Filipinos love a good drama whose foundation stems from invaluable life lessons. Proof is the continued reign of GMA Network’s award-winning drama anthology “Magpakailanman” on television.
Featuring inspirational stories week after week, Magpakailanman, hosted by multi-awarded broadcast journalist Mel Tiangco, celebrates its fifth anniversary this November.
“Right from the beginning, I have always liked stories that convey a message to televiewers, like how life is and how life should be,” Tiangco noted at a news conference this week.
Giving a concrete example, Tiangco recalled the story of a mother whose three sons were diagnosed with the mental disorder schizophrenia.
“I remember that mother because Filipinos, especially those living in the outskirts of town, would only think that her sons were bewitched. But in reality, they were suffering from a disease and needed care,” she related.
This story and other gripping anthologies are the reasons why Tiangco, who also heads GMA Foundation and co-anchors “24 Oras,” continues to serve as the show’s storyteller despite her many roles at the network.
And to celebrate the half of decade they have been airing, Magpakailanman is airing four special stories for their month-long anniversary special.
The first was shown November 4 with the Lagdamat sisters in the spotlight—four orphaned children with no one but each other to lean on. Titled “BSF: Best Sisters Forever: The Lagdamat Sisters Story,” the episode was headlined by multi-talented artists Sunshine Dizon, Diana Zubiri, Sheena Halili and Sanya Lopez, helmed by Gil Tejada. Jr.
On November 11, the drama anthology presented the love story between an American sailor and his maid. Directed by Joel Lamangan, the episode titled “My Heart Belongs to You: The Bud and Gloria Brown Story” had Ivan Dorschner and Denise Barbacena in the lead.
“The story is remarkable because it shows that we all can dream. If you have one, go pursue it because who knows, it might just come true,” Tiangco commented after recalling the episode aired last week.
Marawi in focus
On November 18 and 25, Magpakailanman will dramatize the real-life stories of Azramie “Ramram” Cabugatan and Marawi Suicide Squad soldier PFC Jomille Pavia.
The first of the two, “Isang Bata, Dalawang Ina,” is about a young boy taken away from his parents but reunited with his biological mother Rohaniza “Hani” Abdul Jabbar Cabugatan after seven long years. It stars Yasmien Kurdi and Sharmaine Arnaiz, under the direction of Gina Alajar.
Ending November with a bang is “Kuwentong Marawi sa Mata ng Isang Sundalo,” an episode about a brave soldier deployed to the war in Mindanao, heroically saving innocent civilians including an old woman trapped in her home. The epic special episode is headlined by Alden Richards with Mark dela Cruz as director.
“I hope that with these stories—which revolve around emotions, experiences and values—we will be able to convey what we want with Magpakailanman: stories that tug the heartstrings; inspirational stories that will not only be relatable to people my age but to the next generation as well,” Tiangco ended.
Magpakailanman airs after “Pepito Manaloto” on GMA on Saturday nights.