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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 21, 2022




‘START UP PH' must really be a big and special project for GMA-7 since they have two of the top TV directors today helming it jointly: Jerry Lopez Sineneng (fresh from the success of “Widow’s Web”) and Dominic Zapata (who’s megging the current primetime hit, “Bolera”.) 

‘Start Up PH’ is the local adaptation of a hit 2020 Korean series about a bright and energetic young woman who aspires to be a successful entrepreneur and gets involved in a love triangle with two young men. 

The local series now stars Bea Alonzo in the lead role of Dani, with Alden Richards and Jeric Gonzales as her leading men.

The huge supporting cast includes Yasmien Kurdi, Gina Alajar, Lovely Rivero, Nino Muhlach, Gabby Eigenmann, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Jackie Lou Blanco, Boy2 Quizon, Kevin Santos, Jojo Alejar, Royce Cabrera and Kim Domingo. 

In the zoom presscon for the two directors, who get to work for the first time with each other, Direk Jerry Sineneng expresses his appreciation for being assigned this big project. 

“It’s my first time to do an adaptation and I’m so happy na si Direk Dom ang naging partner ko as I am learning a lot from him,” he says. “Kasi mas sanay siya, having just adapted ‘Descendants of the Sun’."   

He has directed Bea several times before when they were still Kapamilya. It’s his first time to direct Alden, so how is it?

“Naging fan ako ni Alden after watching him in Star Cinema’s ‘Hello Love Goodbye’. Sobrang nagalingan ako sa acting niya. 

"They all say na mabait siya, magaling, magaan katrabaho at very professional kasi he comes to the set ready, knowing all his lines.

"Napatunayan ko na lahat ng mga sinabi ng nakatrabaho niya sa Star Cinema, totoo. May kakaibang magic si Alden. 

"Napapasaya niya ang mga tao sa set kahit pagod na kayo, kasi mabiro siya in a positive way. And after this, lalo niya akong naging fan. I hope it won’t be the last time I work with him.”

And how about working again with Bea?  

“Si Bea parang alak, habang tumatagal, lalo siyang gumagaling nang gumagaling. And when they’re together ni Alden, it’s magic. 

"They really bring their characters to life. The scene just lights up when they are there. Meron silang kakaibang chemistry. 

"Mahuhusay talaga silang artista and you can see na inaaral talaga nila ang characters nila. 

"I have worked with Bea sa ABS so comfortable na ako with her but it’s really an honor to do this project with her now that we’re both with GMA.”  

So how did he and Direk Dom divide their work between them? 

“It’s a collaboration. We always talk and consult each other about our plans and vision for the show. 

"Sa technical, sa effects, sa kanya ako kumakapit, kasi sobrang galing niyia roon at kakulangan ko naman yun. 

"We are both very happy sa cast, creative team and staff that GMA gave us.” 

Did they make big changes in the story as some of those who’ve seen the original are already bashing them on the internet?  

“Panoorin muna sana nila bago sila mam-bash. Hindi sa pagyayabang, I think magugustuhan nila ang mapapanood nila. Wala naman kaming binago. Mga 90 percent ng original, nandito. 

"The changes we made ay sa pagi-inject ng Filipino values or culture. Ako, hinanap ko yung puso ng Korean version, then we Filipinize it for the Pinoy version and its characters. 

"I think our ace is that Bea and Alden are our stars. Marami silang scenes na nakakakilig. Ako, doon sa first encounter pa lang nila, kinilig na ako and I’m sure, ang viewers din.”