Director Frasco Mortiz said that network rivalry is not a deciding factor in the brainstorming sessions of the creative team behind the ABS-CBN primetime series A Love To Last.
A Love To Last’s current rival show in GMA-7 is My Korean Jagiya, which stars Heart Evangelista and Korean celebrity Alexander Lee.
The Bea Alonzo-Ian Veneracion starrer was also pitted against the now defunct Kapuso series I Heart Davao and Meant To Be.
The A Love To Last Unit 2 director explained: “Mas internal. Ewan ko kung ako lang yun…
“Pag nagmi-meeting kami, wala naman kaming, ‘Ito yung ginagawa sa kabila, dapat ganito tayo.’ Wala naman kaming ganun.
“Mostly for the show ang comments namin.
“Slice of life, e. We have to stay true to the core of the show.
“May conflict man, ang basis kailangan maniniwala ka sa panggagalingang conflict ng dalawa.
“Hindi puwedeng out of the blue mag-introduce ka ng ganito, ganyan…
“Hindi yung ay nilagyan lang nila ng ganyang kwento para humaba.
Direk Frasco’s exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) happened after the presscon for A Love To Last, which was held at 9501 Restaurant in ABS-CBN compound.
INTERNAL CONSIDERATIONS. In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Direk Frasco pointed out that the creative input from ABS-CBN management had more to do with sustaining viewership from other Kapamilya primetime shows preceding A Love To Last.
In ABS-CBN’s primetime TV lineup, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano owns the first slot, La Luna Sangre gets the second slot, and A Love To Last takes the third slot.
Note that on its first two weeks of airing, A Love To Last was given the second slot on Kapamilya primetime block, but it got bumped off to a later timeslot.
At the time, the second slot was given to the now-defunct series My Dear Heart.
Direk Frasco continued, “Ang pinanggalingan kasi namin before My Dear Heart, na hindi siya ganun ka-heavy.
“Ngayon La Luna Sangre na ang pinanggalingan. Sobrang taas ng show. I mean, adrenaline rush siya pag pinapanood, e.
“May effort din in a way… Siyempre, the management would say, ‘Sana ma-sustain yung viewers na 'wag bumitaw.’
“Aminado naman siyempre na iba yung viewers ng La Luna sa Ang Probinsyano, iba rin yung viewers namin sa La Luna.
“’Sana may ma-capture kayong audience from La Luna,’ yun ang advice ng management.”
MIXING ROMANCE AND DRAMA. According to Direk Frasco, the brainstorming sessions among the creative team of A Love To Last’s can be daunting and challenging at the same time.
“Paano mo papantayan ‘yan, e, napaka-light ng show," he continued, referring to La Luna Sangre.
“Yun ang effort ng writers na mag-inject tayo ng kaunting tension or conflict para medyo mataas [yung emosyon].
“Nahati ngayon ang audience—may iba nagsasabi, ‘Ano ba ‘yan, lagi na lang nagbabangayan yung TonDeng.’
“May fans na nagsasabi, ‘Hindi, kailangan ‘yan para umusad yung kuwento. Hindi naman puwedeng puro kilig lang every day.’
“Yung balansehin sa gitna, yun ang mahirap hanapin.”
TonDeng refers to the love team of Ian Veneracion and Bea Alonzo, which is culled from the name of their respective characters Anton and Andeng.
Interestingly, ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer Charo Santos-Concio gave her thumbs-up to A Love To Last’s slice-of-life story about the troubles that Anton and Andeng are facing as newlyweds.
Direk Frasco revealed, “Sina Ma’am Charo nagbibigay ng info. She once said, ‘It happens talaga in real life. I have friends who are married to men na mayroong ex-wife.’
“So ayun, talagang binabalanse lang namin yung story na maging believable siya, maging logical.
“At saka, ‘wag sana maging typical soap na andaming nangyayaring masama tapos saka ka lang makakahinga.
“Sana yung pinanggalingang conflicts ng characters is love pa rin.
“Halimbawa, si Andeng, ‘How do I fit in sa family ng husband ko? How can I be a second mom to the kids? Saan ako lulugar?’
“So, very relatable siya. Dun kami umiikot.”
EXTENSION? Now that A Love To Last will end on September 22, Direk Frasco explained why the show’s creative team decided not to extend the Ian-Bea starrer beyond October 2017.
“When I entered the show, eighth week pa lang ng script…
“When I asked them how long was it going to run, hanggang October talaga yung peg…
“Hindi ko sure nung una na hanggang 2018 dapat siya. Pero feeling ko may effort na, ‘Uy, try natin i-extend up to next year kung saan dadalhin yung kuwento.’
“Pero the way na tumatakbo yung story, parang feeling ko, parang hindi mo siya ma-extend in a way na mapi-please mo yung viewers enough na ma-sustain yung manonood sila.”
The director added that they wanted to stay true to the story of Andeng and Anton, who fell in love and got married even though he has three kids and has a jealous ex-wife (played by Iza Calzado).
“Feeling ko sakto lang ‘to na magtapos ka ng ganitong panahon.
“Kasi pag sinobrahan pa siya, yung ruta ng kuwento either magiging soap ka na, magiging kontrabida talaga si Iza, baka ma-exhaust mo lahat ng device na puwede sa show.
“So, napag-agreehan ng writers and the management na, ‘Ito yung mga options natin. Sana we stay true to how we started.’
“Kaya parang ganon lang sana, mag-end tayo on a light note, hindi yung mabigat na mabigat na serye.”
What should the viewers watch for in A Love To Last’s last two weeks?
“We’re trying na baka naman si Anton pag may pinagselosan, may ibang anggulo naman.
“We’re exploring that for the latter part in the show,” disclosed Frasco who is the son of actor-turned-director Edgar Mortiz.
In the show, Anton's ex-wife Grace, played by Iza Calzado, has grown more envious of Andeng.
On the other hand, Andeng has a brewing friendship with the dashing Richard, played by Daniel Matsunaga.
How will these latest developments affect the married life of Andeng and Anton? That's something viewers can look forward to before A Love To Last airs its finale episode on September 22, 2017.