Over the last few years, TV networks have been exploring different milieus and settings for their ever-evolving landscape of teleseryes.
When before, the choice of locations was confined only to buildings and private homes, now more and more teleseryes are being shot in far-flung places in the country.
In fact, there have been shows that were largely, if not entirely, set in scenic provincial locations.m
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) takes a look back at the 10 teleseryes of ABS-CBN and GMA-7 that showcased the beauty of the Philippines.
Location: Tuba, Benguet
The series revolves around the love story of Agnes (Liza), a daughter of a strawberry farmer in La Presa, and Xander (Enrique Gil), an heir of a hotel magnate. They cross paths wnen Xander who is base jumping crashes into the strawberries that are loaded in Agnes’s open truck. Xander is then forced to work on the strawberry farm of Agnes's family to pay for the damages.
Forevermore also had sequences taken in Metro Manila, especially during its book two showing.
Forevermore, where the popular catchphrase “walang forever” originated, ran from October 2014 to May 2015.
DESTINED TO BE YOURS (GMA-7)
Shown in 2017, the series’ first few weeks was shot in Quezon, the location of the fictional town Pelangi, the milieu of Destined To Be Yours.
The show's synopsis: Sinag (Maine), a radio DJ, meets Benjie (Alden), an architect assigned for a project in Pelangi. The two develop a sweet bond that turns sour when Sinag learns that Benjie, a womanizer, has been stringing her all along.
Destined To Be Yours, dubbed as one of GMA-7’s most-anticipated projects of the Kapuso network in 2017, ran for 13 weeks from February to May 2017.
THE STORY OF US (ABS-CBN)
In 2016, real-life couple Kim Chiu and Xian Lim headlined the prime-time series The Story Of Us.
It tells the story of Tin (Kim) and Macoy (Xian), childhood sweethearts in El Nido, Palawan, who both grow up dreaming of finding fortune elsewhere to improve the lives of their loved ones. Different opportunities eventually separate them, with Tin going to the United States with her mother (Zsa Zsa Padilla).
The KimXi love team also went to the United States to shoot some scenes, with former Filipino actors Princess Punzalan, Leandro Munoz, and Carlo Munoz—who are now based in the U.S.—doing cameo roles in the teleserye.
The Story of Us ran for 16 weeks from March to June 2016.
THE BETTER WOMAN (GMA-7)
Location: La Union
The Better Woman tells the story of twins Jasmine and Juliet (Andrea), who were separated at birth. Jasmine grows up to be a beautiful girl, builds her own family with Andrew (Derek), and together they establish a surfing resort in La Union. On the other hand, Juliet grows up as Elaine, a stripper in the club. Juliet later reunites with Jasmine, lives in their house, and soon gets entangled in an illicit affair with Andrew.
The Better Woman, shown in 2019, ran for one season or 13 weeks on GMA Telebabad. It was in the series where Andrea and Derek’s romance blossomed.
However, in November 2020, Andrea and Derek broke up.
In 2017, Maja Salvador led the early prime-time series Wildflower. Originally slated to air in ABS-CBN’s afternoon block, the network decided to air it in the 6:00 p.m. slot.
It tells the story of Lily Cruz (Maja), a vengeful woman seeking justice for the cruelty of the powerful family of the Ardientes.
She returns to Poblacion Ardiente as Ivy Aguas to exact her revenge against the town’s governor, Julio Ardiente (Tirso Cruz III), and his daughter, Emilia Ardiente (Aiko Melendez).
The fictional town of Poblacion Ardiente was set in Tanay, Rizal, while the show’s iconic wide shot of windmills during its pilot and finale episode was taken in Pililia, Rizal.
Wildflower was such a success in terms of ratings and social media engagement that it ran for 52 weeks, or exactly one year, from February 2017 to February 2018.
ANAK NI WARAY VS. ANAK NI BIDAY (GMA-7)
Location: Leyte and Ilocos
Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday was a remake of the 1984 movie top-billed by Maricel Soriano and Snooky Serna. The GMA-7’s 2020 version starred Barbie Forteza and Kate Valdez, with Snooky and Dina Bonnevie playing the mothers, respectively, of Barbie and Kate.
Most of the scenes in Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday were set in Paoay, Leyte, and in Ilocos.
The series stopped taping in March 2020 when all of Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine.
In October 2020, the principal photography resumed, and the cast had a lock-in taping at Camp Benjamin in Cavite.
Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday is expected to air again before the year ends.
THE GREATEST LOVE (ABS-CBN)
Location: Quirino / Bulacan
ABS-CBN’s 2016 afternoon series, The Greatest Love, was top-billed by Sylvia Sanchez, Dimples Romana, Andi Eigenmann, and Joshua Garcia. It tells the story of Gloria (Sylvia), a mother who tries to makes amends with her children after secrets about their family are revealed. This becomes a challenge for her when she is stricken with Alzheimer’s Disease.
The series was shot in two provinces.
Most of the show’s flashback scenes were shot in Bagong Ilog, Quirino, while Gloria’s house was located in San Miguel, Bulacan.
INDAY WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU (GMA-7)
Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, Inday Will Always Love You tells the story of Happylou (Barbie Forteza), a young woman who moves to Cebu to find work and fend for the needs of her family. While working in a lechon shop, she meets Patrick (Derrick Monasterio), a heartthrob who is a member of an influential family in Cebu.
Most of Inday Will Always Love You’s sequences were shot in Cebu, showing the city's famous Sinulog Festival and Magellan’s Cross.
Originally slated to run for 13 weeks, Inday Will Always Love You registered high ratings that it was extended for another season, and ran from June to October 2018.
NASAAN KA NANG KAILANGAN KITA (ABS-CBN)
Location: Itogon, Benguet
Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita is a remake of the 1986 film starring Susan Roces, Hilda Koronel, Snooky Serna, Janice de Belen, Richard Gomez, Aga Muhlach and Eddie Garcia, directed by Mel Chionglo and written by Ricky Lee.
In 2014, ABS-CBN bought the rights of the movie with Vina Morales, Christian Vazquez, and Denise Laurel in the lead roles, together with Jane Oineza, Loisa Andalio, Jerome Ponce, and Joshua Garcia.
The series tells the story of Cecilia (Vina), a mother who discovers that her husband, (Christian) is having an affair with his student, Toni (Denise). Cecilia decides to evict her husband out of their house, with her children (Jane and Loisa) growing up fatherless. It all brings back to Cecilia the pain of her bitter past when her father abandoned her and her mother.
Principal photography for the pilot week, when the back story of Cecilia was shown, started in late 2014 in Itogon, Benguet, with Ina Raymundo, Dominic Ochoa, McCoy de Leon, and Sue Ramirez.
Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita premiered on ABS-CBN’s afternoon block in January 2015 and ended with a three-season run in October 2015.
Vina and the rest of the cast returned to Itogon for the show’s finale week.
I HEART DAVAO (GMA-7)
In 2017, GMA News and Public Affairs produced a mini-series titled I Heart Davao, featuring real-life couple Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez.
I Heart Davao, naturally, was shot entirely in Davao.
It tells the story of Hope (Carla), a heart transplant survivor who decides to settle in Davao to manage her family’s chocolate business. She crosses paths with Ponce (Tom), who will eventually become her business partner.
Apart from their cat-and-dog relationship, which comes to a head when Hope discovers that her new heart once belonged to Ponce’s deceased fiancé, an organ donor.
I Heart Davao, being a mini-series, only ran for eight weeks from June to August 2017 on GMA Telebabad. Still, several episodes of the series were able to defeat the show's rival program, A Love To Last, in the ratings game.