Travel back to the ’80s and discover where and how it all began in the much-awaited prequel of GMA Network’s award-winning and well-loved family sitcom, Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento,’ premiering this Saturday, July 17.
The prequel introduces the fresh team-up of two of the Network’s highly-talented stars – Sef Cadayona as Pepito Manaloto, a shy but smart boy from Bulacan who always finds ways to earn money for his family and is always ready to lend a helping hand to those who are in need; and Mikee Quintos as Elsa dela Cruz, a book-smart and extremely competitive student transferee from Cebu who loves to cook and whose charm easily captures the hearts of her classmates.
Sef, who is no stranger to comedic roles and has proven his caliber as a comedian in his many years as a mainstay in Bubble Gang, admits feeling pressured having been entrusted with the lead role in the prequel, “Una sa lahat ang gagampanang role natin dito ay si Pepito Manaloto na more than 10 years na at talaga namang matibay. Tapos ipo-portray mo pa ‘yung batang Pepito, si Kuya Bitoy, siyempre nandoon ‘yung pressure. Ang pressure naman kasi hindi mawawala lalo na kung gustong-gusto mong ibigay ‘yung kaya mo. Personally, I can say na masuwerte ako na ang dami kong pwedeng hingan ng advice at guide kasi wiling na willing ang buong team na tulungan kami kung ano ‘yung kailangan namin maipakita sa Ang Unang Kuwento.”
Mikee, in turn, expresses her admiration for seasoned actress Manilyn Reynes whose character in the sitcom she will be portraying in the prequel, “Si Ms. Manilyn, I really admire her off-cam. Nakasama ko na siya before sa The Lost Recipe. ‘Yung guidance niya, how she is and how she talks – sobrang malumanay, very welcoming, and very mommy. Ganoon ‘yung vibe niya. It’s very distinct, her character. As Elsa, nage-enjoy akong gayahin siya kasi ang layo noon sa personality ko. Challenge siya but nae-enjoy ko siyang gawin.”
Set in the ’80s in a small and close-knit barangay in Caniogan, Bulacan, the show brings back the kilig and sentimentality of the period along with its socio-cultural nuances – all before the age of modern-day technology – that will surely revive nostalgic memories for all audiences.
Making Pepito and Elsa’s lives even more colorful and fun are Pokwang as Aling Tarsing Batumbakal, Mang Benny’s sweetheart who owns a cafeteria in the barangay and who treats Pepito as her own son; Gladys Reyes as Aling Rosa Generoso, Patrick’s mother who washes clothes for a living and is a certified gossipmonger in the barangay; Archie Alemania as Mang Benny Manaloto, Pepito’s widowed father who works as a truck assistant and loves money-making bets; Kokoy de Santos as Patrick Generoso, Pepito’s good-for-nothing and clumsy best friend who usually gets the two of them in trouble; EA Guzman as Nando, Patrick’s obnoxious brother and Aling Rosa’s favorite son who excels in sports and brings pride to their family; Kristoffer Martin as Wendell, the closeted classmate of Pepito and Patrick who hides his sexuality by bullying others; Denise Barbacena as Elma, Pepito’s unattractive neighbor who is always teased by his friends and has a secret crush on Pepito; Jay Arcilla as Eric, the haughty best friend of Wendell; Angel Guardian as Beth, Pepito’s classmate who has a crush on Patrick and is also Elsa’s friend.
Meanwhile, original cast members Manilyn Reynes and Michael V. will also be present in the prequel as narrators to tell the love story of young Pepito and Elsa. Michael V., apart from being the lead actor, Concept Creator, and Creative Director of the sitcom for years, is also behind the catchy theme song of Ang Unang Kuwento.
‘Ang Unang Kuwento’ follows the life of a teenage boy named Pepito and his shenanigans in school and at home with his best friend Patrick, and his love-and-hate relationship with his classmate and future wife, Elsa. Apart from the romance between Pepito and Elsa, the prequel also explores why luck seems to be Pepito’s friend and how his kindheartedness always saves him from the troubles he gets into.
Travel back in time and discover where and how it all began in ‘Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento’ – under the helm of esteemed director Bert de Leon – beginning Saturday (July 17), 6:15PM, on GMA-7.