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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 24, 2015

Julia Montes Wisely Doesn't Bank On A Ka-Love Team And Now Pits Herself Against Her Very Own Self In 'Doble Kara'

UNLIKE JULIA Barretto who seems to be bent on banking on a love team, it’s wise of the other Julia, Julia Montes, not to have a permanent ka-love team. She’s being linked to Coco Martin but we all know it’s only for show and it’s not at all serious. Now, she has two new partners in her latest soap, “Doble Kara”, Edgar Allan Guzman and Anjo Damiles, who are relative newcomers given their big breaks in a soap in this show, kaya obvious na si Julia ang siyang magdadala sa programa.

We saw the press preview of its pilot week at Trinoma last Sunday, just a day before the show started airing yesterday replacing “Flor de Liza”. It’s the kind of sudsy soap with manipulative plot machinations that masa viewers will surely enjoy. It starts in Arayat, Pampanga with Mylene Dizon as Laura, who’s forced to sell her virginity to earn money for her sick mom (Irma Adlawan). She just went to bed once with her customer, Antonio (Allen Dizon), and got pregnant right away.

To save her from embarrassment, her ardent suitor, Ishmael (Ariel Rivera), offered to marry her. She later gives birth to twins named Kara and Sara. Kara is bright but sickly, and gets leukemia. Sara is the perky one who’s fond of joining declamation contests in school and when she grows up, beauty pageants.

Antonio is married to Lucille (Carmina Villaroel) who has difficulty getting pregnant. When she finally did, the baby died only after a few days and she didn’t get pregnant again. Kara learns that Ishmael is not really her dad but Antonio, who’s based in Manila. She implores her parents to just give her away to Antonio because both Laura and Ishmael are so poor and they just live in a pigpen. She’s just more a burden to them. With the rich Antonio, she can even seek the help of medical experts so she can have chemotherapy to treat her ailment.

Kara later even meets Lucille who quickly likes her and willingly adopts her, not knowing she’s really Antonio’s daughter. They take her to the States and that’s where she grows up. Sara, in turn, grew up in the province told that her twin sister is under the guidance of a foundation who’s taking care of her.

The show’s first week ends with Kara, Antonio and Lucille returning to Manila while Sara, Laura and Ishmael are about to move to Manila to seek a better life in the city. Kara and Sara meet again by accident at the bus station and the episode concludes with them staring at each other.

The melodramatic twists and turns of the plotting will surely hook viewers who are fond of this kind of entertainment fare. And it works mainly because of the uniformly good acting of the big cast, starting with Mylene as the sacrificing mother and Ariel as her caring husband.

Allen Dizon registers well as the twin’s real father, Antonio, and so does Carmina as his wife. But the real stand out in the pilot week is the child actress who plays Kara and Sara, Avery Balasbas and she’s truly splendid. The two sisters are very different. Sara is actually jealous of the more smart Kara because their parents devote more time and attention to her sickly sister. Sara is the more mischievous one, convincing the more brainy Kara to take her test in school just to make sure she’ll pass and even stealing the toy of another girl. Avery succeeds in capturing the nuances of both characters. In later episodes, let’s see if Julia would be as good as Avery in interpreting the twin roles now that the characters are grown ups.