Paolo, Patrick and Kaye’s ‘reunion’ film to pay homage to Tabing Ilog

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Paolo, Patrick and Kaye�s �reunion� film to pay homage to Tabing Ilog
Former Tabing Ilog stars (from left) Patrick Garcia, Kaye Abad and Paolo Contis are reuniting in a movie under MAVX Productions. Their destination film, which will be shot in Tazmania, Australia, tells the story of three bestfriends who go on a life-changing road trip.
STAR / File

Former Tabing Ilog stars Paolo Contis, Patrick Garcia and Kaye Abad are reuniting in a film about three friends since childhood who go on a life-changing road trip.

They all grew up in a province where a landmark is a river, an intentional plot detail as a tribute to the hit ‘90s youth-oriented show where their characters’ favorite hangout place was by a river. “Totoo, may pa-homage kami sa Tabing Ilog,” said Paolo in an intimate press interview during a recent look test with Kaye and Patrick.

In the film, Paolo and Kaye become husband and wife. Patrick portrays an actor, whose most trusted personal assistant is Paolo’s character. But Kaye’s character ends up getting sick and the two most important men in her life join forces to make sure she’s at her happiest in her remaining days, including embarking on a road trip of a lifetime.

The still-untitled film (as of writing) is going to be shot in Tazmania, Australia and released under MAVX Productions, the production outfit behind “destination movies” such as Unravel, Doll House and A Faraway Land.

Paolo said, “Si Lucky (Blanco, MAVX CEO) producer namin, he’s a fan of Tabing Ilog, Ang TV, Oki Doki Doc. Mahilig siya sa dating (old) television shows. Matagal na namin pinag-uusapan na sana magkaroon ng Tabing Ilog reunion.”

The actor described the project as a dream come true. “This is a dream come true — to be able to work again with them (Kaye and Patrick).”

Paolo said they might have gone on separate paths after Tabing Ilog, but they have continued to be friends in real life. Whenever they would come together, nothing seemed to have changed. The moment they got together for the pre-production, the trust was instantly there.

“Parang walang nagbago, dire-diresto, no holds barred, even with Patrick and I, when we saw each other the other day. First work ulit ni Kaye, first work ulit ni Patrick, we’re lucky to be working with each other. Kumbaga may kalma para sa kanila at para sa akin na sila yung makakatrabaho ko,” he said.

As for Kaye, when this was pitched to her, she was excited because this is the type of film that she has long wanted to do because of its different treatment of such a serious topic.

“Since the pandemic, dun nag-start ang mga movies na, yung hindi mainstream, hindi sinunod yung gusto ng mga tao na love story, may inapi, may kabit. Dun nag-start yung mga movie ni Paolo (where the treatment is not) super drama. Because in soap operas (I did), drama talaga yung eksena.

“During pandemic, I think, dun nag-start yung mga pelikula na maganda pala yung treatment that’s simple. Tumatawa sila pero alam mong ang sakit-sakit na eksensa. Kumbaga masakit yung eksensa pero ‘di ko kailangan umiyak, yung ganung feeling. (They’re laughing despite how heartbreaking the scenes are. The scenes are painful but I don’t have to cry).”

Kaye admitted feeling nervous over her acting comeback. The last time she acted was four years ago. “Though sa bahay minsan inaartehan ko asawa ko (laughs), pero four years ago pa. Ngayon lang ako ulit magda-drama so nangangapa pa, kinabahan (I’m adjusting to it, I’m nervous). I’ve been telling them if we could start shooting the light scenes first.”

The actress has been based in Cebu since settling down with former Pinoy Big Brother housemate and businessman Paul Jake Castillo. They have two kids.

But just because she accepted this project, it doesn’t mean she’s officially making a comeback.

“Medyo namimili muna ako kasi bata pa yung youngest ko (I’m a bit selective because my youngest is still young), he’s only one and seven months. It’s a bit difficult on my part because I’m now based in Cebu. If I’ll do a project more or less, I’ll be leaving my kids behind, which is difficult because I’m very hands-on with my kids,” Kaye said.

“But with this, pinayagan ako (I was allowed to do this) because we only have four shooting days and I’ll be able to return to Cebu right away. Then (we shoot) abroad, then back to Cebu, then Manila, then back to Cebu kumbaga hindi siya straight (we’re not filming straight).

“If I’ll do a serye, I’ll be spending three months straight here in Manila. Yun ang mahirap, hindi naman papayag si Paul Jake na ang kids kasama ko tapos siya lang maiiwan sa Cebu. Baka pagbalik namin may iba na siyang dalawang bata na inaalagaan (laughs),” she joked.

Same with Patrick. It’s been a long time since he did an acting project.

“I haven’t worked in five years. So when this was offered, when they said (my co-stars were) going to be Paolo and Kaye, I said make sure it’s Paolo and Kaye because if not, I will not do it,” he shared.

Patrick took a hiatus from showbiz to “do other things.” When pandemic came, he avoided the bubble taping for his family.

“Of course, I missed it. This is the longest I’ve been away. Since the time I started, every year, may (showbiz) work ako. There’s adjustment that’s why I’m nervous,” he said.

On his family’s reaction to his return to acting, Patrick said, “For the longest time, Daddy was just home and Daddy was doing other stuff. They’re kinda excited for me to see me on the big screen.” He is married to Nikka Martinez and they have four children.

With the three of them working together again, it has naturally given fans hope that the whole cast of Tabing Ilog will reunite on screen.

Kaye said that there was a plan for an onscreen reunion around five years ago, where their adult characters will introduce a new generation of Tabing Ilog characters.

“Parang start kami tapos yung younger generation na yung tutuloy. Nag-inquire sila sa akin kung OK ba daw ako,” she recalled. “Pero hindi rin natuloy.”

Paolo, Kaye and Patrick, nevertheless, are wishing that this will materialize sometime in the future.

“To be honest, it’s my dream that we will eventually be complete,” said Paolo.

“(This film) might ignite yung kagustuhan nung iba namin mga kasamahan. I mean, iba-iba na kami ng buhay, iba-iba yung trabaho, busy ang iba. But hopefully… the fact nakabuo kami tatlo, lima nalang yan, kaya pa yan. Baka sakaling gawan pa ng paraan.

“It’s sad to say that medyo nagkaroon ng mahabang time ‘di kami nagkita-kita. Hopefully, with this film, that will change.”

Patrick also said that their upcoming film is the closest fans can get to a reunion.

“People, including myself, we’re excited to have a Tabing Ilog reunion movie. For now, this is as close as we can get to that reunion. Hopefully, in the future, mabuo kami,” he said.

“This could be just the start of an eventual complete reunion. Who knows?”

Tabing Ilog, which ended in 2003, also then starred Paula Peralejo, Desiree del Valle, Jodi Sta. Maria, Baron Geisler and John Lloyd Cruz.

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