3 February 2010 | kojisuzuki
Heart wrenching and endearing
When I first heard about Dingdong Dantes and Rhian Ramos being paired together for this drama series, I was very surprised, mainly the age gap of nine years between them. Dantes is known to be a really good actor at times, and a really bad one often. While Ramos frequently receives abuse from fans for bagging roles she does not deserve, however, every time Ramos proved hr detractors wrong - she gained rave reviews in her last drama series role in LaLola - and Stairway to Heaven she certainly puts her detractors in their places! Stairway to Heaven is utterly beautiful from beginning to end. Joyce Bernal directs the most heart wrenching drama series I have seen in a very long time, a story of a childhood love that must overcome the greed of others and above all, death. Dode Cruz is the head writer, it is so different to anything he has done before - after receiving endless bashing due to the way he writes; with Stairway to Heaven, he proves he does not need violence, kidnappings, switch-births, etc. to make a drama series work.
The acting is the most solid I have ever seen for a very, very, very long time - the entire cast performed miles above the bar. Barbie Forteza and Joshua Dionisio played the younger counterpart of Dantes and Ramos' Cholo and Jodi, and they played it well, they had a certain chemistry that made you feel for their characters, Forteza's crying scenes are noteworthy especially coming from someone who has no past acting experience.
The supporting cast did amazing jobs, starting with Karen de los Reyes, who had her career's best performance! De los Reyes has always been known as the "best-friend", although she has done well with a few intense characters like in Mulawin. In Stairway to Heaven, de los Reyes proves that she can literally eat the leading lady in acting (although Ramos was still amazing). Same goes to Soliman Crz, who best performance he has ever delivered, the audience could feel his heartache and love for his son Tristan (played by TJ Trinidad), the nice third wheel. The most memorable scene of him here is when he fought off Jean Garcia's evil stepmother character, not with violence, but with sharp words! Jean Garcia gave out a scary performance, her scene alone when she revealed Sandy Andolong's character's affair was simply devilish, she was so scary.
Now, the main characters! Glaiza de Casto was effective as a villain who only wants to be loved and wanted things she was deprived from. TJ Tristan's Tristan is a tragic character who desperately wants to be loved by the woman he cannot have.
Music also played a very important role in this drama series, Regine Velasquez's rendition of Faith Cuneta's "Pag-Ibig Ko'y Pansinin" wasn't really the best, but it was beautiful, I felt shivers down my spine. I also love the music score, although there were some off-key and kinda out of place music scores, but listening to the score along is lush. Overall, Stairway to Heaven showed the entire cast's career's best performances. Highly recommendable!