With a Smile (TV series)

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With a Smile
With a Smile title card.jpg
Title card
Developed by
Written by
  • Cel Santiago
  • Mario Banzon
Directed by Louie Ignacio
Creative director(s) Jun Lana
Opening theme "Ngiti" by Christian Bautista
Composer(s) Vince Rod Catindig
Country of origin Philippines
Original language(s) Tagalog
No. of episodes 70
Executive producer(s) Arlene Pilapil
  • Jun Fuentes
  • Jerry Dano
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30-45 minutes
Production company(s) GMA Entertainment TV
Original network GMA Network
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original release June 17 (2013-06-17) – September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)

With a Smile is a 2013 Philippine television drama romantic comedy series broadcast by GMA Network. Directed by Louie Ignacio, it stars Andrea Torres, Christian Bautista and Mikael Daez. It premiered on June 17, 2013 and worldwide on June 26, 2013 on GMA Pinoy TV.[1] The series concluded on September 20, 2013 with a total of 70 episodes.

The series revolves around the three main characters: Isay (played by Torres), a barrio lass who has a passion for cooking and will pursue her dreams for her family. In Manila, she crosses paths with Dean (played by Daez), a man who believes that he's a disappointment to his family but will soon realize his worth after meeting the girl who will capture his heart; and Aston (played by Bautista) is an independent, self-made businessman who often fights with Isay but eventually falls in love with her.[2]


Isay's family owns a restaurant known for grilled specialties – Verci's Grill, named after her mother. Verci is very talented and passionate in cooking—traits she passed on to her daughter, Isay. Tom, Isay's father is a cheerful and loving man of the house. Being the eldest, Isay helps her mother in preparing and cooking for their eatery. She is also a very caring sister to her two younger siblings.Things take a drastic turn when Verci gets sick and passes away, and their once successful business starts to decline. Despite this, they still continue to sell grilled street foods in their local market and join cooking contests to get by. When Isay's cooking skills get noticed by one of the chef judges, she then gets offered a ticket to participate in a Barbecue Cook-Off in Manila. Though she initially hesitates in accepting this opportunity, her fervent dream of getting her family out of poverty, pushes her to give it a try.

Through some twists of fate, Isay meets Aston and Dean, and soon finds herself entangled in a complicated love triangle with them.

Cast and characters[edit]

Christian Bautista portrays Aston Martinez.

Lead cast[edit]

A pretty provincial lass, known for her talent and passion for cooking. Isay's sweet and optimistic nature made it easier for people around her to like her. In pursuit of her dreams to get her family out of poverty, she ends up living and working in Manila, doing odd jobs like washing cars, and being a secretary. While making ends meet, Isay gets to form new friendships, including budding romances with Aston and Dean.[3][4]
An independent, self-made businessman who owns and runs a car wash business and apartment units. He is also a car enthusiast and owns a vintage VW Beetle he called "Sam". Aston is a strict, no-nonsense man. When it comes to love, he keeps his guard up, as he was deeply hurt by his past relationship. Initially, Aston and Isay start out fighting like cats and dogs but eventually, they develop feelings for each other.[5][6]
A free-spirited rich guy, who believes that he is nothing but a disappointment to his family. Dean is a simple-minded womanizer and is not the type to take relationships seriously. He meets Isay and gets smitten by her charm and beauty. Dean soon realizes that Isay is slowly changing his perception in life and in love.[7][8]

Supporting cast[edit]

  • Marnie Lapuz as Mama Lena
One of the tenants in Aston's apartment who also serves as the "mother hen" to her co-tenants, particularly to the young ones.[9]
  • Soliman Cruz as Tomas "Tom" Asuncion
The caring and supportive father of Isay. His cheerful image masking his struggles with his role as a single parent and the direction of his life in general.[10]
  • Gilleth Sandico as Verci Asuncion
Isay's loving and caring mother. Verci is very talented and passionate in cooking – traits which she passed on to her daughter, Isay.
  • Vince de Jesus as Teh
A gay tenant in Aston's apartment who is very vocal about his admiration for his landlord. The character provides good advice, sarcasm, and comic relief throughout the series.[11]
The dynamic trio who pitted against each other for the love and attention of one girl – Sahsah.[12]
The hip and trendy tenant of Aston, and the apple of the eyes of Mikoy, Kimpoy and Jack.[13]
The trusted assistant and sidekick of Aston. He is also the leader of the "car wash boys".[14]
Dean's sidekick
Aston's mischievous nephew.[15]

Guest cast[edit]

Dean's childhood friend who has a crush on him.
Aston's ex-girlfriend who breaks up with him for the sake of her modeling career. A go-getter and aggressive girl, nothing will stop Maricar from getting what she wants.

Production and development[edit]

The idea for the series first came from screenwriter Ma. Acy Ramos, who initially had the idea to create a light drama/romantic comedy series for GMA Network's Afternoon Prime block, which usually dominated by traditional "tearjerker" telenovelas. When she presented and discussed the idea to the management (GMA Entertainment TV Group), they immediately approved the project but decide to put it on morning time slot, instead, since they thought "it would fit best there." Director and screenwriter, Don Michael Perez began writing a script for a show now titled With a Smile, which somewhat patterned from the Korean television series Lovers in Paris but with a different angle—two men are fighting over a girl.[16]

The network assigned Louie Ignacio to direct the series. The director described the show as "a mix of light drama, humor, charm and romance". Ignacio also regarded his main actors as part of the reasons he green-lighted directing the series.[17] The casts were all announced during the series' story conference, with the main cast being Andrea Torres, Christian Bautista and Mikael Daez. The three actors were cast based on their auditions. Torres was chosen to play Isay Asuncion from more than 10 women who auditioned for the role. Torres shares certain similarities with her onscreen persona Isay, as they are both close to their families and determined to realize their dreams.[18] Bautista, who played Aston Martinez, originally auditioned for the role of Dean Vicencio. Daez originally auditioned for Aston, but ended up portraying Dean Vicencio.[19] Supporting casts include stage and TV actors Soliman Cruz, Gilleth Sandico and Marnie Lapuz; composer and comedian Vince de Jesus; and Protégé: The Battle For The Big Artista Break alumni Mikoy Morales, Shelly Hipolito and Bryan Benedict.

The production began in May 2013. Most of the scenes were shot on location in Quezon City. Some portions were shot in the town of Pampanga. The series' premiere was planned for June 17, but because programming-related problem, delayed until June 24.[20][21]


According to AGB Nielsen Philippines' Mega Manila household television ratings, the pilot episode of With a Smile earned an 8.4% rating.[22] While the final episode scored an 8.3% rating.[23]


  1. ^ http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/06/18/christian-bautista-excited-about-acting/
  2. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/articles/2013-06-10/8671/Andrea-Torres-Mikael-Daez-and-Christian-Bautista-unite-for-GMAs-newest-morning-series-With-A-Smile
  3. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/withasmile/articles/2013-06-26/8706/Andrea-Torres-shows-her-wacky-side-in-With-A-Smile
  4. ^ http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2013/06/15/954064/andrea-torres-break-drama
  5. ^ http://www.pep.ph/guide/guide/11909/christian-bautista-excited-to-work-on-his-first-teleserye-with-gma-7
  6. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/313042/showbiz/christian-bautista-talks-about-his-first-kapuso-series-with-a-smile
  7. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/311228/showbiz/chikaminute/mikael-daez-abala-sa-romantic-comedy-series-na-with-a-smile
  8. ^ http://abante.com.ph/a/ent-pics/1245/mikael-nagpursige-dahil-kay-marian.html
  9. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/videos/2013-06-17/23855/Ang-mga-nangungupahan-sa-compound-ni-Aston
  10. ^ http://abante.com.ph/a/national-news/1005/soliman-cruz-di-na-palaboy-sa-roxas-blvd.html
  11. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/videos/2013-06-17/23855/Ang-mga-nangungupahan-sa-compound-ni-Aston
  12. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/videos/2013-06-20/23860/Sino-ang-nagpapangiti-sa-kanila
  13. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/videos/2013-06-20/23860/Sino-ang-nagpapangiti-sa-kanila
  14. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/community/videos/2013-06-20/128/Abangan-si-Athan-sa-With-A-Smile-starting-on-June-24
  15. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/gma/videos/2013-06-17/23855/Ang-mga-nangungupahan-sa-compound-ni-Aston
  16. ^ http://entertainment.inquirer.net/99005/christian-bautista-bounces-back-after-end-of-party-pilipinas
  17. ^ http://mb.com.ph/Entertainment/Entertainment_Main/17300/Will_Louie_Ignacio#.UdO4lDuqksd
  18. ^ http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2013/06/15/954064/andrea-torres-break-drama
  19. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/312571/showbiz/christian-bautista-and-mikael-daez-switched-characters-in-with-a-smile
  20. ^ http://www.pep.ph/news/39191/Andrea-Torres-on-With-A-Smile-loveteam-partner-Mikael-Daez:-
  21. ^ http://www.pep.ph/news/39137/andrea-torres-says-pilot-episode-of-her-morningserye-with-a-smilewas-moved-from-june-17-to-june-24-because-of-program-spacing
  22. ^ Tuazon, Nikko (July 2, 2013). "AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (June 24 to 30, 2013): Mundo Mo'y Akin ends week on top spot; Anna Karenina places second". Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  23. ^ Tuazon, Nikko (October 5, 2013). "AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (September 16 to 22, 2013): The Ryzza Mae Show beats Be Careful With My Heart on September 20; Dormitoryo emerges as most-watched daytime program". Retrieved January 25, 2018. 

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