Beginning February 7, GMA Network takes a bold step towards revolutionizing the landscape of local TV programming this year by introducing a refreshingly out-of-the-ordinary primetime offering that will definitely leave audiences in awe of its wildly inventive and amusing storyline. Viewers will be delighted to watch their favorite stars playing unusual roles in the romantic-comedy series, I ♥ You Pare (I Heart You Pare).
Starring the blockbuster leads of Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and 2010 Star Awards for TV Best Actor Dingdong Dantes, this lighthearted Telebabad series features Regine in an offbeat role as Tonya/Tonette, a conservative, old-fashioned probinsyana who crosses paths with the carefree, impulsive guy Kenneth played by Dingdong.
I ♥ You Pare is the first primetime team up of both stars, who underwent major makeovers not just with their looks but also in the characters they portray, something that their fans and supporters should watch out for. Regine has been the reigning queen of the romantic comedy genre, with her star power expected to shine ever more as she reinvents herself with an entirely new role in the series. Dingdong, who was recently nominated as Best Actor at the 15th Asian Television Awards, displays his versatility as he dabbles in comedy for the very first time.
Leading the grand ensemble of cast is a pool of talented actors whose characters are very close to Tonya’s heart: witness a surprising performance from veteran actor Tirso Cruz III who plays a gay role for the first time, as Uncle Cesar, Tonya’s protective uncle ; comebacking actors Boy Alano as Coka and Joel Saracho as Pepsi, the close friends of Uncle Cesar known as Soft Drink Beauties; heartthrob Marc Abaya, who won the Best Supporting Actor Award for his latest indie film, makes hearts flutter as he assumes the character of Joel, a friendly and flirtatious hunk who would fall in love with Tonya; and theater actress Via Antonio unleashes her comedic genius and acting prowess as Polly, Tonya’s queer bestfriend.
Playing equally vital roles are the characters associated with Kenneth including Ian Veneracion as Ramon, Kenneth’s “perfect brother”; Luz Valdez as Charito; Kenneth’s religious Tita; Butz Aquino as Henry, Kenneth’s domineering father; and Luane Dy as Nikki, the woman torn between brothers Kenneth and Ramon.
Spicing up Kenneth and Tonya’s lives are Ehra Madrigal as Mandy, Kenneth’s obsessive lover; Antonio Aquitania as Sonny Boy, Mandy’s gangster brother; Kevin Santos as Joni, Kenneth’s homophobic bestfriend; and Carlo Gonzales as Caloy, Sonny Boy’s henchman who is in love with Mandy.
Making I ♥ You Pare even grander are the scene-stealing actors and actresses who join Tonette and Kenneth in Club Love: Paolo Ballesteros as Vodka, Club Love’s star performer and Tonette’s fiercest rival; Joey Paras as Serbeza, Tonette’s friend in Club Love; Peter Serrano as Brandy, Vodka’s partner in crime; and Miss Celia Rodriguez as Mama Marita, Kenneth’s aunt who owns Club Love.
During one fateful night, Tonya and Kenneth meet in a bar in Vigan. As they spend time at the bar drinking and getting acquainted, Tonya and Kenneth share an accidental kiss. After this unexpected encounter, Tonya and Kenneth part ways and lead separate lives. By some weird twist of fate, Tonya and Kenneth meet again, this time with Tonya posing as the gay Tonette in the bar that Kenneth manages.
While both Tonette and Kenneth share not just the same fate of hiding from their misfortunes but also each other’s secrets and inhibitions, will the truth find a way to spark romance between the unlikely lovers? Will there be a happily ever after ending for the conservative Tonya and the happy-go-lucky Kenneth, or will it be a crazy love story between the flamboyant Tonette and the alpha male Kenneth?
Directed by Andoy Ranay and Bb. Joyce Bernal together with Denoy Navarro-Punio as headwriter, I ♥ You Pare also showcases special musical and production numbers from Regine as she struts on stage with 15 professional drag performers known as Club Love Gays who were scrupulously selected from more than 200 professional impersonators and entertainers who auditioned to be part of the series.
I ♥ You Pare’s theme songs, True Romance from Regine’s latest album Fantasy and This Guy’s In Love With You Pare, which was originally sung by Parokya ni Edgar, gets a new interpretation from Regine and Dingdong.
Join the fresh tandem of Regine and Dingdong as they give the performance of their lives in I ♥ YOU PARE beginning Monday, February 7 right after Machete on GMA Telebabad.
Viewers worldwide can also catch the much anticipated premiere of I ♥ YOU PARE beginning February 9 only on GMA Pinoy TV.
Images courtesy of GMA-7