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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 24, 2014

It's Jennylyn Mercado's 'Rhodora X' & Not Marian Rivera's 'Carmela' Vs. Angel Locsin's 'Legal Wife'

WE WENT to the press preview of “Rhodora X” and the story is pretty engrossing from the start. It starts in 1998 with Glydel Mercado and Gardo Versoza as the parents of two girls, Angela (who’ll grow up to be Yasmien Kurdi) and Rhodora (who’ll grow up to be Jennylyn Mercado). They’re a happy family but everything changes when they go to a picnic in the park and Rhodora is kidnapped by Rez Cortez, who kidnaps girls to sell their body parts.

Directed by Albert Langitan, he gets pretty good performances from Glydel and Gardo as the parents who are devastated by the loss of their younger daughter and child stars Kyle Ocampo as young Angela, Angel Aviles as young Rhodora, Anton Luis Limgenco as young Joaquin (he’ll grow up to be Mark Herras) and Terry Malvar (the award-winning actress of “Huling Chacha ni Anita”) as Roxanne, another kidnap victim.

Roxanne is a feisty girl who teaches Rhodora how to fight their tormentors and she is killed by Rez for being defiant. When Rhodora develops her new alternate personality, she will use Roxanne as her peg for her alter ego. GMA-7 should sign up Terry Malvar as she’s really promising. Too bad she appears here only in the first episode.

We’re told that “Rhodora X” is the one that will be competing directly against Angel Locsin’s “Legal Wife”, not Marian Rivera’s “Carmela”. As we all know, Angel is currently the rekindled object of affection of Luis Manzano, who just broke up with Jennylyn Mercado before 2013 ended. So they’re now competing not only over Luis but also as to whose show will emerge as the winner in the ratings game.

Jennylyn says she’s not competing with Angel at all but she believes the edged of “Rhodora X” is that this the first time a local soap tackles the case of a woman with multiple personalities. Rhodora reinvents herself as Roxanne after going through some very traumatic experiences as a kidnapped victim. As Rhodora, she’s shy and introverted, but when she assumes the personality of Roxanne, she becomes aggressive, seductive and manipulative.

How Jennylyn will interpret the two very different roles will surely be a challenge to any actress. Let’s see if she’d be able to do it with flying colors.