Linlang: Love and lust on a collision

“Linlang,” produced by ABS-CBN and Dreamscape, currently streams on Prime Video. To say that it is off to a good start is an understatement. It is not only arousing the curiosity of its target audiences in the Philippines where it enjoys a numero uno ranking, it receives so much love, support and positive word of mouth feedback elsewhere. Since it officially aired last October, it happens to be the fourth and fifth most watched suspense drama in Cambodia and Hong Kong.

In a nutshell, the drama hooks us with the story of boxer-turned-seaman Victor “Bangis” Lualhati (Paulo Avelino) and the real deal behind his wife Juliana’s change of heart and persona. As Victor digs deeper into all the baffling physical changes and seeming emotional difference, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are painstakingly put together. The completed picture brings a tempest, complete with all the chaos and destruction to everything that Victor considers dear and valuable.



Linlang works mainly because of its novel narrative. This is not the common “we have been there, we have seen that kabit serye” wherein the erring antagonist is the typical macho husband. Here, it is the wife who plays, manipulates and uses sex and seduction to camouflage the obvious. She is fully convinced that breaking the seventh commandment is not despicable,  that she is in control of the situation, and that people will understand her precarious situation knowing that the biggest ace she holds precious is the sapagkat ako ay tao na nagmamahal lamang sa maling panahon at pagkakataon card, suffering in a sham of a marriage and a flawed husband who cannot give her dreams and is incapable of suppling her wants.



The narrative slaps, stings and throws all the lies and truth, briskly and fiercely, peppered with thrills and titillation. Thus, its captive crowd, caught in many forms of deceit, manipulations, schemes, shenanigans, sexual congresses, teasing and high-octane confrontations, is not content with second and thirds, they want more! Adding more atmosphere and spectacle to the scenes are its cinematic lighting, blocking, staging, lines delivered with a natural cadence and, yes oh yes, the musical score that further heightens the grip and hook of the FM Reyes and Jojo Sagun directed melodrama.

Its major attractions, without a doubt, are its lead cast, even the supporting players, who generously infuse their characters with a never-before-seen emotional commitment and truth in a series for on-line viewing.

Paulo Avelino gives gravitas, you will wince with him as he goes through all sorts of feels and pain and sincerity as a husband who has to handle the reality of his wife’s worldly ways. JM de Guzman is perfection as the wolf in sheep’s clothing kind of a man. Kudos to Kim Chiu for stepping out of her romantic comedy comfort zone and totally convince as Madonna, then Scarlet Woman. Kaila Estrada screams cosmopolitan and expensive and we must be all wary of a wife with totally submissive ways because when push comes to shove, how to unleash hell, she is more than capable. And Maricel Soriano, as the mommy dearest of Avelino and De Guzman, brings a different twist and tenderness to the word maternal and gives a feistiness to being a mother.



Rounding up the stellar cast with their own mayhem are Jaime Fabregas, Raymond Bagatsing, Albie Casiño, Jake Ejercito, Heaven Peralejo, Adrian Lindayag, Race Matias, Benj Manalo, Lovely Abella, Frenchie Dy, Ross Pesigan, Hanna Lexie, Juno Advincula, Connie Virtucio, Lotlot Bustamante, Meann Espinosa, Danny Ramos, Bart Guingona, Marc Mcmahon, Anji Salvacion and Kice.

Linlang is a cautionary tale and modern-day morality check that when love and lust collides, the aftermath is always life-altering.

It is not always wise to give in and follow the dictates of one’s loins and the calling of the flesh. Forgetting rhyme and reason always bring the consequences without error.

Linlang streams on Prime Video, available in the Philippines and in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.