TRending TV STARS
which premiered on January 9, 2017, is GMA’s primetime romantic comedy series starring Barbie Forteza, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Ivan Dorschner, and Addy Raj.
Directed by LA Madridejos, who has done work for the Kapuso teleseryes Tsuperhero and Juan Happy Love Story and for the drama anthology Magpakailanman, this gem of a show follows the life of Billie Bendiola (Barbie Forteza), a simple, street-smart lass who, despite life’s hard knocks, always looks on the bright side of life.
Billie’s life takes a more colorful and fun turn when four guys—Jai Patel, Ethan Hughes, Yuan Lee, and Andoy Dela Cruz, collectively known to fans as JEYA ( played respectively by Addy, Ivan, Ken, and Jak)—enter the picture and compete for her affection.
With its simple storyline and punchlines, Meant To Be is a breath of fresh air on primetime TV, where it airs Mondays to Fridays, from 9:15 to 10 p.m.
“Sobrang happy ako sa romcom, kasi nga walang pressure, effortless, at saka masaya ’yong working environment,” Barbie says in her YES! interview. “Ayoko rin kasing ma-typecast sa isang genre lang, e. Nakakapagdrama na ’ko, hosting, horror, comedy, romcom, indie films.
“Kaya din happy ako, kasi binibigyan ako ng GMA ng freedom para gawin ang gusto ko, na may tiwala sila sa akin na hindi ko naman ’nilalagay sa delikadong sitwasyon ’yong sarili ko, na tatanggap ako ng project na hindi ako sigurado.”
According to Direk LA, it was writer Renei Dimla who provided the “germ” that got the ball rolling for the creative team. “Sa kanya [Renei] nanggaling ’yong idea na nagbigay ng outline ng kuwento. Then, eventually, no’ng nagmi-meet na ’yong group, may mga nag-pitch na, may mga modifications na. Unti-unti, nabuo. Hanggang ngayon, nasa process siya ng paglaki.”
In an email sent to YES!, Meant To Be headwriter and concept creator Renei Dimla says that Korean romantic comedies provided inspiration for the story:
“We were asked to think of a concept for Barbie and a new ka-love-team. She was involved in a ‘love square’ in That’s My Amboy, so I suddenly had this thought, what if we make it more complicated? Multiply the number of men who will vie for her heart?
“As for the actual writing part, being a fan of Korean romantic comedies helped. When I was given the headwriting job, there was only one thing I was certain about, and that was,