Soap operas have been around for decades as an escape from everyday life. Can these same TV shows have the power to transform everyday lives?


Photojournalist and filmmaker Barbara Pyle meets Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, producer of a soap opera called Interweaving Lives. The series is broadcast throughout the Philippines, both on TV and radio -- synthesizing entertainment and education.  It uses its characters as role models to tackle controversial issues,  including family planning, birth spacing and the long-held preference for sons. A local priest even plays himself on the show.  He believes “This kind of thing is stronger than the pulpit, stronger than the school and stronger than the home.”



Pyle goes on the set for the filming of a compelling episode.  It dramatizes the power of individual choice by telling the story of two sisters who choose very different paths in life.  One sister gets married at a young age and has many children, while the other sister goes to college and becomes a television anchor.  Discover how their decisions have a lasting impact on both of their lives.


Studies show soap operas with a social message, like  Interweaving Lives, are actually changing behavior...  in some cases influencing people to have fewer children.

Guidote says, “When you have an informed citizenry, they themselves will act.  I honestly have faith in our people that if they are given the choice and they are given all the data, they will make the enlightened choice.”

This popular series continues to receive a tremendous audience.




Click here to view episode transcript