THIS week saw the much-talked about TV adaptation of Regal Film’s 1984 blockbuster “Anak Ni Waray Vs. Anak Ni Biday” from the creative team of GMA Network.

Snooky Serna is the Waray mom to Forteza, while Dina Bonnevie is Biday to Valdez. Both ‘80s stars, Serna, who was part of the original movie, and Bonnevie say one reason why they accepted the TV roles is the chance to work with each other again. | GMA photo

Headlining this story of a most sensational rivalry between friends-turned-mortal enemies are two of the network’s brightest stars, Kapuso Primetime Princess Barbie Forteza as Ginalyn and promising young Kapuso actress Kate Valdez as Caitlyn. The drama also highlights famous tourist destinations from the provinces of Leyte and Ilocos namely the iconic San Juanico Bridge and the thrilling Paoay Sand Dunes, given how Ginalyn and Caitlyn hail from two different regions.

Forteza shared at the prime time series’ media launch last week how she took classes to learn the Waray dialect but that she mostly enjoyed immersing herself into Leyte’s culture.

Tinuro sa amin how they live, kung papaano sila magtrabaho para sa family nila. Nakakatuwa kasi parehas na may strong personality ang mga taga-Leyte at Ilocos. Ang sarap gampanan ng role ko kasi very empowering siya especially sa mga kababaihan. Kilala ang mga Waray na palaban at hindi papatalo.

Valdez said on the other hand she is happy to work with Forteza for the first time in this soap.

“Actually noong workshop pa lang, sobrang ramdam ko na very warm si Barbie. Naramdaman ko ‘yung care niya sa akin as an ate. Kaya excited ako na maka-work ko pa siya sa maraming eksena,” she shared.

Meanwhile, the drama also introduces the exciting reunion of seasoned actresses Snooky Serna as Amy and Dina Bonnevie as Sussie in their most colorful roles yet.

Serna, who portrayed the role of Biday’s daughter in the original film, noted what makes the TV adaptation different from the 1984 original.

“‘Yung version namin ngayon, they’ve put a little bit more drama in it. It’s not a complete copy of the original story. They’ve given it a different twist altogether so we have a different story. Ang pareha lang ay sina Waray at Biday, perennially mortal enemies talaga sila,” she said.

Bonnevie, who has no trouble speaking Ilocano after marrying Ilocos Sur politician Deogracias Victor Savellano, touchingly revealed why she accepted the offer to portray Biday.

“After a long time, Snooky and I will be working together again,” she enthused. “And I really welcomed it because I haven’t done comedy in a long time. Excited ako kasi kakaiba and I won’t have to cry buckets of tears.”

Barbie Forteza and Kate Valdez go from friends to rivals in their latest starrer on prime time. | GMA photo

Star-studded

Adding spice to the already fuming feud between the Warays and Bidays are: Migo Adecer as Cocoy, a charming city boy who crosses paths with Ginalyn and Caitlyn; Jay Manalo as Joaquin, a dashing man from Manila who becomes Amy and Sussie’s apple of the eye leading to their broken friendship; Teresa Loyzaga as Dorcas, Joaquin’s sophisticated cousin who would do anything to keep their family’s riches to herself; Faith da Silva as Agatha, Dorcas’ spoiled brat daughter; Jean Saburit as Vanessa, doting mother of Cocoy; Tanya Montenegro as Glenda, Amy’s cousin and close confidant from Leyte; Benedict Cua as Benny, a famous charismatic vlogger of Filipino-Chinese descent and Caitlyn’s best friend; and Celia Rodriguez as Zenaida, Sussie’s elitist and controlling mother who makes Amy’s life a living hell.

“Anak Ni Waray Vs. Anak Ni Biday” also enjoys the special participation of Lovi Poe as young Sussie and Max Collins as young Amy who will be portraying the roles of Bonnevie and Serna, respectively, during their younger years for the pilot week; as well as Jason Abalos as young Joaquin; Pinky Amador as young Zenaida; Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua as Randy, young Joaquin’s comrade; Yanna Asistio as young Glenda; and Franco Gray Nerona as Joni, young Amy’s friend and fellow helper in Sussie’s villa.

The plot

Despite being worlds apart in status and origin, young Amy the Waray from Leyte and young Sussie the Biday from Ilocos are the best of friends. Young Amy works for young Sussie’s rich Ilocano family based in Manila in exchange for the latter’s family funding her school expenses. Their inseparable bond is jeopardized when the dashing young Joaquin captures the hearts of both women. After finding out they have fallen in love with the same man, young Amy and young Sussie’s lovely friendship crumbles and to make it worse they are both bear young Joaquin’s children.

As years pass, Amy’s daughter Ginalyn (Forteza) grows up into a diligent and optimistic woman who juggles their Binagol business and her tour guide duties. Meanwhile, Sussie’s prim and proper daughter Caitlyn (Valdez) is a frustrated vlogger with dreams of making it big one day. Just as Amy and Sussie thought they have left their past behind, history repeats itself when their daughters cross paths and ironically become good friends.

When the truth about their mothers’ feud comes out, will Ginalyn and Caitlyn’s budding friendship also be put to the test?

The show’s creative team is composed of creative director Aloy Adlawan; creative head Richard “Dode” Cruz; creative consultant Jojo Tawasil Nones; headwriter Renato Custodio; writers Tina Samson-Velasco and Erwin Bravo; and brainstormers Wiro Michael Ladera, Liberty Constantino and Kayla Factolerin.

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