Manila, July 3, 2003 (MALAYA) AS Ms. Mel Tiangco says, "We conceptualized and decided to do 'Magpakailanman' (Thursdays at 10 p.m. on GMA) not for the ratings or revenue it will bring to GMA-7. It is a drama anthology with a message. Likewise, [we want the program] to feature only true stories that enhance good family values and give inspiration to the viewing public."

Tita Mel, as the drama host is more popularly called, is right. With the concerted effort of all those involved with every episode, the program has now become a byword and a must-see every Thursday night. It has captivated the audience with its variety of stories not only of celebrities but of people from all walks of life as well.

From the researchers, the story goes to the pool of writers headed by noted playwright Jun Lana. A pre-production meeting is held where director Argel Joseph confers with the program executives Redgie A. Magno (program manager), Malou Crisologo (executive producer) and Joseph Buncalan (associate producer). The casting and location-hunting follows.

"Tita Mel is very supportive and meticulous. She wants all her spiels to be shot in different scenic spots. Ayaw niya 'yung sa studio lang. So we hie off to such places as Ilocos, Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Zambales, etc. At bongga siya lagi, di ba? She wears designer clothes and always appears well-coiffed and beautifully made up," Buncalan said.

This week, Ogie Alcasid plays Senator Juan Flavier in the episode "Minsan May Isang Doktor" in "Magpakailanman." Juan is a promdi who decides to become a doctor of medicine to help his poor townmates who still believe in albularyos. It was a trying and heartbreaking experience for the young doctor as the people he wants to serve scoff at him and his intentions.

How Juan succeeded in being accepted by the people and started his career as a public servant will be told in the dramatization of his story this Thursday at 10 p.m.

With Ogie in the cast are Gina Pareņo (Juan's mother), Suzette Ranillo (elder sister), Iza Delgado (girlfriend), Ihman Esturco (bestfriend), Joe Gruta (the arbularyo), and Goyong (the young Flavier).

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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