DonBelle share their 1sts in doing 1st teleserye 'Can't Buy Me Love'

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Even if they have done films and series together since their first pairing in the 2021 web series "He's Into Her," Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano said they still went through a number of firsts in their nightly show "Can't Buy Me Love." 

For starters, it is their first teleserye. As opposed to their web series, which had 26 episodes in two seasons, "Can't Buy Me Love" has been airing for eight months since it premiered in October 2023. 

"'Yung teleserye, ibang usapan 'yan kumpara sa 'He's Into Her,'" said Donny at yesterday's finale press conference held in Quezon City. 

While the web series was short, Donny and Belle has to live their characters for months, making them sometimes forget that they are different from the characters that they portray. 

"Eto kasi, talagang we live and breathe our characters. At times talagang nakakalimutan namin may Donny pa rin. Kasi grabe, everyday na kami nagsu-shoot. And first time ko rin maranasan na ang daming tumatawag sa akin ng 'Bingo.' Doon ko nakita na medyo marami palang nanonood ng show and it's nice," explained Donny. 

He plays Bingo, the streetsmart young man who grows up in Binondo. He meets Caroline "Ling" Tiu, played by Belle, when he rescued the rich Chinese-Filipino heir from kidnapping. 

Donny is also happy that their show helped put the spotlight on the Chinese-Filipino culture and on Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world established in 1594. 

For Belle, playing Ling is memorable to her. 

"Ang dami kong firsts dito sa project na ito. Kumain ako ng balot, tumalon ako ng building. So many of those, but at the same time, I've been doing Caroline for eight months and ang dami ko ring na-discover sa kanya. 

Belle also talked fondly about her character. 

"Caroline, ang galing mo. You're so strong. At first, actually hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit ka ganyan pero along the way, natutunan kitang mahalin and I'm so glad na nakahanap ka ng mga tao sa buhay mo na magmamahal sa'yo at ipapaalala sa'yo na kamahal-mahal kang tao kahit feeling mo mag-isa ka," the actress said. 

Donny said that though they've worked together on two seasons and the movie cut of "He's Into Her" and in the movies "Love is Color Blind" and "An Inconvenient Love," he still learned a lot from his perennial screen partner. 

"I've learned so much from her. Hindi ko muna sabihin ngayon siguro after na nu'ng show." 

"Pero ang masasabi ko lang, sobrang proud ko lang sa kanya at sa buong cast at sa everyone behind the scenes to put up a show that's been on for quite some time," ended the actor. 

"Can't Buy Me Love" is down to its last few episodes as it uncovers the mystery behind Ling's mother's death and the conclusion of the complicated, almost forbidden love between Bingo and Ling. 

It will end first on Netflix on May 7. The finale will also be aired on May 8 on IWantTFC and on May 10 on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z and TV5. — Video by Kathleen A. Llemit, editing by Martin Ramos

RELATED: ‘Food n others’: Donny Pangilinan shares Valentine’s spent with Belle Mariano

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