Rita Daniela and Ken Chan's Ang Dalawang Ikaw: Anatomy of psychological teleserye

by James Patrick Anarcon
Sep 10, 2021
Ang Dalawang Ikaw director Jorron Monroy on Rita Daniela and Ken Chan's intimate scenes in the show: "Uupo kaming tatlo so tatanungin nila, 'Direk, paano ba ito?’ Kasi di ba, magse-sex sila as a married couple. So medyo mas may character iyong love scenes nila sa series."
PHOTO/S: Ang Dalawang Ikaw (GMA-7)

The afternoon series, Ang Dalawang Ikaw, starring Ken Chan and Rita Daniela is coming to an end this Friday, September 10, after a 12-week run.

This series has definitely tested the acting chops of RitKen in their portayal of complex characters, a far cry from the usual tweetums vehicles for a love team.

In Ang Dalawang Ikaw, Rita and Ken play the married couple Mia and Nelson, whose relationship gets shaky when Nelson is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID).

According to U.S. academic medical center Cleveland Clinic, a person with DID “has multiple, distinct personalities,” and the identities can “control a person's behavior at different times.”

In the series, Nelson’s DID is triggered by a traumatic event and he now assumes the identity of Tyler, who completely leads a different life with his girlfriend Beatrice (Anna Vicente).

Conflict rises when Nelson is reunited with Mia, but Beatrice comes between them to claim the guy he loves.

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Ang Dalawang Ikaw

It has been a challenge for the show’s creative team to weave a story around a love triangle and at the same time create awareness about a mental condition.

In this exclusive interview, the creators of Ang Dalawang Ikaw details to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) the process of creating the characters of Nelson and Tyler, and presenting an accurate depiction of DID in the teleserye.

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CREATING KEN’S THREE IDENTITIES

According to director Jorron Monroy, he and Ken collaborated on the characterization of Ken’s three personalities: Nelson, Tyler, and Major Alberto.

Direk Jorron then presented the result of their colaboration to the show's medical consultant, Dra. Babes Arcena.

He relates, “Basically, doon sa characters, kami muna ni Ken ang bumubuo noong nuances.

"So, bubuuin muna namin iyong character creatively na parang for TV talaga.

“At saka namin ibabato ngayon kay Dr. Babes, Dr. Babes, 'Okay ba ito? Or is this too much of a creative license?’

“Kasi gusto namin na mag-stick sa kung ano talaga nangyayari kapag may DID ka—paano iyong mga proseso, paano iyong nuances.

"So iyong usapan lang natin ngayon iyong nuances ng character.

“Magtse-check lang kami ni Ken with Dr. Babes, ‘Okay ba siya? Is this really something that would happen in real life?’

"Kasi hindi rin sobrang common iyong DID, so ang daming púwedeng execution noon.

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“Hindi naman siya parang may listahan lang ito lang dapat, ito lang hindi.”

Ang Dalawang Ikaw

It was the same process when Direk Jorron and the writers would first write the scenes into the script before presenting the finished product to Dr. Babes.

The director continues, “So si Dr. Babes naman, ina-analyze lang niya kung itong taong ito ay may DID, ‘Puwede naman. Puwede niyang gawin talaga iyan.’ Gano’n.

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"So hindi naman siya strict talaga na ito lang na sinabi ni Dr. Babes. It’s the other way around. Kami muna iyong gagawa noong creative execution ‘tapos ibabato namin sa kanya, same with the writing team.

“Gagawa kami ng eksena sa script, [isusulat] nila then ibabato nila kay Dr. Babes na, O ito, paano ito doktora? Okay ba ito? Papasa ba siya sa medical field?’”

Ang Dalawang Ikaw

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THE WRITING PROCESS

In fact, the creative team has been consulting with Dr. Babes since the show's conceptualization phase.

Headwriter Obet Villela recounts, “Sa start pa lang, noong binubuo pa lang namin iyong kuwento after ma-approve, ‘tapos noong binigyan kami ng go signal na ituloy na siya, gawin na siyang show, nakatungtong na si doktora.

“Kasama na namin siya from day one para alam niya iyong flow noong kuwento, alam niya iyong mangyayari sa character lalo na sa main character—kay Nelson at kay Tyler—alam niya kung saan pupunta.

“Pati iyong mga scenes na mga naiisip namin, nakukunsulta kaagad namin sa kanya bago pa man para alam namin kahit kung totoo, totoo iyong mga sinusulat namin.”

Ang Dalawang Ikaw

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According to Obet, Dra. Babes has given them some leeway because the series is not a medical drama.

"Kapag basta feasible, papayagan niya kami. Basta puwedeng mangyari.”

Concept creator and writer Geng Delgado reasons there's room for creative freedom in fictionalizing a person with DID since the condition itself has not been fully explored scientifically.

She says, “Actually, mas malawak kasi siyang—mas lenient siyang sulatin kasi hindi pa siya totally explored.

“Ang utak kasi ng tao hindi pa talaga super explored. I don’t know, one percent pa lang ata sabi nila, parang gano’n.

“So parang ang dami mo siyang puwedeng gawan ng kuwento pero, siyempre, ikino-consult din namin kay doktora iyon kung puwede ba naming gawin ito.

“May mga eksena kasi kami na ginagawa na nag-o-occur sa loob lang ni Tyler na usually hindi naman namin talaga alam kung totoong nangyayari iyon.

“Pero dahil for purposes of drama and explanation na para mas maintindihan ng manonood, gagawin namin siya pero with consent of our doktora.”

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Rita Daniela and Ken Chan

Direk Jorron weighs in, “Parang kung nangyayari siya psychologically sa loob lang ng utak, I think as a director, creative license iyon.

“Kumbaga, iyong pag-explore talaga noong utak, imagination lang natin iyon kasi sabi nga ni Geng, hindi naman siya fully discovered.

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"And I think no one will ever fully discover the mind of a person kasi sobrang unique niya per person.

“Ang ikino-consult talaga namin is iyong mga physical aspect of mental health, like, for example, how do you handle a patient with DID?"

Citing an episode where Nelson is locked in a mental facility, Direk Jorron says it's when they need strict guidance from Dra. Babes.

“Kapagka ni-restraint mo siya sa loob ng mental facility, paano siya? Ano iyong gagamiting materyal na pangtali.

“Things like these iyong nag-stick kami sa kung ano iyong sasabihin ni doktora talaga kasi mas alam niya iyon.

"Pero when it comes to storytelling noong psychological aspect, walang makakapagsabi nun. Walang limits yun, di ba? Ayon.”

Ang Dalawang Ikaw

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Dra. Babes is a psychiatrist and has dealt with DID patients herself.

In one session with Dra. Babes, in fact, a patient had switched to his alter-ego before her eyes.

She also happens to be a writer hersef and her advice to the show's writing team, "Just write then later on I will tell you what our limitations are.’

“Because for me also, when I was writing, I don’t want na may nagha-hamper sa gusto mong kuwento.

"Although, in some twists and turns of the story, they would tell me, ‘Doktora, passable ba ito?’ Then I would guide them, I would tell them.

“Ang maganda lang sa amin talaga, we have this kind of harmonious relationship wherein we try to make things really believable, scientifically connected, and with the genuine concept of what a patient feels.

“So ang gagaling ng team, ang galing ni direk. There was one point where I really insisted, Direk, hindi púwede iyong chain. Hindi puwede iyan. Maba-bash tayo.’

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“Or I make okray pa nga sa mga nakalagay doon sa walls na hindi puwede ganito, I have to direct some things.

“But for me, it’s just natural for me. And direk and our writers, hats off talaga ako sa kanila. They did well.”

Ken Chan

casting ritken

For Ang Dalawang Ikaw, the story came first before the artists.

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This was the reason why adjustments had to be made when Rita and Ken were cast in the show.

Rita Daniela and Ken Chan

Obet explains, “Noong na-cast iyong RitKen, we adjusted the story para mas bumagay sa kanila, sa actors, na itine-take into consideration namin iyong relationship nilang dalawa, iyong mga past shows nila.

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“’Tapos pareho silang… we treat them both as lead. Sa initial drop kasi ng kuwento, sa unang version ng kuwento, it was in the point of view ng babae.

“POV ng female lead so sa kanya umiikot yung kuwento, iyong discovery ng DID ng asawa niya na may ibang babae.

”Pero noong na-cast si Rita at saka si Ken, naisip namin na dapat POV nilang dalawa kasi magaling sila parehong artista at sila iyong bida talaga.

“So ganoon ang itinakbo noong kuwento namin. So we adjusted the story para mas mapaganda pa siya, para bumagay siya sa mga bida."

RitKen

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In the end, everyone that was to be part of the show—the cast, crew, and creative team—was getting high on the idea of doing the series.

Direk Jorron recalls, “Nag-enjoy lang siguro talaga lahat na gawin iyong story kasi sobrang kakaiba siya.

“Nito nga, sinabi ko ito kay Geng...sobrang gandang-ganda ako doon sa konsepto niya na this the first time na nagpi-preview ako ng series na ginawa ko na nagbi-binge watch ako.

“Alam mo iyon, parang hindi ako nagku-comment, parang hindi ako nagtatrabaho.

"Pinapanood ko lang, gusto ko lang panoorin iyong story. So feeling ko ganoon lang din naman with Rita and Ken and the entire team.

"Na hindi naman siya pressure na follow-up ito noong love team because it was written naman, iyong concept, hindi naman siya naka-focus doon sa RitKen, di ba?

“Nabuo iyong concept, na-cast iyong RitKen, it so happened na iyon iyong nag-merge na may RitKen ka and then meron ka nitong magandang story.”

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RitKen

RITKEN ON DOING LOVE SCENES

The viewers of Ang Dalawang Ikaw have seen a more mature Rita and Ken in their roles as a married couple, which are a total departure from their characters Aubrey and Boyet in their past series, My Special Tatay.

Direk Jorron recalls how he and the RitKen love team collaborated to make the scenes more effective.

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He shares, "Iyon iyong naging consideration namin noong pinag-uusapan namin ni Ken at saka ni Rita.

"Ganoon kami, uupo kaming tatlo so tatanungin nila, 'Direk, paano ba ito?’ Kasi di ba, magse-sex sila as a married couple.

"So that’s very different from, for example, si Aubrey at saka si Boyet kasi siyempre meron siyang condition na para siyang bata. So iba iyon.

"Iba iyong dynamics noon. Iba itong two consenting adults na married couple. So medyo mas may character iyong love scenes nila sa series."

RitKen

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Of course, the safety protocols were considered during the taping of the love scenes.

According to Direk Jorron, "Kung hindi naman siya nire-require ng eksena na talagang maghalikan sila or yakapan, we tried to avoid.

"Pero nakakaganda kasi siya noong storytelling kapag nakita mo iyong totoo.

"Kasi sa totoong buhay naman kahit pandemic iyong mag-asawa intimate sila sa isa’t-isa.

"So we just had to have the consent of the actors na i-execute natin siya para maka-relate iyong viewers namin.

"And, fortunately, iyong actors naman natin talagang yung passion nila nandoon, iyong puso nila nandoon sa project.

"Kitang-kita mo na sila pa mismo mag-o-offer na baka dapat mas intimate pa kasi para mas totoo, mas maintindihan pa nung mga tao iyong eksena. Ganoon namin siya ni-work around."

RitKen

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ANG DALAWANG IKAW FINALE

Now that Ang Dalawang Ikaw has come to an end after 12 weeks on TV, the viewers, especially those who have watched it since the pilot episode, should tune in to the finale.

Direk Jorron is proud to say, “Sobrang solid talaga noong storytelling noong series na ito. 'Tapos iyong finale kasi nito, iyong final sequence, ni-request ko iyon sa mga writers na iyon iyong maging ending.

“So I think abangan nila iyon kasi that will shake everything up. Parang iyon iyong naging ending noong story na ito. Pero ma-appreciate nila kapag sinubaybayan nila.”

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Ang Dalawang Ikaw director Jorron Monroy on Rita Daniela and Ken Chan's intimate scenes in the show: "Uupo kaming tatlo so tatanungin nila, 'Direk, paano ba ito?’ Kasi di ba, magse-sex sila as a married couple. So medyo mas may character iyong love scenes nila sa series."
PHOTO/S: Ang Dalawang Ikaw (GMA-7)
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