Be Careful wedding just the beginning
Posted on Monday Nov 11th at 12:00am
By Nathalie Tomada
MANILA, Philippines - The entourage is complete, the venues set and spruced up, the guest list finalized, no objections are foreseen, and the bride and groom are experiencing the usual, last-minute wedding jitters.
There’s no stopping the Be Careful with My Heart wedding of Ser Chief (Richard Yap) and Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) on Nov. 15, which the cast and crew are treating just like a real wedding.
According to Ginny Ocampo, business unit head of the hit ABS-CBN daytime series, the wedding is poised to become a record-breaker in Philippine entertainment TV. She said that the wedding ceremony and reception scenes will run for two weeks and these will be taped live close to the airing dates to better imbibe the spirit of the occasion. “For the record, it’s going to be longest wedding airing for a soap opera,” Ginny told The STAR.
The production has envisioned it as a simple wedding visually, in keeping with the character of Maya, the simple barrio lass who finds true love in the big city, but not the mounting. “All the platforms of ABS-CBN are involved, from online, digital, promo, marketing, sales, to Star Records, Star Home Video, then we have a soundtrack, publishing. It beats a real wedding,” explained Ginny.
With such scale of production, it is only but expected that the lead stars have to deal with pre-wedding nerves.
“It seems so surreal because it does seem like a true wedding,” Richard told The STAR, explaining that they undergo whatever preparations are required from a couple about to wed such as marriage counseling, a pre-nuptial shoot and rehearsals. “Since we have to get into the character also, we feel what it feels to be in a real wedding.”
As for Jodi, “I’ve been saying that what’s only lacking are papers. Whatever a soon-to-be-married couple experience, that’s also what our characters experience. The preparations are no joke.”
And unlike other shows, the wedding is not yet the ending but just a beginning for the series, despite rumors of a December conclusion or that the nuptials will signal the final stages of the program.
Richard said, “People expect that the show will end on a wedding because most shows are like that. This will probably be a first: That the wedding of a show is a beginning of something else. So, we will try to show that because that’s what the audience also wants.”
Jodi added, “After the wedding, it’s going to be a new chapter in the story of Maya and Ser Chief, and this time as one, as a married couple.”
That means viewers will see next honeymoon scenes in Japan, which the cast and crew will shoot beginning Nov. 16, and Maya finally entering motherhood. “Based on our script, one thing is sure, Maya will give birth,” Ginny revealed.
Be Careful has outlived many a teleserye already since it started airing July of last year. ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio was quoted as saying that the show “will be there forever.”
The production and cast are realistic enough not expect it will run forever. “We don’t know if it will last for another year, at the same time, it could end anytime,” but Ginny also confirmed that no closure is in sight yet for the series based on management’s decision, research and survey, and patronage of viewers and subscribers.
This “indefinite” stay on the boob tube doesn’t only spell pressure for the Be Careful team, but it can also be exhausting.
Jodi said, “Oo naman, mga tao lang kami. We also get tired considering how tight our schedule is. But don’t get me wrong because Be Careful has really been a blessing for all of us. We can still do it as a team.”
Nobody from the cast and crew had imagined Be Careful would enjoy several extensions. It started out as an experiment, employing a tried-and-tested onscreen formula (in the mold of Sound of Music or locally, Wanted: Perfect Mother) to create a tandem out of relative newcomer Richard Yap as the wealthy widow and father of three, and Jodi, in her first-ever TV lead role as a provincial girl and big dreamer who endears herself as the family nanny.
Asked why their onscreen team-up works even with the common knowledge that they’re both happy with their respective loves and personal lives, Jodi surmised, “From the very start of the series, we didn’t have to pretend something was going on between us. People have always known that we have our respective partners na yung ginawa namin sa trabaho namin ay very professional at kung ano ang kailangan at hiningi ng script, as much as possible yun yung binibigay namin.”
So much has also been said and written about how and why the series clicks with the viewers, scoring high-profile fans like the new UK Ambassador to the Philippines, who reportedly wants to attend the Be Careful wedding.
Ginny said, “We were supposed to air for 13 weeks only and we weren’t even sure if could manage 13. We thought we were good with 10 because the storyline is so thin. What we didn’t expect is that once the characters endeared themselves to the viewers, you won’t have to rely too much on the plot, but on the characters instead.”
She added that despite the fairytale component of the series, “I think the secret to its success is its authenticity. The characters and what they go through are very real and very relatable.”
As for the lead stars, they said they continue to learn from their characters every day. While Jodi admitted that she finds Maya “too positive,” still, “what I’ve learned from her is that no matter how ugly a situation is, she always believes there’s something good that comes out of it. And we tend to forget that. We are sometimes too focused on the negative things that we forget and fail to see the blessings.”