The Cignal-TV5 & ABS-CBN tie-up happening very soon

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
The Cignal-TV5 & ABS-CBN tie-up happening very soon
It will definitely be a big boost for the beleaguered network to extend its free-TV coverage across the country

If there’s a will, there’s a way. And what is that oft-quoted other saying again? Yes, when God closes a door somehow He opens a window. In the case of beleaguered network ABS-CBN, after its franchise was not renewed middle of last year, not just one but several windows were opened for it, one of them a huge timeslot in Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s channel, aptly named A2Z Channel.

Don’t blink now but the rumored partnership between Cignal-TV5 and ABS-CBN may be happening sooner than expected. If this pushes through, it will definitely be a big boost for the Kapamilya channel to extend its free-TV coverage all across the country via Cignal-Kapatid TV5’s nationwide reach.

There has always been a buzz about the possibility of this partnership because, as we all know, Cignal has been carrying ABS-CBN channels (Kapamilya Channel, Jeepney, Cinemo, Knowledge Channel) on its cable TV platform. And with free-TV so within reach with Cignal-TV5, a bigger partnership is expected to be in the offing. With the buzz getting louder these days, there is likely something bigger and better brewing between both camps.

It’s going to be a win-win situation for both networks for sure if such partnership is finalized. ABS-CBN gets its wider free-TV reach nationwide, and TV5 becomes an extended home to the biggest stars in the industry. Both Kapamilya and Kapatid viewers stand to benefit from this possible partnership, so it’s all good if it happens soon.

The bigwigs of both networks are mum on the matter at the moment. Funfare sources said that the big announcement will be made at a presscon anytime...this week?

* * *

Jeric Gonzales (right, with Magkaagaw co-star Sheryl Cruz)

Why Jeric is laughing

Even if Sheryl Cruz already doused the pregnant issue in an exclusive interview with Funfare end of December last year, the rumor hasn’t died down.

Sheryl is divorced from her husband John Norman Bustos (a sheriff with the San Francisco Police Department) by whom she has a teenage daughter. She had just come from a lock-in shoot of the GMA soap Magkaagaw when she texted the denial. “I got my period on the second week of the taping, so that’s my answer,” then she laughed.

Accused of being the “culprit” is Jeric Gonzales who is in the cast of the soap which resumes airing today in the GMA Prime Drama. Sheryl plays Veron, a career-driven woman left by her husband (played by Alfred Vargas) for another woman, Laura (Sunshine Dizon), thus rendering Veron what she hates most, a mistress. Twenty-three years later, Laura’s daughter Clarissa (Klea Pineda) works as Veron’s protégé. When Veron verifies Clarissa’s identity, she takes revenge by having an affair with Jo (Jeric), Clarissa’s husband.

Jeric Gonzales during the Zoom interview with Funfare: Up to now, people ask me about the rumor. I just laugh and tell them that it’s not true.

Asked about the persistent rumor, Jeric simply laughed, echoing Sheryl’s explanation that it’s their fans who probably want so much for them together maybe because their love scenes are so realistic (daw!). Jeric said that he is fancy-free and Sheryl claimed that she doesn’t have a boyfriend and would tell the world once she had one.

“Up to now,” said Jeric from the lock-in set in a nearby province, “people keep asking me about the tsismis, including my family. Once and for all, I say that it’s not true.”

Single for two years now, Jeric denied that he is pihikan (choosy), shrugging off a rumor that he’s dating a chinita (presumably Chinese). Sounds like a cliché but Jeric prioritizes his career and wants to save for his family.

“I want to give my family the best,” said Jeric. “During the pandemic that forced me to stay at home for eight months, I realized that family is first and foremost. Besides bonding with my family, I spent time making music, playing the guitar and the piano. I also have to prove myself as a music-maker. Music is my first love,” adding, “I also discovered that I am a homebody and I realized na ang galing kong maglinis ng bahay. As soon as I wake up in the morning, linis dito at linis doon ang ginagawa ko. Gusto ko maayos ang bahay namin.”

When Jeric topped the GMA talent search Protégé a few years ago, he was bashed for making it more for his looks than his talent. It became a big challenge to him.

“I attended workshops and I learned from my co-stars. I wanted to prove my critics wrong. I’m still learning but I think I have improved a lot,” noted Jeric who is a Nursing graduate.

Also because of his looks, Jeric invariably attracts indecent proposals made through the social media.

“Offers range from P50,000 to P100,000 for a one-night stand,” revealed Jeric with a laugh. “I just ignore them. My body is not for sale, hahaha!!!!

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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