Aug 9, 2007

A flying Angel

It is confirmed that Angel Locsin is indeed moving to ABS-CBN.
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This move has gotten a lot of strong reactions not only from people in the industry but from the viewing public as well, since it involves one of the most basic Filipino values – utang na loob. Angel leaves GMA-7, which groomed her to stardom, right after her contract expires, to move to its main rival. What makes it even more touchy is how Angel and her manager Becky Aguila reportedly went behind the backs of GMA-7 executives instead of just coming clean.

As words are being exchanged and more emotions are being stoked, let's us try to look at this issue with a little bit more reason and rationale. Let us outline the points —

1. ANGEL IS UNGRATEFUL – Rightfully, everyone believes Angel owes her stardom to GMA-7 thus should show more loyalty. But on the other hand, she has also brought a

a lot of business and prestige to her mother station by all the big soap and movie hits she starred in. So one can argue that it was mutually beneficial — though GMA-7 did make Angel a star, it also made a lot of money with her.

2. ANGEL’S FUTURE – Though she was reportedly the top choice for the local version of "Mari Mar" (which has gone to Marian Rivera), one can ask – How many movies can Angel do with Richard Gutierrez? Looking forward, if she signed another long term contract with GMA-7, Angel and her manager surely wanted some assurance that she will continue to grow both as a person and as an actor. Only GMA-7 executives would know what their plans were for Angel, from her 5-year run with them, she may not have seen too many options but who knows what’s coming in the next five years?

3. ANGEL HAS NO ROOM IN ABS-CBN – Angel was the biggest female star in GMA-7, and enjoyed all the plum roles both on TV and on film, with them. Now that she moves to ABS-CBN, she will have to jostle for good roles against the kapamilya’s reigning home-grown stars – Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Baretto. But Claudine has just given birth, and will take some time to get ready to work again, while Judy Ann’s star is evolving as she takes on more mature roles. Angel’s entry may just be the right timing, as she will be filling a void in the network’s plans. But then again, will the ABS-CBN queens have it?

4. ABS-CBN IS A NEW WORLD FOR ANGEL – Though GMA-7 continues to lead the Metro Manila ratings, ABS-CBN is by far the bigger network by virtue of its multiple platforms — 2 free TV stations, 4 existing and 3 soon-to-be launched cable stations, the top movie production outfit, a recording label, leading radio stations on AM and FM, a huge publishing/print group, and a digital/interactive presence. Should the network really take the cudgels for her, Angel will have so many opportunities to grow, and learn, through these numerous avenues.

5. FEW STARS SURVIVE NETWORK TRANSFERS – This statement holds true particularly to those who are being branded as "ingrate" by the public. In fact, you can count a handful only of talents which became even bigger stars when they transferred from GMA-7 to ABS-CBN. Most everyone else, has faded. Even politicians seldom survive once their loyalties are questioned. A good example is ex-Sen. Tito Sotto, who was the top vote-getter in the Senate not too long ago, but now ended up losing after he joined the administration party.

6. THIS MOVE WILL BENEFIT THE PUBLIC – The public wants to see Angel acting beside Piolo Pascual, Sam Milby and Jericho Rosales. And of course, Judy Ann and Claudine. Due to the intense rivalry between ABS-CBN and GMA-7, this would have never happened if Angel did not make the move. These new combinations and pairings will generate more excitement for the projects they will star in.

7. RELATIONSHIPS CAN BE BROKEN BY THE SMALLEST OF THINGS – Meaning, no one may never know the real reason why Angel decided to move. Contracts bind people, and relationships are built on a lot of things. Something could have happened, something could have been said, something relevant enough for Angel to decide she is better off in another place.

Based on this last reason, no one can and should judge Angel. She has her own reasons, and after all has been said and done, only she will bear the fruits, or consequences, of her decision.

If there is something that may be commented on, it will be how Angel and Becky handled this move. Again, people have different stories of what really happened, but the bottom line, she should have been as best sincere and honest in dealing with her bosses in GMA-7. She should have made sure no bad feelings will be unnecessarily generated. She at least owed them that.

But, as always, life moves on for everyone. Iza Calzado and Marian Rivera are now the top prospects in GMA-7, and Angel, as mentioned, will be seen with new people and in new projects in her new station. And being realistic, this will not be the last time a major star will jump ship. It has happened before, it will happen again.
Manila Bulletin

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