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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Of afternoon delights and guilty pleasures

BOMBASTIC is the most appropriate word to describe Pira-Pirasong Paraiso and Nag-Aapoy na Damdamin from ABS CBN Entertainment and TV 5.

Pira-Pirasong Paraiso gives a novel spin to a modern-day dysfunctional family. The House of Abiog is headed by its corrupt father, Badong (Epy Quizon), a man in uniform, and his wife Osang (Sunshine Dizon) with a kidney affliction. Their kids are Hillary (Ellise Joson), Kano (Markus Paterson), and Baby (Loisa Andalio) – house robbers who target the enclaves and assets of the new moneyed and pretentious bourgeois.

Mind you, the Abiogs are not the poorest of the poor kind of thieves. Their house is not of the informal settler kind. They use their robbery gains to pay for Osang’s dialysis and support their family. Quizon and Dizon’s portrayal of the wicked parental figures is both captivating and relatable.

Joson’s Hillary is a woman who knows that there is power in the beauty she possesses and that her flaw, the insecurity that eats her because of the street-smart and diligent Baby, is portrayed with fierce emotional honesty and commitment from Andalio. Paterson as the next in line Abiog alpha screen presence smolders. Such a handsome figure to be a crook and as Kano, there is a man/boy vibe that he radiates, and that longing for connection and love is most palpable.

As a young wife and sophisticate, Charlie Dizon dazzles as Dhana, and Art Acuna as her husband, delivers the acting chop goods.

Another plus factor is, episode one is fast-paced, with the coincidental interactions of the major characters happening in a seamless manner.

Lead stars of ABS-CBN and TV5’s newesr series, ‘Pira-Pirasong Paraiso’ and ‘Nag-aapoy Na Damdamin’

What makes Pira-Pirasong Paraiso a must-watch, is witnessing the development of the story arcs of its female leads with special mention to the roles assigned to Andalio and Joson that screams sibling rivalry, backstabbing, and scheming.

It is also interesting how bold and dark Kano will be, with Paterson infusing him with a dace that beams immaculateness that hides his deeds and desires.

Crisp writing, an engaging narrative, and the next generation of superstars bringing life and heart to complex characters, Pira-Pirasong Paraiso deserves to be the afternoon delight of all.

Everything in Nag-Aapoy Na Damdamin shouts first-world soap opera that satirizes the extravagance and luxury of the ultra-rich and famous. The riveting feud between the Salazars, led by JC de Vera’s Dr. Philip, and the Buencaminos, with Tony Labrusca’s Atty. Lucas, evokes memories of the captivating intrigues, tragedies, and triumphs reminiscent of the iconic American primetime melodrama Dynasty.

The manipulative and scheming Victoria Buencamino, adorned with chokers and pearls, the accessories of choice among Manila’s influential women, is brought to life with a distinctive affluent manner of speaking by Maila Gumila. Her character evokes memories of Jane Wyman as Angela Channing, the matriarch and mastermind of mayhem in Falcon Crest.

The most potent characters during the episode presentation were Jeffrey Santos and Richard Quan, these seasoned actors played to perfection their patriarch parts respectively.

Both JC and Tony’s characters are more mature, physically and emotionally. In the initial showing, one can see that they are still sinking their teeth and finding the voice and hearts of characters that are more experienced than them when it comes to dealing with the twist and turns, shocks and surprises that men face in an imagined world of those who live in ivory towers.

Jane Oineza’s delicate rendition to still a decorative character is overshadowed by Gumila’s presence and Labrusca’s domineering persona.

Despite these premiere quivers, Nag-Aapoy Na Damdamin is destined to be everyone’s guilty pleasure for the depiction of the powerful and revenge-driven, and thirsty rich with their dirty, sexy, money and influence, spell simply irresistible viewing.

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