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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 7, 2017

Barbie Forteza's Entertaining New Show 'Meant To Be' Will Remind You Of 'Meteor Garden' & The F4

WE WERE invited to the press screening of the first two episodes of “Meant to Be” and it looks like GMA-7 has another winner on primetime with this romcom starring Barbie Forteza with four leading men. Directed by L.A. Madridejos who did the hit sexy comedy, “Juan Happy Love Story”, it’s obvious that this new show is somewhat inspired by the Taiwanese hit, “Meteor Garden.”

Barbie essays in the San Chai role of Barbie Hsu while the F4 members now are played by Ken Chan, Jack Roberto, Addy Raj and Ivan Dorschner. But the setting is no longer just in a school as in the original and the characters are no longer students. Barbie works in a call center and also moonlights as a tour guide on weekends.

The fast paced show starts with Barbie meeting all her four prospective leading men right in the show’s first big sequence. The four guys are riding in their respective fast cars when they nearly run over Barbie who’s chasing a red balloon that flies away from the hand of a little girl. Mutual hostility is quickly established between Barbie as the perky and irrepressible Billie and Ken Chan as the surly, angst-filled Yuan Lee who later plays a nasty joke on Billie that embarrasses her in public.

The differences between the four guys are quickly established. Ken as Yuan is the “galit sa mundo” type with an ax to grind because he is the illegitimate son of a Chinese tycoon who has a low regard for him. Addy as Jai is a basically happy person with a sunny disposition. Jak as Andoy is not on the same economic level as his friends and is quite shy. Ivan as Ethan is the ideal boyfriend as he’s not only very rich but also romantic and loyal.

The pilot also introduces us to Barbie’s family, her parents Manilyn Reynes as Amelia and dad Keempee de Leon as Wilton, who are separated, and her jobless brother who shifts from one college course to another, Sef Cadayona as Bats. Through it all, Barbie gives her usual sincere and earnest performance as the feisty and bubbly Billie and she will easily endear herself to you as an enterprising young woman who’ll do anything to help her family.

This Sunday, January 8, 5PM at Robinsons Novaliches, don’t miss the cast of “Meant to Be” in a free show and personal appearance. Barbie Forteza, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Ivan Dorschner, Addy Raj, Sef Cadayona and Mika dela Cruz will be there to entertain you with musical numbers and sign autographs.