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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 21, 2010


Mara Clara Picture
WHAT ARE the changes made by Director Jerome Pobocan in the new version of “Mara Clara”? “We remain faithful to the story but we improved in the delineation of the various characters,” he says. “Mara here is now more palaban. Alvira is now a working mom. Before Clara is bobo, but here, she competes with Mara in academics. Also, the pacing is much faster now dahil iba na ang audience ngayon who get bored easily.”

We were made to watch the first episode and the one thing that stands out is how good Mylene Dizon is in the role of Susan, the mother of Mara played by Susan Africa before. She’s not the usual villain here like in “Tanging Yaman” but is meek and mild as the lavandera’s daughter who is the friend of Alvira (Dimples Romana, played by Beverly Vergel before). Alvira is the object of affection of Gary (Jhong Hilario now, Eruel Tongco before). But Alvira studies in the U.S. and meets Amante (Bobby Andrews now, Juan Rodrigo before) and drops Gary who then cohabits with Susan. Susan and Alvira deliver their babies at the same time. Gary instructs his brother Karlo (Ping Medina now, Dan Fernandez before) to kidnap Alvira’s baby but what Karlo does is to just switch the babies. Mara grows up to be Kathryn Bernardo (Judy Ann Santos before) while Clara becomes Julia Montes (formerly Gladys Reyes). Most writers comment that Julia is better looking than Kathryn, but it’s obvious ABS chose Kathryn as Mara as she’s the more comely morena beauty while Julia is a the haughty mestiza type. Both Kathryn and Julia are former child stars who are graduates of “Goin’ Bulilit”.

“I used to be known as Mara Montes,” says Julia. “But they changed my screen name for ‘Mara Clara’.”

Julia is only 15 but stands 5’6”. She’ll definitely grow up some more and is very qualified to join a beauty pageant. She’s graduating from high school this March at Blessed Hope Christian School. The young leading men in “Mara Clara” are Albie Casino, the ex-BF of Andi Eigenmann, as Christian (formerly Wowie de Guzman) and John Manalo as Erris (formerly Christopher Roxas.)