Cignal TV launches superior shows for global Filipinos

By Edmund Silvestre

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Content Cows CEO Wilma Galvante (center) with Cignal Entertainment CEO Jane Basas, Unitel president Madonna Tarrayo and other content partners

MANILA, Philippines - Christian Bables, local filmdom’s It Boy and Best Supporting Actor winner for Die Beautiful, finally gets to be the lead star in the cable TV spinoff of the acclaimed Metro Manila Film Festival entry that also made Paolo Ballesteros an international award-winning actor.

Titled Born Beautiful, the 12-part series follows Bables’ character Barbs after her BFF Trisha (Ballesteros) was laid to rest, and Barbs becomes a mortuary make-up artist. And no, Born Beautiful is not the launching pad of the handsome Bables because he’s already been launched to stardom by Die Beautiful, the director Jun Robles Lana stated matter-of-factly.

Born Beautiful is just one of the many intriguing and hotly-anticipated Filipino shows CignalTV is launching this year with its newly-formed Cignal Entertainment — touted as a full entertainment brand of original content that will “address the varied tastes of Filipinos globally.”

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Christian Bables sizzles in the teaser of Born Beautiful

At the star-studded Cignal Entertainment media night held last July 12 at EDSA Shangri-La, Born Beautiful’s teaser and its lead star, beamed on a giant screen all dolled up and flirting as Barbs, drew the loudest applause and cheers. Bables, seated at a corner with fellow actors and director Lana and producer Percy Intalan of IdeaFirst Company, acknowledged the crowd’s warm reaction with a smile and nod.

Cignal TV — with its nearly two million subscribers and 66 million broadband and mobile subscribers available in the Smart/PLDTgroup — is banking on Born Beautiful to help it grab a larger pie of viewers — particularly the millennials — who are turning to cable television for entertainment.

“The challenge now is to tell good stories,” said Cignal TV president Jane Basas, “stories that are able to touch us, move us, motivate us or even change us; stories that are intelligent, relevant, of the highest quality, and most of all, stories that are meant for the global Filipinos.” 

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Stars Karel Marquez and James Blanco

Prior to Born Beautiful’s airing at a later date, a line-up of shows that deserve equal attention is in the offing led by the back-to-back episode of the July 22 premiere (10:30 p.m.) of Tukhang, a riveting crime drama that explores the social costs behind the controversial war on drugs while mining the human drama that surrounds it. 

The original four-part series, directed by Lawrence Fajardo and produced by Masque Valley Productions, stars James Blanco, Karel Marquez, Yul Servo, Zandra Summer, Archie Adamos, Raffy Tejada, Butch Francisco and Mon Confiado as Sen. Vince Mallari, who is hiding a damaging secret. It will be available on Colours (Channel 60 SD, Channel 202 HD), Sari Sari (Channel 3 SD) and Bloomberg TVPhilippines (Channel 8SD, Channel 250HD) on Cignal.

Other major reasons to tune in to Cignal TV include Tabi Po, The Orbiters, Sleepless The Series, Feels Like Forever and Advocasine 1 & 2.

Paolo Bediones, who emceed the media event, also got his own show in the line-up, Good Vibes with Paolo, which will showcase new OPM music and talents.

To fulfill its commitment of superior entertainment, Cignal has initially partnered with some of the giants in the industry. Among them the Sari-Sari Network (Vincent del Rosario, president and COO of Viva Communications), Unitel (Madonna Tarrayo, president), IdeaFirst (Intalan, president), Content Cows (Wilma Galvante, CEO), Masque Valley Productions (Ernesto “Bong” Sta. Maria Jr., executive chairman) and the Fox Networks Group Philippines (Jude Turcuato, SVP, general manager).

Celebrities appearing in all upcoming Cignal Entertainment shows came in full force at EDSA Shangri-La. Aside from those mentioned, also spotted were Albie Casiño, Luis Alandy, Martin Escudero, Mara Lopez, AJ Muhlach, Trina Legaspi, IC Mendoza, Archie Adamos, Acey Aguilar and Shaira Mae. Musical entertainment was provided by Pinopela.

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