How GMA Pinoy TV keeps fans all over the world stronger together

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier Cruz - The Philippine Star
How GMA Pinoy TV keeps fans all over the world stronger together

The pandemic has greatly changed our day-to-day living, especially on how we maintain personal relationships at a safe distance, making everything feel as if all our loved ones are in different countries even though, in reality, they are just a few kilometers away from where we stay.

Distance, however, isn’t something new for the guys at GMA International, the team behind the network’s flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV as well as GMA Life TV, GMA News TV, and GMA on Demand.

Despite the lack of physical presence during these times, GMA Pinoy TV still continues to make sure that Filipinos abroad, immigrants and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) alike, would feel connected and closer to home by bringing them quality GMA shows and the chance to bond with their favorite stars through Pinoy Abroad Fun Connect or FunCons.

A series of virtual events where fans can video chat with their favorite Kapuso artists and get to participate in games with them, GMA Pinoy TV has earlier held virtual events for the stars of First Yaya, The World Between Us, and a special event for Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera.

Recently, fans were treated to another string of Fun Cons for the newly-launched Filipino TV shows Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kwento, Legal Wives, and Nagbabagang Luha.

In the Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kwento FunCon, Michael V (who plays Pepito) and Manilyn Reynes (Elsa) together with the new cast including Sef Cadayona and Mikee Quintos (who portray the younger versions of Pepito and Elsa), Kokoy de Santos, Gladys Reyes, Archie Alemania, EA Guzman, Kristoffer Martin, Denise Barbacena, and Jay Arcilla were spoiled with so many surprises along with the overwhelming support by the fans all over the world.

The Kapuso abroad traveled back to the ‘80s and got to hear from the cast themselves on how they prepared for the show and what to watch out for in the prequel of GMA’s award-winning and well-loved family sitcom.

One of the main highlights of the FunCon was when GMA Pinoy TV showed an anime version of the Pepito Manaloto opening, along with a Japanese rendition of the theme song created by Hachi Yoshida, a Japanese YouTuber. The animation was created by Jose Antonio Santos, who is an avid fan of Bitoy and has been supporting the show since 2010. Bitoy, on behalf of the entire show, thanked and applauded the Pinoy animator for his passion and his “labor of love” and also learned that Jose did the video animation to cheer him up when he got COVID-19 last year, which made the tribute even more touching and meaningful. Bitoy likewise heartfully commended Hachi and was even open to a possible YouTube collaboration and visit him in Japan after the pandemic.

Shortly a few days after the virtual bonding with the Pepito Manaloto cast, fans were thrilled to meet the stars of GMA’s sought-after primetime series Legal Wives — Dennis Trillo, Alice Dixson, Andrea Torres, and Bianca Umali. The show’s head writer Suzette Doctolero and Muslim consultant Sohaimen Agal also joined the FunCon to share with the Pinoy fans how they came up with such groundbreaking concept.

The stars were up for fun and games with “How Well Do You Know Dennis?,” where the three female stars were tested through a series of questions about Dennis’ favorites, hobbies, and preferences. The four Kapuso stars also bared their hearts with the fans about their dream wedding, the first place they’d go to after the pandemic, and their advice to their younger selves.

Hundreds of fans who attended and watched the FunCon were likewise eager to ask the stars about their preparations and experiences while doing the show and how they immersed themselves in the colorful Muslim culture.

Meanwhile, the fans may have learned so many new things about the artists during the virtual event, but GMA Pinoy TV’s surprises did not end there. The cast members were equally surprised and did not expect to see their friends and family from different parts of the world through heartwarming video messages which melted everyone’s hearts.

From giving the ultimate ‘80s throwback to the enthralling tale of a man with three wives in the latest Kapuso programs, the cast of the TV adaptation of Nagbabagang Luha, led by Glaiza de Castro and leading man Rayver Cruz, along with Mike Tan, Royce Cabrera and Claire Castro, joined the fans in the online meet and greet. The FunCon opened with high energy as Rayver showed off his TikTok dance moves live while Glaiza serenaded everyone with a heartful song that fans enjoyed.

Select Kapuso fans even got a chance to exercise their acting chops with their idols in Nagbabagang Linya: The Ultimate Acting Challenge. They re-enacted some of the iconic scenes from the series which brought laughter and good vibes to the virtual event.

The entire cast even got a special message from Gabby Concepcion, who originally played the role of Alex in the classic Ishmael Bernal film. Gabby congratulated them and advised them to be their own version of their roles and get out of their comfort zone.

Truth be told, having these regular virtual gatherings — with no less than the Kapuso stars and their fellow Pinoys — indeed helps ease everyone’s homesickness wherever they are in the world. Luckily, as a firm believer of being stronger together, GMA Pinoy TV knows how to keep Filipinos both here and abroad company.

As the flagship international channel celebrates its 16th anniversary, fans can definitely expect more treats as it brings stars, like Bea Alonzo on Sept. 1, to the Pinoy Abroad Fun Connect. Last Aug. 25,  Dingdong and Marian graced the event. FunCons are streamed live on GMA Pinoy TV’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. For those who want to be part of the FunCon, check out GMA Pinoy TV’s social media accounts for the mechanics. I hope our Kapuso won’t miss them for the world!

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