Tag Archives: Ai Ai delas Alas

My Bebe Love Review: #ALDUBMyBebeLoveSaPASKO

[My Bebe Love Featured Image from My Bebe Love Twitter Page.] Before I get stuck in the My Bebe Love pandemonium that comes with the Metro Manila Film Festival. I finally watched My Bebe Love at a Block Screening that is closest to where I am located. It was at SM Tarlac where I enjoyed the film for 2 reasons. Being a fan of Direk Joey Reyes. And being an ALDUB admirer. If you have been watching Tagalog movies often enough, you may be familiar with the kind of comedy films Direk Joey is known to direct. So seeing a film that he directed with Vic Sotto, Ai Ai Delas Alas, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza meant seeing his work in a genre he’s very good at.

My Bebe Love
Source: My Bebe Love Facebook Page

I would do what I can to avoid spoilers. The trailers that My Bebe Love released managed to avoid spoiling the fun for the rest of us. For a light-hearted romantic comedy, it is self-aware, just like the hit KalyeSerye. You get to realize that once you hear Ms. Corazon Tala-Tala (portrayed by Ms. Ai Ai Delas Alas) mention it.

My Bebe Love features 2 love stories. Vito Carillo (portrayed by Vic Sotto) and Corazon Tala-Tala. And Dondi (portrayed by Alden Richards) and Anna (portrayed by Maine Mendoza). These two love stories intertwine well into the plot, you don’t mind anymore if you can’t tell which is the subplot and the main plot. Bottom line is one story will not be possible without the other. Whatever loophole you noticed story-wise in the trailer will be filled once you get to watch the film itself.

What made My Bebe Love different from most of the MMFF entries that Vic Sotto as a producer sent over? It has very little reliance on slapstick. The story is intelligent enough to know that it has actors and actresses that can handle their characters without relying much on the slapstick that Bossing Vic’s movies are known for. Very little meaning the slapstick is limited to a centenary birthday celebrant and her effeminate gay son. Maybe a little slapstick is applied on the character of Delas Alas too in terms of addressing her long face. But the character Vito is also referred to as having a long face. [Vito’s long face doesn’t make him any less attractive though.] In the story, they made it one of the possible foreshadowing signs for Vito and Corazon to hit it off.

My Bebe Love
Source: My Bebe Love Facebook Page

My Bebe Love can easily be chopped into 3 Acts. Act 1 would refer to the relationship that blossomed between Dondi and Anna. Act 2 pointed out the relationship that evolved positively between Vito and Corazon. Act 3 is where both couples try to find solutions to the unwanted side effects that the subsequent relationships got into. And at My Bebe Love, the term “relationship” becomes a safe term to use. 3 consecutive dates or more does not make a relationship official. But it can be awkward to address once one of the parties start asking “Ano ba tayo?” (What are we?) In the middle of this entertaining romantic comedy, there is a hard truth that needed to be addressed before a relationship becomes fun again.

Age is also addressed as a factor. Sure. The adage “Age doesn’t matter” gets mentioned too. Vito didn’t want his daughter Anna to get into a relationship because he found her too young. And Corazon didn’t feel like getting into another relationship again because she found herself too old. So what is the title “My Bebe Love” good for if this is the case? Because being in love is less about your age and more about your emotions.

This brings us to one positive attribute to the characters at My Bebe Love. There is less justification to the things they did. It happened. People fell in love. They threw caution to the wind. And so be it where their decision takes them. This is why most of the scenes that elicited the kilig don’t seem forced. They don’t look like they’re thrown in the film for the sake of eliciting positive reactions from the audience without having to look like fillers. It fuels the build-up needed to make characters believable. Also, it makes the audience feel extra sympathetic for them.

My Bebe Love
Source: My Bebe Love Facebook Page

I already expected the story at My Bebe Love to be wholesome. As a producer, Vic Sotto (and his co-producing outfit, OctoArts Films) have always catered to the general patronage crowd. The only instances where the sexual aspect of love is explored is in the morning after “mistake” between Vito and Corazon and Vito’s meeting with his friend (portrayed by Joey de Leon). Vito’s friend only mentioned Vito’s need for a sex life though to avoid risk of prostrate cancer and other side effects of living the sexless lifestyle. And the least wholesome word used to get the point across is “tumbong” (loose translation: crotch).

For the skeptics who cast doubts on whether an effective love story can survive without the “adult” scenes that involved Vito and Corazon. Watch Dondi and Anna. They’re not teens. And they don’t act like teens. Anna need not be a teen to look like she’s about to pee in so much “kilig” while talking to Dondi on the phone. There is no age limit when it comes to “kilig” (or giddyness, if you like). Either you feel it or you don’t. This is where it becomes evident how Maine Mendoza’s acting skills resonate more in romantic comedy like My Bebe Love.

My Bebe Love
Source: My Bebe Love Facebook Page

Are Dondi and Anna extensions of their roles as Alden Richards and YayaDUB? Truth be told, no. Both characters are young urban professionals who got attracted in each other. Both of them are employed in cosmopolitan jobs that earned by a little nepotism. While it would be tough to separate ALDUB from the characters that they portrayed in My Bebe Love, the efforts to disappear into their roles is astounding. Dondi comes across as the preppy nephew too polite to confront his aunt. But not too timid to pursue Anna comes across as the upper-class kind of a spoiled brat complete with an Americanized accent when speaking English. But not too snobbish to ignore the charms of Dondi.

What made My Bebe Love unpredictable is the absence of antagonists. Yes, it’s one of the few movies of Direk Joey where the story unfolds in itself without the need for any kontrabida. The characters alone are flawed enough to cause conflicts within the story. Not all romantic comedies can pull off that kind of feat. When you have “pabebe” characters in My Bebe Love, some complications arise by itself. Meaning any solutions at hand is within the protagonists’ hands too. A realistic approach to falling in love is in facing the problems yourself in order to find solutions.

My Bebe Love
Source: My Bebe Love Facebook Page

For fans of Direk Joey Reyes, it’s his best rom-com work in years ever since “May Minamahal”. For fans of Ms Ai Ai Delas Alas, it’s her best rom-com so far. For fans of Bossing Vic Sotto, definitely his best MMFF entry in years. For fans of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, it’s the perfect way to debut as a love team in Philippine cinema.

Definitely the kind of light-hearted entertainment to go for the holiday season. See it while you can reserve seats. Like My Bebe Love’s official Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @MyBebe_Love. Both social media accounts post lists of cinemas where My Bebe Love is still showing. Book now while tickets are still up for grabs.

My Bebe Love is a must-see kind of MMFF flick to see for the holiday season. A surefire way to keep your daily fix of ALDUB goodness flowing throughout the season. Soon we will be back to the KalyeSerye episode recaps in no time. Just follow us through our social media accounts at Facebook and Twitter to be constantly updated with the latest articles about trending topics in the Philippines. We’d be expecting you.

Sunday PinaSaya featuring Marian Rivera

Adding comedy into a noontime variety show like Sunday PinaSaya is hardly new. Eat Bulaga has been doing that flexible format for 36 years and running. On different channels using an ever-changing range of hosts that can host and get into comic mode as well. But they never did it on a Sunday. So while Sunday PinaSaya may be delving into familiar territory. They get shown on TV on a day that Eat Bulaga is not around. (No ALDUB because ALDUB rests on the seventh day)

Sunday PinaSaya
Source: Sunday PinaSaya Facebook Page

Before Sunday PinaSaya came along, let’s analyze the background of Sunday noontime programming. It turned out to be very challenging for GMA Network. After their own musical variety show Sobrang Okay Pare (SOP) folded, they went the classy route in Party Pilipinas. Infusing technology into the camera shots, putting a theme into every episode and even getting radio DJs like Gino Quillamor and Rico Robles to host the program. In short, an effort to be glossier than its competitor, ABS-CBN’s ASAP. Then Party Pilipinas eventually relented to the SOP format which is basically based on ASAP’s format. Then it went defunct. Several conspiracy theories were born after its cancellation. Something this article would not delve into anymore. Sunday All Stars then replaced Party Pilipinas using a format by the defunct That’s Entertainment. It got cancelled too. Weeks before the rumored cancellation, everyone’s question was “What program will replace the replacement then?”

Enter Sunday PinaSaya. The word “PinaSaya” in Sunday PinaSaya is basically a mash-up of “Pinas” (short for Pilipinas) and “Saya” (happiness). One of the first confirmed hosts was Marian Rivera. Then the rest of the co-hosts were announced. Ai Ai delas Alas, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Alden Richards, Julie Ann San Jose and Joey Paras. It became clear that the new show will be comedy-based. Improv theater will be infused into the musical numbers. It was also revealed that it is not produced by GMA Entertainment. It will be produced by TAPE Inc. The same company behind Eat Bulaga and the defunct show Diz Iz It. So there was an initial rumor that Sunday PinaSaya might be Diz Iz It 2.0; a last ditch effort to face stiff broadcast media competition. Outside the respective fan bases of Marian Rivera, Alden Richards, Julie Ann San Jose, Barbie Forteza and the tandem of Jose and Wally, there is skepticism in the air. How does Sunday PinaSaya take on veterans that have been on ASAP for decades now?

Sunday PinaSaya
Source: Sunday PinaSaya Facebook Page

It became apparent that at this point, television programming became more about the audience and less about the competition. ASAP does its own thing. It worked for them. They have developed an audience. How about Sunday PinaSaya? The audiences that the roster of hosts have gathered are substantial enough to get them to watch Sunday PinaSaya. Marian Rivera can still work even with a bulging preggy tummy. Julie Ann San Jose still  can work a crowd. Of course, everyone knew the kind of following that Alden amassed through the ALDUB phenomenon. Then Jose and Wally have been as versatile as they can get with all those years doing improv comedy at Eat Bulaga. Ai Ai delas Alas has top-billed comedy concerts even when she used to be at ABS-CBN. They are called strengths. They are factors that helped in differentiating them from the competition. While copying formats is okay, if it is inconsistent with what you can do best, why force it?

And so the segments at Sunday PinaSaya included musical numbers. Hashtags like #SPSKantawanan and #SPSLaughterRules really emphasized that it’s a comedy musical variety show. Then goes the twist that the audience is waiting for. There’s an element of musical theater in the song numbers presented on Sunday PinaSaya. One of the opening skits in the Sunday PinaSaya episode dated 16 August 2015 featured some songs of the iconic pop rock band Eraserheads. The lead character in this skit was Rico. He was portrayed by Gerard Napoles (that hilarious guy from Rak of Aegis). Songs that helped push the narrative were “Tindahan ni Aling Nena” (Ms Nena’s Store), “Ligaya” (Joy), “Pare Ko” (My Dude) and “Toyang”.

Sunday PinaSaya
Screenshot from Sunday PinaSaya Episode dated 16 August 2015

For “Tindahan ni Aling Nena”, Wally played the role of store owner Nena. For “Ligaya”, Julie Ann San Jose served as Rico’s titular love interest. For “Pare Ko” Jose Manalo played the role of Rico’s friend whom he confided his problem. For “Toyang”, Valeen Montenegro played the role of Toyang, Rico’s new love interest. It was like a karaoke musical complete with adlibs from Gerard and Jose. It also tugged at the heartstrings of the loyal Eraserheads fanbase. And since it was one of the first episodes that Sunday PinaSaya aired. Instead of transitioning to commercial. It transitioned to the next skit which featured Ai Ai delas Alas as a nouveau rich matron. Joey Paras played the role of her maid with stiff upper lip tendencies. Teen actress Barbie Forteza joins her in this segment.

Of course, Marian Rivera herself ends up with a segment here on Sunday PinaSaya. Judge MD. It was an obvious wordplay on “judge” and the initials “MD”. Rarely does it happen that one is a judge and also an MD (medical doctor). Also MD is a reference to Marian’s married name, Marian Gracia Dantes. It doesn’t include music either. But it contained a lot of physical comedy. It can easily be viewed as a parody of the conventional barangay intervention. Much of the laughter comes from the antics of the people needing intervention – Havana and Cheena. (Havana was played by Boobay. Cheena was played by John Feir. Both are in drag). Jose Manalo plays the judge’s sheriff. So adlibs are expected again. Ai Ai de las Alas even made a cameo. Reacting on how it seemed like both complainants have issues with mangoes and pointy chins. It was basically a no-holds barred improv skit for everyone to enjoy. Knee-slapping laughter all the way for Sunday PinaSaya.

Sunday PinaSaya
Source: Sunday PinaSaya Facebook Page

So did GMA make the right decision in outsourcing the Sunday noontime slot to tape? And make way for Sunday PinaSaya? Yes. Comedy used to be GMA’s strength under their entertainment brand, GMA KiliTV. Now GMA’s situational comedies are only Pepito Manaloto, Ismol Family and Vampire ang Daddy Ko (My Dad is a Vampire). The rest of the comedy is supplanted by Eat Bulaga and The Ryzza Mae Show. There is a market for comedy that is not tapped enough. If Sunday PinaSaya worked now, why haven’t they thought of it before?

There goes the tricky aspect of the creative process. It’s like facing an adhesive wall and throwing whatever creative concepts you have in mind until something sticks. And to some extent, it meant focusing on your own resources instead of being too preoccupied with what the competitor is doing. Copying ASAP is never a guarantee that GMA can steal the audience away from them. So what gives? Going a little scripted with some improv theater thrown in might work. And it did. The Saturday Night Live format may be applicable in the Philippine musical variety genre after all. And soap stars like Marian Rivera get to do something light and enjoyable like Sunday PinaSaya.

The musical variety show is not an alien concept anymore to Marian Rivera. Remember her weekly musical variety show “Marian”? It had a good run of two seasons before its graceful exit. Not every program gets that opportunity. Her exposure to Eat Bulaga’s Juan For All All For One segments on-the-road also exposed her talent in improv theater. Jose can throw any line her way and she would always have a ready retort just as funny. And it’s one of the deceptively easy strategies of improv. Marian Rivera’s experience in “Marian” may not be applicable yet as she keeps an eye on her pregnancy while staying physically active. But her comic timing infused into comic skills worked well in Sunday PinaSaya.

Sunday PinaSaya
Source: @marianupdates

It became a win-win situation. GMA found a unique competitive advantage by tapping an underrated market. And Marian Rivera found a way to work again without sacrificing sleep. She may be less mobile compared to her pre-pregnant days. But she can still host and act her way to viewers’ hearts. The Twitter trending statistics supported what most observants view as a recipe for a good start for Sunday PinaSaya. And they have only started so far.

Intrigued at how Sunday PinaSaya can keep up to the increased positive feedback? They have verified social media accounts with which you can dig more stuff and updates. Like their official Facebook page, Sunday PinaSaya. And follow them on Twitter (@SundayPinaSaya) and Instagram (@GMASundayPinaSaya).

Philippine pop culture is such a mixed bag. And we mean that in a good way. Variety helps a lot as seen on programs like Sunday PinaSaya. So there will be more topics worth discussing here at The Philippines Web to keep you interested. So following us on our social media accounts would also help you get updated real-time. Like our official Facebook page, The Philippines Web. And follow us on Twitter @pinasamazing. Much appreciated.