When love is written in the stars

WHEN love is dictated by the stars and fortune telling, the result is the new WeTV Original romantic comedy series Boyfriend No. 13. The eight-episode series, produced by APT Productions, follows the highly superstitious Kimverly Santillan who has yet to find “the one” — and whoever he is, is sure to be bad luck.

“When the story was pitched to us by APT, headed by Mike Tuviera, we immediately loved it. It was quirky, it was fun and relatable,” Georgette Tengco, Philippine country manager of WeTV and iflix, said in an online press conference on June 23.

Sue Ramirez stars as Kimverly, a young romance novelist who lives her life according to superstitions. From reading her daily horoscope, to wearing lucky charms to ward off bad luck, and regularly consulting fortune tellers, Kimverly’s every move is calculated to avoid misfortune. When she meets the tall and charming doctor Don Lee (played by JC De Vera) all signs indicate that he is her destiny. On the other hand, there’s her officemate, Bob (played by JC Santos), who needs a writing mentor. Whether she ends up with Bob or Don Lee, these seemingly ideal lovers will be her 13th boyfriend — an unlucky number.

“She is a very superstitious lady,” Ms. Ramirez said of her character. “It so happened that the perfect guys [will be] boyfriend number 13 which is, of course, bad luck.”

Ms. Ramirez and Mr. Santos were the series’ director John “Sweet” Lapus’ first choices for the roles of Kimverly and Bob.

“When they presented the storyline and the script, given na si Sue and JC Santos. So, talagang nahirapan kami sa role ni Dr. Don Lee (So, we really had a difficult time casting the role of Dr. Don Lee),” Mr. Lapus said.

Mr. Lapus wanted to cast JC De Vera as Don — a problematic choice since the production had to seek permission from the network where the actor is currently under contract.

Pagsamahin na natin yung dalawang JC na pilit pinag-iiwasan ng ibang mga production dahil magkapangalan sila (Let us have the two JCs that other productions try to avoid joining together because they share a name),” Mr. Lapus said.

Mr. Lapus said the story revolves around falling for two people with contrasting personalities.

Bob is a very straightforward and unapologetic person. “Sasabihin niya lahat ng nasa isip niya (He will say everything he thinks),” Mr. Santos said of his character.

Meanwhile, Mr. De Veyra said that despite his character’s joyful personality, Dr. Don Lee lives a pre-arranged life — from which program he pursued at university to his marriage.

Malilito ka ngayon kung sino ang mamahalin mo. And I believe na lahat ng tao dumaan sa ganiyan (You will get confused over whom to love. And I believe that all of us have gone through that),” Mr. Lapus said.

Also in the cast are Lotlot de Leon, Phi Palmos, Hershey Neri, and Bryan Sy.

Boyfriend No. 13 will start streaming on WeTV on July 2, 7 p.m., with new episodes released weekly. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman