Ang Pangarap Kong Teleserye: Ibong Adarna Edition
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, April 25, 2019 2:30pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
Our current teleserye scene is composed of a *literal* two-faced human character, a policeman who survived all kinds of death threats (and other series), and a couple of classic vengeful plots or love stories that has become formulaic. But what if directors and producers dedicate a large series production for a classic childhood Filipino story—something that involves Philippine Literature, perhaps?
Most of us have probably heard the classic Ibong Adarna tale. It’s a mandatory course in high school. Ibong Adarna is an epic poem written by an unknown author in the 16th century—a time when the Philippines is under the Spanish occupation. It tells the story of how King Fernando of the Kingdom of Berbania got an incurable sickness and the only “medicine” that could restore his health is the song of the mythical bird "Adarna." His three sons, Don Pedro, Don Diego, and Don Juan went on a journey one by one to find the bird. And that’s where the real story starts. It will be nostalgic for kids and adults alike to witness this story come to life on contemporary television.
We already had movies and a 2013 GMA teleserye entitled Adarna (loosely based on Ibong Adarna) and starring Kylie Padilla. The series focuses on Kylie’s character, Ada, who is destined to be the most powerful healer in Pugad Sanghaya and met three men on the way to fulfilling her destiny. Still, we need an exact and modern take on the Filipino epic.
We have the prospects for the “dream cast.” Let us interest you with the actors and actresses which could be perfect for the roles in Ibong Adarna.
We often see Ronaldo Valdez act as a father, a granddad, or a rich middle-aged man. His acting chops, given the length of his career and with prominent characters like the Earl of Dorin Court from the 1996 film Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe. He’s the figure of authority who can pull off the nobility of Haring Fernando—a wise king with three sons who led Berbania, his kingdom, to prosperity.
Actor: Angel Aquino
According to a line in Ibong Adarna, Reyna Valeriana’s beauty is incomparable and has a pure and good heart. Angel Aquino is not far from the queen’s characteristics. She is known for playing characters of good-hearted moms and even played a fantasy role in Encantadia: Pag-ibig Hanggang Wakas (she’s a villain here though). Being a great actress, she could send off a royal and motherly vibe at the same time.
Actor: Ping Medina
Don Pedro, the king and queen’s first-born son, is the bad guy of the story. He had been envious of his younger brother, Don Juan, and even plotted to kill him so he could be the heir to the throne. Ping Medina is known to portray villain and action roles (check out the movie Dukot) and he’s good at it. He could embody the “kontrabida aura.”
Actor: Paulo Avelino
Don Diego is the quietest prince among the three brothers, but he also envied Don Juan. He takes orders from Don Pedro and plots against their youngest brother. Paulo Avelino has the face of a quiet and mysterious guy, much like Don Diego. We would like to see Paulo Avelino slay a supporting “kontrabida” rolein this series.
Actor: Joshua Garcia
Don Juan is Haring Fernando’s youngest and most charming son (he captured the hearts of three princesses in the story, remember?). Joshua Garcia is undoubtedly young and charismatic, not to mention, a very promising actor of his generation. Nothing but one of the best artists for the main male role of our dream teleserye.
Actor: Lovi Poe
Prinsesa Juana is Don Juan’s first love but got married to Don Diego. Lovi Poe’s enchanting beauty is enough to make love-at-first-sight a reality, much like what happened to Don Juan. Not to mention, maybe she and Paulo would make a good on-screen couple.
Actor: Janine Gutierrez
Janine Gutierrez won’t have a hard time portraying a princess with captivating beauty and courage to save a prince in danger just like Prinsesa Leonora did for Don Juan. Also, Prinsesa Leonora is the sister of Prinsesa Juana—she and Lovi would make a great pair of siblings.
Prinsesa Maria Blanca
Actor: Gabbi Garcia
Prinsesa Maria Blanca is royalty from the kingdom of "Reyno delos Cristales." She’s beautiful, brave, and has magical abilities—nothing Gabbi Garcia a.k.a. Alena of Encantadia can’t handle.
Actor: Albert Martinez
Albert Martinez is known for his acting prowess, either as main character, supporting role, or villain. He won Best Actor in the 1997 Metro Manila Film Festival for his portrayal of Jose Rizal in Rizal sa Dapitan. He can give off an authoritative vibe—a perfect trait for Haring Salermo, the ruler of "Reyno delos Cristales" and father of Prinsesa Maria Blanca.
Actor: Pepe Herrera
This hermit became Don Juan’s guide throughout his journey to find the mythical bird Adarna. He appears as a man with long hair and a beard with tattered clothes. Pepe Herrera could make one great ermitanyo and even add an element of comedy to this fantasy series.
Voice actor: Regine Velasquez
Regine Velasquez is dubbed as the “Asia’s Song Bird.” Need we say more?
We seldom see a series based on the Philippines’ literature. We need teleseryes based on Filipino epics and novels to entertain the audience while letting them know how rich our culture is. We miss the days when shows like Hiraya Manawari and Bayani were part of our viewing habits—we don’t need to adapt international series any longer. We are waiting for the day when Filipino TV series will be for educating people once again.