My Husband's Lover
|My Husband's Lover|
|Created by||GMA Entertainment TV Group|
|Developed by||Suzette Doctolero|
|Written by||Marlon Miguel
|Directed by||Dominic Zapata|
|Creative director(s)||Jun Lana|
|Opening theme||One More Try
sung by Kuh Ledesma
|Ending theme||Help Me Get Over
sung by Jonalyn Viray
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|Original language(s)||Filipino, Tagalog, English|
|No. of episodes||94|
|Executive producer(s)||Carolyn B. Galve|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||30-45 minutes|
|Original network||GMA Network|
|Picture format||480i NTSC|
|Original release||June 10– October 18, 2013|
|Preceded by||Love & Lies|
|Related shows||The Rich Man's Daughter|
My Husband's Lover is a Filipino drama television series created and developed by Suzette Doctolero and produced by GMA Network. It premiered on June 10, 2013 replacing Love & Lies on the network's coveted Primetime block, and June 11, 2013 worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV. The series concluded on October 18, 2013, comprising ninety-four episodes. The series stars Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo as the main characters. Carolyn Galve serves as the executive producer of show and Dominic Zapata directed the series.
It is credited as the very first gay-themed series in Philippine television due to the series' central subject of homosexual relationships and infidelity. The show has multiple continuing story lines that tackle sensitive yet relevant social issues like homosexual and bisexual relationships, homophobia and the society's discrimination against homosexuals, infidelity, pre-marital sex and the consequences of early or unplanned marriages. It also tackles the importance of family, friendship, integrity and love. The forty-five-minute scripted drama chronicles the life of a woman, who belatedly discovers that her husband has been carrying on an affair, but not with another woman.
Vincent got his girlfriend Lally pregnant while they were still in college. So they decided to get married even if the two of them were not ready for the responsibility and Vincent's mother, Elaine, was very much against it. Thus Lally's married life was never smooth-sailing because of Elaine. But for the love of her husband, Lally endures the hardships in dealing with her mother-in-law and with he support of her father-in-law. However, when Lally got pregnant with their second child, Vincent suddenly became distant and cold towards her.
Unknown to Lally, Vincent is keeping a secret from her; it is also a secret he has kept from everyone else since he was young. Vincent is a closeted bisexual man who never came out for fear that it'll destroy his family. However, everything changed when he once again crosses paths with Eric - his greatest love. Unlike Vincent, Eric is openly gay. But, just like Vincent, he is still in love with him.
Eventually, the two men start an affair and Vincent tries to hide the affair from Lally by showering her with gifts and attention. However, Lally's intuition tells her that something is wrong in her seemingly perfect marriage. That's when she starts to investigate and she eventually learns of Vincent's darkest secret.
Cast and characters
The series featured three main characters and nine prominent recurring characters throughout its run.
- Carla Abellana portrays Lally Agatep-Soriano, the loving wife of Vincent and a mother of two. She is described as intelligent, romantic lady who will do everything for the man she loves. Lally has been married to Vincent for ten years. She tries to be a perfect wife to Vincent in all aspects. But their seemingly perfect marriage starts to fall apart when Eric del Mundo comes into the picture. It turns out that Eric was Vincent's first love, and the two have rekindled their flame.
- Tom Rodriguez portrays Vincent Soriano, Lally's loving husband. He is a car enthusiast; he collects and sells luxury cars as his business. Rich, handsome and intelligent, Vincent is a "perfect catch" for women except for one thing – he is a closeted bisexual. He fought his bisexual feelings and married Lally to please his parents and society, but he later realizes that he cannot totally forget his love for his high school lover, Eric del Mundo.
- Dennis Trillo portrays Eric del Mundo. He is Vincent's first romance. Smart and sophisticated; he is an architect, managing his own design business. He poses a tough image for everyone to see, and is gay. Eric returns and is determined to win back the love of the man he lost in his youth. Instead, he finds that Vincent is already married to Lally, with whom he already has had two kids.
- Kuh Ledesma portrays Elaine Soriano. She is Vincent's loving mother, Diego and Hannah's grandmother and an austere mother-in-law to Lally. Known for her overbearing and perfectionist nature, Elaine is not easy to please and rarely satisfied with anything. She is also opinionated and frequently can’t help but express her strongly held belief, regardless of offending others.
- Roi Vinzon portrays Armando Soriano. He is Vincent's delightful father and Diego and Hannah's grandfather. Armando is a retired Army-General and a certified womanizer during his prime. A homophobic; Armando easily gets irritated every time he encounters gay men and treats them with contempt and spite.
- Glydel Mercado portrays Sandra Agatep. She is Lally and Evelyn's doting mother. Though she is not a perfect mom, Sandra is admirable for single-handedly raising her two daughters. She spends her life as a destitute mother whose only dream is to give her children a better future and is willing to sacrifice everything – even her morals – for them.
- Chanda Romero portrays Sol del Mundo. She is Eric's loving and supportive mother. Sinag, as she is commonly referred to (a Tagalog word which means "ray" in English) is a visual artist. Also a popular novelist. Sol knows about her son's sexual orientation and she supports him wholeheartedly. She is characterized as being liberated and has a pleasant outlook on life.
- Karel Marquez portrays Evelyn Agatep. She is Lally's older sister, who is her exact opposite in terms of outlook on life. Her frustrations, rebellious and self-centered nature drives her to make drastic decisions that eventually leads her to life of mistakes, regrets and penance. At present, she lives a humble life with her three children. Her husband left her for another woman.
- Bettina Carlos portrays Vicky Araneta, Lally's best friend and confidante. She is a thirty-year-old single mother, working as a fashion editor and stylist at a magazine. Vicky is characterized as being so jaded with love that she chooses to have a string of flings with younger men than to be in a committed relationship.
- Victor Basa portrays David. He is Vincent's college best friend and ex-lover. David is a chef and is proud of being gay but not the flamboyant type. he is described as an intelligent, romantic guy who will do everything for his greatest love. David serves as conscience to Vincent, advised him to come out of the closet and choose the one who will make him happy.
- Kevin Santos portrays Danny. He is Eric's best friend and confidante. An "all-out" gay, known for his biting and sarcastic wit, and bad luck in relationships – which become a point of humor within the series. His failed love life is possibly due to his aggressiveness and jealousy in relationships.
- Antone Limgenco and Elijah Alejo portray Diego "Diegs" and Hanna "Munchkin" Soriano, respectively, Vincent and Lally's children, and Sandra, Armando and Elaine's grandchildren.
Notable guest characters
Below is the list of notable guest characters (being those who have been in the series for some considerable time and have had a significant impact on the story) appeared in the series:
|Actor||Character||Character description||Episode count|
|Keempee de Leon||Zandro "Zsa Zsa" Soriano||Vincent's transgendered cousin.||12|
|Rodjun Cruz||Martin Lizada||Eric's other love interest.||8|
|Pancho Magno||Paul Salcedo||Lally's new-found friend and confidante.||6|
|Roy Alvarez||Manuel Soriano||Armando's older brother, father to Zandro and uncle to Vincent.||6|
|Mark Gil||Galo Agatep||Sandra's husband and father to Lally and Evelyn.||8|
|Chynna Ortaleza||Stella||A pregnant homeless person who David offers to help in exchange for her baby.||8|
|Ashley Cabrera||Mikaella||Stella's baby||1|
|Jaclyn Jose||Doña Charito Vda. de Carbonel||A crossover character from Mundo Mo'y Akin, which shows up as Elaine's old friend.||1|
|Ryan Agoncillo||Sam||Lally's newfound love interest at the end of the series.||1|
Conception and development
|" I'm sure a lot of people are gonna say a thing or two about the show. All I really have to say is, this show is a love story. And love is a beautiful thing and it shines through no matter age, no matter race, no matter color, and no matter gender preference. Love is love and no matter what package it comes in, it's still beautiful."|
|— Series' director, Dominic Zapata on the show's theme|
Series' creator Suzette Doctolero began developing the series in early 2013. It all started with her desire to create a non-traditional, out of the box yet has social relevance, truthful, emotional and with "real" characters stories. The idea for the series was conceived when Doctolero began thinking about the question: "What would you do if you find out that you husband is cheating on you... with another man?" Although the idea is not-an-easy-story-to-tell because of its controversial theme which touches on the sensitive issue of homosexual and bisexual relationships, Doctolero explained that "the show is not all about the queerness of the characters but more of a love story and a family drama. When Doctolero presented the idea to GMA Network, the management said "yes" easily because they found the concept interesting and "it was based on the relatability of the masses to the topic."
Carolyn Galve served as the executive producer of the series throughout its run. Dominic Zapata was assigned to direct the show. Zapata said "It's very refreshing for me to direct this material. The subject is really sensitive and I want to be accurate in portraying how gay people are and the dynamics of gay relationships so we did a lot of research. I don't want to make a mistake or make a misrepresentation." Regarding the theme, Zapata stressed "I'm sure a lot of people are gonna say a thing or two about the show. All I really have to say is, this show is a love story. And love is a beautiful thing and it shines through no matter age, no matter race, no matter color, and no matter gender preference. Love is love and no matter what package it comes in, it's still beautiful."
Filming for the series began May 21, 2013. Many of the scenes were filmed on location in Quezon City. The show is designed for sixteen-week run. The show is extended for additional three weeks and concluded in October 2013.
The series' program manager, Helen Rose Sese clarified that the show won't delve on the sensual aspects of relationships—straight or not. "The show's intention is not to promote gay and lesbian relationship, but more of a reflection that this is happening now. The creative team will also be under scrutiny to try and avoid noise on the part of religious groups. We also make sure we don’t go beyond anything that will offend them, as well as the gay community." Sese also stressed that the network has informed the local censors' body on the potentially controversial series. The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) has shown understanding of their material while warning them to observe certain limitations in presenting delicate scenes for general viewership. The show has been approved without cuts by the MTRCB, albeit with an SPG or Strong Parental Guidance rating.
A kissing scene between Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo was supposed to be aired in the finale but was not shown due to MTRCB guidelines. The scene could be seen in the DVD version of the show.
The series featured three main characters and nine prominent recurring characters throughout its run. Dennis Trillo and Carla Abellana were the first two actors to be cast for the lead roles. Abellana was cast as Lally Agatep-Soriano, a woman who struggles to be the perfect wife for the husband she loves who, in fact is a closeted gay. Although she described the series as "a risky project", Abellana didn't have qualms accepting the role. She loves that the series encompasses a wider audience which include straight, gay, lesbian, married or single audience. Trillo, on the other hand had recently finishing Temptation of Wife, was chosen to play Eric del Mundo, a gay architect and the lover of Lally’s husband, Vincent Soriano. Trillo was originally cast as Vincent Soriano but he decided to play Eric del Mundo instead. Trillo is not new to gay roles. He already played gay characters in the past – most particularly in 2004 period film Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita where he won and was nominated in several acting awards.
Tom Rodriguez was chosen to portray Vincent Soriano, a closeted gay, from many actors who auditioned for the said role. Rodriguez had to go through tests before being cast. He recently left ABS-CBN and signed GMA Network to appear in the show. During his audition, Rodriguez acted one scene—a break-up scene—with Trillo. Zapata described Rodriguez as "the perfect Vincent" among the many actors who auditioned for the role, said that "[While] the others treated homosexuality as a disease, Tom interpreted it with so much understanding, and that's what we're looking for." Rodriguez described his role as very complex and demanding as the whole conflict of the show lies in his character. Rodriguez said, to prepare for the project, he watched gay-themed films like Brokeback Mountain and Love of Siam and talked to people with similar stories. He also did research and found out that "homosexual love is not really different from a heterosexual one. But of course things are more difficult for them because of all the social biases that exist."
Singer Kuh Ledesma was signed on to portray Elaine Soriano, after reading the week 1 script. The role Armando Soriano was originally offered to Phillip Salvador but he turned it down, so the role went to Roi Vinzon. Bettina Carlos was signed on to play "the young cougar" Vicky Araneta, and said that "My role is seemingly simple but it's a challenge to make the cougar come out and give life to a young cougar." Victor Basa originally auditioned for the role of Vincent Soriano, but ended up portraying David, Vincent's all-out gayfriend and ex-lover. Basa finds his role quite difficult in the sense that he doesn't want his character to look "stereotype" or just like any other homosexual role seen in media.
The main theme song of My Husband's Lover is "One More Try" by Kuh Ledesma, who also portrays Elaine Soriano in the show. This song is also heard in the opening and ending credits of the show. The song was written by well-known composer Cecile Azarcon. It was released in 1984 and part of the album I Think I'm in Love and under the now-defunct Blackgold Records.
The show also has a secondary theme song. It is "Help Me Get Over" by Jonalyn Viray and was written by Tata Betita. It is taken out from Jonalyn Viray EP which was released in May 19, 2013. The EP was produced by Creative Media Entertainment and distributed by Universal Records. After the song's inclusion into the show, it has performed well in the iTunes Philippines charts, even reaching the top 10. It also peaked at no. 5 in the myx Hit Chart (although Myx is owned by a competing network ABS-CBN.
The show also uses two other theme songs, "Sabihin Mo Naman" and "Ayoko Na". The song "Sabihin Mo Naman" is sung by Kris Lawrence and composed by himself and Noah Zuniga. It is also the first single of his third album Spread the Love. The other song, "Ayoko Na", by Jessa Zaragoza is composed by her husband, Dingdong Avanzado. It is the third single from her album Pag Wala Na Ang Ulan. Both of these two singles were released under GMA Records.
|"The series explains in a broad spectrum that love cannot be defined by sexual preference alone, that love has its own understanding of what is right and wrong, and is ready to suffer even under very harsh circumstances."|
|— Butch Roldan, Journal columnist |
The series is considered as a "ratings success" from its pilot telecast. Based on the overnight household ratings data recorded in Urban Luzon for June 10–12 by Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, the show scored an average household rating of 20.5% versus its counterpart program on ABS-CBN with 16.6%. Meanwhile, in Mega Manila, My Husband's Lover posted an even bigger margin with 22.2% against Apoy Sa Dagat's 15.9%. For its whole pilot week, it won against its competitor in Mega Manila. But, when it comes to nationwide ratings, it didn't win against Apoy Sa Dagat as it dominated their timeslot also for the whole week, this is according to Kantar Media Philippines.
Aside from the ratings, the series also garnered a generally positive response from professional and mainstream critics, viewers and netizens, with some praising the network's brave move in producing an "out-of-the-box" television series. The series even conquered the trending topics on social networking site Twitter (both Philippines and worldwide). Every episode of the show trended in Twitter. Yahoo! Philippines also ranked the show at No. 5 for the top trending searches in its site for the week, June 10–16.
The show was also featured on June 17, 2013 issue of UK-based LGBT global news website Gay Star News. An article titled "Gay TV drama creates buzz in the Philippines" written by Anna Leach, it noted that the first episode of My Husband's Lover was praised for its "mature, nuanced and honest depiction of gay characters."
In his review, Walden Sadiri M. Belen of Manila Bulletin praised the story, the ensemble's performances, and the director, said that "the story, unconventional and provocative as it is, was treated beautifully and convincingly. The subject matter — a married man and a father having an affair with another man — could be controversial considering the relatively conservative nature of Filipinos, but so far the series have been decent in presentation and treatment which is fast-paced too. And most noticeable was the remarkable portrayal of the main cast in their respective roles [...]. They are credible in their performances, and especially noted was Tom Rodriguez's portrayal of a closet gay who is, ironically, the son of an army general. But all the other members of the cast also delivered A-1 performances: Kuh Ledesma, Victor Basa, Glydel Mercado and Karel Marquez." Radio and TV personality and Manila Bulletin columnist Mr. Fu praised the show and its cast, said that "the show was beautiful, moving, interesting and promising. It has very interesting characters played by credible actors [...]. Carla Abellana, for one, is able to make audiences feel her love for her mother and husband in the story. She has this very fresh television presence, that you would love to watch her every now and then. Dennis [Trillo] has already proven his acting talent and he does not fail on this show. A best example of a cute "gay who is not so gay", he knows when to use his eyes, his mouth, his whole body to portray the "gayness". Tom, on the other hand, can portray that "paminta" (closeted gay) character with confidence, and charm that makes him appealing on screen. Their on-cam chemistry also makes them effective in their roles. The way they trade lines is believable and their body language seems very natural. Their "revolving glass door" scene where they accidentally meet after years of not communicating was so romantic and intense."
Journal's resident entertainment columnist Butch Roldan also reserved high praise for the show, said that "the series explains in a broad spectrum that love cannot be defined by sexual preference alone, that love has its own understanding of what is right and wrong and is ready to suffer even under very harsh circumstances."Journal's entertainment columnist, Mario Bautista gave it a mixed review, said that "The series should have started in the thick of things, since the title and the trailers have already shown where the story is going. Dennis [Trillo] should have been there from the start and then they just go back to how the story all started."
|"It feels like a lot of brainpower went into the preparation of the show. Some elements are borderline meticulous, like choosing to add a variety of gay characters to battle the gay stereotype head-on."|
|— Mark Angelo Ching, PEP|
LGBT advocate and the author of "Of God and Men: A Life in the Closet", Atty. Raymond Alikpala reviewed "GMA Network deserves congratulations for daring to go down this road less travelled. Eschewing the stereotypical storylines and cardboard cliché characters, the writers of My Husband's Lover are depicting homosexual persons as no different from heterosexuals, which is radical in these parts. Homosexual characters have long been television staples, but they have been limited to supporting roles and comic relief. The series' non-stereotypical depiction of gay men can accomplish what Ladlad failed to do, which is to bring LGBT awareness into the mainstream of Filipino consciousness. Positive media depictions of LGBT persons are crucial in encouraging greater acceptance and recognition of our fundamental equality."
Philippine Entertainment Portal's Mark Angelo Ching praised Suzette Doctolero and Dominic Zapata for "how the show looks polished. It feels like a lot of brainpower went into the preparation of the show. Some elements are borderline meticulous, like choosing to add a variety of gay characters to battle the gay stereotype head-on." He even added that "unlike other shows that only depicts homosexual men as lustful beasts, or as sidekicks in crass, laughable situations, My Husband's Lover shows its gay characters in normal, everyday situations: going to the gym, working in an office, or relaxing at home. The characters have successful lives not as beauticians or stand-up comedians, but as architects and businessmen." Closing the review, he further added that the show "is progressive—a unique creation in today’s media landscape where gay men are mostly relegated as sidekicks who provide comic relief. Let’s hope that MHL continues to present homosexuals far from their cliché images on television."
The show is under the scrutiny of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines - Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY) according to its executive secretary, Father Conegundo Garganta. He added that television producers and writers should study themes being shown to the viewers, especially to the younger ones, and should be based on moral standards. In response to the CBCP statement, the Malacañang and MTRCB urged viewers to report any complaints about the show if they saw any unacceptable content against its SPG rating. The GMA Network responded that they would continue to comply with MTRCB policies.
Different prominent Filipino stars have expressed their support and been delighted towards the show like BB Gandanghari, Gardo Versoza, Allan K., Joey de Leon, Vice Ganda  and Kris Aquino.
The show even impacted the Philippine politics. On July 19, the House of Representatives held a "mock" session for the new representatives which was about investigating the possible ending of the show. On August 8, 2013, Albay - 1st District representative Edcel Lagman filed the House Bill 2352 in the 16th Congress. He called it the My Husband's Lover bill which seeks to expand the scope of Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code which only imposes punishment for a spouse having a sexual intercourse to another person of the opposite sex, other than their husband/wife. With this bill, it will add same-sex adultery to provide equality in the society.
Due to overwhelming support, the show decided to hold a concert named "One More Try: My Husband's Lover The Concert" as a farewell concert to fans in October 12, 2013 in Araneta Coliseum. A replay of the concert was shown in Sunday Night Box Office (SNBO) in October 20. This is the second time to hold a thanksgiving concert for a TV show for two purposes, which generally happened in 2012 (the first one in the venue is the Araneta Coliseum for the Walang Hanggan as Walang Hanggang Pasasalamat and second one in the program on GMA for the Tween Hearts as Thanksgiving Concert, The final episode of Tween Hearts happened last June 10, 2012 (exactly one year before the pilot episode of My Husband's Lover last June 10, 2013). The concert special won its timeslot with 5.7% against the 5th PMPC Star Awards for Music telecast according to the nationwide ratings.
In January 12, 2014, GMA-7 President Felipe L. Gozon stated that there will be a possible sequel due to the popularity of the series. In his statement it could be also a prequel. He also stated that if it so, maybe the three main characters would be back if they are still willing to play their respective character. In January 13, 2014 PEP entertainment reported that Dennis Trillo would love to be part of the project again if ever.
|VIE Vietnam||TodayTV VTC7||Người tình của chồng tôi||July 7, 2014|
Awards and recognitions
|2013||White Party Manila / Malate Business Association||Plaque of Appreciation||My Husband's Lover||Won|||
|Philippine Movie Press Club||27th Star Awards for Television||Best Primetime Drama Series||My Husband's Lover||Nominated|||
|Best Drama Actress||Carla Abellana||Nominated|
|Best Drama Actor||Dennis Trillo||Nominated|
|Best Drama Supporting Actress||Glydel Mercado||Nominated|
|Best Drama Supporting Actor||Roi Vinzon||Nominated|
|2014||Tagapuring mga Akademisyan ng Aninong Gumagalaw||12th Gawad Tanglaw Awards||Best Ensemble Performance (TV Series)||My Husband's Lover||Won|||
|Entertainment Press Society||5th Golden Screen TV Awards||Outstanding Original Drama Program||My Husband's Lover||Won|||
|Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series||Carla Abellana||Won|
|Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series||Dennis Trillo||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Program||Glydel Mercado||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Program||Kevin Santos||Won|
|Philippine Entertainment Portal||The PEP List 2013
Pepsters' Choice Awards
|Primetime Teleserye of the Year||My Husband's Lover||Nominated|||
|Male TV Star of the Year||Dennis Trillo||Nominated|
|Female TV Star of the Year||Carla Abellana||Nominated|
|Breakout Star of the Year||Tom Rodriguez||Won|
|Celebrity Pair of the Year||Dennis Trillo & Tom Rodriguez||Won|
|The PEP List 2013
Editors' Choice Awards
|TV Show of the Year (Primetime)||My Husband's Lover||Won|
|Breakout Star of the Year||Tom Rodriguez||Won|
|International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences||42nd International Emmy Awards||Best Telenovela||My Husband's Lover||Nominated|||
|Television Asia Plus||19th Asian Television Awards||Best Actor in a Lead Role||Dennis Trillo||Highly Commended|||
|Best Direction||Dominic Zapata||Nominated|
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