‘High Street’ promises to be an eye-opener on Gen Z issues

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
�High Street� promises to be an eye-opener on Gen Z issues
The cast members and directors of ‘High Street’ at the black-carpet advance screening of the series at SM Aura Cinema.
STAR / File

“High Street,” the sequel to the ABS-CBN series “Senior High,” will still tackle controversial issues but with a “different and fresher approach.”

Mental health, drugs, bullying, social classes, and other themes from the previous season will still be incorporated in Season 2 with the addition of such topics as journalism, digital technology, generation gap, and other salient societal concerns as shown during the “High Street” advance screening at the SM Aura Cinema held recently.

Series director Onat Diaz shared at a presscon that he, together with direk Lino Cayetano, the creative team, and the writers meticulously deliberated about the issues that will be featured in the show.

Andrea Brillantes.

“If you may recall, the story of ‘Senior High’ revolves around this suspense, murder mystery-drama enveloped with a lot of relevant issues and that’s the brand of the show,” stated direk Onat.

“And this being a continuing part of the series franchise, we said it should have the same flavor. It’s still a suspense-mystery story injected with relevant themes and issues that the audience can resonate with, especially for the age group that our lead stars belong to.”

uan Karlos reprise their roles as Sky and Gino, respectively, in ‘High Street,’ the sequel of ‘Senior High.

The ‘High Street’ team included the issues that they had not touched before, added direk Onat. “We chose to tackle those issues. You’ll be surprised that some of them are kind of related to the issues that we have touched on in ‘Senior High,’ but somehow merong kakaiba at fresher approach, especially with the older generation. You will be surprised that some of the revelations that we’d show na issues na kinasasadlakan ng mga Gen Z.”


Playing Sanya, Tim, Kenjie, and Poch are Gela Atayde, Zaijian Jaranilla, Tommy Alejandrino, and Miggy Jimenez.

“It’s going to be an eye-opener for a lot of the audience (members), I think,” declared direk Onat.

Direk Lino, for his part, said that the inter-generational interplay of the characters in the series is something to watch out for.

“This, dealing with Gen Z is very different,” pointed out direk Lino.

Something that he learned while doing the show was how Gen Z embraces diversity and it’s something that his generation admires about them.

‘High Street’ opens with the reunion of the Northford High students, who are now adults pursuing different careers and facing more complex real-world problems.

He said, “Your tolerance, how you embrace diversity in each other… But I think something na natutunan ko naman sa show is the beauty of the collective that Gen Z is so interesting individually (and) also together.

“Let’s not underestimate this generation ‘cause they will do great things. And I think this show is something that will show na parang magkakasama sila when they work together, they can possibly overcome evil things.”

“High Street” is set five years after the graduation of Northford High students led by Sky (Andrea Brillantes). Coming from their traumatic high school life involving teenage problems and personal issues, the story will now shift its focus on real-world concerns as the characters enter adulthood.

“High Street” opens with the reunion of Northford High students as they catch up on their respective careers. Sky is now an up-and-coming journalist, Gino (Juan Karlos) is thriving in law school, Tim and Poch (Zaijian Jaranilla and Miggy Jimenez) are still going strong, while Roxy (Xyriel Manabat) balances her nurse duties while being a single mom.

On the other hand, siblings Archie and Z (Elijah Canlas and Daniela Stranner) are struggling in life. Archie is imprisoned in another country while Z’s mental health problems continue to haunt her. Although the Northford High alumni have high hopes for their future, their lives will be in peril once more when Z mysteriously gets kidnapped by an unidentified group.

As Sky and her friends, together with Sky’s mom Tanya (Angel Aquino), uncover the kidnapping incident, dark secrets arise and the Northford nightmare that they once thought was over is actually far greater than they have ever imagined.

Meanwhile, the returning cast members noted how their respective characters have evolved in terms of level of maturity.

Zaijian said his character has matured in the new show but he is still in the self-discovery process. His character Tim is more confident and he is no longer afraid to express himself and his love for Poch.

“I think mas kaya niya na sigurong saluhin sarili and he knows what he wants,” Miggy said of his character Poch and echoed what Zaijian mentioned earlier in the presscon.

“Yeah, mature in a way but still finding themselves. We are still in the process (like) ano ba dapat ang kailangan naming gawin, ano bang dapat kong gawin, as of now, to be what I really want and need.”

Xyriel, on the other hand, felt that Roxy has that major change in her life after becoming a single mom. “Feeling ko, we will see the struggles of Roxy as a mother and also being independent. (She will show) how strong she is but deep inside we know that she is also having a tough time.”

Elijah, meanwhile, is excited to see what Archie will do “when and if he gets out of there (prison).”

“Of course, a lot has happened to Archie. When his dad passed on, he was the only man of the house, whatever that means in a conventional Filipino household so he had a lot of responsibilities. That’s why I’m excited for you to know how he ended up in prison with all those responsibilities in hand.”

As for character Gino, Juan Karlos said his beliefs and values have changed noticeably in the sequel. “With ‘High Street,’ parang all of a sudden, Gino has this sense of guilt with everything that his dad did and then he wants to correct all of these mistakes.”

“So in terms of maturity, I believe that Gino has really matured a lot, especially choosing that line of work, being in law so that he can help the victims of (antagonist) Papa Gov (played by Mon Confiado). I feel like yung values ni Gino, it’s something that I think a lot of viewers should really look up to.”

Comparing her role to that of the previous season, Andrea said that the current Sky is more considerate toward other people. “She no longer forces her beliefs or issues on other people.”

Aside from becoming more mature, Sky’s personality has “loosened up” a bit in ‘High Street,’ added Andrea. “Because she only thought of finding justice for her twin (Luna) in Season 1.

“Now, she can crack jokes, she smiles and nag-aayos na din siya. But in terms of maturity, I think Sky is getting there because ngayon pa lang(niya) inisip yung sarili niya. In her entire teenage years in Season 1, she only thought of her twin sister.

“So it’s like ngayon pa lang din ni Sky nakikilala yung self niya. And she started to develop hobbies and discover things that she likes so I think she is getting there (maturity) pa lang.”

The new characters were also introduced in the series, including Dimples Romana, Romnick Sarmenta, Harvey Bautista, AC Bonifacio, and Ralph de Leon. It also stars Tommy Alejandrino, Gela Atayde, Kean Cipriano, Ana Abad Santos, Gerald Madrid, Inka Magnaye, Angeli Bayani, and Rans Rifol.

(‘High Street’ airs at 9:30 p.m. on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, iWantTFC, and Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. The show is also available to viewers in and out of the Philippines via iWantTFC, while viewers outside of the Philippines can watch on The Filipino Channel or TFC on cable and IPTV.)

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