GMA Network, through its regional arm GMA Regional TV, kicked off the year in an energetic beat, participating in three of the grandest and merriest festivals in the Visayas region—the Ati-Atihan in Aklan, Sinulog in Cebu, and Dinagyang in Iloilo.
Attending these festivities were the brightest stars from GMA's new drama offerings The Borrowed Wife, Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw, Rhodora X, and Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw—with Kapuso Primetime King Dingdong Dantes leading the Kapuso contingent in both the Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang, and Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera, no less, for Sinulog.
ATI-ATIHAN. Dubbed the “Mother of all Philippine Festivals,” this year's festival in Kalibo, featured electrifying performances from Dingdong together with Rhodora X’s Jennylyn Mercado, Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, and Mark Anthony Fernandez during a Kapuso Night held at the jam-packed Pastrana Park, last January 14. The presence of the stars left around 15,000 supporters in awe.
Of the many times he’s been to Aklan, Dingdong revealed why this trip is different.
“Iba ngayon kasi I’m here for the Ati-Atihan Festival, which I think is the best reason to be here. It’s something different for me kasi alam ko na sa kabila ng mga nangyari [natural calamities], we also have to celebrate life.
"And itong Ati-Atihan Festival na ito is one of the ways kung paano natin maipapakita yung uniqueness ng province. That’s why I am grateful na nakasama ako dito."
The Kapuso Night was followed by the Pagdayaw kay Señor Sto. Niño "Sinaot sa Calle” float parade on January 15, featuring Kapuso stars Isabelle Daza, Thea Tolentino, and Andrea Torres, who were escorted by the Lakan It Kalibo 2014 winners. Joining them were Jeric Gonzales, JC Tiuseco, and Pancho Magno, who, in turn, ushered the Mutya It Kalibo winners during said parade.
At 7 PM of the same day, a sizzling Kapuso Hala Bira Dance Showdown ensued at Magsaysay Park, with Julian Trono as guest judge.
And on January 19, the live coverage of the pilgrims’ mass at the Kalibo Cathedral titled Señor Santo Niño de Kalibo Pilgrims’ Mass were aired on GMA Regional TV Stations, with a live streaming via GMA News Online.
SINULOG. Meanwhile in the Queen City of the South, successful back-to-back Kapuso mall shows took place on January 17, featuring the lovely pair of Kristoffer Martin and Kim Rodriguez from Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw and The Borrowed Wife’s Pauleen Luna, TJ Trinidad, Rafael Rosell, and Camille Prats at the Gaisano Grand Fiesta Mall Tabunok and at The Terraces of Ayala Center, respectively.
On January 18, Marian Rivera fulfilled her promise of returning to Cebu with her Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw leading man Alden Richards.
Joining them were Jennylyn, Mark, Yasmien, and Mark Anthony in both SM City Cebu and Gaisano Island Mall Mactan shows.
Apart from celebrating with the Cebuanos, Marian shared another reason for coming to the Sinulog Festival, “Iba pala ang mararamdaman mo kapag yung nakikita mo lang sa TV kaysa yung nakikita mo nang personal yung mga gusto mong tulungan.”
Along with GMA Network’s AVP/Head for RTV-IMS Oliver Victor Amoroso, GMA TV Central and Eastern Visayas Station Manager Ann Marie Tan, and Bantayan Island Association of Hotels, Resorts, Bars, and Restaurants Inc. President Allan Monreal, Marian signed a memorandum of agreement for the Kapuso Adopt-A-Bangka Project, which aims to rehabilitate and rebuild the bangka of those affected by super typhoon Yolanda in Northern Cebu.
The next day, January 19, Marian and Alden boarded the Kapuso float that toured the major streets of Cebu City for the Grand Sinulog Parade. That afternoon, dancing to the beat of Sinulog’s Pit Senyor were Jennylyn, Mark, and Yasmien.
DINAGYANG. Dingdong, Jennylyn, Mark, and Yasmien, together with Camille, TJ, and Rafael, raved the Kapuso fans in Iloilo.
On January 24, Jen, Mark, and Yasmien said hello to the Ilonggos in Robinsons Iloilo. The show seemed like a reunion a decade after all three won the maiden season of StarStruck.
And when Dingdong’s "Hinahanap-hanap Kita" number came up, everyone was on their toes screaming their hearts out.
Prior to the mall show, Dingdong participated in an outreach activity benefiting the students of Yusay Memorial Elementary School.
On January 25, Camille, TJ, and Rafael joined the vibrant Kasadyahan parade of the Ilonggos.
As they toured the major streets of the city, Camille and Rafael even danced Aling Maliit Ryzza Mae Dizon’s “Cha-Cha.”
The annual Ati Tribe Competition, the biggest contest of the festival, happened the next day, with Adarna lead actor Geoff Eigenmann and actress-host Isabelle Daza hosting the affair.
At 6 PM that day, SM City Iloilo witnessed Miss Saigon-bound Rachelle Ann Go’s singing prowess in a Kapuso mall show with Geoff.