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Heads up, 90s kids! ABS-CBN’s Tabing Ilog is now a musical!

Attention, fans of the coming-of-age ‘90s TV show Tabing Ilog! The teen drama that starred then upcoming actors Patrick Garcia, Jodi Sta. Maria, Paolo Contis, Desiree del Valle, Baron Geisler, Kaye Abad, Paula Peralejo, and John Lloyd Cruz, is back, this time as a musical by Teatro Kapamilya, the theater arm of ABS-CBN, which aired the show from 1999 to 2003. 

Staged at the Dolphy Theatre (Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City), the musical has play dates on March 14 and 15, and April 18 and 26, all at 3 pm. 

Though often compared to US youth drama Dawson’s Creek (which also aired in the ‘90s on ABS-CBN’s sister channel Studio 23), Tabing Ilog was its own show, combining love, friendship, and life among teens in a Philippine context. 

Also Read:Five Reasons to Watch ‘Batang Mujahideen’

Here are four things to know about the network giant’s first foray into theater: 

It was supposed to be a straight play. 

But Laurenti Dyogi, longtime director of ABS-CBN and head of its TV production, pitched the idea of turning it into a musical. 

“We wanted to capture what the original TV show was about,” said film director and writer Jade Castro in an interview with CNN. “We are using the same characters but we are going to imagine them in the present day.” 

It marries new and original ideas. 

If the show was set in Laguna, its musical version is in Quezon. And Paula Peralejo’s character Anne has been replaced. 

But the themes of love, friendship, and growing up remain the same. “We’re not tampering with the old show,” said Jade. “You can still love the old show. And then you can also love this new one. They can be two entirely different things.” 

Theater heavyweights are behind this musical. 

Joining Jade Castro (who wrote the book for Tabing Ilog The Musical) are Vincent de Jesus (who wrote the music) and Topper Fabregas (he’s directing the show). 

It combines veteran and newbie talents. 

John Lloyd Cruz’s character Rovic will be played by Ian Pangilinan, Sky Quizon, and Hanie Jarrar

Kaye Abad’s Eds will be played by Kiara Takahashi, Abi Kassem, and Gab Pangilinan

Paolo Contis’ role of Badong, will be shared by Batit Espiritu and Emjay Sevilla

Patrick Garcia’s James will be taken on by Gian Wang, Gabby Sarmiento, and Jem Macatuno

Baron Geisler’s character Fonzy will be acted out Argel Saycon, Elyson de Dios, and Vino Mabalot.  

Jodi Sta. Maria’s George will see Mia Canton, Belle de los Reyes, and Abby Trinidad alternating the role. 

Desiree del Valle’s role of Corrine will be portrayed by Lou Yanong, Missy Quino, and Teetin Villanueva

Expect new characters such as Ely (a role shared by Art Guma, Ian Hermogenes, and Franco Ramos) and James’ brother Sammy (played by Lie Reposposa, Noel Comia, and Brei Binuya).  Familiar names and fames Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Joanne Co, and Paolo O’Hara will also take on multiple roles. 

The rotating cast allows performers to flex their acting chops. It also means that no two shows are alike! 

Wanna see the restaging of this iconic 90s TV show? Book your tickets now at!


Text by Joy Rojas. 

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