Kim Chiu (center) and Gerald Anderson form a love triangle with Erich Gonzales in the ABS-CBN's latestteleserye Sana Maulit Muli. Photo: Courtesy of ABS-CBN

 

To start the year with a bang, the Kapamilya network is banking on two of its hottest young stars—Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson.

 

Fans of the Kimerald love team will definitely be thrilled to know that their idols are now part of ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block.

 

Sana Maulit Muli is about two young lovers who discover how true love can overpower fate and destiny. Small-town girl Jasmine Sta. Maria (Kim) and Travis Johnson (Gerald), the illegitimate son of an American soldier, both meet as stowaways in a ship sailing from Cebu. They are separated by time, fate, and distance, only to be reunited after a series of deceptions.

 

The crucial role of "Mr. Destiny" or Mang Andres—the man who controls everyone's fate—is played by Michael de Mesa.

 

An interesting subplot in this teleserye is the love story between Mark Bautista, 25, and Gloria Diaz, 56. Mark, who plays the role of Francis Marquez, describes his role as a badminton teacher by day and a singer by night. The former Miss Universe is Monica Johnson, the mother of Travis.

 

Former GMA-7 talent Jake Cuenca plays Gloria's other son, Brandon. His last project with the Kapuso network was for the telefantasya Majika.

 

Comebacking star Mickey Ferriols plays Emily Sta. Maria, mother of Jasmine. She serves as a maid to real-life couple Tonton Gutierrez and Glydel Mercado, who play George and Clara Soriano in this teleserye. Erich Gonzales, as Camille, is their daughter who is in love with Travis.

 

Completing the cast of Sana Maulit Muli are young stars Neri Naig (Bianca), Arron Villaflor (Kevin Roque), Marco Aytona (Bruce), Kyle Balili (Tam), and Nathan Lopez (Romeo Bato) of Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros fame.

 

RAPID RISE TO FAME. Although some people might question the potential of Kim and Gerald to topbill a drama series so early in the game, director Jerome Pobocan has no qualms about the decision of ABS-CBN executives to tap the Kimerald love team.

 

During a press conference held at the Annabel's Restaurant in Quezon City, Direk Jerome shares his insights regarding the newbies.

 

"Ang management ang nag-decide to put them in this soap. When I first heard about it, [I said] 'Wow, newcomers!' They're very marketable. The two are endorsers of Jollibee in so short a time. Yung track record ng dalawa, kung ating papansinin, yung Love Spell and Your Song na show nagre-rate, almost all.

 

"First, yung track record ang tinitingnan ng management. Two, yung willingness to work, yung attitude tapos yung chemistry. Sa mga Love Spells na ginawa nila, makikita mo ang lakas ng chemistry ng dalawa, interactive. Probably yun yung gauge ng management why they gave Kim and Gerald their own soap," explains Direk Jerome.

 

When asked to describe his working experience with the young cast members, the director points out the strong points that he noticed among them. "Erich has an edge because of her experience. She's had two teleseryes na before this so mas hasa na si Erich pagdating sa flow of work and delivery of lines.

 

He continues, "Sina Kim and Gerald they've had Love Spell and Your Song. [They have] dedication, which is admirable for newcomers."

 

Acting veteran Michael de Mesa also gives his assessment on the on-cam tandem of Kim and Gerald.

 

When it comes to weaknesses, Michael stresses that Kim and Gerald are "very, very new...very, very raw. Lots of room for improvement. Nakikita ko yung dedication lalo na kay Gerald dahil hirap na hirap siyang mag-Tagalog.

 

"Pero to be honest, tumatagal yung eksena but I can really feel his dedication to come out for the better. Alam kong hirap siya but he still tries...Most of my scenes kasi [are] with Gerald e. I've worked with them also at First Day High, so medyo matagal ko na silang nakasama," recounts Michael.

 

Sana Maulit Muli premieres on January 8.