March 20, 2023

But wait, what is the story of “Maria Clara and Ibarra” all about? And why is it so entertaining with the presence of two fictional characters, Klay and Fidel?
It’s the story of a young empowered nursing student named Klay, portrayed by Barbie Fortaleza.
I have watched Barbie in a few comedy shows. But in “Maria Clara and Ibarra” she had shown great acting skills and prowess in comedy. She portrayed a typical Gen Z student. She, however, did not believe that the book “Noli Me Tangere” could help her in her course. To her, the focus of her course was to save lives and treat people.
Her professor saw she plagiarized her report just to comply with requirements so she was asked to drop her class. After much negotiation, she was given a second chance and went back to her professor after she finished the book and the report. She was then given an old copy of the “Noli Me Tangere”.
She was transported into the book of “Noli Me Tangere” and woke up in the company of Maria Clara (played by Julie San Jose) who I must say was the epitome of the beautiful and “mahinhin” Maria Clara. This is where the story began.
She then met Crisostomo Ibarra (played by Dennis Trillo) and Fidel delos Reyes Maglipol (played by David Licauco).
The costumes were superbly made and authentic. The Maria Clara dresses were simply beautiful and elegant. They were so dainty and it made you clamor and wish to wear one yourself. The story about the “abaniko” or fan and how to use it was certainly an eye opener.
Since the story was based on history, it progressed ultimately to the next book “El Filibusterismo.” From romantic (Noli) to the story of vengeance and anger in El Fili. As said earlier, the characters of Klay and Fidel were made up or fictional characters, but it brought the much needed lightness and entertainment to the story making you appreciate the historical details of why Rizal wrote the books.
Kung makakagawa lang tayo ng mga ganitong istorya ng ating kasaysayan, ‘di sana mas maraming kabataan ang makakaunawa at mawiwili sa pagbabasa at pag-aaral ng ating mga kasaysayan. Marami nang nagawang istorya gaya ng “Heneral Luna” at “Goyo.” Mabibi-gat ang mga istorya. Siguro kung magagawan ng paraan para mas lalong maintindihan ng kabataan ang mga istorya sa pamamagitan ng pag-ugnay ng nakaraan sa kasalukuyan, siguro mas madaling ituro ang mga libro ng ating mga bayani. ‘Yung bang makaka-relate ang kabataan ang importante.
Suzette Doctolero, concept and creative director, explained why they had to integrate Barbie and David who were fictional characters. She wanted to bring awareness to the similarities of old and present times.
Young director Zig Dulay also did a splendid job. The series needed the point of view of a young director. The inclusion of fictional characters was like bringing an alien to a modern day setting. The language barrier and means of communication was like an “ET” movie moment.
Remember, “ET phone home.” The romantic spiel between Klay and Fidel was the kilig part. And the performances of other actors like Father Salvi brought the realities of the past.
‘Yung mga “aso at pusa” scenes ay nakaka-aliw at nakakakilig. Bakit nga ba? Sapagkat ito ay muling nagdadala sa ating mga indibiduwal na istorya noong ating kabataan. May kurot sa ating mga pinagdaanan sa buhay; mga ipinaglaban at pagkakamali. Marahil kailangan talagang gawing visual ang mga aklat ng kasaysayan ng ating mga bayani at ninuno. Marahil din ay maraming mga guro ang natutuwa dahil nakakatulong ang teleserye para mas madaling ipaintindi sa mga estudyante and istorya ng “Noli at “El Fili”.
Ang tagumpay ay masusukat sa muling pagsikat ng mga librong “Noli Me Tangere” at “El Filibusterismo”.
Doctolero explained in one of her interviews the three points she focused on: the relevance of the story to our present times, she wanted her children to be proud of her, and she wanted the show to be entertaining and informative.
Hanggang sa muling pagninilay-nilay sa ating kasaysayan mga binibini at mga ginoo.