Local "Betty La Fea" provides comedy starting September 8

by Nerisa Almo
Sep 4, 2008
"Unang tingin ko sa salamin bilang Betty, ang nasabi ko, ‘I am Betty-ful!' Ganun ang nasa isip ko," says Bea Alonzo when asked about her reaction upon seeing herself transform into a nerdy-looking Betty La Fea. In the ABS-CBN teleserye I Love Betty La Fea, she is paired with John Lloyd Cruz, who plays Armando Solis.


Start to feel "Bettyful" as the Philippine adaptation of the world renowned TV series Betty La Fea starts airing on ABS-CBN this Monday, September 8.

In this series, Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz, will be seen every night not to provide drama but to make viewers laugh for the first time as Betty and Armando.

Since they are both known as dramatic actors, both of them agreed that starring in this comedy show is a big challenge for them.

In fact, during the show's press conference, Bea tells the media, "Unang-unang sumagi sa isip ko, akala ko mahihirapan ako, e, kasi this is a different character, this is a different world for me kasi world ng komedya. Hindi naman nagpapatawa lang katulad nga ng sinabi kanina, situational ang pagpapatawa dito ng Betty. So, alam ko na mahihirapan ako at nacha-challenge ako noong una kong nakita ang sarili ko as Betty."

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John Lloyd, on the other hand, was glad to know that after Maging Sino Ka Man, he will paired with Bea again. He pointed out that the timing is just right since fans have been clamoring for them to appear in another project.

He says, "Dati, sabi ko nga even before One More Chance, ang talagang plano, medyo maghiwalay muna kami ni Bea. Pero kailangan namin ng sustaining, may it be on TV or sa film. Nagkataon lang na nangyari siya sa TV. Hindi rin naman kasi pwedeng hayaan or pabayaan na lang 'yong mga hinihingi ng mga sumusuporta sa amin. Hindi namin dine-disregard 'yong kasi they matter to us sobra-sobra na kailangan din naming pagbigyan."

COLUMBIAN VERSION. I Love Betty La Fea will surely bring laughter to the audience as they follow the original story of the Columbian comedy series titled Yo Soy, Betty La Fea (2001).

In fact, according to ABS-CBN business unit head Deo Endrinal, when they bought the rights from the creators of the original Betty La Fea, they were required to create a set that is similar to the Columbian version.

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"The entire payment for the rights to Columbia and the office alone cost about P40 million—just to build this [set] and the rights, excluding the production of the show on a weekly basis. Kasi po requirement namin na magtayo ng opisina similar to what they've done all over the world," Deo tells the media.

Betty La Fea has been adapted over than a dozen times already in different countries such as India, Indonesia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Malysia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Italy, and China. In the United States, there is Ugly Betty, which is also shown locally on Studio 23.

In all of these countries, the Betty La Fea storyline is modified to fit the culture of the country where it will be aired. Erik Salud, who co-directs I Love Betty La Fea with Don Cuaresma, said that they had to change the character of Daniel Valencia, one of the antagonists in the show, to a female character (Daniella Valencia) to be played by Ruffa Gutierrez.

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He explains, "Sa Columbia po lalaki po ang kapatid ni Marcella [si Daniel]. Ginawa lang po naming babae kasi sa Philippine setting hindi naman tayo sanay na ang kontrabida ay lalaki. Ginawa naming babae para mas swak po dito sa atin."

However, Ruffa says that she will not be the usual fiery villainess in this comedy series. "Ang pagiging kontrabida ko dito, sana naman gayahin nga at mahalin because hindi naman ako 'yong kontrabidang nananampal or nananabunot, hindi ko naman tinutusok ang mga mata ni Bea [Alonzo]. Talagang kinaiinisan ko lang siya kasi gusto kong maging presidente ng Eco Moda and Betty [Bea] is getting in my way sa paghihiganti ko kay Armando. So, gusto ko siyang mawala sa buhay ko."

For the other cast members, how were they chosen?

"Most of the cast po really went to a go-see," answers Mr. Endrinal. "We contacted most of our existing managers. We had a two-day go-see wherein most of the stars were asked to portray several roles. Doon po, pinili na namin with the help of Direk Jerry Sineneng kasi at that time, si Direk Jerry ang supposedly magdidirek."

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Then, he reiterates that Bea and John Lloyd are their first choice for the role of Betty and Armando. "They've been the first choice to play the role of Betty and Armando from the very beginning. It was just really a matter of timing—when to do the project, when to announce the completion of the cast. But from the very beginning, they were really our first choice."

I Love Betty La Fea will also feature the comedic skills of Vhong Navarro, who will play the role of Betty's best friend named Nicolas Mora. He will be joined by veteran comedian Rolando Valdez as Hermes Pengson, the father of Betty; and Philippine Comedy Queen Ai-Ai delas Alas as Julia Pengson, the mother of Betty. Sam Concepcion is cast as Betty's younger brother named Andrew.

Other cast members are Megan Young, Meryll Soriano, Sheryn Regis, and Wendy Valdez. The show will also have Joem Bascon, Thou Reyes, Ronnie Liang, and Jojo Alejar.

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Be ready to laugh and be entertained by these people inside the advertising agency, Eco Moda Manila, starting Monday, September 8, on ABS-CBN. I Love Betty La Fea will air right after Iisa Pa Lamang.


Click HERE to view photos of I Love Betty La Fea cast members.

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"Unang tingin ko sa salamin bilang Betty, ang nasabi ko, ‘I am Betty-ful!' Ganun ang nasa isip ko," says Bea Alonzo when asked about her reaction upon seeing herself transform into a nerdy-looking Betty La Fea. In the ABS-CBN teleserye I Love Betty La Fea, she is paired with John Lloyd Cruz, who plays Armando Solis.
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