GMA Network's fantasy drama series “Maria Clara at Ibarra” is a consistent talk of the town — online and offline — since it premiered in October 2022. It has been lauded for its brilliant cast, overall production value and seamless incorporation of modern twists without veering too far away from José Rizal's novel, Noli Me Tángere.
Deservingly, the show already received several accolades as such Best TV Series, Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (TV Series) for Dennis Trillo, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (TV Series) for Juancho Triviño and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (TV Series) for Andrea Torres from the 7th GEMS Awards 2023, as well as Best Primetime Drama Series, Culturally Relevant TV Series and all major acting awards for its lead cast as bestowed by the 2023 Platinum Stallion National Media Awards, among many other citations.Trillo, who plays the role of Crisóstomo Ibarra, said of their awards in a media conference, “Nakakatuwa, proud na proud kami na mapasama sa programa na ito na talaga namang maraming tumangkilik at maraming nakapansin. Ngayon, dumarating naman ang mga parangal. Feeling ko isa ito sa pinakaimportanteng shows ng itong dekada na ito.”According to head writer, Suzette Doctolero, they are humbled that the audience patronized the story they worked hard for. Concept-wise, they wanted to offer a historical series that will not bore the Filipino audience.”Ang soap opera kasi by nature ay napaka-eskapismo. At yung Noli Me Tangere at El Filibusterismo kahit siya ay fiction, hindi siya escapism pero siya ay realistic. Nangyayari noon at ngayon masasalamin pa rin doon,” explained Doctolero.”Ang unang challenge ay paano ito ike-kwento sa paraang ang audience ng soap ay mag-i-i-stick. Also, paano i-a-adapt ang naratibo ng Nol at El Fili into a visual feast para sa TV. Hindi namin ito kinuha chapter by chapter but ano ang magandang unahin pag na-translate niyo sa telebisyon. Ano din ang pwedeng kunin na napapanahon pa rin at nakakarelate ang mga tao,” she added.
Transition to El Filibusterismo
From the storyline of Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere, “Maria Clara at Ibarra” is now set to transition to El Filibusterismo. This is accompanied by some changes in the course of the story, including the transformation of the character of Trillo.From Ibarra who will become a fugitive due to false accusations, he will return as the mysterious jeweler Simoun.Asked about his preparation for the new role, Trillo said, “Medyo maiksi lang yung panahon namin para maghanda sa pagpasok ng El Filibusterismo pero syempre nandoon yung pagreresearch, inalam ko kung paano yung dapat na maging hitsura ko dito, yung hitsura niya sa libro at iba pang pelikula na nagawa. So parang kinuha lang namin yung mga common factors doon pero syempre, mas pinagbasehan namin yung libro para mas accurate yung depiction doon sa character ni Simoun.”Apart from Ibarra's Simoun, other characters will be joining the cast of the show including Khalil Ramos as Basilio, Pauline Mendoza as Basilio's younger sister Juli, Julia Pascual as Paulita Gomez, niece of Doña Victorina (played by Gilleth Sandico), Kim De Leon as Isagani and Arnold Reyes as Kabesang Tales.Ramos admitted feeling pressure given the show's success but still grateful he is portraying the older version of Basilio from Noli Me Tangere.”Noong first day ko naramdaman ko agad ang kaba especially with the success of the show. Syempre gusto nating magampanan yung role ni Basilio ng tama. But I'm super excited lang din talaga na ma-fill in ko 'yung shoes ng isang character na ilang beses na rin nating napanood. Siyempre, isa siyang character na sinulat ni Jose Rizal so I'm very much excited and very thankful to be part of this wonderful show.”Pascual, on the other hand, promised to give her all for the show especially that the story is about revenge which is a lot darker. “I think my character really has to understand that the love she has for Isagani and also for the other characters that she may meet in this part of 'Maria Clara at Ibarra,' kailangan niyang matutong tumayo sa kanyang sariling mga paa. Gagamitin niya 'yung isip niya imbis na 'yung puso niya ang gagamitin,” said Pascual.”Challenging role po ito sa akin. Sana po mabigyan ko po ng justice 'yung character na 'to lalo na kasama ko ang mga napakagaling na mg aktor. Excited na po ako na bigyang buhay ang El Filibusterismo,” she added.Also starring Barbie Forteza, Julie Anne San Jose, and David Licauco, “Maria Clara at Ibarra” new El Filibusterismo chapters will start on Monday, January 23, 8 p.m. at GMA Telebabad.
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