Original Tabing Ilog cast member Kaye Abad reveals what became the biggest secret behind the show’s legendary stature as an iconic youth-oriented drama 20 years since its first episode.
It was a real friendship they shared that made them enjoy each second the eight-member lead cast had with one another on and off the set.
In an exclusive interview with Entertainment.ABS-CBN.com, Kaye couldn’t help but recall the happy times on the set—mentioning that each taping day were just simple bonding moments with friends.
“While we were doing Tabing Ilog, wala sa amin ‘yung ganito kalakas ‘yung show. We were just having fun. We were just enjoying each other’s company,” Kaye said.
Kaye further recalls: “Pupunta kami sa set hindi para mag-trabaho, masaya lang.”
And this is a main factor why Tabing Ilog, the dainty weekend afternoon drama that lasted for four and a half years is still fresh in our minds 20 years after its premiere in March 1999.
“Hanggang ngayon, ‘pag ‘yung mga tao, like security guard, nakikita ako, (they say) ‘Uy Tabing Ilog’ Grabe pala ‘yung impact ng Tabing Ilog before. Coz while we were doing Tabing Ilog, wala sa amin ‘yung ganito kalakas ‘yung show. We were just having fun,” Kaye added.
Kaye played Eds delos Santos, a simple, bubbly lass who had always been in the raw end of life’s woes, yet found strength in the arms of Rovic Mercado, played by John Lloyd Cruz. Tabing Ilog revolved around theirs and other tales of teen adventures and romances among best friends Eds, Rovic, Anne de Guzman (Paula Peralejo), James Collantes (Patrick Garcia), Corrine Ledesma (Desiree del Valle), Badong Magtibay (Paolo Contis), George Fuentebella (Jodi Sta. Maria), and Fonzy Ledesma (Baron Geisler).
She said she had one “fond” memory of portraying Eds.
“Si Eds iyak nang iyak. As in walang pahinga. Abot kami sa point na kahit na summer special na episode, iiyak pa rin ako,” Kaye recalled.
But Eds, she said, helped her a lot in her growth as an actress and a person.
“(I cherish) the experience, ‘yung tinulungan ako ni Eds na mag-mature din throughout the years na almost four years naming ginawa. So napamahal talaga sa akin si Eds,” Kaye declared.
She said that this experience even taught them the essentials of having a relationship with their “totoong love team,” in this case, John Lloyd.
“Doon ko nakita na…kasi lahat kami doon halos, except Paula (Peralejo) and Patrick (Garcia), lahat kami doon totoong love team noon. So doon ko nakita ‘yung differences na hindi pala dapat masyadong mahigpit,” Kaye stressed.
“Kasi halos lahat kami doon na tumanda sa show so ganoon, I guess mga ganoon na bagay,” she added.
Tandem with John Lloyd
And regarding her hit tandem with John Lloyd back in the day, Kaye only had one thing to say.
“Na-mimiss ko is maka-trabaho siya. Lagi ko sinasabi na gugustuhin ko pa rin siyang maka-trabaho ulit,” she emphasized.
And one possible project together? A possible sequel of the show featuring today’s young stars.
Kaye, who recently appeared in the morning drama Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit, said if this is bound to happen, she and the rest of the original cast should be there.
“Maganda siguro ‘yung umpisa kami, ‘yung original cast. And then doon na ‘yung mag-fe-fade sa mga bagong generation,” she said.
Kaye noted that viewers, especially its cult following, would really want to know what happened to the characters, especially hers and John Lloyd’s, Eds and Rovic.
“Ang sarap isipin na ano na kaya ang buhay ni Eds at ni Rovic. Kasi ang last episode namin is kinasal kami nang naka-wheelchair ako. Ano kaya ang buhay nilang lahat?,” she said.
Finding young actors for the project would be easy but producers should consider that same factor that will make it as effective and iconic as the original series—that the actors are real friends off cam.
“I guess siguro kung ako ang tatanungin, pipili sila ng grupo na bagong papasok…make sure na they’re all friends. They have this bonding together,” Kaye said.
“Kasi kaming walo, grabeng bonding namin talaga. Coz before wala kaming tent, tent, na ‘wag dito, kayong tatlo..Sa aming location, isang kwarto lang kami. Doon talaga kaming walo. So bonding talaga kami. That’s why I guess, mag-babarkada talaga.”
Let’s all revisit and rekindle the feels this circle of friends has brought to our lives as the entire 244-episode catalog of Tabing Ilog becomes available on iWant in celebration of its 20th year anniversary.
Register now on iWant by downloading the app on the AppStore and Google Play, or visit iWant.ph.