With intense pilot, ‘Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin’ ushers in new era of ABS-CBN on digital

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 06:05 AM

(From left) Iza Calzado, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Maricel Soriano in a climactic scene from the pilot episode of ‘Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin.’ ABS-CBN

MANILA — With a dramatic pilot that sets into motion a character’s quest for revenge, “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” ushered in Monday a new digital era for ABS-CBN, with its lead stars welcoming fans to a platform that allows for a new level of interaction.

The premiere of “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin,” the first ABS-CBN teleserye to debut on free streaming via Kapamilya Online Live, introduced Ellice (Iza Calzado) and Marissa (Jodi Sta. Maria), inseparable best friends whose relationship is torn by greed and envy.

The women’s fathers were formerly business partners, until an illness forced Marissa’s father to sell his share of the company, reversing their fortune. Owing to their close family ties, Marissa and her mother Lucing (Maricel Soriano) were taken in by Ellice’s father Jorge (Lito Pimentel).

Often mistaken to be a helper in the household, Marissa grew up envious of her best friend’s wealth and opportunities, despite Ellice showing only kindness and generosity.

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A tragic night, where Ellice accidentally kills an assailant, marks a turning point in their lives. Marissa volunteers to confess to the killing — a “win-win situation,” so Ellice’s family name isn’t smeared — under the impression that Jorge will ensure she is not sentenced to any time in jail.

Jorge’s promise to Marissa, however, is broken, and she spends torturous years in prison, as seen in trailers for the series. In the pilot, the man who died, Victor (Albie Casino), is revealed to be the son of a powerful politician, who will stop at nothing to make sure the supposed killer suffers behind bars.

WATCHING WITH THE STARS

As fans watched the dramatic scenes unfold on Monday, so too did cast members Sta. Maria, Calzado, and Sam Milby, who surprised Kapamilya Online Live viewers with their virtual appearance during breaks in the streaming.

In a first for an ABS-CBN drama premiere, the cast interacted with viewers live, reacting to real-time feedback. They also shared trivia regarding just-aired scenes, such as Calzado damaging a car she was seen driving as Ellice, and a party scene taking days to film but only airing for a few minutes.

Cast members Jodi Sta. Maria, Sam Milby, and Iza Calzado interact with viewers during a stream break of ‘Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin.’ ABS-CBN

The cast’s triumphant cheers over the debut, seen by tens of thousands tuned in to Kapamilya Online Live, came five months after “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin” was originally due to premiere in March on free television.

In that span of time, the project hurdled successive challenges, from the coronavirus lockdown, Calzado being diagnosed with the disease, to ABS-CBN’s forced broadcast shutdown that resulted in thousands of workers retrenched.

That it ultimately became ABS-CBN’s pioneering digital teleserye is a distinction, which, for director FM Reyes, symbolizes not only the network’s commitment to serving its audience, but also the continued fight for those who lost their livelihood due to the political move.

“The fight is not just for us,” Reyes previously said, ahead of the premiere. “It’s for the 11,000 people who lost their jobs. This is our little way of fighting for you.”