COCO MARTIN, star of top-rating ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ series on ABS-CBN, with rumored friend Julia Montes.
By JO ERLINDA MAUFIT
Coco Martin’s television series “Ang Probinsiyano” on top network ABS-CBN continues to break records.
Already running for 100 weeks and going into its second anniversarys, the show, which started to air on September 2015, is still tops in the ratings on the prime time slot.
Several weeks ago, speculations floated that the show was on the wane so it was set to fold up.
Speculators were proven wrong, however, when the network decided to extend the show until 2018.
Now, despite holding record ratings, some still speculate that “Ang Probinsiyano” is soon ending.
Is it really ending soon?
Coco, whose real name is Rodel Pacheco Nacianceno, himself doused cold water to the speculations.
How many more years does he think the show will last? he was asked.
Coco has a ready answer as reported by showbiz authority and columnist Mario Bautista. “Hindi natin masabi. Napakataas pa ng ratings namin, umaabot sa 46.7% sa Kantar Media (We don’t know. We have very high ratings, hitting 46.7% in Kantar Media),” he said.
“Kapag bumaba na ang rating namin at naramdaman naming pagod at sawa na ang viewers sa amin, dun lang kami titigil. (When our rating goes down and we feel the viewers are tired with the show, then we can stop),” the actor added.
Meantime, producers of “Ang Probinsiyano” hosted last week a thanksgiving dinner-presscon at Le Reve for the show’s 100th week on the air.
As part of their thanksgiving, before the presscon, the cast led by Coco all went to the V. Luna AFP Hospital and staged a free show, “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino,” to the delight of the wounded soldiers in the Marawi City conflict.
The “Ang Probinsiyano” series has already received 80 awards from various award-giving bodies praising its story that mirrors the lives of Filipinos today.
“Ang Probinsyano” mobile game app that gives players to act as Cardo Dalisay in fighting evildoers is also a hit with 50,000 downloads five minutes after it was made available.
Mario Bautista reported in his column that at the presscon, three batches of different co-stars sat down with Coco on the stage to greet and be interviewed by the press. The first batch was led by Movie Queen Susan Roces, who just celebrated her 76th birthday and whose husband, the late Fernando Poe Jr., was the original “Ang Probinsiyano. Also in the batch were Yassi Pressman, Mitch Valdes, Long Mejia, Arlene Tolibas, Marvin Yap, Benj Manalo, Jerry Tam, PJ Endrinal, Awra and the other child stars Dang, Paquito, Ligaya and Enzo.
The second batch was composed of Jestoni Alarcon, Jhong Hilario, Ejay Falcon, Yam Concepcion, Ron Morales, Mark Lapid, Gene Padilla, Basilio and the latest two transferees from GMA7, Louise de los Reyes and Aljur Abrenica. Former senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid was not able to join the batch.
Louise and Aljur were asked about their transfer to ABS-CBN and they responded gamely.
“Sobrang saya ko when my handler told me that I will join ‘Ang Probinsyano’,” Louise was quoted as saying by the columnist.
“Actually, I was about to go abroad for a vacation, but I had to forego it. Sabi ko agad, sige, push na yan!” Louise added. “ I can’t explain up to now kung gaano ako ka-overwhelmed kasi noon ko pa dream to do action. And I want to thank everyone, lalo si Kuya Coco, kasi everyone is warm on the set at magaan ang atmosphere,” she said.
Aljur recounted how he moved to the network. “Mabilis ang pangyayari,” he said. “My manager, Jon Ilagan, told me noong Monday we have a meeting sa ABS-CBN. Isasama pala ako sa ‘Ang Probinsyano.’ Ayun, nag-taping na ako agad by Wednesday at iba ang kultura sa taping namin dito. Talagang tinututukan nila ako sa bawat eksena at inaalagaan nila ako nang husto,” said Aljur.
Louise now plays a female soldier in the series while Aljur plays an illegal miner who will be an enemy of Coco.
Coco later was asked how he was able to convince former Senator Lito Lapid to join his hit primetime show and recounted how he did it.
“Idol ko talaga siya noon pa,” Coco was quoted by Mario Bautista as saying. “I asked someone to help me at nagpunta ako sa bahay niya sa Pampanga. Na-starstruck ako when we first met (I asked someone to help me and we went to his house in Pampanga),” he said.
“Tinanong niya kung ano kailangan ko sa kanya. Sabi ko, gusto namin siyang aluking lumabas sa ‘Ang Probinsyano’. It turned out his family, nanonood pala nito. Pinakuwento niya sa’kin kung ano ang role niya at kinuwento ko naman. Sabi niya, alangan namang hindian kita, e sinadya mo pa ako rito. So ayun, naging part na siya ng show, along with his son, Mark Lapid,” he said.
Coco said he is happy that the show will soon celebrate its secondnd anniversary on the air.
“Mas lalo naming napi-feel ng mga kasama ko sa show ang pagmamahal at suporta sa amin ng mga tao. Dahil dito, mas inspirado kami. Ito ang nagbibigay sa amin ng lakas para lalong pagbutihin ang aming trabaho at nang mas magandahan ang viewers (We feel along with those in the show how we are loved and supported by the people. This inspires us further. This gives us the strength to be able to further improve our work so the viewers will appreciate it),” he said.