by Nickie Wang
In December 2008, there was an article that appeared on ABS-CBN news site stating that Shaina Magdayao and Rayver Cruz are set to start filming the local adaptation of the American vampire romantic film. It was even reported that ABS-CBN paid a whopping $1 million for the exclusive rights to turn the romantic-fantasy movie into a television series. Days later, the news report can no longer be traced. It was permanently removed from the news site.
Before ABS-CBN denied the report, Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton fetched the story and published the network’s plan to begin Takipsilim’s production. The blog post was flooded by raging feedbacks from Twilight’s diehard fanatics. Their general concern was that it will ruin the very essence of the original version.
Now here comes Imortal, starring Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz. The teaser looks promising complete with special effects and 3D graphics. It is about the birth of a vampire that coincides with the birth of a wolf. Its striking resemblances to the Twilight saga could be just a coincidence. They say, the series is actually the sequel to the 2008 top-rating Lobo that Locsin starred in.
Closely looking at the trend in local TV programming, it’s not surprising at all if Imortal would be just another copy. Most TV stations nowadays employ scriptwriters that rely heavily on the available materials at hand (read: movies they had seen before that can be translated to Philippine situation, TV shows that were not shown in any local station that can easily be adapted, and books that have been turned into movies in Hollywood but few Filipinos know about.) So, what kind of creative process these writers go through? Ask Ricky Lee or Jun Lana.
If audiences are not fed with remakes (serialized [or better yet bastardized] version of a film or a local adaptation of an Asian drama, they are bombarded with drama series that don’t have logical dramaturgy.
But of course major television networks will strongly deny that they produce mediocre shows. In reality, no station is brave enough to admit its complacency; they actually claim each program that goes on air is of world class quality.
For example, Agua Bendita, based on a comic serial published in 1980’s, is praised for its being creative (?). However its finale is already near and yet we can’t still comprehend the scientific explanation behind Agua and/or Bendita’s freak appearances. Why does Agua and/or Bendita appear blue when water really is translucent and colorless? This is the same case with GMA-7’s The Last Prince. When it was shown early this year, we couldn’t help but ask about the rational of the setting of the story—a sustainable community (with complete vegetation) up in the sky. It’s not even built on a hovering solid rock (like Peter Pan’s Neverland) or something to that effect. Amid flaws, viewers still bought the idea. For one thing, both programs have an element of surrealism, a tested recipe that catches the attention of the masses.
New series in the offing
A new series is being brewed in the yard of the Kapuso network and it is entitled I Heart You Pare. The dramady will star the Diva lead actress Regine Velasquez. From the title itself, it will make you speculate that it has no difference compared to Coffee Prince, He’s Beautiful, or Hana Kimi. The aforementioned Asian series all starred female actors in the lead role, but their characters pretend to be a boy just to get close to the main male character.
Another songbird is set to make a primetime comeback on Sept. 6. Sarah Geronimo, backed up by Coco Martin and Sam Milby, is set to add a little twist to evening viewing with iDol. It is a series that, “out of the blue, a production number will appear, you’ll see us sing and dance,” says Sarah in one of her interviews. Sounds interesting but aren’t we seeing a local version of Glee?
Here’s an original
Songs like “Tanging Yaman,” “Hindi Kita Malilimutan,” and “Sa ‘Yo Lamang” are among the popular musical material that have been part of our lives, primarily because the first and the last have been used as titles of major motion pictures, and the second is the commonly-used music in funerals.
These songs have been rerecorded by several singers. They are being sung by Filipino congregations in practically every corner of the world. But the group called Bukas Palad that originally wrote these materials remains anonymous.
Founded in 1986 by school friends Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, Norman Agatep, and Jandi Arboleda, the Bukas Palad Music Ministry is a group of students and young professionals who compose, record, and perform original Filipino liturgical and inspirational music.
“Twenty-four years ago, we never thought that the songs we’d compose after class would find their way to churches all over the country,” said Agatep, who is still involved in producing the group’s albums. “Today, we work even harder to make sure the music we write helps Filipinos voice out their deepest yearnings and echoes best their love for God,” he added.
Continuing the music ministry’s mission of contributing to the repertoire of Filipino liturgical music, Bukas Palad recently launched its latest album titled Christify through a Mass and free concert at the Church of the Gesu, in the Ateneo de Manila University. A collection of 10 new songs for liturgy and worship, Christify is Bukas Palad’s 15th studio album, which is a project leading to the group’s celebration of its 25th anniversary in 2011.