«Start-Up PH» on the same level as the original avatar
ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki)
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Start-Up PH is a 2022 Philippine drama starring Bea Alonzo, Alden Richards, Jeric Gonzales, and Yasmien Kurdi. This show is about two sisters who dream of starting the next highly successful startup company, but learn that being a successful CEO means first and foremost being human.

Start-Up PH is on the same level as the original series, similar to the Philippine adaptation of Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예).


Sandbox PH is the Philippine branch of Sandbox, a fictional incubator company from Korea (from the original series). They take in people aspiring to build the next big tech company in the Philippines while learning the ropes of managing a company and developing a new product.

Tristan ‘Good Boy’ Hernandez is an intelligent, independent, and self-made investor who had a difficult past and used it to achieve remarkable success in life.

Danica ‘Dani’ Sison is a quirky dreamer with a firm determination to prove to herself and the world that she can become a CEO of her own company.

Start-Up PH: Long-lost sisters, Ina and Dani, sassy reunion.

Start-Up PH

Long-lost sisters, Ina (top) and Dani (bottom), sassy reunion.

Ina: What? Do you need anything? Do you want me to employ you in my company?
Dani: In the company you founded with your step dad’s money? No thanks.

The work shown above is Copyrighted to GMA Drama.

Katrina ‘Ina’ Diaz is Dani’s older sister, who lived with their mother abroad and later returned to the Philippines. Dani and Ina met again in Sandbox PH and were immediately at odds because of their life choices.

Davidson ‘Dave’ Navarro was a mathematics genius when he was young. He and his friends are newbie entrepreneurs willing to learn and take risks to fulfil their dreams.

What will happen when they all meet together in Sandbox PH? Will they come together to make their dreams a reality? Are they willing to do and learn everything to be successful in this cutthroat tech industry?

Premiere Week Performance

From the premiere episode to the fifth, the actors brought their characters to life closer to the original drama series while keeping the characters true to being Filipino. Bea Alonzo’s acting as the Filipino counterpart of Bae Suzy (배수지)’s character Seo Dal Mi (서달미) earned her the nickname the Bea Suzy of the Philippines, and I could not agree more, as Bea portrayed her character Danica ‘Dani’ Sison amazingly.

The boy next door Alden Richards is playing as Tristan ‘Good Boy’ Hernandez, the Filipino counterpart of Kim Seon Ho (김선호)’s character Han Ji Pyung (한지평). Alden was not only at par with Seon Ho (선호) in his attractive looks and charming dimples, Alden’s acting was top-notch when he captured Ji Pyung (지평) so well and translated it into a Filipino character.

Start-Up PH: Long-lost sisters, Ina and Dani, sassy reunion.

Start-Up PH

Long-lost sisters, Ina (top) and Dani (bottom), sassy reunion.

Ina: Or maybe… he doesn’t exist?
Dani: Do you want a name? Fine! Davidson Navarro.

The work shown above is Copyrighted to GMA Drama.

Another outstanding talent who brought the show’s high ratings in its first week is Yasmien Kurdi as Katrina ‘Ina’ Diaz, the Filipino counterpart of Won In Jae (유인재), played by Kang Han Na (강한나) in the original series. Ina possessed the same fierceness and intimidating qualities of being a big sister as In Jae (인재), with the added Filipino touch of being mataray (blunt; mean; pretentious; sassy); excellent acting from Yasmien.

Premiere Week Production

When it comes to adapting a story to a local setting, it is critical to have balance. Changing everything to what is locally common can ruin the essence of the original story. There are different types of adaptations, but in this particular scenario, it was a retelling of the original story in a Philippine setting. The Philippine adaptation of Start-Up (스타트업) did not disappoint. In general, parts that should be the same remained as-is while modifying those that fit in a local context.

Premiere Week Verdict

Start-Up PH: poster

Start-Up PH


The work shown above is Copyrighted to GMA Drama.

My verdict after watching the premiere week episodes is a perfect ten (10)! I rarely watch locally produced movies and TV series these days because the plot is usually the same. If it was an adaptation, either the production was subpar or there were excessive changes. Start-Up PH is on the same level as the original series, similar to the Philippine adaptation of Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예). I am looking forward to seeing the rest of Start-Up PH, especially how there were already hints our lead female character may choose her childhood pen pal in the end—a different choice from the original series.

Official trailer

Start-Up PH: Official Trailer

To dream is to set foot on a journey with so many hardships, but one we all take because it’s worth it!

The work shown above is Copyrighted to GMANetwork.

Check out my «Start-Up» review.

Disclosure: While I have relatives in the entertainment industry, this review reflects my personal view. I did not receive any request, gift, or any form of compensation for this article.

・ Cover image: The cover image used in this article is Copyrighted to GMA Network.

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ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮)If this is not the end of oblivion, then I shall live everyday as if my life were to end this very day.

The YOOki (柳紀 ・ 유 기) Chronicles

The YOOki (柳紀 ・ 유 기) Chronicles is ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮)’s return into casual and personal blogging. The name “YOOki” is a mash-up of the acronym of YourOnly.One and my nickname ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki ・ 雪亮).

Interestingly, according to Chinese legend, 「柳」 (YOO) is an ancient Chinese surname. The ancestors of the surname were closely linked with the ancient sage-king named Yu Shun. In Korea, the 「유」 (YOO) lineage traces to the Xia, Han, and Joseon dynasties. Holders of the surname Yu or Yoo had a reputation for charity and diligence.1

It is also the word for “willow” or the “willow tree” which means graceful or slender; and a tree growing near a body of water which provide continuous nourishment and resources for everyone. It can also mean to exist, an oil (anointment(?)), and simply as “U” (you).

The hanzi 「紀」 (ki) character means to record, be disciplined, provide order. While the hangul equivalent, 「기」 (ki; gi), means energy, spirit, a banner, and a period of time; and is also a suffix used to make a gerund or an infinitive.

Can you guess what I mean by 「柳紀」 and 「유 기」 as the Chinese and Korean for “YOOki”?

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