MANILA — When ABS-CBN’s “Family is Love” debuts on November 18, Raymart Santiago will be a fresh sight at least to Kapamilya viewers, as he joins some 400 stars in the highly anticipated Christmas station ID.
Santiago confirmed making the big move to ABS-CBN, after nearly two decades with GMA-7, on the sidelines of the “Family is Love” filming, which saw the rare gathering of hundreds of Kapamilya artists and personalities.
Although a newcomer to the network, Santiago appeared right at home during the Kapamilya shoot, having been surrounded by actual family members. His three brothers are with ABS-CBN — singer Randy is a regular of “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” director-actor Rowell is part of “Ang Probinsyano,” while Reily is a business unit head of the station.
Speaking with ABS-CBN News, Raymart said one of the reasons behind his network switch was the irresistible offer to work with Judy Ann Santos, dubbed local showbiz’s teleserye queen.
“Siyempre, sino ba namang tatanggi ‘pag kinuha ni Judy Ann Santos, ‘di ba? In-offer sa akin ‘yung show. Nagpaalam naman ako [sa GMA],” he said.
Raymart will be Santos’s leading man in the Dreamscape series “Starla,” which the 45-year-old actor described as one of ABS-CBN’s biggest TV productions in 2019.
“I’m sure magugustuhan ng mga manonood ito,” he said, cautious not to share plot details and only confirming it will have fantasy elements.
Having worked exclusively with GMA-7 for the past 18 years on television, Raymart is admittedly still adjusting to ABS-CBN’s work culture. “First show ko sa Channel 2 ito, kaya naninibago, nangangapa pa. Slowly, okay naman,” he said.
Explaining the differences he has noticed, Raymart went on: “Sa work, iba ‘yung style. Sa kabila, ‘pag nag-su-shoot, isang take or dalawa. Dito, ilang takes dahil different angles, iba ‘yung gamit na camera. ‘Yung technical side, iyon lang naman ang nabago. ‘Yung style ng directing, parang movie.”
“Starla,” which will mark the second team-up of Santiago and Santos after the 2004 film “Aishite Imasu 1941,” is under the direction of Onat Diaz (“Wildflower,” “Asintado”).
A premiere date has yet to be announced for the new series.