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Hooked on teleseryes

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JUST A THOUGHT: ‘Quality is not an act, it is a habit.’ – Aristotle

(Clockwise): 'Ngayon At Kailanman' cast, 'Onanay,' 'Halik,' and 'Inday Will Always Love You' (mb.com.ph)

(Clockwise): ‘Ngayon At Kailanman’ cast, ‘Onanay,’ ‘Halik,’ and ‘Inday Will Always Love You’

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TELESERYE HABIT: Every chance I get, which is as regularly as clockwork, I watch “Ngayon At Kailanman” weeknights on ABS-CBN. I look forward to open-ended evenings when I’m free from work or any commitment, comfortable in the thought that I am home with family, enjoying a few hours of relaxation before retiring completely.

I thank free TV for re-inventing the teleserye as a home movie by installment, today’s primary source of entertainment (some consider it amusement) among night-time, homebound senior citizens like myself. And so it goes that right after the tabloid-cast newscast, which I avoid, I switch channels here and there, checking out poor-as-usual Nora Aunor in “Onanay,” delighting in the unfolding of old, well-kept but predictable secrets in “Ngayon At Kailanman,” even as I anticipate the face-slapping scenes between Sam Milby and Yen Santos, Jericho Rosales and Yam Concepcion (and vice-versa), the unfaithful partners in “Halik.” Not to forget the crackling humor provided by “Inday Will Always Love You” that can send you happily to dreamland.

A friend, Pablo Tariman, who is from Virac, Catanduanes, shares my newfound, reinstated fascination with teleseryes. He says that you know you are hooked on a teleserye when you make sure that you are facing a TV set at 8 in the evening on weekdays, wherever you are on this planet.

Pablo says he allows himself a few hours of silliness each night after a hard day’s work of serious thought and classical music concertizing. I can’t seem to agree more, given the fact that both Pablo and I are typical provincianos reared on radio serials “Dear Tiya Dely,” “Ilaw Ng Tahanan” and “Duelo Sa Sapang Bato” in our youth.

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OLD STORY, NEW FACES: Of “Ngayon At Kailanman,” it must be the cast that I like, who are uniformly good (Alice Dixson, Iza Calzado, Rio Locsin, Rosemarie Gil). Not to be outdone are other important aspects of production such as storytelling, design, pacing, cliffhanging, writing (such crisp dialog), over-all direction.

I ask myself, why am I watching this show whose story I have known and followed a hundred times before on the same channel or in movies directed by Elwood Perez and Laurice Guillen back then?

I think that’s precisely the reason “Ngayon At Kailanman” is a hit in ratings. It tells the same story dressed up by a new cast.

I think Joshua Garcia is such a cool, gifted young actor. And his partner Julia Barreto is not only so beautiful and classy, she acts with such grace in one scene, and bravura the next.

Joshua and Julia impressed audiences earlier with hit movies “Vince and Kath and James;” “I Love You To The Stars And Back;”and “Unexpectedly Yours.” They must be a bankable tandem, so to speak.

I think Julia is the best actress among the Barreto girls, with apologies to Gretchen, Claudine, and Marjorie, who were stars in their own right. And Joshua must be this generation’s brightest acting discovery.

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