Deglamorizing Gerald Anderson

Kapamilya network’s golden boy Gerald Anderson is a fine-looking actor. Known for his sleek image and boy-next-door fashion sense, he dresses well when out in public and his hair is neatly styled. But in the new series Budoy, Gerald ditches the cosmo look and dresses down for the role he considers his most challenging yet.

In the first episodes of Budoy, Gerald is seen sporting a messy hairstyle as if he hasn’t combed his hair for days. His teeth are protruded and yellowish and he dons a one size bigger t-shirt matched with a pair of pants cut right above his ankle.

Playing the title role of a boy suffering from mild mental retardation, Gerald made sure that more than the physical requirements in Budoy, his acting would be convincing by taking inspiration by watching films that feature differently-abled individuals. Indeed, his different approach to this new character emphasizes his deep immersion in the role.

At the recent press preview of the ABS-CBN series, the 22-year-old actor admitted that playing an 18-year-old boy with a six-year-old mental age is physically demanding, “There are times that he’s hyper-active,” says Gerald.

The program that started airing on Kapamilya’s Primetime Bida last Monday is said to be an advocacy series because it highlights the value of education among the Filipino youth. Furthermore, it gives more emphasis on how unconditional love and affection can nurture a mentally-challenged person and keep him secure from the discriminating eyes of the society. At the same time, Budoy takes the viewers in an emotional journey with a story that is funny, confronting, and ultimately heart-warming.

The first week of Budoy narrates the story of the Maniego family, a respected name in the medical field. Bound to success but with no child, Dr. Anton Maniego (Tirso Cruz III) performs an artificial insemination to his wife Luisa (Zsa Zsa Padilla). Luisa then gives birth to Benjamin. The birth of the first grandson in the family is considered a blessing until they realize that Benjamin is suffering from delayed intellectual development.

Predicaments arise against Luisa, who becomes very protected of Benjamin. Wanting to know the real disorder of his son, Luisa plans to seek for a second medical opinion of a rival doctor of the Maniego’s. When Anton’s mother (Barbara Perez), who disapproves of their (Anton and Luisa’s) relationship from the very start, discovers Luisa’s plan, she has Benjamin kidnapped and placed him in a secluded rural house under the care of trusted caretaker (Arlene Muhlach).

The caretaker that always calls Benjamin “bad boy,” which the kid mispronounces as “budoy,” succumbs to cardiac arrest and dies without the knowledge of the Maniegos. Elena (Janice de Belen), has been taken to the boy’s nanny leaves with the kid after she is unable to find his relatives. Benjamin who is now called by his moniker Budoy lives a life far from his real family and identity. Meanwhile, without Luisa’s knowledge, the Maniegos replace Benjamin with a normal child (who will be later played by Enrique Gil).

The powerhouse cast of Budoy also includes Jessy Mendiola, Dante Rivero, Gloria Sevilla, Mylene Dizon, and Christian Vazquez.

Kapamilya says; Kapuso says

Ratings and network wars are far from over. But in the first place, do people know why competition on television needs to exist? The answer is: competition brings out the best in the industry.

According to GMA Network, it closed September with a strong win in national television ratings (NUTAM) against ABS-CBN and TV5. The data provided by Nielsen TV Audience Measurement says that from the start of 2011 until the closing of the nine-month period showed that GMA-7 is the top choice among the country’s free-to-air channels. National viewership is a known turf of ABS-CBN.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN contraposes GMA-7’s claim of ruling the national ratings. A publicity from ABS-CBN states that in September, and in the previous months, it dominated national TV ratings, scoring an average audience share of 42 percent or a whopping 12-point lead over GMA’s 30 percent in September on primetime from 6 p.m. onwards when TV viewing levels are at its peak and where advertisers place most of their TV ads.

Do the claims of these television networks translate into bigger revenues and ultimately quality programs?

A television station must produce high quality shows and programs possible in order to win the ratings war, resulting in great entertainment for the fans, regardless of which channel they chose to tune in. But the real deal is, although major television networks now have massive resources, not every show we see on the boob tube is worth our time, nor the money spent by advertisers.

In a related issue, TV5 also makes a claim that it has been dominating the primetime numbers game on Sundays. Well, whichever channel dominate, will you please give us better programs first?

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