Kris Aquino’s talk show, “Love Life with Kris” from Cornerstone Entertainment.

    As to when all these new programs will start in this season of the pandemic, that’s what remains to be seen.