Philippine showbiz’ current “It Girl” Liza Soberano says her hairs stand on end whenever she watches prime time TV’s latest goldmine, “Bagani” on ABS-CBN.
One of the month-old program’s five lead stars—along with Matteo Guidicelli, Sofia Andres, Makisig Morales and her on-and-off screen partner Enrique Gil—Soberano has seen the value of a well-prepared series once it goes on air.
“Like our directors have said, we started shooting this fantaserye a year ago, with pre-production starting way back in 2016. Though not a historical account of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, it is well researched in the sense that it shows the culture of the tribes back then, and the story, heightened by the fight scenes and the sets just really blows you away. Kinikilabutan talaga ako when I watch the show because we never know when we’re doing the scenes they would be jaw-dropping.”
Despite a minor bump with Commission on Higher Education and several groups supporting Indigenous Peoples who are now satisfied the show does not claim to be a historical piece, Soberano—as well as Gil—nevertheless continues to deal with online critics who say they are “too mestizo” or foreign-looking to be cast in Filipino tribal characters.
As “Ganda,” an ordinary girl who receives special powers to fight for her tribe, Fil-American Soberano only has to say to her detractors, “Even if we’re only half Filipino, that doesn’t make us less Filipino. Para sa sa amin Pinoy po kami and we’re proud to be Filipinos. All the same, we respect their comments because they’re entitled to their own opinion, but at the end of the day, we’ll just keep working because we just want to give the public a good show. That’s all we want to do.”
Bagani continues to air weeknights on ABS-CBN after “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”