May Bukas Pa, the leading primetimeseries on Philippine television according to the Taylor Nelson Sofresnationwide survey results, has marked its fourth season on ABS-CBN. On July 20, 2009, the primetime show posted its highest rating of 42.7 percent based on overnight ratings of TNS among national households.
Its lead character, child star Zaijian Jaranilla portrays Santino, Bro's instrument in performing miracles. Week after week, Zaijian teams up with the biggest stars of the Kapamilya Network in order to present inspiring stories that fill otherpeople with faith and hope.
"We're very thankful, kasioriginally when we started out, this is supposed to be an eight-week fillershow for primetime. Tapos ngayon na we're extended, we're on our fourth season,so we're really, really happy. Pang-six months na namin," enthused Direk Jerry Pobocan.
He added: "So we're really,really happy because gustung-gusto kami ng manonood, at nafulfill namin yunggoal namin to come up with a show that is inspirational, aspirational, and atthe same time, something that will bridge the faith of the Filipino people.Yung faith kay God na despite the crisis, meron tayong makakapitan."
May Bukas Pa revolves around the life of an innocent boy, Santino, who has been brought up in an orphanage under the tutelage of priests.
How did they maintain their strong hold on the ratings despite the stiff competition with other primetime soapson television?
Direk Jerry speculated that perhaps the ongoing slowdown of the economy has prompted people to look for sources of optimism and hope. "Dahil ang mga tao, e, nababalutan ng hirap, ng gulo, kailangan nilang humanap nginspirasyon, ng kakapitan sa mga oras ng pangangailangan."
"Ang aral lang naman napinapakita namin lagi is, laging may bukas pa, laging may hope. Don't give upbecause we have God, we have Jesus who will guide us."
"Lahat kami, from the cast, sastaff, crew, directors, the creative writers, and even the management of ABS-CBN,when this was conceptualized, we really wanted to come out with a show that isgoing to promote hope and faith."
Every week, MayBukas Pa features different artists with different stories. How did theymake it a hit?
"Well, basically it's becausemay opportunity yung show namin na ganun. Because it's a story of a little boyand how he touches the lives of people around him, how he helps other people nahindi kailangan, sabi nga dun sa show, pag may taong nangangailangan na lumapitsa 'yo, kailangan tulungan mo. Hindi siya namimili ng taong tinutulungan. Thatalone, that is a very ideal instance in dealing interpersonal relationshipswith other people."
"Katulad minsan, yung kayMaricar Reyes na episode, mga taong grasa, mga taong lalagpasan lang natin,pero may istorya yang mga taong yan. We have to see beyond what is thephysical. Hindi lang isang taong grasa yan. Sa likod ng taong grasang yan, mayisang tao na nahirapan at kailangan ng tulong. So yun, yun yung opportunitynamin na magpakita ng iba't ibang artista."
In the span of six months,actors such as Ms. Susan Roces, Lorna Tolentino, Claudine Barretto, Ai-Ai delasAlas, Gabby Concepcion, Christopher de Leon, KC Concepcion, Toni Gonzaga, JohnEstrada, Anne Curtis, Cristine Reyes, Maricar Reyes, Gardo Versoza, JohnnyDelgado, Robert Arevalo, Dante Rivero, Boots Anson-Roa and Vhong Navarro alreadyparticipated and graced the show.
"Per guest, merong istorya whichis what I believe in, nagiging interesting sa May Bukas Pa dahil hindika nakakahon sa isang istorya. May isa kang istoryang tumatakbo, ang istorya niSantino pero ang istorya ni Santino ay nakabase kung ilang tao ang natutulunganniya at kung sinu-sino at kung pano niya tinutulungan, kung paano nabubuo yungpagkatao niya," Direk Jerry explained.
Direk Jerry revealed how doing the show affected his own well-being.
"Nasa spiritual aspect ng buhayko. So, sabi ko, ‘to do something that will be inspirational to my viewers wouldbe very, very uplifting for me.' So, sabi ko, ‘Lord, thank you!' Napakasarap ngpakiramdam na yung pinaghirapan mo, kasi naaappreciate ng manunuod at tatakbopa ng isang taon. Parang bihira na yung ganung pagkakataon ngayon, e."
"It's a gift from God. Ourcast, staffs and crew, nakapagbond na kami ng husto, para talaga kaming isangpamilya. So we are really thankful nabigyan kami ng trabaho, pero aside fromthat, from the bottom of our hearts, we're thankful that we're doing somethingna makabuluhan. Something that is inspirational, something that little childrencan watch, relate, and learn from."
As a way of thanking avidviewers of the program, this ABS-CBN primetime series will soon feature the King of Comedy, Dolphy.
May Bukas Pa airs weeknights right after TV Patrolon ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.