Second chances, new beginnings

(The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Everyone deserves a crack at the limelight, not just once, but as many times as his or her talent allows it. That’s why GMA 7 didn’t give up on Katrina Halili, even if her sex video with Hayden Kho threatened to end her career.

“She came up to me, depressed because she was jobless. I told her to forget all about it because the case has already been filed in court,” recalls GMA SVP for Entertainment Wilma Galvante.

Afraid that she’ll be typecast as villain, after her performance as Marian Rivera’s nemesis in Marimar, Katrina wanted a nice girl role this time around.

But Galvante noted how people liked Katrina’s meanie role in Marimar so much. Besides, the GMA boss explained, televiewers are mature enough to separate the personal from the professional.

Thus, Katrina returned to the villain role as the jealous sister in the soon-to-end Rosalinda (to be replaced by Full House starring Richard Gutierrez and Heart Evangelista on Nov. 30). Up next for her is the Black Darna in GMA 7’s top-rating fantaserye.

Katrina is not the only one the network is backing up sooner than soon. Joshua Domingo ( the young Cholo in Stairway to Heaven) and Barbie Forteza (young Jodi in the same Koreanovela) will be launched in Dear Friend, a story of young, innocent love, in December.

Jackie Rice is another talent the network will give a second chance to. After learning from her pasaway days, the StarStruck batch 3 Ultimate Survivor has regained her confidence. She has also put her devil-may-care ways behind.

“Her inferiority complex is gone. She used to cry when the director shouted instructions at her. Now she’s willing to give everything for her career. We’ll take care of Jackie,” promised Galvante. “She’s up for an acting workshop.”

Jewel Mische may be lying low at the moment, but she won’t for long. Galvante believes Richard Gutierrez’s former leading lady will bounce back. So the network is training her to regain her leading lady stature.

Luck is also smiling again for StarStruck Batch 1 alumnus Alvin Aragon. The former pasaway has grown up. Galvante, who saw him perform a dance number at CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) noted the glow on his face, the grace in his movements.

Alvin has turned over a new leaf, now that he’s a father. He approached Galvante and said, “Ma’am, I’m okay now. I know what I want and what I’m good at.”

Wish granted. GMA will, as Galvante said, give Alvin another chance.

“Let’s give them time to grow,” she explains. “You’ll see the fruits of your labor after five years.”

The network is giving Carla Abellana the chance to grow, as well; this time as host of StarStruck V (with Raymond Gutierrez and Dennis Trillo). Sen. Bong Revilla’s son Ram takes over his dad as host of Kap’s Amazing Stories’ Kids’ Edition ( the senator is running for re-election, so might as well).

The network’s Sunday afternoon show, S.O.P. Fully Charged features fresh faces besides familiar ones like Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs and Jaya. Win™ners and finalists of various Kapuso star searches will share the stage with the seasoned stars.

“Watch out for more production numbers, more energy, absolutely no dead air,” says Galvante.

The network will never tire of daily go-sees to look for new talents, new stars. GMA needs new leading ladies, new faces.

But the old reliables will always be around.

Thus, GMA’s first ChristmaSerye kicks off on Dec. 7. The new series topbills Susan Roces, Christopher de Leon and Gina Alajar and premieres on Dec. 7.

Regine pays tribute to heroes of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in the Christmas special After the Rain, which airs Dec. 13.

Jean Garcia has been part of showbiz fans’ lives for years now. But daughter Jennica — young as she is — has yet to find her niche. She just might do so when Ina, Kasusuklaman Ba Kita?, starring her and her mom, premieres on GMA’s Sine Novela starting Jan. 25, 2010.

The heart-tugging series Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak, based on Lino Brocka’s award-winning film, takes a bow on Feb. 8, 2010.

So hold on to your remote, folks! The battle for televiewers’ hearts and minds rages on, filling the screen with images old and new, from sun-up to sundown. The small screen has never been this alive, this colorful.

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