ABS-CBN’s Love Thy Woman is the first teleserye to air its finale in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, where new protocols for tapings are being followed to ensure safety on set.
Lock-in tapings have become the norm. The cast and production crew of 50 to 70 people are together for at least a month, staying in one hotel and going to limited locations.
Because only a few number of people are allowed on the set, there are also limitations in doing scenes, especially the ones that involve accidents, blasting, and parties.
Usually, in the finale of hardcore drama shows, blasting and bombings are staples.
Love Thy Woman won’t have any of these for its last episode on September 11, but expect the “pasabog” acting of its cast led by Kim Chiu and Yam Concepcion, along with Xian Lim, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Eula Valdez.
This is according to Andoy Ranay, one of the series' two directors.
He said, “We have fantastic, fabulous, super mega talented casts. Sila talaga iyong magpapasabog.
“Dinaan na lang natin [sa acting] kasi hindi tayo puwedeng magpasabog ng building, hindi tayo puwedeng magpasabog ng kotse.
“Iyong mga literal na pasabog, hindi puwede, e.
“So, nagpasabog ng aktingan itong mga babaeng ito, pati na rin mga lalaki, kasama na rin sila. Iyon ang pasabog na gagawin namin sa ending ng Love Thy Woman.”
Direk Andoy and his co-director in Love Thy Woman, Jojo Saguin, described how they shot the final episodes in a virtual press conference held on September 2.
HOW DIRECTORS HANDLED LOCK-IN TAPINGS?
According to Direk Jojo, it was a challenge directing a series in the “new normal.”
First, daily tapings are only limited to 12 hours.
Second, scenes are taped by “cluster,” which means that per location, an actor has to finish all his or her scenes for that day.
This means that there's no room for “tengga” or “stand by” or pahinga except when the next sequence has to be set up.
Since planning has never been this crucial, scripts until the last episode have to be finished, so the producers and directors can plan ahead which scenes to group and tape.
Direk Jojo elaborated, “Ibang-iba talaga iyong hirap na naranasan naming lahat as a family during lock-in taping.
“Clustering kasi iyong sequences, e, so kapag si Ruffa kunyari, ganoon, ang pahinga niya lang ay set-up ‘tapos change outfit na siya.
“Lahat ng artist, ganun, e. So talagang ang hirap, ‘tapos pa-a-aktingin mo pa na nabigay naman nila.”
Direk Andoy thanks the management of ABS-CBN for giving the series the chance to reach its finale.
He said, “We are so blessed that ABS has been very very supportive to us, especially during the lock-in taping.
“Also, I’m so glad that all these wonderful actors, hindi sila nagdamot sa talent na binigay nila given that situation, ha.
“Puwede na silang magreklamo, e. Puwede na silang magsabi ng, ‘Ano ba itong ginagawa natin? Bakit ang hirap?’
“Pero wala, they faced it head on, that’s why I salute all of them. Good job!”
Direk Jojo added, “Parang lahat ng ginawa during the finale week, binigay lang ang lahat ng mga artista.
“Thank you for the cast sa effort na nakagawa tayo ng ganitong programa sa ending.”
WHAT'S THE ENDING?
In the last two days of Love Thy Woman, the show’s love triangle: Jia (Kim), Dana (Yam), and David (Xian) have a tragic confrontation in the parking lot of Dragon Empire’s building.
Jia and Dana are sisters who got into a longstanding fight after Jia had an affair with David, Dana’s ex-husband.
Dana, who has not gotten over David yet, then threatens their lives, going as far as pointing a gun at them.
The confrontation ends with David getting shot, and professing his love for Jia.
But who shot David?
This is the cliffhanger given that the Wednesday episode shows a murderer who is trying to hunt down Dana and Jia.
THE MOST-WATCHED TV SHOW ON iWant DURING PANDEMIC
Love Thy Woman is the first teleserye to air its last episode after the shutdown of ABS-CBN.
Originally airing on ABS-CBN since February 10, 2020, the series had an airing break from March 23 to June 12, 2020, when Luzon was placed under lockdown.
In the middle of its airing break, on May 5, 2020, ABS-CBN stopped its broadcast operations after National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order following the expiration of the network’s congressional franchise.
Love Thy Woman—along with A Soldier’s Heart and FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano—resumed its run on TV, after ABS-CBN decided to cancel most of its entertainment programs because of the effects of the pandemic and the network shutdown.
Both Love Thy Woman and A Soldier’s Heart had more than four weeks worth of episodes prior to the suspension of tapings.
On June 1, 2020, the cast and staff of Love Thy Woman returned to work and shot fresh episodes in a lock-in taping.
On June 15, 2020, Love Thy Woman resumed its run on ABS-CBN’s cable channel, Kapamilya Channel.
After Congress killed the franchise of ABS-CBN, the network launched its online platform, Kapamilya Online Live, where some of its programs are being streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
Love Thy Woman became a success online and ranked as the most-watched TV show on ABS-CBN’s streaming platform, iWant (now called iWantTFC).
Its real-time viewers on Kapamilya Online Live also reached more than 50,000, its biggest number so far.