MANILA — The sheen of the top-rating and meme-able “Kadenang Ginto” appears far from dimming, with a third season nearing its premiere and the addition of a major character set to fan the fiery feud between Romina and Daniela.
In the weeks leading up to its fresh season, the Kapamilya Gold program once again took social media by storm, as the ubiquitous meme of “Daniela the Explorer” brought the glamorous character portrayed by Dimples Romana to the unlikeliest places — among them the character selection screen of Mobile Legends.
Trending on social media is nothing new for “Kadenang Ginto.” Throughout its nine months on air, memes were drawn from the confrontations between Romina (Beauty Gonzalez) and Daniela, as well as their respective daughters Cassie (Francine Diaz) and Marga (Andrea Brillantes).
Those are on top of its official YouTube videos consistently garnering at least a million views, and its iWant release ranking among the platform’s most streamed.
The strong presence of “Kadenang Ginto” online translates from its wide viewership on TV. In June, for instance, it ranked 7th overall as the most watched program for the month, with an average nationwide rating of 23.7% — a feat for a program outside the primetime block. In March alone, it beat its own viewership record four times, and in April, peaked at 27.3%.
Dreamscape creative head Rondel Lindayag, one of the creators of “Kadenang Ginto,” believes the afternoon drama resonates with many viewers because of the dynamics of its characters.
“Sa panahon ngayon, hindi na uso ang inaapi. Lumalaban na,” he told ABS-CBN News, when asked whether Dreamscape followed a formula in plotting the series’ run.
Lindayag was referring to the feisty Romina, whose tug-of-war over the Mondragon fortune with her step-daughter Daniela has become a source of frustration and satisfaction for viewers.
Jeers flooded Twitter, for example, when Daniela bullied Romina into jail with the false accusation of having killed Robert (Albert Martinez). Cheers then welcomed a later plot development, wherein Daniela was put behind bars, after Romina proved she had masterminded her rape years prior.
“Iyon din ‘yung magandang value na naituturo natin sa tao, na ‘pag may mali, labanan mo, huwag kang uupo, huwag kang magpa-pa-bully. Ang formula diyan: may bully, pero may sumasagot doon sa bully. Hindi ‘yung nagpapabugbog ka na lang,” Lindayag said.
When odds became increasingly against Romina in the earlier half of the second season, some dissatisfed fans threatened to “boycott” their viewing of “Kadenang Ginto” until the fortunes were reversed. Others went as far as commenting on actress Romana’s Instagram page, expressing their disdain for Daniela.
“Okay ‘yun!” Lindayag said, laughing. “Positive ‘yun, kasi ibig sabihin na-a-affect ka. ‘Pag ang tao, na-a-affect ng palabas mo, ibig sabihin, maganda ‘yun, dahil nakukuha mo ang kanilang simpatya.”
“Kahit kamag-anak ko tumatawag, ipa-pu-pulis daw nila si Daniela! Ang dami raw nilang hawak na ebidensiya. Ibig sabihin, involved sila at talagang nag-la-latch on sila sa character,” he added.
The casting of the bickering Mondragons, it appears, was also a jackpot for Dreamscape. Romina, played by Gonzalez, started as a submissive secretary and an obedient daughter whose tragic experiences forged her steely exterior.
“Si Beauty, bilang tao, meron din ‘yang spunk. Soft ‘yan ‘pag kausap mo, mabait, malumanay, pero meron din ‘yang tapang, e,” Lindayag said.
Romana, whose camp portrayal of Daniela has made the character both hated and loved, gives viewers a convincing reminder of her versatility as an actress, Lindayag said. He pointed out that Romana’s previous TV role was the maternal and wise Babaylan in the fantaserye “Bagani” — a stark contrast to the spoiled and selfish Daniela.
“Actually, magaling na artista si Dimples. As a matter of fact, hindi lang ito ‘yung kontrabida role niya. Marami na. Pero siguro ito talaga ‘yung nagmarka. Pana-panahon din naman, e, ‘diba? Maganda sa kanya, flexible siya, versatile,” Lindayag said.
Daniela and Romina’s fresh interactions with Leon, a mysterious new character portrayed by Richard Yap, is another element to look forward to as “Kadenang Ginto” approaches its third season.
Already, the trailer teasing the next chapter has produced memorable moments. A lounging Romina, and the homeless yet stylish Daniela turned out to be rich material for the recent meme chronicling the latter’s “world tour.”
Asked whether Dreamscape had expected “Kadenang Ginto” to become a social media darling, Lindayag said: “‘Pag tuwing gumagawa namin kami ng show, hindi namin sigurado kung saan siya dadalhin. ‘Pag umere siya, doon mo makikita ‘yung trajectory niya. Pero hindi namin ini-expect na ganiyan. Kami lang, tawa lang kami nang tawa.”
Romana, meanwhile, said she feels “incredibly blessed” because of the outpouring of support of fans, whose creativity and humor she credited. “Punong puno ang puso ko,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Tama ito! Let’s flood the world with happiness and positivity.”