A new age in TV begins with ‘Wattpad Presents’

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Thanks to a man named Allen Lau, Philippine television now has a fresh batch of material with which to entertain the public. Lau is one of the co-founders of what is now regarded as “the world’s largest community of readers and writers online,” a site better known as Wattpad, which was in fact the source of two of the highest grossing local film so far this year.

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It was on Wattpad that the writers of Diary ng Panget (HaveYouSeenThisGirl) and She’s Dating the Gangster (Bianca Bernardino) uploaded their works, earned millions of hits, and picked up by Viva Films and Star Cinema, respectively for production.

With both star-studded movies (Panget launched the careers of Nadine Lustre and James Reid; while Gangster had teen idols Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) turning into blockbusters, TV5 has jumped on the winning bandwagon and bought the rights to a number of the site’s most popular titles.

On Thursday, The Manila Times met Lau, who flew into the capital from Toronto, Canada, for a contract signing with TV5.

“The Philippines is among the Top 5 users of Wattpad, be they readers or writers, and we are very happy that we have given Filipino authors’ works the chance to be noticed, and now turned into movies and television shows,” said Lau. “We are very excited about this partnership with TV5 where we can cross promote each other in different platforms.”

Wattpad first appeared on the worldwide web in 2006 and has since established a dynamic and interactive community of readers and writers from around the world. It has a community of 35 million readers, five million of which are Philippine users who spend close to one billion minutes immersed in Wattpad’s free stories in the previous month alone.

Following the movie blockbusters, Filipino fans of Wattpad no longer have to fall in line and pay for tickets to watch their favorite titles. TV5’s Wattpad Presents is all set to premiere as a collection of week-long mini-series starting September 22.

First to air is “My Tag Boyfriend the story of Wattpad author Maevelanne, which has garnered 15.2 million reads. It will feature the first TV pair-up of Jasmine Curtis Smith and Sam Concepcion.

In the series, Jasmine portrays the role of Sitti Sandoval, a self-confessed Facebook addict who mistakenly tags campus heartthrob Kaizer Buenavista (Sam Concepcion) in one of her posts. What follows is a chain of funny encounters that all lead to a romantic twist.

The remaining titles that will air from week to week after My Tag Boyfriend is Mr. Popular Meets Ms. Nobody by Pinkyjhewelii (September 29), starring Mark Neumann and Shaira Mae dela   Cruz; Poser by Maxinejiji (October 6), with Akihiro Blanco and Chanel Morales; and Almost a Cinderella Story by Soju (October 13), with Eula Caballero in the title role.

Wattpad Presents will air Monday to Friday at 7 p.m. beginning September 22 on TV5.

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