GMA-7's new afternoon drama series Dahil Sa Pag-ibig aired its pilot episode on Monday, May 20, 2019.
The Kapuso teleserye replaced Inagaw na Bituin and is now pitted against two ABS-CBN shows: Kadenang Ginto and Bihag.
Sanya Lopez and Benjamin Alves top-bill this Kapuso show together with Winwyn Marquez and Pancho Magno.
The Sanya and Ben already worked together on the weekend comedy show Dear Uge: Panira ng Anniversary that aired on March 17, 2019.
Directed by actor-director Ricky Davao, Dahil Sa Pag-ibig showcases the difficulties and temptations that a married couple encounter when separated by distance.
In the series, Sanya Lopez brings life to Mariel while Benjamin Alves is cast as Eldon.
Mariel Corpuz is a doting mother and wife who's love and loyalty will be put into test when her OFW husband's life will be at risk.
Eldon Corpuz is a hardworking father and husband who decided to work abroad to be able to provide for his family. However, he commits a grave crime that will land him in jail and earn him a death sentence.
Meanwhile, Pancho Magno is cast as Gary Sandoval, Mariel's rich former lover who still can’t get over her. To free her husband from a terrible fate, Mariel reached out to him to ask for help.
Also in the cast are Winwyn Marquez as Portia, Eldon’s other woman and the wife of Eldon’s employer; Tetchie Agbayani as Clara, Eldon’s strict mother; Sandy Andolong as Nanette, Mariel’s supportive mother; Dominic Roco as Roger; and Devon Seron as Chin Chin.
The pilot episode of Dahil Sa Pag-ibig begins by showing a bridal car that suddenly broke down. This left the bride Mariel (Sanya Lopez) feeling anxious because she wouldn't be able to arrive on time for her wedding.
Viewers then saw the groom Eldon (Benjamin Alvarez) waiting for his bride in the church with his mother Clara (Tetchie Agbayani) and other guests.
Clara’s behavior shows how much she dislikes Mariel for her son. She said that she is pissed off with Mariel’s attitude because she did not even give prior notice that she’ll be arriving late given that it was their wedding day.
Clara then murmured to her son that maybe Mariel became ashamed of the fact that he will be the one to support her family.
The bride's mother Nanette (Sandy Andolong) heard this insult. She warned Clara to watch her words. She insisted that they should not push through with the wedding if Clara continues to belittle their family.
Eldon stopped his mother and his soon-to-be mother in law from arguing.
Finally, the bridal car arrived and the relieved groom Eldon embraced Mariel upon seeing her.
The wedding ceremony began but a drunk Gary (Pancho Magno) tried to stop their wedding. The groomsmen stopped Gary from interrupting the ceremony.
Five years later, Eldon is seen working abroad while Mariel is living with their daughter and mother-in-law.
Eldon told his wife and daughter that he sent over a package.
Clara still dislikes Mariel since she asked their househelper to clear out a space in her room so that the package will be placed there.
The scene then showed Mariel and her daughter inside a taxi and were on their way to pick up the package from a certain address.
Little did they know, Eldon was only setting them up.
Mariel and her daughter cried tears of joy upon seeing Eldon go down the stairs of the house. The couple shared a kiss and was happily reunited. Eldon revealed that the house is his gift for Mariel and their daughter.
The couple held a house blessing and afterwards, Mariel and Eldon made love.
The couple shared plenty of bonding moments until Eldon had to depart again as an OFW.
Sometime in the future, Chin chin goes to Mariel’s house. She handed Mariel her order: lipstick and makeup foundation. Her mother, Nanette, was happy that her daughter bought these so that unlike her, she will not experience infidelity from her husband. The mother stressed that it’s important to take care of oneself so that her husband won’t look at other women.
Chin chin argues with her and declared, “Walang relasyong pang habambuhay kung may malanding buhay.”
In Saudi, Eldon has a drinking session with his co-workers and they talk about what they miss most about their home. They are interrupted by a knock on the door.
Eldon opened the door and saw Portia (Winwyn Marquez).
The pilot episode ends by showing Eldon who is cooking and Portia suddenly appears to hug him from behind.
He warns her about the strict rules in Saudi and that she should not cheat on her husband. However, Portia insists that she just wants to cheer herself up since her husband is always either out of town or out of the country.
Eldon told her that he is happily married.
Dismayed, Portia reminded Eldon that she is the one who helps fellow Filipinos when they encounter problems.
Eldon eventually rejects Portia’s attempt to seduce him.
Unfortunately, from afar, an Arab saw them being intimate with each other.
The teaser for the next episode shows how Portia’s Arab husband furiously dragged Eldon inside in a car. Eldon and Mariel fight and have an argument on the phone.
Viewers get a glimpse of Portia and Eldon having sex inside a shower.
After many years, Gary (Pancho Magno) returns and he is still in love with Mariel.
How did the pilot episode of GMA-7's new teleserye Dahil Sa Pag-ibig fare in the ratings game?
According to ratings provider Kantar Media, the afternoon series of Sanya Lopez and Benjamin Alves registered a TV rating of 10.5%.
ABS-CBN show Precious Hearts Romances Presents Los Bastardos was able to get a Kantar rating of 16.2%.