Kanu Luvs Pinay
TV5's new cross-cultural docu-feature
By Key Kaluh
Kapatid network's latest weekend series, Kanu Luvs Pinay, takes televiewers to the world of Afams (swardspeak for foreigners) and their Pinay love interest.
Afamsterdam is a world most Filipinas see every day, interact with, and sometimes, if lady luck smiles, marry into one after winning each other's hearts through countless cyberchats. Commonly known as afam, or alien citizens in and around the metro, these are usually Caucasian blondes or light-eyed Middle Eastern males who work here or are living in the country over a long period of time (resident aliens).
“This series was inspired by our Cine Filipino filmfest entry last year entitled 'Ang Pabo Man ay Turkey Din' that showed how culture can muddle a relationship when thrown into the love angle.
“It is also about finding love online, of second chances, and the interplay of cultural differences especially on Pinoy traditions and superstitions. Kanu Luvs Pinay perfectly fitted into TV5's 'Happy Ka Dito' thrust in television programming. The cast is a good mix of new and veteran performers like Eula Caballero and Jelson Bay. Their rapport is fantastic,” shared Unitel Production's president and CEO Madonna Tarrayo.
The often misunderstood world of Afamsterdam takes a humorous twist when Pinoy familial culture is thrown into the picture. Topbilled by veteran comedienne Tuesday Vargas (Cookie) and newbie American actor Lee O'Brien (Matthew), the sit-com melds Filipino humor and family values whilst taking a look at the intricacies of interracial and inter-cultural relationships between a Filipina and (in this instance) her American fiance.
“I auditioned for the role and I'm so thankful to be given this rare opportunity,” quiipped Pokwang's real-life sweetheart Lee O'Brien.
But this is not as simple as a Filipina loving an American kind-of-show. For starters, Cookie sired a child Jon Jon (Chok-Chok Venida) during her younger years. Plus, there's the can't-live-with-Americans, albeit an aspiring rapper, character Dong (Martin Escudero) who happens to be Cookie's younger brother.
Veteran actors Boboy Garovillo (Tatang) and Ces Quesada (Inang) play Cookie's overbearing parents. On the other hand, Osang (model-turned-actress Wilma Doesnt) is the ever-afam-supportive best friend while Girlie (theater actress Kiki Baento) is the other best friend who has a strictly no-afams policy with regard to her love life.
“The series is actually a documentary feature with real couples talking about the scenes in the episodes. It shows, too, why locals think cross-cultural dating is all about visas and money and never about love. www.kanuluvspinay.com is an existing site where people can upload photos of their interracial marriages.
“With all the technology out there and what's happening on the homefront, it's high time to give Pinays a voice and how she wants to handle her romantic life. Anything shared on social media can create ripples with very far-reaching results. Love knows no boundaries, color nor stature,” enthused show director Randolph Longias, who also directed the feature film that inspired it.
Watch the lives of Cookie and Lee unravel as they prove to the world that love can conquer all and that it is the only universal language that knows no grammar, pronunciation, and form. Discover, too, the various spontaneous reactions of the Filipino family and community to the presence of Matthew in their lives. And how he tries to cope and understand the culture he has thrust himself into.
“I've thought out the complexities of my character who hails from Samar. It gave me an opportunity to live out her life for real on screen. It was okay for me to repeat some scenes from the movie 'coz not a lot of people saw it. Besides, this time I'm doing the scenes with a different set of actors,” intoned lead actress Tuesday Vargas, who also starred in the feature film.
Find out, if despite all the hurdles and conflict that cultural differences may bring about, will love for Cookie and Matthew still win in the end. Will there be a happy ending? Will Cookie finally become an official Mrs. Afamsterdam?
Kanu Luvs Pinay will air starting September 5 on TV5 and every Saturday evening thereafter at 9 PM. For more information on other 'Happy Ka Dito' episodes, simply log-on to www.tv5.com.ph.