Interesting Stories

GMA Network Continues To Bring Filipinos All Over The World Feel Closer To Home Through ‘Pinoy Abroad Fun Connect’

GMA Pinoy TV continues to bring Filipinos all over the world to feel closer to home and closer together as the flagship GMA international channel treats fans to an exclusive chance to bond with the stars of new Kapuso shows through ‘Pinoy Abroad Fun Connect’ or ‘FunCon.’
A series of virtual events where fans can get to video chat with their favorite Kapuso artists and get to participate in games with them, GMA Pinoy TV recently held FunCons for the cast of “Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kwento,” “Legal Wives,” and “Nagbabagang Luha.”  
Pepito Manaloto FunCon
In the Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kwento FunCon, Michael V (Pepito) and Manilyn Reynes (Elsa) together with the new cast including Sef Cadayona and Mikee Quintos (who portray the younger versions of Pepito and Elsa), Kokoy De Santos, Gladys Reyes, Archie Alemania, EA Guzman, Kristoffer Martin, Denise Barbacena, and Jay Arcilla were spoiled with so many surprises along with the overwhelming support by the fans all over the world.
The Kapuso abroad travelled back to the ’80s and got to hear from the cast themselves on how they prepared for the show and what to watch out for in the prequel of GMA’s award-winning and well-loved family sitcom.
The cast welcomed questions from the fans where Michael V., fondly known as Bitoy, shared that they had planned on bringing the show to the US and Canada as well. “Yan ang pangarap namin talaga for the show,” said Bitoy who revealed that they were supposed to bring Pepito Manaloto to Dubai, UAE right before the pandemic started. “Not just to shoot or tape an episode, kundi magbigay ng entertainment din sa mga kababayan natin. Siguro mag-hold ng mini-concert, mga press conference, at mga live na ganito with the fans,” said Bitoy who, apart from being the lead actor, Concept Creator, and Creative Director of the sitcom for years, is also behind the show’s catchy theme songs.
One of the main highlights of the FunCon was when GMA Pinoy TV showed an anime version of the Pepito Manaloto opening, complete with a Japanese translation of the theme song. The animation was created by Jose Antonio Santos, an avid fan of Bitoy and has been supporting the show since 2010, who also gifted the show a cartoon version of the “Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento” title card along with the cast. Bitoy, on behalf of the entire show, thanked and applauded the Pinoy animator for his passion and his ‘labor of love’ as he knows that only true fans of Pepito Manaloto would do such a great effort. He also learned that Jose did the video animation to cheer him up when he got COVID-19 last year, which made the tribute even more touching and meaningful.
The cast and fans also got to meet Hachi Yoshida, the Japanese composer who created the Japanese version of the show’s theme song coming from his Pinoy YouTube followers’ request. Bitoy and the rest of the cast were very much impressed with Hachi’s talent who did everything by himself – from the translation, musical arrangement, and up to the vocals. Bitoy heartfully commended Hachi and was even open to a possible YouTube collaboration and visit him in Japan after the pandemic.  
In addition to the fans sharing their art, the artists’ loved ones also took part in the FunCon where Bitoy’s wife and Manilyn’s cousins from abroad and Cebu gave heartwarming video messages. 
Packed with many surprises, the FunCon was indeed an equally enjoyable event for both the Pinoys abroad and for the cast of Pepito Manaloto as it was evident how well-bonded they were.  
Travel back in time and discover where and how it all began in “Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento” every Saturday on GMA Pinoy TV. To check its airing schedule in your area, visit
Legal Wives FunCon
Shortly a few days after the virtual bonding with the Pepito Manaloto cast, the fans were again treated to meet the stars of GMA’s highly-anticipated primetime series “Legal Wives”. The riveting family drama, which premiered last July 26, tells the story of a unique family where a Mranaw man, Ismael, played by Kapuso Drama King Dennis Trillo, marries three different women – Alice Dixson, Andrea Torres, and Bianca Umali.
Legal Wives head writer Suzette Doctolero also joined the FunCon where fans got a peek at how they came up with such a groundbreaking concept and how truthful the portrayals were in the show through the help of Sohaimen Agal, one of the Muslim consultants.
The stars were up for fun and games with “How Well Do You Know Dennis?” where the three wives were tested through a series of questions about Dennis’ favorites, hobbies, and preferences. The four of them also bared their hearts with the fans about their dream wedding, the first place they’d go to after the pandemic, and their advice to their younger selves in the “Complete the Sentence” game.
Hundreds of fans that attended and watched the FunCon were likewise eager to ask the stars about their preparations and experiences while doing the show and how they immersed themselves in the colorful Muslim culture.
Alice portrays the role of Ismael’s first wife, Amirah Alonte. She shared how she enjoyed bonding with her co-actors during the lock-in tapings where they got to chat and got to know each other even more despite the challenges of being away from her newborn baby.
Andrea, who plays a non-Muslim woman who will later have conflicts with Alice when she becomes the second wife, revealed that she found Alice intimidating at first, but immediately realized how amicable she actually was during their first lock-in meeting.
On the other hand, Bianca shared that the major preparation she did for her role was doing a lot of research about the culture and religion. She said that she appreciates how she learns new things in every project and that she’s even grateful for bagging such challenging roles that help her hone her craft.
Dennis disclosed how he was initially expecting a new show with a lighter theme after coming from a serious one in his previous primetime series “Cain at Abel.” However, he found it difficult to say “no” when he saw how good the story was.
Meanwhile, the fans may have learned so many new things about the artists during the virtual event, but the surprises did not end there as the cast definitely did not expect to see their friends and family from different parts of the world through heartwarming video messages. Alice, whose birthday was two days away from the show’s premiere, got a birthday greeting from her good friends and cousin from California. Bianca’s sister and cousin also gave touching messages for her and wished her luck on the show. Andrea couldn’t hold back her tears when she saw her older brother from Australia whom she hasn’t seen in a long time. Dennis was also deeply touched with the messages from his son and girlfriend, fellow Kapuso star Jennylyn Mercado.
Nagbabagang Luha FunCon
From giving the ultimate 80s throwback to the enthralling tale of a man with three wives in the latest Kapuso programs, GMA Pinoy TV makes the viewers abroad glued to the screens with the GMA remake of the classic Ishmael Bernal film “Nagbabagang Luha” which had its world premiere last August 2.
The cast of the 2021 TV version led by sought-after actress Glaiza de Castro with leading man Rayver Cruz, along with Kapuso actors Mike Tan and Royce Cabrera, as well as promising actress Claire Castro, join the fans in the online meet and greet. The FunCon opened with high energy as Rayver showed off his Tiktok dance moves live while Glaiza serenaded everyone with a heartful song that fans very much enjoyed.     
In the show, Glaiza and Claire play the role of Maita and Cielo, two sisters who fell in love with one man, portrayed by Rayver, in an intriguing story of love, family, and betrayal.
Some lucky Kapuso fans got a chance to exercise their acting chops with their idols in the “Nagbabagang Linya: The Ultimate Acting Challenge.” They re-enacted some of the iconic scenes from the series which brought laughter and good vibes to the virtual event.
Talking about her experience being with the Filipino community abroad, Glaiza shared that she appreciates the outpouring support of Pinoys whenever she travels outside the country. “Eto ‘yung namimiss ko sa mga Kapuso abroad, iba yung pagtanggap nila sa’yo. Hindi dahil artista ako kundi dahil kapwa Pilipino ako,” shared Glaiza who even recalled one encounter when a Filipina guided her when she got lost in the UK.
The lead stars, who got candid with their fans while answering some of their questions, got pleasant surprises through video messages from their loved ones. Glaiza was stunned as she never expected seeing her Irish fiancé as well as his mom on video as she knows that they are very private people. She also shared how glad she was to know that her fiancé is not just proud of her, but also of the people she works with.
Rayver, on the other hand, received a touching message from his brother and fellow Kapuso actor Rodjun Cruz who shared how lucky he is to have him as a brother and that he is sure that their late parents are also truly proud and happy for Rayver’s achievements.
The entire cast even got a special message from Gabby Concepcion, who originally played the role of Alex. Gabby congratulated them and advised them to be their own version of their roles and get out of their comfort zones. 
Before ending the online chikahan, ‘The Clash’ Season 3 Grand Champion Jessica Villarubin performed the official series theme song titled “Walang Hanggan.”
Expect more surprises as GMA Pinoy TV celebrates its anniversary this August! Kapuso fans can also rewatch the FunCon events on GMA Pinoy TV’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Make sure to follow GMA Pinoy TV’s official social media accounts and subscribe to GMA Pinoy TV to be a part of the next Pinoy Abroad Fun Connect!  
Viewers abroad can continue watching Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kwento, Legal Wives, and Nagbabagang Luha as well as all the Kapuso shows on GMA’s flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV.
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