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Saturday, October 18, 2014

ILUSTRADO - Another groundbreaking drama series from GMA Network! (World Premiere on Oct. 20, 9:20 pm)


The search for good Philippine TV programs is like the hunt for fish in Manila Bay. You know what I mean. So the moment you found one, you celebrate, you feast, because it's like experiencing a miracle! :)

Let's set aside news and information programs because we definitely can excel in that field. But in drama? I actually read an online article why Philippine TV dramas can't be like Hollywood. While I agree with most of what the writer said but I can't say yes with the rest because there were some that showed promise. And... we don't need to follow Hollywood if we want to excel in this field. We just need to excel. Exclamation point. We don't need to copy anything.

And with that said, I would like to share with you some of the drama series I think our country if not excelled, showed promise. I remembered Cebu and De Buena Familia in RPN 9; Noli Me Tangere in ABC 5;100 Days and May Bukas Pa in ABS-CBN; and Encantadia, My Husband's Lover and Impostora in GMA. But what really made me believe that there's future in Philippine drama are history and current affairs based series like Bayan Ko in GMA News TV and Amaya and Katipunan in GMA 7 (Indio showed promise but failed - too much fantasy). They are unique, groundbreaking, meaningful, full of learning, socially relevant and culturally interesting. And personally speaking, I really have a lot of interest in Philippine history, pre and colonial era. And now, after Amaya, Bayan Ko and Katipunan,

GMA is again offering another landmark drama series via ILUSTRADO!

Some people only know the stories of others tell them, but for the first time in Philippine television history, GMA News and Public Affairs brings one of the nation's heroes to a new light - one that portrays him as human, someone people could understand, and most of all, love once again.

Ilustrado takes a step back and shows the man that embodied the positive qualities that Filipinos aim to be. The series showcases Jose Rizal's journey from his childhood, his colourful travels in Europe, his adventures in love, and most of all - the sacrifices he made for the love of his country.

What makes this series interesting is the incorporation of a variety of fictional characters that assist in highlighting and bring more life into the original storyline, making it more beautiful than it already is; for what is the hero without a villain? Though they are fictional, they are just as real as humans can be: capable of hurting other people, but at the same time showing that even people born into bad circumstances are worthy of redemption. That it is in the human spirit to learn and change for the good.

Top billing this momentous series is one of the most promising actors today, Alden Richards as Jose Rizal, Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, together with Solenn Heussaff and Max Collins as her European lovers Nellie Bousted and Consuelo Ortiga. What gives the production an even higher quality is the presence of top–calibre actors including this year's Cinemalaya's best actress Eula Valdes playing the role of Rizal's mother Teodora Alonzo, three-time Urian best actress Jaclyn Jose as Conchita Monteverde, Ricardo Cepeda as Francisco Mercado, Freddie Webb as Don Jose Alberto, Polo Ravales as Venchito Monteverde, Mailes Kanapi as Donya Teodora Formoso, among others. 

Behind this production is the same team who made the award-winning series Katipunan, and is filmed using the sophisticated Arri Alexa camera, along with equally high-end lenses provided by CMB Film Services Inc. To achieve the grandeur of the 19th-century Europe that Jose Rizal knew and had adventures in, modern visual effects will be used to show the never forgotten decadence of the places where he completed his two most famous novels--the Noli Me Tangere, and El Filibusterismo.

Ilustrado is set to make history via a world premiere this October 20, 9:20 pm on GMA Network.

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