Kapamilya youth-oriented shows that entertained kids and teens (and even the young-at-hearts) through the years

Through the years, youth-oriented shows have been part of our viewing habit. Aside from providing entertainment and a bit of a breather amidst the intense, dramatic, and action-packed content that we’ve probably consumed most of the time, these kinds of programs also give us a glimpse, or even an in-depth look, of the lives of the youth of every generation, to which we can perhaps totally relate to.

And in this Kapamilya Snaps episode, let us revisit some of the ABS-CBN youth-oriented shows that we either grew up with and made us identify with the characters and the narrative, or have probably seen at present that allow us to both relive our younger days and, at the same time, get into the lives of the current generation further.

Ang TV (1992-1997)

One of the most iconic youth-oriented and comedy variety shows ever produced by ABS-CBN, it popularized the opening line, “4:30 na! Ang TV na!” and the resounding catchphrase “Nge!”. This served as a launching pad for some of the seasoned artists who dominated the local entertainment scene in the past years, such as Angelica Panganiban, John Prats, Jolina Magdangal, Patrick Garcia, Katya Santos, Kaye Abad, Kristine Hermosa, Claudine Barretto, to name a few.

The cast would do gags, tell jokes, perform skits, and even exhibit their talents in singing, dancing, and hosting. Due to its formidable success, Ang TV 2 was launched in 2001 to entertain a new generation of youngsters by recruiting a fresh new set of stars that included Shaina Magdayao, Denise Laurel, Empress Schuck, JM de Guzman, and Arjo Atayde.

Tabing Ilog (1999-2003)

Tabing Ilog focuses on the friendship of its lead characters Eds (Kaye Abad), Badong (Paolo Contis), Rovic (John Lloyd Cruz), Corrinne (Desiree del Valle), James (Patrick Garcia), Fonzy (Baron Geisler), Anne (Paula Peralejo), and George (Jodi Sta. Maria). They usually spend their time together by the river, where they talked about everything that’s going on in their lives – may it be the challenges and setbacks they’re facing or the pleasures and achievements they’re relishing. They also try to help out one another in resolving their issues in life by at least giving the other consolation, shoulder to cry on, or sound advices that they need.

Gimik (1996-1999)

One of the hit seryes in the 90’s, it follows the lives of 12 young adults who are navigating and figuring out their way in the world. Viewers saw themselves going through a rollercoaster of tales and problems surrounding the characters of Judy Ann Santos, Rico Yan, Patrick Garcia, G Toengi, Marvin Agustin, Diether Ocampo, Mylene Dizon, Jolina Magdangal, and many more.

After a remarkable run, fans wanted more, so a movie was released two months after the series ended in 1999. Titled Gimik: The Reunion, it retained all the main characters, who are mostly looking forward to love, marriage, and career.

A spin-off series entitled G-mik was also created that same year, yet it starred then-teen actors Camille Prats, Angelica Panganiban, John Prats, and Carlo Aquino. Around a decade later, it had a reboot titled Gimik 2010, with some of the OG cast joining Daniel Padilla, Julia Montes, Jessy Mendiola, and Albie Casiño.

Berks (2002-2004)

If not all, many of us surely has a solid group of friends, which is as intact as the one featured in Berks. This showcased the crazy fun and amazing loyalty that genuine friendships could offer, as seen in the bond of the characters of Heart Evangelista, John Prats, Ketchup Eusebio, Angelica Panganiban, and Carlo Aquino. “Berks” is the colloquial term or abbreviated version of the word “barkada.”

Growing Up (2011-2012)

In the beginning of the 2010s, teens see their lives also unfold on the TV screen through Growing Up, which gave refreshing stories about family, love, and life when you’re in your teenage years. It wasn’t just the relatable narrative that made fans admire the show, but the awesome group of characters portrayed by Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Julia Montes, Diego Loyzaga, Kiray Celis, and EJ Jallorina. Besides, this was where the KathNiel loveteam was born, which made it extra memorable for their avid shippers.

Good Vibes (2011)

With its unique dance musical format, Good Vibes eparates itself from other youth-oriented shows that we have seen. Its narrative mainly revolves around the characters of Enrique Gil and Sam Concepcion, who are the talented half-brothers Troy and Marc that have a stiff rivalry between them. They were joined by fellow teen stars then, like Coleen Garcia, James Reid, Yen Santos, Arron Villaflor, among others.

Luv U (2012-2016)

Who wouldn’t love to reminisce about the carefree and fun young love and friendship, right? And were able to do it through the weekly sitcom Luv U, which offered lessons on love and life through its main characters who were attending Lamberto Uy Villarama University (or LUV U) as they experience the highs and lows of their teenage years.

Aside from love, it also tackles the dilemmas faced by modern-day Filipino teenagers, which include break-ups, friendship fall-outs, family issues, studying difficulties, and other real-life problems to which a lot of youngsters could certainly relate with.

The first season was starred by former Goin’ Bulilit alumni Miles Ocampo, Kiray Celis, CJ Navato, and Igi Boy Flores, with Little Big Star champion Rhap Salazar, former child star Angeli Gonzales, and newbie actor Marco Gumabao. The second season, on the other hand, had another set of Goin’ Bulilit kids as lead cast, namely, Alexa Ilacad, Nash Aguas, Sharlene San Pedro, Jairus Aquino, and Mika dela Cruz, Kobi Vidanes, and Sophia Baars.

Goin’ Bulilit (2005-2019)

Among the programs listed in this feature, Goin’ Bulilit is arguably the most remarkable due to its successful run that spanned 14 years. Even though this is a kiddie gag show, people of all ages surely enjoyed watching every episode as it featured adorable and talented child stars having fun exhibiting their skills in comedy, acting, hosting, singing, and dancing – much to the viewers’ amusement.

Apart from being a mere source of entertainment, this also served as a training ground or first big break for many child stars who went on to become the biggest stars in the country at present. Among its prominent alumni are Kathryn Bernardo, Julia Montes, Miles Ocampo, Jane Oineza, Nash Aguas, and Sharlene San Pedro.

He’s Into Her (2021-2022)

Youth-oriented shows continue to flourish in the recent years, with He’s Into Her as, arguably, the frontrunner. Based on the 2012 teen web novel of the same title by Maxinejiji (or Maxine Lat Calibuso), it features the first-ever team-up of Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano, which was well-received and ensued to the birth of their phenomenal loveteam DonBelle.

They were joined by other rising young stars, such as Jeremiah Lisbo, Kaori Oinuma, Vivoree Esclito, Joao Constancia, and Criza Taa, and more up-and-coming talented actors, who treated viewers to tons of kilig moments and barkada  hangout sessions at the Barb or at Benison International School.

The story revolves around the lives of lead characters Maxpein (Belle) and Deib (Donny), as they go through the struggles and pleasures of teenage life, which involve family relationships, friendships, school and career stuff, and, of course, affairs of the heart.

Bola Bola (2022)

A story based on Anna Geronga’s 2020 book of the same title, Bola Bola has surely inspired many spectators with the lessons on young love and self-worth it promotes. It follows the story of main character Thea Balderama, played by Francine Diaz, “a 220-pound late bloomer” who struggles to meet the society’s high standards of beauty and to get the admiration of her longtime crush Lucas, portrayed by BGYO member Akira Morishita. KD Estrada and Ashton Salvador were also among her love interests.

Lyric and Beat (2022)

Inspired by the songs of seasoned songwriter and record producer and ABS-CBN Music’s creative director Jonathan Manalo, which were also performed by the cast throughout the series, Lyric and Beat  is a romantic teen musical series that inspired viewers to staunchly follow their dreams.

It was top-billed by Andrea Brillantes and Seth Fedelin as Lyric and Beat respectively, with a pool of young, talented cast joining them, namely Darren Espanto, AC Bonifacio, Kyle Echarri, Angela Ken, Jeremy Glinoga, Sheena Belarmino, and Awra Briguela among others.

Beach Bros (2022)

Set in the tropical paradise that is Baler, Aurora, Beach Bros follows the journeys, misadventures, and shenanigans of its lead characters Dave (Kyle Echarri), Billy (Lance Carr), Jason (Brent Manalo), Pete (Raven Rigor), and Jeremy (Sean Tristan), who are facing different personal issues and problems of their own. Their personalities and strong brotherhood would be tested by a mysterious girl who has a wild mission to fulfill in their town. The dashing lads were joined by Chie Filomeno, Kira Balinger, and Angelica Lao.

If you’re dreaming of going to the beach with your friends or looking for your next destination, then this mini series is definitely for you!

Tara, G! (2022)

Last, but definitely not the least, is Tara, G!, which follows the friendship of Team WISE (or “walang iwanan sa ere) as they try to help their respective families and their beloved Sitio La Guerta, whose coffee industry is on the brink of downfall. They may have to go through various challenges individually and as a group, but those only made their bond and themselves stronger than ever.

The amusing and inspiring barkadahan is comprised by Anthony Jennings as Rocky, Kaori Oinuma as Legs, JC Alcantara as Dan, CJ Salonga as Smith, Zach Castañeda as Will, and Vivoree Esclito as Jeng-Jeng. Daniela Stranner’s character Cars eventually became part of the group as the story progressed. 

Which of these youth-oriented shows is your top favorite, Kapamilya?