ANYONE WHO HAS a heart for fantasy series will contend that GMA Networks’s Engcantadia is the best fantaserye that ever graced the Philippine television.
But that may change in the days to come. The creators of Engcantadia is bound to make another history happen in the local TV scene with Indio that will air on GMA-7 Telebabad starting Monday, January 14.
ElysPlanet.PH was among the members of the press and online writers who watched its first episodes during a special advance screening attended by its cast on January 9 at SM Megamall. It is too early to tell but Indio’s opening episodes showcase a strong story, awesome effects, and top caliber executions that could surpass Engcantadia’s.
It’s not surprising though for they definitely have integrated the use of new technology, and gained new styles that work since the creation of the 2005 hit and well-loved fantasy series.
Dubbed as a ‘telemovie’ for its movie-like production value, GMA network said Indio is the most expensive and the biggest production they have ever produced for TV.
Yes, it maybe is expensive but what makes Indio relevant for Filipinos of this generation? Though staged in pre-colonial setting, the value of Indios beautiful story traverses through generations, as its theme of earning dignity through selfless sacrifice for loved ones resonates strongly even for audiences of today, the network contested.
Lets close a closer look at the series.
Theres no exact term for Indio but in essence, it is Filipino should we decide to trace the Philippine history, which account states that Indio is a Spanish racial term for the native Austronesian people in the country between the 16th and 19th centuries. Though Indio also refers to the natives of the Americas, the series title pertains to the Spanish term.
Engcantadias elements of success are there: the ultimate hero, the Diwatas (goddesses), the kid stars, the matinee idols, the love interests, the special effects, and more. Whats more interesting in Indio though is the story itself thats strongly related to the Philippine history.
Filipinos are nationalistic in nature. The success of GMA-7s Marian Rivera-starrer Amaya is a strong testimony that viewers could not only tolerate a history-based series on prime time TV but they are willing to love it as long as created with sensitivity and quality. So add to that success formulas our love for fantasy stories and superheroes, you get Indio.
Making Miracles Happen
Being star-studded alone is a major come on but people could expect for more and not just seeing those beautiful faces, the likes of Sam Pinto, Solenn Heussaf, Ellen Adarna, and Ehra Madrigal, Bea Binene, Princess Snell, among others or indulging in the charm and machismo of Fabio Ide, Alden Richards, Will Devaugn, Steven Silva, and newcomer Lucho Ayala to name a few. The first and the succeeding episodes showcase an acting ensemble that could make the series last for months in possibly high viewers ratings. You can count newcomer Dominic Roco and powerful actors Bobby Andrews, Ronnie Lazaro, Ping Medina, Robert Arevalo, Dante Rivero, Daria Ramirez, Agot Isidro and Michael de Mesa on that.
Lead actor, Senator Bong Revilla does not appear in the first episodes. But should he make his acting different from his performance in his Agimat film series, Revilla could continuously pose as a hero the way his movies positioned him to be.
The actor said he has again undergone acting workshops for his role. That should help the series get going especially that most Filipino TV viewers are either pro-RH bill Catholic, same with his unpopular position about the issue, or do not care about the controversial bill at all.
Jennylyn Mercado does not appear in the first episodes as well but trailers showcase her unique beauty in a Spanish fashion people will definitely love. Mercados acting is above average so people could just sit back and relax that this lady will be excellent in the series.
If we are to mention major stand outs, it would be the networks most controversial stars Rhian Ramos and Sarah Lahbati who play major roles. Ramos is most beautiful in her being Dian Magayon, goddess of flying animals in the series. Lahbatis short performance as Ynaguiguinid, a war goddess who gave birth to Malaya is enough to leave a mark on the audience, as shes now in a controversial conflict with the network.
The first episodes, which in most cases are the most boring part of any series for they usually try very hard to capture viewers interest without realizing that overdoing them could actually lost viewers attention, are more than just entertaining but oozing with both glamour and sense in Indio.
Should having almost all poignant characters introduced in just a few frames a wish for miracles, Indio did not wish but made miracles happen. Between action-filled scenes and touching narratives, the first few scenes provided enough background information about the series and at the same time tickled peoples interests to check out for more.
Watching the first episodes alone is not enough to personally guarantee that Indio will take you to the full ride of a great TV viewing experience as only the producers could promise that (though we can always demand). However, those fantastic effects plus the great cinematography will be enough for every viewer to be glued on TV every night once more.
Should it be shown in ASEAN the way Encantadia is being shown (Fox) right now, you will be very proud enough to say, it is Filipino-produced. And that you were once called Indio.