<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 16, 2018

Liza Soberano So Comfortable With Enrique Gil They Now Motivate Each Other For Their Scenes In 'Bagani'


LIZA SOBERANO was bashed for playing the role of a native maiden called Ganda in “Bagani” when everyone knows she has an American mom and looks so mestiza. How does she react to this?
“I respect their opinion, but in my heart, I know I’m Filipino,” she says at the show’s Thanksgiving presscon. “Even if I’m only half Filipino, that doesn’t make me less Filipino than the rest of us. Also, our directors and writers have already explained that this is not based on a historical true story but is a work of fiction, a fantaserye.”

The show has not even started yet when some detractors already assailed it for not being culturally authentic. The production team then explained that “bagani” refers to warriors and protectors who become heroes or champions that fights for the common good of their tribe. They add that the show does not pretend to be a historical account of Philippine history but they’ve created an alternative fictional universe with elements of Filipino mythology and folklore that highlights Filipino values and beliefs.

Liza said she underwent rigid training for her role as ganda. “Nag-aral ako ng wushu and had to work out in the gym regularly,” she adds. “Since this is an action-adventure story, maraming fights scenes and difficult stunts and we have mentors to train us on how to execute them well for the camera. I’m very proud of ‘Bagani’ and its message that there’s a little hero in each of us when we sacrifice and do good for the benefit of others.”

In their alternative world of Sansinukob, there are five groups: the farmers of Tagapatag, fishermen of Tagalaot, traders of Tagakalakal, forest people of Tagagubat and desert people or Tagadisyerto. Liza is tagapatag while Enrique as Lakas is tagadisyerto. Supporting them are Matteo Guidicelli as Lakam who’s tagakalakal, Sofia Andres as a slave who’s tagalaot, Makisig Morales as Dumakulem who’s tagagubat, Christian Vasquez as the leader of mga tagadisyerto, Zaijan Jaranilla as a teenage nomad who acts as the narrator, Rayver Cruz as a friend of Lakas, Ana Abad Santos as the mother of Lakas, Enzo Pineda as the leader of tagalaot, Precious Lara Quigaman as the older sister of Ganda, Diether Ocampo as the deity called Apo, Robert Sena as Ama, Ryan Eigenmann as another deity called Sarimaw, Dimples Romana as Babaylan, plus Benjie Paras, Joi Agpangan, Maricar Reyes, Ahron Villena and Cora Waddell.

“Bagani” is one of ABS-CBN’s biggest budgeted shows, with the pre-production alone taking one year in the process, what with its lavish costumes, sets and special effects featuring flying dragons. The first few weeks were shot in the scenic spots of the Ilocos Region but that’s too far so they reconstructed it (including the sand dunes of Paoay) in a special set built in a vast studio in Bulacan.

“This is so different from any other show Enrique and I have done before,” adds Liza. “When we finally saw the first episodes on screen, kinilabutan kami sa ganda because all our hard work paid off. Everything coming to life in a jaw-dropping way. Hindi namin akalaing ganun kaganda ang resulta.”

So how is it working again with Enrique in an action-drama? “I’m so comfortable working with him because we can now motivate each other. Inaalalayan niya ako sa action scenes to make sure hindi ako masasaktan. Matagal ang preparation ng fight scenes, kung minsan four to five hours, pero sandali lang mapapanood sa TV, but it’s all worth it kasi the feedback of viewers is very encouraging so far.”