‘Dear Friend’ Reunites Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin

Dear Friend is a drama anthology that features stories from letters sent in by young viewers. It's kinda like Maalaala Mo Kaya for teenagers with Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin as hosts and counselors.

Lilybeth Rasonable, GMA Network Assistant Vice President for Drama, explains that “the show does not mean to give advice for the [very] problematic or anything [like that]. It’s a light program [where] people [would] be able to share stories with our two friends (referring to Marvin and Jolina)…at kapulutan ng aral ‘yung gagawin naming kwento based on their stories.”

Picking the hosts

She adds, “Kaya namin sila napili dahil—in a way they grew up together” and notes that Marvin and Jolina have known each other for years. “They’ve been working together since batang-bata pa sila; naging matalik na rin na magkaibigan over the years, so I’m sure marami na silang experiences din na they shared with each other. At makakapagbigay din sila ng kanilang insights sa mga topics every week,” she points out.

The hosts admit they didn’t think twice when they were offered the chance to work with each other again. Marvin is quick to follow that while he has no reservations about working with Jolina, he feels a little nervous about venturing into this new show genre.

“Hindi pa namin nagagawa ‘yung ganitong klaseng show since we started,” he reveals. The actor continues that he doesn’t know how people would accept the way they think, the way they would dole out their advice. “Kasi hindi naman ito itinuturo sa amin eh, kundi kusa naming nararamdaman with a certain issue.”

Marvin and Jolina mention that they have their own approach to addressing the issues raised in the letters they read. Marvin depends on his experiences while Jolina says she falls back on the books she has read.

starsHowever, both stress that they are not experts in giving out advice. It will be up to the viewers if they would accept their opinions. “Hindi nga namin masabi na sobra kaming authority, at dapat kaming pakinggan. But I hope with what we have experienced in life, na hindi naman napariwara ang buhay namin, e makinig sila sa amin,” Marvin notes.

Jolina adds that she does read books regarding certain topics, but agrees with Marvin that “mas maganda kung iba-base namin doon sa kaalaman namin.”

For the first episode that tackles teen pregnancy, Jolina relied on a book titled Why Love Can Wait “Dahil hindi ko pa napagdadaanan ang teenage marriage, hindi ko alam kung paano ko ie-explain, kung may ganoong problema,” Jolina confesses. “So maganda po na nagbabasa rin ng books.”

Still, she prefers giving advice from her own heart “para talaga ‘yung level ng communication with the letter sender, mas swak.”

Dear Friend premieres this July 20, Sunday after Pinoy Idol Extra. The first episode revolves around teen pregnancy and marriage, and stars Mart Escudero and Jennica Garcia.

(GMA Press Release)

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