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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 7, 2022



BARBIE FORTEZA has reason to rejoice. Her new primetime show, “Maria Clara at Ibarra”, is doing so well in the ratings game and the feedback for the pilot week is excellent. 

Viewers are uniformly praising her performance as Klay, the nursing student from modern times who is studying history and is mysteriously transported into the world of Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere”. 

Barbie is really the pivotal character in the show who connects the past with the present and everything that happens in the world of Noli is seen through her eyes. 

She now wants to thank all those who watched the show in its first week of telecast. 

“Bilang isang artista, it’s really so fulfilling to know that viewers appreciate your work,” she says. 

“My goal is really to make the character of Klay engaging and endearing and they say na-achieve ko naman daw yun so, nakakatuwa talaga. 

"Andaming problema ni Klay sa buhay at mabigat ang kanyang mga pinagdaraanan but she’s a feisty character and giving life to her inspires me to do better.”   

Viewers are excited with the scenes where Barbie first met Dennis Trillo as Crisostomo Ibarra and later, Julie Anne San Jose as Maria Clara.  

“Natutuwa sila sa aming mga unang pagtatagpo,” adds Barbie. 

“Kung paanong yung isang tao na galing sa present will interact with people from the past. 

"In the process, they learn a lot from the show about history, about nationalism, about fighting for what you believe is right.”    

To be honest, what we like in the show is that it’s not just a remake of a Koreanovela but an original material that delves on relevant local issues about our society and even champions female empowerment.  

Barbie uphold women's rights and how important education is for them since some of the men tend to belittle women, so Barbie makes them realize the importance of gender equality. 

Since Barbie is a contemporary character who has already read the Noli, she already knows what will happen to its characters and warns them about the dangerous events that might happen to them. 

Since her language and her manners are from the present and out of place in the time of Noli, Julie Ann as Maria Clara suspects that she’s a mental case and suggests that she be taken to a psychiatric hospital.

The series is generally well acted, has good production values, including persuasive costume and set designs. 

It’s well directed by the reliable Zig Dulay who also handled the acclaimed cultural drama, “Legal Wives”. 

We won’t be surprised if he’d make some changes in the original Noli to make it a bit more exciting and more updated to modern times.