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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.

Aug 4, 2015

James Reid And Nadine Lustre Give Their Most Endearing 'Kilig' Performances To Date In 'On The Wings Of Love'

JAMES REID and Nadine Lustre deliver their most endearing performances to date in their first teleserye with ABS-CBN, “On the Wings of Love”, which we saw in the press preview of its pilot week. It is better than any of the movies they’ve done before with Viva and they should thank their director, Antoinette Jadaone (“That Thing Called Tadhana”), for coming up with a soap that doesn’t really like a soap but more like an extended rom-com on TV.

The story starts when they’re still kids. Nadine is Lea, whose mom (Isay Alvarez) leaves to work in the U.S. but quickly dies there in an accident. She is left with her jeepney driver dad (Joel Torre) and sister, Tiffany (Bianca Manalo.)

James is Clark, the son of a Pinay (Katya Santos) and an American dad who deserted them. Katya takes her son to the U.S. to look for his dad but when they find him, he rejects James and won’t have anything to do with them. Katya soon gets sick and Clark is left with his aunt (Cherry Pie Picache), a former TNT whose own son, Jiggs (Albie Casino), is left under the care of his lola (Nanette Inventor) along with Clark’s two younger siblings.

As kids, Lea and Clark meet by chance when Lea’s pet pigeon gets lost and Clark returns it to her. Lea’s dream is to go to the U.S. to work there like her mom. She gets the chance when she is given a U.S. visa to compete in a choir competition in San Francisco. There, she bumps into Clark several times but they always end fighting with each other. She decides not to go back home to Manila and becomes a TNT working as a cleaner and caregiver. When her visa is about to expire, Cherry Pie advises her to resort to a fixed marriage with an American so her U.S. stay can be legal. Cherry Pie introduces her to her nephew, Clark, and the preview ends with the scene where they are both horrified upon learning that they will marry each other.
The basic material might be familiar but Jadaone manages to make the show very engaging. We enjoyed watching it than any show the Kathniel team has done so far. This is primarily because she succeeds in coming up with very endearing characters. Both James and Nadine are very sympathetic young people who are working in several jobs just to give the loved one they left behind in Manila a better life. This is the first teleserye we saw in its press preview that made us interested enough to find out what will happen next in the upcoming episodes.

Both James and Nadine do well in their respective roles and James’ star quality and screen presence seem to be getting more winning and intense as the days go by. The show has a very high kilig factor with so many scenes that send the audience inside the Trinoma theater, where the preview was held, shrieking and screaming in glee several times.

They’re ably supported by Cherry Pie and Joel, who are both old reliables. The one who really surprised us here is Bianca Manalo as Nadine’s elder sister who’s a single mom. She looks so lovely on screen with very little makeup. And not only that, she delivers a relaxed, very effortless performance. Albie Casino, who is acting na acting in most of his scenes, should be made to watch Bianca for him to realize what a toned down, natural portrayal on camera should be. "On the Wings of Love" will start airing on Monday, August 10, to replace "Bridges of Love".