A-1 ACTRESS Aiko Melendez returns to GMA-7 after nine years for the upcoming afternoon series, Prima Donnas top-billed by Kapuso tween actresses Jillian Ward, Sofia Pablo, and Althea Ablan.
A source told us that Aiko was present at the story conference and took test that is being held at GMA Network Center. In an article published on GMANetwork.com on May 17, it was revealed that Katrina Halili, Wendell Ramos, Benjie Paras, and Chanda Romero will join Aiko and the three tweens in this series.
Aiko was not yet identified as a cast member in the published article. GMA-7’s @kapusoprgirl Instagram account posted the official cast members of Prima Donnas, which already included Aiko.
She was standing beside Wendell, who was her partner in ABS-CBN’s 2017 early prime-time series, Wildflower.
Prior to @kapusoprgirl’s post, Sofia’s Instagram story update showed that she is currently at the story conference of Prima Donnas.
Althea also posted a Boomerang update on her Instagram story, which accidentally showed Aiko’s name as part of the cast. As seen in the screenshot, Aiko will play the role of Kendra in Prima Donnas.
Prima Donnas is Aiko’s first teleserye with GMA-7 after almost nine years. Her last project as a Kapuso was the afternoon series, Sine Novela: Basahang Ginto, aired in 2010. She played the mother of Carla Abellana’s character. Basahang Ginto also served as Aiko’s first regular daily teleserye.
After Basahang Ginto, Aiko was able to do a string of projects in ABS-CBN. These include kontrabida roles in Reputasyon (2011), Inday Bote (2015), The Story of Us (2016), and Wildflower (2017), where she played the iconic role of Emilia Ardiente-Torillo.
Her other ABS-CBN shows were Apoy sa Dagat (2012), Give Love On Christmas: The Gift-Giver (2014), and Bagani (2018).
In February 2019, ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment announced that Aiko will be part of the upcoming series, Sandugo, which will be topbilled by Aljur Abrenica and Ejay Falcon. Aiko even attended the look test and story conference of the Kapamilya show.
However, in March 2019, Aiko announced that she had to back out of Sandugo because she wanted to focus on campaigning for her boyfriend, Jay Khonghun. He eventually won as Zambales vice governor. Vina Morales already took over the role originally meant for Aiko.
SANYA LOPEZ and Benjamin Alves play a married couple in the new GMA-7 afternoon series Dahil Sa Pag-ibig. The Kapuso teleserye replaced Inagaw na Bituin and is now pitted against two ABS-CBN shows: Kadenang Ginto and Bihag.
Sanya and Benjamin top-bill this Kapuso show together with Winwyn Marquez and Pancho Magno.
The Sanya and Ben already worked together on the weekend comedy show Dear Uge: Panira ng Anniversary that aired on March 17, 2019.
Directed by actor-director Ricky Davao, Dahil Sa Pag-ibig showcases the difficulties and temptations that a married couple encounter when separated by distance. In the series, Sanya Lopez brings life to Mariel while Benjamin Alves is cast as Eldon.
Mariel Corpuz is a doting mother and wife who’s love and loyalty will be put into test when her OFW husband’s life will be at risk.
Eldon Corpuz is a hardworking father and husband who decided to work abroad to be able to provide for his family. However, he commits a grave crime that will land him in jail and earn him a death sentence.
Meanwhile, Pancho Magno is cast as Gary Sandoval, Mariel’s rich former lover who still can’t get over her. To free her husband from a terrible fate, Mariel reached out to him to ask for help.
Also in the cast are Winwyn Marquez as Portia, Eldon’s other woman and the wife of Eldon’s employer; Tetchie Agbayani as Clara, Eldon’s strict mother; Sandy Andolong as Nanette, Mariel’s supportive mother; Dominic Roco as Roger; and Devon Seron as Chin Chin.
The pilot episode of Dahil Sa Pag-ibig begins by showing a bridal car that suddenly breaks down. This leaves the bride Mariel (Sanya Lopez) feeling anxious because she wouldn’t be able to arrive on time for her wedding.
Viewers then see the groom Eldon (Benjamin Alvarez) waiting for his bride in the church with his mother Clara (Tetchie Agbayani) and other guests.
Clara’s behavior shows how much she dislikes Mariel for her son. She says that she is pissed off with Mariel’s attitude because she did not even give prior notice that she’ll be arriving late given that it was their wedding day.
Clara then murmurs to her son that maybe Mariel became ashamed of the fact that he will be the one to support her family.
The bride’s mother Nanette (Sandy Andolong) hears this insult. She warns Clara to watch her words. She insists that they should not push through with the wedding if Clara continues to belittle their family. Eldon stops his mother and his soon-to-be mother-inlaw from arguing.
Finally, the bridal car arrives and the relieved groom Eldon embraces Mariel upon seeing her.
The wedding ceremony begin but a drunk Gary (Pancho Magno) tries to stop their wedding. The groomsmen stop Gary from interrupting the ceremony.
Five years later, Eldon is seen working abroad while Mariel is living with their daughter and mother in-law.
Eldon tells his wife and daughter that he sent over a package.
Clara still dislikes Mariel since she asks their househelper to clear out a space in her room so that the package will be placed there.
The scene then shows Mariel and her daughter inside a taxi and were on their way to pick up the package from a certain address.
Little did they know, Eldon is only setting them up.
Mariel and her daughter cry tears of joy upon seeing Eldon go down the stairs of the house.
The couple shares a kiss and is happily reunited. Eldon reveals that the house is his gift for Mariel and their daughter.
The couple hold a house blessing and afterwards, Mariel and Eldon make love. The couple shares plenty of bonding moments until Eldon have to depart again as an OFW.
Sometime in the future, Chinchin goes to Mariel’s house. She hands Mariel her order: lipstick and makeup foundation. Her mother, Nanette, is happy that her daughter bought these so that unlike her, she will not experience infidelity from her husband. The mother stresses that it’s important to take care of oneself so that her husband won’t look at other women.
Chinchin argues with her and declares, “Walang relasyong pang habambuhay kung may malanding buhay.”
In Saudi, Eldon has a drinking session with his co-workers and they talk about what they miss most about their home.
They are interrupted by a knock on the door. Eldon opens the door and sees Portia (Winwyn Marquez).
The pilot episode ends by showing Eldon who is cooking and Portia suddenly appears to hug him from behind.
He warns her about the strict rules in Saudi and that she should not cheat on her husband. However, Portia insists that she just wants to cheer herself up since her husband is always either out of town or out of the country.
Eldon tells her that he is happily married. Dismayed, Portia reminds Eldon that she is the one who helps fellow Filipinos when they encounter problems.
Eldon eventually rejects Portia’s attempt to seduce him. Unfortunately, from afar, an Arab saw them being intimate with each other.
The teaser for the next episode shows how Portia’s Arab husband furiously dragged Eldon inside a car. Eldon and Mariel fight and have an argument on the phone.
Viewers get a glimpse of Portia and Eldon having sex inside a shower.
After many years, Gary (Pancho Magno) returns and he is still in love with Mariel.