By: Maridol Rañoa-Bismark From: The Philippine Star
[September 6, 2009]
“I can’t,” he admits, dumbfounded. All he knows is that seeing her after a hard day’s work is like enjoying “a brand-new day.” Hearing John describe Vina Morales’ younger sister is like wishing you also had this sweet angel beside you all the time. She has no flaws, if John is to be believed.
“She’s understanding and child-friendly (very important for a future wife). She doesn’t mind making a fool of herself by cracking jokes, even at her own expense,” the enamored John can go on and on.
No wonder our Romeo wants to end up with her five to six years from now. He can’t ask for anything more. Both their families approve of each other. The five-year gap between them — John is 25; Shaina, 20 — is ideal because “girls mature faster than guys.”
With his Shaina beside him, John feels he can do and be anything. Yes, even a friendly ghost in Moomoo & Me, TV5’s answer to the animated series Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Except that the new fantasy-adventure which will premiere on Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. is not a cartoon series. It’s also about a ghost (John) who lives with the Magpantay family in Bulacan. Sure, the ghost scares the Magpantays at first. But he proves to them that, like Casper, he’s there not to give them sleepless nights, but to give their home and their neighbors the peace and happiness they’re looking for.
Moomoo helps other ghosts in need, fights monsters, wards off evil spirits, solves mysteries and shares heartwarming human and supernatural experiences
“We cast John as the Moomoo because we wanted a friendly, handsome ghost. We wanted to show that such a ghost can exist,” says director SoxyTopacio.
Besides, a friendly, handsome ghost is easier to fall in love with than say, the horrifying Sadako. TV5 just wants to get real. First, this is television. It’s accessible to kids. Second, the show airs at primetime, and children again, are still up and about. So why send them to bed with visions of burning hell in their head? Why not see them off to Dreamland with memories of the amiable, good-looking Moomoo instead?
The presence of a happy family, headed by William Martinez and Yayo Aguila, adds to the show’s wholesome flavor. At a time when teleseryes rule primetime viewing in other stations, this sitcom dares to be different — with a return to traditional values as its main come-on.
Moomoo, for instance, helps children solve the garbage problem when the Basura Monster comes along. Sure, Moomoo may have selfish reasons for being who he is. He’s still earth-bound 40 days after his death since he still has a mission to fulfill.
But he does his mission so well, however awkwardly. Moomoo ends up endearing himself to everyone.
What if John’s character so endears itself to televiewers, the sitcom will stretch for several seasons and conflict with John’s ABS-CBN contract (good for another year)?
“Cory Vidanes (ABS-CBN executive) said she was willing to lend me to TV5,” says John. That’s for the time being, though. Beyond that, he doesn’t want to think what will happen next.
He just wants to enjoy the flying scenes and his adventures with his child co-stars (e.g. BJ Forbes and Celine Lim) in the new sitcom. Besides, John admits, mixing horror and comedy has been his boyhood dream.
“I want children not to be afraid of horror films,” he explains.
Who knows, John might just get his wish. Moomoo & Me might just do the trick for him — and his kiddie viewers.