TV Notes — ‘Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin’
A FEW GOOD MEN AND THE ETERNAL VILLAIN
By Pablo A. Tariman
When the noontime teleserye Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin (ILAI) ends January 26, TV viewers are likely to be left with a gallery of characters of a few good men and an eternal villain in Philippine television.
The saga of Gabriel Viloria (Gerald Anderson) who turns out to be Roman de la Vega’s (Michael de Mesa’s) son is a memorable profile of a son who survived against all odds. He is God-fearing, he loves his grandmother he fondly calls Lola Ganda (Gina Pareno) but he can be tough when pushed to the wall. “I have many things in common with my character, Gabriel,” said Gerald Anderson. “We share the same good family values, we are both athletic and we fight for what is right regardless of danger. I am proud to be part of this teleserye. I think we came up with a good product with the kind of big following we earned.”
Kim Chiu who plays Bianca has the same observation. “I am used to a life of struggle, I also lost my mother and I am very family-oriented. In that sense, Bianca and I are practically one and the same person. The teleserye also prodded me to be athletic and that’s one challenge I enjoyed working on.”
The really mean characters who stood out are Rigor Viloria (Daniel Fernando), his son Carlos (Jake Cuenca) and his wife, Isabel (Coleen Garcia).
Coleen says it was nice to be able to play someone mean but not so wicked and still be unpredictable. “I takes a lot of preparation because I have nothing in common with Isabel in real life. What I did was to recall people who don’t like me and when the camera started grinding, I become Isabel ready to get even with my detractors. The character has become an outlet for pent-up anger and I enjoyed it.”
Of course, Jake as Carlos de la Vega will always be remembered as the eternal villain.
Looking tough and villainous in this encounter, Jake says he has to be mean because that’s what is expected of him. “I am an actor. When being bad is what is called for, I gave it everything. When TV audiences started hating me, that’s an indication I played my part very well. I don’t act to get sympathy. Whether they love or hate me in the role, it doesn’t matter to me. Basically, I like the challenge of being bad. Not that I cannot play a good person. When that time comes, you will be surprised to see a sudden turn-around. Except that I don’t get that role anymore. But since I am in demand as a bad person, I can’t ask for more. When you are an actor, you just have to live up to the role. Even if you end up a national villain.”
Since the series started airing in May 2017, ILAI — directed by Dan Villegas and Onat Diaz — has captivated viewers nationwide with its consistent top rating.
It marked the screen reunion of Kim and Gerald who had equally good supporting cast namely Gina Pareno, Michael de Mesa, Dante Rivero, Nicco Manalo, Andrea Brillantes, and Grae Fernandez.
ILAI — aired in ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD (Sky Cable Channel 167)– ends January 26, 2018.