TOTOO BA: Angelica Panganiban was "huling choice" in Banana Sundae's original cast?

by James Patrick Anarcon
Jun 4, 2020
Angelica Panganiban, the only one left behind when everyone in the original cast of Banana Split left the show, whose name was later changed to Banana Sundae.
PHOTO/S: Banana Split (ABS-CBN)

Angelica Panganiban is the only original cast member who has remained a part of Banana Sundae in all its 12 years on television.

In 2008, the program was launched as a late-night Saturday program called Banana Split.

Originally a sexy-themed gag show that was touted the male version of the '90s gag show Goin' Bananas, Banana Split debuted with Angelica, Valerie Concepcion, Cristine Reyes, and Roxanne Guinoo in the cast.

Others in the supporting cast were RR Enriquez, Princess Ryan, and Dianne Medina.

One by one at various times, Valerie, Roxanne, and Cristine exited the show.

Banana Sundae itself underwent several reformats.

In 2015, ABS-CBN moved its time slot to Sunday afternoons and gave the show a new name, Banana Sundae.

Angelica has remained the show's mainstay all throughout the comings and goings of cast members in the intervening years.

But, totoo ba? Angelica—the longest cast member of the show—was not included in the original roster of Banana Split's cast members?

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During an anniversary special of the show that aired in 2012, Angelica herself revealed she became part of the show as a "second option."

And she was only told about it just when Banana Split was poised to be launched in October 2008.

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She related, "Noong umpisa talaga, hindi ako part ng cast.

"Happy ako na the night before the launching niya, pictorial and everything, tinawagan lang ako nang biglaan kung puwede nga ako mag-pictorial for a comedy show."

Angelica did not think twice about accepting the offer no matter how late it came, considering her last gag show was Ang TV, way back in the '90s, when she was still a child actress.

She said, "Ako naman, siyempre, wow! Huli kong ginawa iyong Ang TV.

"So sabi ko, yes na yes. Maharot akong bata, gustung-gusto kong nagpapasaya.

"Sobra akong masaya na ako iyong huling choice, second option lang ako, pero hanggang ngayon, nandito pa rin ako."

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Banana Sundae has kept its 2015 format with its current cast: Pokwang, John Prats, Jason Gainza, Pooh, Badjie Mortiz, Ryan Bang, Jobert Austria, Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco, Ritz Azul, Wacky Kiray, Barbie Imperial, and JC De Vera

The program was put on hold together with the other Kapamilya shows in the middle of March when the government placed the entire Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 5, 2020, however, the return of Banana Sundae became uncertain as well as that of ABS-CBN itself.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease-and-desist order against the Kapamilya network following the expiration of its congressional franchise.

ABS-CBN's franchise expired on May 4, 2020.

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ANGELICA'S sad POST TO BANANA SUNDAE CAST AND STAFF

On June 1, 2020, Angelica dedicated an emotional Instagram post to her Banana Sundae family.

The Kapamilya actress remarked that for the first time in 12 years, the Banana Sundae family is crying together instead of making its audience laugh.

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Although Angelica avoided mentioning what the future holds for Banana Sundae, the sad tone of her post was as good as a hearbreaking farewell note.

Part of Angelica's post read (published as is): "Halos labing dalawang taon tayo nagpapatawa at nagpapasaya ng mga tao.. Sa pinaka unang pagkakataon,, kanina,, umiiyak tayong lahat..

"Masyadong masakit na makitang durog na durog tayong lahat. Sa ganitong panahon, ito ang pinaka huli nating pwedeng maramdaman.. Ang mawalan tayo ng tahanan. Masakit.. Kasi, intensyon lang natin magpasaya, makatulong.

"Gusto naming isipin na pansamantala lang ‘to. Magkikita kita ulit tayo. Gusto naming lumaban para sa mga kasamahan namin sa trabaho. Gusto namin ipaglaban ang pamilya namin. Gusto na namin ng katahimikan sa mga tanong namin.

"Pero kahit ganito,, lalaban kami. Magtutulungan kami. Kapag nakabalik kami, sigurado akong mas malakas kami. Palagi namin tinatanong sa simula ng show ang 'okay ba kayo jaaaan”... Ngayon naman,, kami ang hindi 'okay'.."

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At the end of her post, Angelica thanked the loyal viewers of their program for the past 12 years.

"Kaya naman... Hanggang sa muli na lang muna tayo mga kabanana. Salamat sa halos labing dalawang taon. Mahal na mahal ko kayo."

On June 3, 2020, PEP.ph's PEP Troika column reported that six ABS-CBN shows will start taping again after the Kapamilya network halted production for its entertainment shows.

Banana Sundae is not on the list.

Three of these shows are from the narrative/teleserye department: Love Thy Woman, FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, and A Soldier's Heart.

The other three are from the non-narrative format department: It's Showtime, ASAP Natin 'To, and Magandang Buhay.

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Angelica Panganiban, the only one left behind when everyone in the original cast of Banana Split left the show, whose name was later changed to Banana Sundae.
PHOTO/S: Banana Split (ABS-CBN)
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