Directors Manny Palo and Darnel Villaflor recounted ABS-CBN’s against all odds journey during the pandemic and its shutdown.
In the media conference for the final week of Walang Hanggang Paalam, directors Palo and Villaflor reckoned the struggles they faced during the taping of the teleserye.
First, Villaflor shared the almost 50-day locked-in filming they had to go through to finish the teleserye.
“Almost 50 days, to be exact. Siguro for the staff for the actors, dalawang set of tapings. Dalawang bubble set.
“Ang hirap in a sense ang gagaling nung cast, lahat sila gusto mo bigyan ng highlight nila. sa kwento sa istorya. Kumbaga para mabigyan ng justice character nila,” said Villaflor.
Then, Director Palo recounted the heartbreaking moment when the news that Congress denied ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal on July 10, 2020.
He highlighted that they were taping an action sequence between Paolo Avelino and Jake Cuenca’s character, with the Congress’ decision in the back of their minds.
“If you are going to ask me the most memorable taping day sa buong series, that would be July 10, 2020. That was a Friday shino-shoot namin dun yung napakahirap na, napakahabang action sequence between Paolo and Jake Cuenca dun sa Subic Yacht club. Ito yung naroon pa yung bata sa yate.
“And then at the back of our minds, iniisip namin the same day dedesisyunan ng kongreso kung ano ang mangyayari sa ABS-CBN franchise,” said Palo.
Then, Palo admitted he got emotional when the news broke that Congress denied ABS-CBN’s franchise, alongside the cast who went quiet. He recalled that the actors huddled among themselves and started pouring out their emotions.
“And then, I think around 4 o’clock in the afternoon when natapos yung botohan. And we hear that the franchise will not be/ renewed. Lahat kami, tumahimik lahat. Ako lumayo ako sa malayo kasi nasa yacht club ako di ko mapigilang umiyak. Then we started crying, and our actors nagkanya-kanyang pwesto nag-iyakan,” Palo admitted.
Despite the emotions they felt, the cast and crew got back to taping the sequence.
“And then, sabi ko tapusin lang natin tong eksenang ito. Yung mahabang sequence na yun. And then, we all went inside the building. We were all so quiet and sad dun sa nangyari,” said Palo.
Palo also added that while taping, they felt anxious that the series they worked so hard for would end up in vain with the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise and the pandemic.
“Nalulungkot kami na may pandemic nga tayong kinahakaharap nung panahong yun inisip namin yung mga kasamahan natin, yung mga Kapamilya na mawawalan ng trabaho. At kahit naramdaman namin yung takot, na yung pinagpapaguran namin, yung pinagpaguran namin ng panahong yun baka hindi na maipalabas o hindi na matuloy. Because those where really uncertain times.”
He recalled calling the production to request to call it a day after completing the sequence so that the cast and crew could have time to process what happened with ABS-CBN.
“Tumawag ako sa production pwede bang tapusin na lang namin tong eksena, and then we call it a day. Kasi sobrang bigat na yung nararamdaman namin. And the actors being very professional, really finished the scene and really delivered.”
Because of their emotional state, he recalled that the cast and crew sat down, had a drink, and talked things over to process the events that happened that day.
“Naalala ko sila Paolo, sina Angelica, bawal uminom pero hindi namin napigilan. Uminom kami.
“And then after that, naginuman kami after and then nagusap kung anong mangyayari dun sa buhay natin, sa panahon ng pandemya, nawalan tayo ng network, at anong gagawin natin sa show, sa Walang Hanggang Paalam,” said Palo.
Then, Palo mentioned that the cast and crew completed the series against all odds with their hard work and God’s blessing.
“Pero ang maganda dito narito tayong lahat. Celebrating hanggang finale. It’s quite an experience. Doon mo malalaman na against all odds, everyone is willing to work hard, and with God’s blessing, malalampasan mo lahat yan. Aabot ka doon sa gusto mong marating,” said Palo.
Then, he thanked ABS-CBN, Dreamscape Entertainment, the staff and crew, the actors, and the creatives because they reached the series finale. Then, Palo said that with or without the franchise, and against all odds, ABS-CBN aims to deliver quality entertainment.
“Maraming maraming salamat sa ABS-CBN, sa staff sa crew, sa Dreamscape entertainment, sa creatives sa staff and crew sa lahat ng mga artista, umabot tayo hanggang finale. With or with out the franchise, yun naman ang commitment ng ABS-CBN no, na against all odds, gagawa at gagawa ng paraan yan to deliver quality entertainment sa ating manonood in all different platforms,” said Palo.
Now on its last week, Walang Hanggang Paalam aims to deliver a gripping conclusion for Emman (Paulo Avelino), Celine (Angelica Panganiban), Anton (Zanjoe Marudo), and Amelia (Cherry Pie Picache) character arcs. Catch the “Against All Odds” finale of the teleserye on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, Kapamilya Online Live YouTube channel, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, and iWantTFC. For viewers outside of the Philippines, catch it on The Filipino Channel on cable and IPTV.