Baron Geisler hopeful for 'Tabing Ilog' revival with John Lloyd Cruz
From left: 'Tabing Ilog' TV series original cast; the musical's new cast
The STAR/File; ABS-CBN/Released

Baron Geisler hopeful for 'Tabing Ilog' revival with John Lloyd Cruz

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark ( - March 2, 2020 - 12:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — In anticipation of the reunion special of hit '90s romance-comedy series "FRIENDS," Filipinos have also been talking about the cast reunion of similar TV series such as "Tabing Ilog" and "T.G.I.S." 

In a recent exclusive interview with Baron Geisler, the former "Tabing Ilog" star said he is willing to return for the TV series' revival if pal John Lloyd Cruz would be back as well.

"Game ako basta andun din si Lloydie," Baron said.

According to Baron, it would be interesting if the cast would return but take on their real-life present perspective as parents.

Baron and John Lloyd recently had a photo together with their "It Might Be You" co-star Bea Alonzo.

Just last month, Baron became a proud dad to a daughter with wife Jamie Evangelista, while John Lloyd has a son, Elias, with fellow actor Ellen Adarna.

“I'm in love,” Baron captioned the Instagram photo of his daughter with the hashtag #Imagine #TalithaCumiGeisler #LittleGirlArise #ThankYouJesus.

Baron and Jamie announced that they were expecting a child back in October. The couple got married via civil rites last September and scheduled to tie the knot in a church wedding this year.

In ABS-CBN’s “Magandang Buhay,” the couple said they met in a rehabilitation center where Baron was being treated.

"Naniniwala ako sa love at first sight. When I met her sa rehabilitation center, niloloko-loko na siya. Pero hindi pa pwede kasi nasa loob pa ako ng rehab. So nag-intay ako na grumaduate ako then I asked her out," Baron said.

'Tabing Ilog' the musical

Nostalgia is big these days – what with reboots of "FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano," "Star Wars," "James Bond" and others flooding the big and small screens. 

Beleaguered ABS-CBN is turning to this well-loved formula for some good reasons. It wants its young stars to gain from the discipline of theater. It wants to stay afloat while the issue of the franchise termination on March 31 remains unresolved.

And so, network executives decided to turn the well-loved ‘90s teleserye "Tabing Ilog" into a musical. Millennials may wear a big question mark on their faces when they hear about "Tabing Ilog," which their parents and grandparents watched for six long years.

But they know its original stars --  John Lloyd Cruz, Kaye Abad, Patrick Garcia, Baron Geisler and others, were just newbie actors back then. Back then as it is now, the story of teen friendship and romance put young people under a spell.

That’s what made "Tabing Ilog," with its iconic riverside scenes and the lone tire suspended on a rope, such a runaway favorite. 

Today, teens no longer talk by the riverside. They prefer looking at their cellular phones over using the used tire as a makeshift swing. But the Kapamilya network figured the theme of young romance and friendship remains as strong as ever.

Thus, it announced auditions for "Tabing Ilog" the musicale and held three-month acting workshops for the lucky ones who passed the test, which included call backs.

The favored group is made up of three sets of cast members who will step into the shoes played by John Lloyd and company, but strive to make the characters their own.

After all, today’s teens are different. Social media carries shocking stories of teen suicides. Today’s young people face climate change issues that make their world scary and uncomfortable, and their future, unstable.

Raymund Dizon, Star Hunt business unit head and the original series’ executive producer, promises to bring these issues out in the open in the musical.

The challenge, he admitted, is that teens have evolved. Thus, the musical has to be as relevant as ever today, the way its original version caught fire among televiewers.

That responsibility falls on the shoulders of the performers as much as it does on the scriptwriter’s. Award-winning actress  Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Paolo O’hara Jojit Lorenzo, Paolo O’hara and Joann Co are the only seasoned theater actors in the cast.  

The rest are either rising, or unfamiliar names  in theater. They include  Kiara Takahashi, Abi Kassem, stage actress Gab Pangilinan, Sky Quizon, Hanie Jarar, theater actor Ian Pangilinan, Batit Espiritu, Emjay Savilla, Jem Macatuno, Gian Wang, Gabby Sarmiento, Argel Saycon, Ellyson de Dios, Vino Malabot, MNL48, Abby Trinidad, Belle Delos Reyes, Mia Canton, Lou Yanong, Missy Quino, Teetin Villanueva, Shawntel Cruz, Krystal Kane, Justine Narciso, Art Guma, Ian Hermogenes,  Franco Ramos, Brei Binuya, Noel Comia and Lie Reposposa.

Still, everyone is keeping his or her hopes high. Yes, times have changed. But the themes of love and friendship remain, never mind if almost all the cast members have yet to see a single episode of the original "Tabing Ilog." After all, they were born after the ‘90s.

Still, this new-cast-familiar-theme formula is a tried-and-tested one. So ABS-CBN is confident it can pull off the project. There are enough baby boomers who can bring their millennial children to the musical. The old and the new can meet halfway.

Hopefully, this is what we will witness from March 7 to April 26, when "Tabing Ilog" the musicale goes on stage at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater. If it succeeds, ABS-CBN has a treasure trove of old teleseryes it can turn into musicales. If not, it can always come up with a new way to stay afloat. — Reports from Jan Milo Severo

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with