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GMA Network’s new primetime program I Heart Davao debuted on a high note on its pilot episode, beating its rival program and dominating social media last June 26.

Top billed by multi-talented Kapuso actress Carla Abellana and versatile Kapuso actor Tom Rodriguez, together with Kapuso heartthrob Benjamin Alves, the first romantic-comedy series shot in Davao lorded over competition in TV ratings, getting a 7.4 percent people ratings (based on overnight data) against its counterpart show, ABS-CBN’s A Love to Last. The rival program only managed to get 6.2 percent based from Nielsen Philippines TAM’s Urban Philippines people data.

I Heart Davao also made waves on social media, with #iHeartDavaoPilot becoming one of the trending topics in the Philippines.

Fans celebrated the comeback teleserye of their idols as real and reel life couple Carla and Tom gave them a night filled with kilig and laughter courtesy of the love-hate banter of TomCar’s characters Ponce and Hope.

@DMamerta shared: “after 3 years, waaaah new romcom for TomCar. Excited!” Another netizen, @shawiedred said: “Waaahhh @gmapublicaffairs thanks for this bitter sweet serye of #tomcar grabeehh k in love sina Ponce at Hope @akosimangtomas @carlaangeline d k talaga ito tatantanan from start to finish never mind the puyatan basta for TomCar all the way.”

Netizens were also mesmerized by the beauty of Davao perfectly captured by the show’s beautiful cinematography. Some could not help but reminisce about their trip to the province. @IngeniosusMe said: “Naalala ko tuloy nung nagpunta ako sa Davao yrs ago to visit a friend.”

Some welcomed the inclusion of the Bisaya dialect, which Tom expertly delivered. @EverDFangirl said: “Tom speaking bisaya… Lingaw kaau! Hehehe.”

The pilot episode saw the characters of Hope and Ponce crossing paths for the first time in a food fair in Davao, with Hope getting irked by Ponce’s “Dabawenyo Dude” attitude. Back in Manila, Hope continues to look after her family’s chocolate business, at the same time trying to find a heart donor because her congenital condition continues to worsen. Yet the two are seemed destined to meet each other again. Ponce followed his girlfriend Aileen (Catherine Rem) to the city with the intention of convincing her to go home to Davao with him. Firm with her decision to work in Manila, Aileen took off only to meet a car accident. And as if fate was playing a game, Hope suffers a heart attack.

Viewers can only expect superb performances from the cast that include Betong Sumaya, Maey Bautista, Ricardo Cepeda, Glenda Garcia, Racquel Villavicencio, Joel Saracho, Geraldine Villamil, Natileigh Sitoy, Kevin Sagra, and Phillip Lazaro.

Produced by GMA Public Affairs, the team of I Heart Davao is composed of highly-acclaimed director Marlon N. Rivera, award-winning film screenwriter and director Chris Martinez, and director of photography Lee Briones-Meily.

Watch out as more kilig moments unfold in I Heart Davao weeknights after My Love From The Star on GMA Telebabad.

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