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Why “Pasion de Amor” clicked more with Pinoy viewers than the original Colombian series

Gerry Plaza February 25,2016 06:00 PM
Pasion de Amor captivated viewers with its intriguing and provocative story about love, vengeance and redemption.

It has consistently ruled the ratings game on the primetime bloc going into its last weeks of airing, and with the sizzling and suspenseful finale upcoming, the show will surely leave lasting mark in the minds of its loyal viewers, just like the Colombian telenovela it is based on, Pasion de Gavilanes.

The original, just like the ongoing Philippine adaptation, was a sensation to Kapamilya afternoon viewers in the late 2000s. Not only because of the scorching drama that unfolded, but also the hottest and sexiest cast members rarely assembled in one program—Latin American superstars Mario Cimarro, Danna Garcia, Juan Alfonso Baptista, Paola Ray, Michel Brown, and Natasha Klauss.

At the time when the show peaked, early netizens hoped ABS-CBN would produce a Filipino adaptation with their wishlist of local artists who could get the leading roles.  While some mentioned names such as Derek Ramsay, Diether Ocampo, TJ Trinidad, and Rafael Rossell, all of them were in unison to recommend Jake Cuenca as one of the Reyes brothers (eventually renamed Samonte brothers in the current series).

And, about a decade after Pasion de Gavilanes was first aired in the Philippines, ABS-CBN made these wishes come true with the Filipino version Pasion de Amor, and naming Jake Cuenca as the hands-down choice to play the lead character Juan. With the addition of fellow hotbods Ejay Falcon as Oscar and Joseph Marco as Franco, and sultry sirens Arci Munoz as Norma Elizondo, Ellen Adarna as Sari Elizondo, and Coleen Garcia as Jamie Elizondo, Pasion de Amor really had the promise to match, if not exceed, the original series’ success in the Philippines.

To the delight of all those who followed the engaging tale, it was a phenomenal success and clicked more with Pinoy viewers.

What made it win the hearts of the Filipino audience and become relatable and engaging?

1. Acting

It’s not about putting a Filipino face and body to the Latin American characters. It’s about effective portrayals that Filipino audiences identify with. While it is very alluring to see hot Mexicans playing their roles to the hilt, it is very much comfortable and relatable for Filipino audiences to see Jake and Arci do their thing—bringing iconic, glossy protagonists into everyday characters we are all familiar with. And, of course, the impressive acting chops we witness from the entire cast that are both moving and inspiring.


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