MANILA, October 21, 2003  (MALAYA) STILL nursing from the hurt inflicted by the ABS-CBN sweep of the movie press' Star Awards the previous Saturday, and then buoyed by the supportive cheer the network got from other writers and editors who thought GMA-7 shows and talents deserved to win, the guys at Kapuso network hosted on October 16 GMA's All-Out Blowout party, "a night of all-out fun and entertainment" at Le Pavillon Metropolitan Park.

There, GMA Network gathered its officers, executives and stars, along with members of the press from the country's broadsheets, tabloids and magazines for the grandest blowout to welcome five new programs to be launched one after the other this and the coming weeks.

Food was in abundance. Red and white wine, and fruit wine flowed; the bar ran out of sodas-for a while-but never wine and beer. Visitors were first asked to pose for digital photographs at the lobby before being ushered into the hall. The entrance was a ramp that led to the massive hall full of well-appointed tables and chairs, and mini-stages where at different points, the stars, hosts, executives, and guests appeared and had fun.

GMA's top honcho, Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, in fetching casual getup, welcomed everybody to the event and told PMPC members who were in the crowd that despite GMA's disappointing showing at the Star Awards, the Kapuso network still held them in their hearts. "We still love you," he said.

Hosted by Butch Francisco and Kai Brosas, the party teemed with lavish raffle prizes, exciting games, and a wild abundance of food and drinks.

The stellar event was highlighted by the groundbreaking introduction of the network's newest shows: "Starstruck," "Twin Hearts," "All Together Now," "Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita," and "Celebrity Turns With Juni Lee and Lani Misalucha."

"Starstruck" is a reality-based talent search from which will emerge two young aspiring artists-one male and one female-who will soon join GMA's stable of stars. Hosted by Dingdong Dantes and Nancy Castiglione, the program has been described as innovative, aimed at rekindling young Filipinos' dreams of becoming stars by urging them to believe in themselves and survive all the challenges that will come their way.

More than a massive talent search aired daily on primetime TV, "Starstruck" is a test of the contestants' endurance and determination to reach for their dreams. And the best part of it is that the rest of the country not only stands witness to but also plays a vital part in the selection of who among the contestants survive to become GMA's newest stars.

As the freshest teledrama to complete the GMA "Telebabad block," "Twin Hearts," is a light drama revolving mainly around a performing arts school where two hearts bound to be together withstand even death to fulfill their destiny. Top-billed by Pops Fernandez, Rudy Fernandez, Lani Mercado, Jestoni Alarcon, and the love triangle of Dingdong Dantes, Tanya Garcia and Dennis Trillo, "Twin Hearts" is a tale of undying love.

"All Together Now" (not inspired by the Beatle kiddie tune "Altogether Now") is a sitcom reuniting Christopher de Leon, Edgar Mortiz, and Johnny Delgado of Goin' Bananas fame. Pops Fernandez is also in the cast along with loveteam Angel Locsin and Railey Valeroso, Alicia Meyer, Kakai Brosas, Gary Lim, Contin, among others. With its hilarious plot and wacky characters, "All Together Now" is a welcome boobtube treat.

Another new sitcom will premiere soon. It is "Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita," featuring Richard Gomez, Joey Marquez, Raymart Santiago, and Benjie Paras in the role of brothers who are bullies in their neighborhood but meek lambs in the face of their feisty mother, played by veteran singer-actress Pilita Corrales. A delightful riot. Welcome back to Philippine television, Pilita.

Another GMA innovation that is a surefire hit is the infotainment program "Celebrity Turns with Juni Lee and Lani Misalucha," showcasing the unique hosting talent of "Bubble Gang's" Juni Lee (played by versatile comedian Michael V.) and the exceptional singing of Asia's Nightingale Lani Misalucha. Two remarkable icons in one show-a full hour of weekly fun and pure entertainment.

With these five new shows, GMA said it has more than enough reason for a network-wide celebration. All its stars, officers and staff beamed with excitement with the introduction of the all-new programs they hope will create waves in the Filipino's daily TV fare.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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