It’s been a few days already since ABS-CBN’s hit primetime series On The Wings Of Love (OTWOL) had its “final flight.”
OTWOL aired its final episode last Friday, February 26. This romantic-comedy drama series gave viewers feels as they watched the journey of Clark (James Reid) and Leah (Nadine Lustre).
In an interview for a behind-the-scenes feature of ABS-CBN, James and Nadine admitted that they were nervous about taking on their first huge project for the Kapamilya network. At the same time, they were also excited for this project.
James said, “I was nervous kasi ito ang unang full-length teleserye namin ni Nadine. So, it’s make or break.
Nadine, for her part, added, “I was excited kasi nga ang haba nung tatakbuhin nung story so parang it’s a longer journey than sa mga journeys na ginawa namin sa movie.”
After being part of this Kapamilya show, the JaDine love team is slated to topbill an upcoming movie titled This Time.
(Read: James Reid and Nadine Lustre to star in summer kilig movie This Time)
THE CONCEPT. What most fans of the show don’t know is that the concept of OTWOL came from the experiences of Kapamilya star Coco Martin.
Coco said, “Nabuo yung konsepto ng On The Wings Of Love, kinuwento ko ‘yan dahil yung experience ko nung nag-OFW ako sa Canada. And then, kung ano yung hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga OFW.”
Coco wasn’t able to take part in the project since he was playing SPO1 Ricardo "Cardo" Dalisay in the TV remake of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.
The original concept was to do a movie featuring mother and son played by Superstar Nora Aunor and Coco.
Rondel Lindayag, creator of the series, pointed out, “Movie talaga siya ni Coco and ni Nora Aunor. Sa ayun, parang nag-brainstorm kami nila Dindo ‘tapos nabuo naming yung concept with Nora.
“And that time, mother and ano ‘yan, e. Ang role ni Coco ay yung role ni Nadine.
“Yung role ni Nora, e, yung role ni James. So, dun siya nagsimula.”
However, Nora was doing several other projects, which is why the movie with Coco didn’t materialize. The producers and Coco thought about tweaking Nora’s supposed role and choosing other actresses.
Their first two picks were Judy Ann Santos and Sarah Geronimo.
Coco recounted, “Kaso, nagkataon na medyo busy siya sa mga oras na yun, hindi kami nagtagpo. Why not, ibahin natin yung casting… ang ginawa namin nun, si Ms. Judy Ann Santos.
“And then, nagkaproblema naman kami sa schedule ni Ate Juday. Tapos si Sarah Geronimo sana para gawin na naming soap opera. Tapos nagkataon naman nun na naging busy rin si Sarah.”
Rondel added, “So hanggang sa nandidiyan na, nagpapahinga lang yung concept. Until nung dumating na si Jadine, parang perfect fit.”
Benedict Mique, headwriter of the show, felt the pressure of bring something new to the table considering Jadine’s film success before the TV project.
He said, “And when we were making it, malaki yung expectations kasi Jadine, e, meron nang dinadalang success 'yan, e. At the same time, ang hirap nung concept kasi unconventional.
“And yun din yung challenge before pa, nila Sir Deo [Edrinal]. Sabi nila, gusto nila kakaiba.”
Film and TV director Antoinette Jadaone also felt the chemistry of James and Nadine while they were shooting in San Francisco, California.
Direk Tonette said, “San Francisco kasi maraming Pinoy dun so yung story ni Leah as OFW, nagyayari talaga sa isang taga-San Francisco.
“From the start, may chemistry talaga sila na nae-exude, e. Meron silang certain bond na sila lang yung nakakaintindi.”
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Both Nadine and James are grateful to the Kapamilya network and Dreamscape Productions for trusting them with a huge project.
James said, “They gave us such a huge project and they’re willing to send us to San Francisco, and then shoot overseas. They believed in Jadine.”
Nadine added, “I had a good feeling na it’s gonna be a great show, na we’re all gonna do good.”
James and Nadine recounted their first time experience as they started shooting in San Francisco for a TV project.
Nadine recalled, “The first time that we came to San Francisco, medyo weird feeling kasi I’m not used to shooting sa ibang bansa. Hindi lahat nabibigyan ng ganung opportunity abroad.”
James related, “We’re shooting in America and people were looking at us and they like, ‘Are they Hollywood actors or something like that?’ So, the feeling is incredible.”