• All new ‘firsts’ for Philippine TV

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    Call him ‘Doc Dennis’

    Versatile actor heads medical TV series cast

    ■ Dennis Trillo takes on a whole new acting challenge as public hospital doctor

    ■ Dennis Trillo
    takes on a whole
    new acting
    challenge as
    public hospital
    doctor

    From gay lover to medical doctor.

    This is multi-awarded actor Dennis Trillo’s  latest transition for his much-awaited return to prime time television. It has been over a year since the phenomenal success of My Husband’s Lover, where he played the very passionate and endearing gay lover Eric to Tom Rodriguez’ Vincent, and the leading man cannot wait to offer the public yet another groundbreaking drama via Sa Puso Ni Dok.

    Dubbed as “the first original medical TV series on local television,” Sa Puso Ni Dok is a proud production of GMA News and Public Affairs, a four-time George Foster Peabody awardee, which hopes to serve as an eye-opener on the harsh realities of public health in the country via entertainment value.

    A six-part weekly series, the show is produced by the same creative group of GMA News TV that is also behind the highly acclaimed drama series Bayan Ko and Titser.

    The program casts Dennis as a motorcycle-riding chief resident at a rural hospital, whose
    devotion to the Hippocratic Oath, albeit in unconventional ways, heals an impoverished community back to health.

    For the noted actor, his return to prime time through this socially relevant project is well worth the wait.

    “I find my character very interesting. Masungit ako na doktor dito pero unorthodox,” he said of namesake, Dr. Dennis De Vera.

    “The role is worth the wait [after My Husband’s Lover]kasi ayoko naman yung pare-parehong character na sunod-sunod ang ginagawa ko. Ayoko na hindi ako nakakapag-offer ng bago sa mga viewers. And most of all, gusto kong makapag-handa ng mabuti para sa isang role na gagampanan ko tulad nito, para hindi hilaw ang pag-execute ko,” he explained to The Manila Times at an interview on Wednesday night.

    Dennis shares top-billing in Sa Puso Ni Dok with another noted actress Bela Padil–la and under the direction of Adolf Alix Jr.

    ■ Bella Padilla also dons a white coat for the original project

    ■ Bella Padilla also dons a white coat for the original project

    The drama’s plot revolves around the stern and mysterious head resident and an idealistic fresh graduate in Gabrielle dela Cruz (Bela), whose lives are entangled amid compelling situations in a fictitious public health care facility called Melchora Aquino General Hospital.

    “If Doc Dennis is unconventional, Bela’s character is by the book, making us clash in many ways,” described Dennis.

    Bela, on the other hand depicts her character as “lovable.”

    “Gab is very easy to love because she always means well. She is a bubbly, young, and ambitious doctor. And even when things get in the way, she always finds solutions especially if her patients are in need,” she related.

    Both playing the role of a doctor for the first time, Dennis and Bela admit to watching a widely popular American medical drama series as part of their preparation for Sa Puso ni Dok. Dennis also went as far as studying a good amount of medical terms, nuances and hospital procedures to get him through the role as realistically as possible.

    In the series, Doc Dennis’ dedication to his profession remains steadfast as he continues to resist the lure of work abroad and pursues his profession by serving the sick in Melchora Aquino General Hospital. He also attends to the poor in a remote barrio on his days off.

    Shunning love, Doc Dennis finds himself falling for the ever optimistic Doc Gab who joined the hospital to complete her required two-year return service program.

    Armed with idealism and enthusiasm, Doc Gab is disheartened to find the hospital to have inadequate facilities, a shortage in nurses and doctors, and in short supply of medicines.
    While Doc Gab lacks experience in facing medical crises, Doc Dennis, meanwhile, has his own ways of resolving them.

    Completing the cast of Sa Puso ni Dok are Anita Linda, Menggie Cobarrubias, Maey Bautista, AJ Dee, Gigi Locsin, Stephanie Sol, Elijah Alejo, Flor Salanga, and Sunshine Teodoro.

    “Sa Puso Ni Dok’s ultimate battle cry is the improvement of public health care in the country. We also want to showcase the heroism of many of our government employed doctors, nurses and health workers who value integrity and service for their fellow Filipinos,” added Sherilyn Bruan, the show’s creator and program manager.

    “Besides the program’s extensive research, the medical drama series has consulted medical experts to make the series more realistic in presenting various medical-related situations,” she concluded.

    The original medical drama premieres tonight after Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho on GMA Network, and will run for six consecutive weeks.

    * * *

    ‘I Do’ sets off the ‘realiserye’ genre

    ■ Judy Ann Santos doesn’t mind being given another hosting project anew because she knows she can help real life couples make the right decisions

    ■ Judy Ann Santos doesn’t mind being
    given another hosting project anew
    because she knows she can help real life
    couples make the right decisions

    Judy Ann Santos counsels couples bound for altar

    “I’m doing this dahil masarap magmahal at masarap  matuto kung paanong mag-mahal,” were the poetic     words of dramatic superstar Judy Ann Santos, who has again been tapped as a host of her home studio ABS-CBN for a first-of-its kind reality show titled I Do.

    An original concept from the network’s creative department, I Do gathers nine couples of different circumstances who believe they are ready for marriage, but embark on a life changing journey that could make or break their relationships.

    Besides hosting the program, Judy Ann doubles as a counselor herself alongside the “I Do Council” whose task is to test and guide the couples towards steeling their relationship for a lifelong commitment to each other. The other council members are life coach Pia Acevedo and psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Julian Montano, with funnyman Jason Gainza standing as co-host and comic relief to Judy Ann’s significantly serious responsibilities.

    The actress, who has been married for five years with two kids, said she gives ad–vice to the featured couples based on her personal experience as a wife and mom.

    “The most challenging thing I do in the show is giving the couples pieces of advice that they can live by,” she said at the program’s grand launch on Wednesday. “When I accepted this, I didn’t really know what I was getting into; I was just excited because it’s an original concept. Along the way I became sort of a life coach. It just feels great to be part of a couple’s journey to getting married,” she enthused.

    “Pero I have to say, pag uwi ko after taping nadadala ko talaga yung issues nila with me and I keep asking myself over and over kung tama ba yung mga payong binigay ko sa kanila! Kaya tinawag ang show na ito na ‘realiserye’.”

    Giving more details about the program, which will premiere on August 30, nine couples will live in three houses inside the “I Do village,” with the women sleeping separately from the men.

    The couples will then be tested through weekly cycles, with a theme each and ses-sions based on real-life marriage and relationship situations. Each week, the council will decide which couple to eliminate.

    According to Judy Ann’s council members, the show also hopes to advocate to the public that couples, especially those who are already married, should never hesitate in seeking help and guidance whenever they encounter problems in their marriage.

    “I admit that marriage counseling is still not widely accepted in the country but somehow, especially in Metro Manila, that couples are gradually starting to realize it could help them get through their difficulties,” related Dr. Montano who is a licensed counseling psychologist with a double Masters degree in Social Counseling and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in New York.

    ■ (From left) With her ‘I Do’ co-host Jason Gainza and cocouncil members, life coach Pia Acevedo and psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Julian Montano

    ■ (From left) With her ‘I Do’ co-host Jason Gainza and cocouncil members, life coach Pia Acevedo and psychologist and marriage counselor Dr. Julian Montano

    “We do hope that this show will change mindsets regarding reaching out for help because often times when couples come to us, it’s already too late to save their relationships,” added Acevedo who is a certified life coach and member of the International Coaching Federation with expertise in Family Relationships and Personal Life Transitions. “My husband I and are both theology professors so you’d think we’d breeze through marriage, but marriage is difficult for everyone.”

    Dr. Montano further asserted he believes the TV concept has come at a very opportune time when families and marriages are breaking down in society.

    “There really is a problem today and we need to address it,” he emphasized.

    For Judy Ann, whom her council members describe as armed with experience in marriage and gifted in connecting with people, “What’s important [to me]is that viewers get inspiration from the show. We made this program to inspire people not to jump into certain situations. Lahat ng bagay ngayon dapat pinag-iisipan.”

    For updates on I Do, log on to www.ido.abs-cbn.com, www.facebook.com/ido.ph or follow @IDo_ph on Twitter.

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