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'A Rosy Life'is habit-forming

The touching and heartbreakingly real Korean drama "A Rosy Life" on GMA Network's primetime block gets more habit-forming for viewers who simply cannot help but cry and sympathize with the show's protagonist, Betsy (Choi Jin-shil).


It seems that every struggle and trial that comes to Betsy's already difficult life makes viewers relate to it more and brings the drama even closer to home for every self-sacrificing wife and mother among the audience. Yet in the days to come, would the long-suffering heroine experience some happiness and hope to get by?


In the Korean drama that has Filipinos weeping, it seems that Betsy is getting farther away from the "Rosy Life" that her husband Ramon (Son Hyun-ju) promised her when he proposed to her in Café Rosy Life ten years ago. They even returned to the café last week, but all Ramon really wanted was to soften Betsy's heart so she would let him divorce her and marry his mistress, Maureen (Jo Eun Sook). When his tactic failed to work, Maureen went to Betsy and demanded that she leave Ramon alone, which really angered Betsy.


To make matters worse, even Ramon's mother and sister are now against Betsy and are planning to sue her so she would return the property that she tricked Ramon into leaving with her. Will Betsy have enough strength to stand up to her mother-in-law and sister-in-law? And would she continue to have the means to support her beloved children and keep them with her?


To add to her domestic problems, Betsy also discovered that she has terminal gastric cancer. She has to be operated on or else it could lead to her death. And even if she barely has money left, she goes through with the operation because she still wants to live in spite of all the hardships. Could this be Betsy's much-awaited chance to start over in life? She would also attempt to tell Ramon about her sickness and would try to leave her children in his care. Will her condition be enough reason for Ramon to return to his wife?


Meanwhile, Betsy remains unaware that her own younger sister, Kelly (Lee Tae-ran), is also someone else's mistress. Kelly is wondering why her older sister keeps trying to convince her to get married at the soonest possible time. It is still unknown to her that Betsy is actually very ill. When Kelly finds out what Betsy is going through, will this be enough reason for her to change her ways and leave Jacob (Jang Dong-jik)? And would she finally be able to help her suffering older sister?


Continue to accompany Betsy as she tries to rise above her daily struggles and see the day when she would finally achieve the Rosy Life she has been longing for. "A Rosy Life" airs weeknights after "Bakekang" on GMA's undisputed primetime block.

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Tired of listening to similar-sounding ballads and needing a breath of fresh air from the all the ear-splitting songs blaring from the radio? Maybe Pinoy Pop Superstar Grand Champion Gerald Santos' debut album, which showcases his cool yet powerful vocals, is just the thing for your weary eardrums.


Glancing at the monochromatic cover of his interestingly-named debut album "A Day on the Rainbow," one gets the sense that Gerald Santos' startling victory in Pinoy Pop Superstar (PPS) Year Two hasn't gone into his head. Instead, his intent gaze toward the ground is a seeming display of gratefulness. Add that to the aesthetic flair of his much-anticipated release to get a truly successful combination.


At the tender age of 17, Gerald already has a solid fan base. The moment he first stepped up as a competitor in PPS to boot out the first grand contender and fellow finalist Harry Santos, the signs all pointed in the right direction: his preordained journey has now begun, riding on the wave of his classic, old-school taste.


His classic taste is fairly evident in almost all of his performances. Gerald is a gifted singer with a knack for belting out beautiful ballads. Not to mention that his polished maturity derives from extraordinary singers-songwriters Jose Mari Chan and Ogie Alcasid.


With his album "A Day on the Rainbow," Gerald demonstrates all the reasons he deserved to win the PPS plum. Title track and first single "A Day on the Rainbow," penned by Rebel Magdagasang, talks of a personal longing for someone so dear. Gerald's soft vocals let the song flourish in pleasant fashion. There are no overpowering sky-high notes that have become the staple of today's up-and-coming singers; instead, Gerald settles for a toned-down approach, fragile before it amps up and punches into the air, one that subtly evokes the sound of Jose Mari Chan.


Using his remarkably adaptable voice, Gerald sings emotively about the cycles of love in "I Believe." This time, however, he belts out with all reckoning, "Cause I believe you and me were meant to be together/ I believe in our dreams that this has meant forever." Leaping onto familiar grounds is "Di Sinasadya," "Ikaw," and "Mahal Kita," soulful tracks based on simple piano arrangement. Again, that distinct hint of traditional splendor shines through these songs.


Fans and critics would be concentrating on the album's gorgeous goodness boosted by accomplished producers and composers. Industry mainstay Vehnee Saturno supply the orchestra-backed, vocally-layered power ballad "Nang Minsan Pa," whilst "Isa Pang Pagkakataon" and "Puso Ko, Buhay Ko" follows suit but with a more flowing, poppy orientation.


Lastly, on "Kahit Isang Saglit," Gerald's appeal is haunting and absorbing. The sparse acoustic set magnifies the classic song's desperation and Gerald captured the essence of the ballad. Everything about it is full-scale yet the stripped down backing says otherwise; this proves that the selling point is sheer vocal talent. Here is one song that certainly left a mark on PSS viewers and fans.


This debut album is vastly focused on the pureness and simplicity of Gerald's singing ability. He sounds raw and fresh here and not submerged under the weight of too much musical arrangement. Perhaps this is just a sign of bigger things to come. But for now let Gerald indulge us with his charms and talents.


Gerald Santos's debut album "A Day on the Rainbow" is released by GMA Records and distributed nationwide by Ivory Music and Video, with the generous support of Converse, 101.1, Yes! FM, SM Supermalls and Hard Rock Café Makati.

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