Two remakes go head-to-head on prime time tonight

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Director Mark Reyes (center) introduces the grand cast of GMA’s grandest ‘requel’

Director Mark Reyes (center) introduces the grand cast of GMA’s grandest ‘requel’

It’s bound to be another exciting Monday on “TVLandia” as ABS-CBN’s ongoing action series, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano gets worthy competition from GMA Network’s grand telefantasya, Encantadia, tonight.

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Both programs are respective remakes of the late Fernando Poe Jr.’s blockbuster film of the same title in 1997, and GMA Network’s highly successful original series Encantadia in 2005, which originally starred Iza Calzado, Sunshine Dizon, Diana Zubiri, and Karylle.

With Probinsyano’s lead star Coco Martin comfortably lording the weekday time slot for almost a year now, it is but natural that the ABS-CBN production take steps to reinforce the show with more compelling twists and new guest stars, especially since the sexy Sang’res of Encantadia are all set to entice audiences over to GMA Network.

At an anniversary-cum-thanksgiving celebration late last week—scheduled on the very night Encantadia held its grand press launch—Martin promised the Probinsyan’s loyal fans are in for “huge surprises” in the coming months.

“Isang taon na po ang Probinsyano sa September at No. 1 pa rin po tayo,” the triumphant ABS-CBN Prime Time King declared. “Nandito po ako ngayon para magpasalamat sa lahat ng sumosuporta sa amin at pangako po, marami pa silang aabangan.”

Said the actor, viewers can expect more action-packed scenes that will not only pump up excitement over the show but also touch hearts in a variety of sub plots that will continue to showcase Filipino values and tackle socially relevant issues.

Love for family and country will still be the main message of Probinsyano as it enters its first anniversary, with the addition of such big stars in the cast, beginning with Cesar Montano this week, and later on, blockbuster comedian Vice Ganda.

Meanwhile, over at GMA Network, Encantadia has successfully built up excitement and anticipation over their biggest and most expensive production to date. Since the new lead stars of what is touted as Philippine TV’s very first telefantasya was announced in April, Kylie Padilla, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Glaiza de Castro, have trained non-stop in both their skills for arnis and dramatic acting to meet the high expectations set for this retelling.

As the huge cast of the show were introduced one by one at the launch—clad in their elaborate costumes for the land of Encantadia—emotions ran high among the network executives, the production staff, and most especially director Mark Reyes.

Also the man behind the first and original Encantadia, he unsuccessfully held back his tears when he said, “Eleven years after this trailblazing program aired on television, and after three attempts of doing a remake, this is the fruition of my long-awaited dream!”

Acknowledging the fact that many believed it would be impossible to outdo a production that changed the landscape of Philippine television, Reyes declared quite triumphantly like Probinsyano’s star, “You’ve all seen the teasers, and with the cast here in front of you tonight, you’ve seen that we’ve definitely leveled up.”

Dubbed a “requel” by GMA, Encandia will tell anew for the current generation, the touching story of sisterhood, family, and a great forbidden love that bridges two different worlds—that of humans and the magical world of Encantadia.

Reyes promised that his retelling will surpass expectations. “There’s so much more reasons to watch the show. Encantadia’s requel is one of the biggest projects in Philippine television. It’s the story that you’re going to get. Ang na­ging paghahanda rito—from the costumes to the script to the set hanggang sa graphics, lahat—ay three times bigger sa unang version.”

Just like Probinsyano, there is no shortage of big named stars in Encantadia. Playing special roles from the very start of the series are GMA Network’s own Kapuso Primetime King and Queen Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera-Dantes as Raquim and Ynang Reyna Minea, respectively. Add to showbiz’ “royal couple” are the likes of Solenn Heussaff, Sunshine Dizon, Max Collins, and “Heneral Luna” star John Arcilla, among many others.

As both ABS-CBN and GMA keep a close eye on tonight’s ratings—with pulses racing for sure over their enormous investments—The Manila Times’ take on the matter is simply this: The battle for greatness on TVLandia is all good for the Filipino public.

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