From soap operas to the current Filipino parlance “teleserye” coined by ABS-CBN, drama series have been an indelible and major component of traditional TV programming for Filipinos, before being challenged by streaming services. The typical teleserye routine is to run episodes Monday to Friday, meaning some heavy production schedules particularly for the cast. Angelica Panganiban grew up in this environment, having been an M-F TV regular since she debuted as a child star. Last year she made waves when announcing that she was retiring from teleseryes, something odd for Filipino actors and actresses since movies are not exactly regular projects.

But as the Philippine Star tells it, Angelica Panganiban is genuinely serious about leaving the TV drama world behind. Movies are still fine, but shooting episodes of a teleserye filling out weekdays was no longer for her, as the actress says during a virtual conference about “Love or Money,” a film where she is costarring with Kapamilya stalwart Coco Martin. “It was not an overnight decision like ‘I have a press-con tomorrow. I’ll drop a bombshell and say this’,” explains Panganiban, now 33. “I’ve been thinking about this for years.

Fans might recall the shock of her pronouncement from September 2020. It was during the press conference for the upcoming teleserye “Walang Hanggang Paalam” starring Zanjoe Marudo, Paulo Avelino and Arci Muñoz, when Panganiban said this would be her final TV drama project. She related the heavy workload of doing drama content to fill five episodes a week, with the standard practice of letting stories run as long as possible with barely discernible season extensions. “You start to think, ‘Why am I doing this, tiring myself out?’” Angelica says now. “To think, since I was six years old, I was driving myself to exhaustion. So when should you stop?”

That was no hyperbole; Angelica Panganiban was an “Ang TV” kid from the memorable ABS-CBN children’s comedy-variety show. After asking herself some tough questions, she felt that an early retirement from doing teleseryes would at least let her keep her self-respect for the TV production craft, which she did love for as long as she was able to over the years.

Her assessment was that she had already given 100% of her acting prowess in recent dramas such as the 2015 edition of “Pangako Sa’Yo” and the 2010 Philippine adaptation of Mexican telenovela “Rubi.” So stopping now was a way for her to avoid “burnout.” “Doing a film and teleserye is different. It’s hard work,” the actress remarked in conclusion. “I’m happy with what I have already done. I can give this now to the next generation.”

“Walang Hanggang Paalam” airs on pay TV network “Kapamilya Channel.”

Image courtesy of ABS-CBN