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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.

Jun 9, 2017

Carla Abellana & Tom Rodriguez Together Again In 'I Heart Davao' After 'My Husband's Lover' Four Years Ago

CARLA ABELLANA and Tom Rodriguez star in GMA-7 News & Public Affairs’ very first romcom, “I Heart Davao”, that will replace “Meant to Be” on June 26. This is also the first TV series shot on location in Davao, written by Chris Martinez and directed by Marlon Rivera, the team behind the artistic and box office success that is “Babae sa Septic Tank”. So how is it working together again after “My Husband’s Lover” which was shown in 2013 yet.

“We enjoyed it,” says Tom. “And we also enjoyed shooting this in Davao for 17 days straight. Malayo ito sa first show namin na heavy drama. This one is a light and hilarious romantic comedy.”

How is a show produced by GMA News and Public Affairs different from the ones made by GMA Entertainment TV? “There’s not much difference, except magkaiba lang yung production team and this time, we immediately got the full script from beginning to end so alam na namin agad ang magiging arc ng story and the characters we play.”

“Tom did this show right after he came back from the States to attend his dad’s funeral,” says Carla. “The day after his return from abroad, nagtrabaho na siya.”

How did she comfort Tom while he’s in mourning? “Nasa States pa lang, I already showed my support while he’s grieving by calling him up frequently. Pagbalik niya, he wasn’t even able to rest, trabaho agad, at na-stress pa siya dahil nawala yung mga maleta niya sa flight niya. Sa taping, everytime I see him very quiet, kinakausap ko agad siya so he won’t dwell on his down moments.”

So how is Tom now? “Well, life has to go on, as hard as it is,” he says. “Nakakatulong naman yung
trabaho to keep my mind busy. And I’m lucky that Carla is with me. I really don’t know what will happen if she’s not here with me.”

So do we hear wedding bells ringing for them soon? “Ay wala pa po,” says Carla. “We’re both so busy now at marami pa kaming ibang plans sa buhay.”

In “I Heart Davao”, Carla is Hope, a Manila Girl who goes to Davao to help save her family’s chocolate business. Tom is Ponce, a Davaoeno Dude who is silent, brooding and owns a chocolate farm that Carla wants to buy.

“Our relationship starts on the wrong foot,” says Carla “Kasi bangayan kami ng bangayan, parang aso’t pusa. But actually, may prior connection na pala kami. Kasi ako, may congenital heart disease, I live a very sheltered life, then one day, I saw yung girlfriend ni Tom in Manila, played by Catherine Remperas, na nasagasaan. Na-heart attack ako sa malaking shock and eventually, yung heart ni Cathy ang siyang na-transplant sa akin. Then makikilala ko si Tom without him knowing na ako ang nakakuha sa puso ng girlfriend niya who became my donor.”

They will be supported by Benjamin Alves as the third wheel in their relationship, comedians Betong Sumaya and Maey Bautista, Ricardo Cepeda, Glenda Garcia, Raquel Villavicencio, Joel Saracho, Geraldine Villamil, Kevin Sagra, Natileigh Sitoy, Philip Lazaro. the members of the Davao Theatre Group, Cine Madayaw, and the beautiful city of Davao itself whose scenic tourist spots will be liberally featured in the show. If this show would click, then they will also feature other big cities in the country, like “I Heart Cebu, Iloilo, etc.” Here’s hoping they will be able to maintain the consistently high ratings of “Meant to Be” that will have its last telecast on June 23.