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After China’s ‘Meteor Garden,’ Philippines to have its own ‘Boys Over Flowers’

In a press conference held  last November 9 in Shanghai, China, the new F4 members were formally introduced, namely Dylan Wang, 19, as the Dao Ming Si; Darren Chen, 22, as Hua Ze Lei; Connor Leong, 23, as Mei Zuo and Caesar Wu, 21, as Xi Men. Rookie Chinese actress Shen Yue, meanwhile, bagged the coveted role of Shan Cai. ABS-CBN/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Barely two weeks since the new Chinese cast of the Taiwanese hit drama series “Meteor Garden” has been introduced to the press, Philippine TV network GMA has announced on Thursday night its casting call for the Philippine version of “Boys Over Flowers,” the South Korean version of “Meteor Garden.”

The auditions will be held at the Studio 1 of GMA Network Center in Quezon City. It is open to Filipino males and females, 16 years old and above. Male aspirants must at least be 5’7”, while the females must at least be five feet.

“Boys Over Flowers” is based on the Japanese shojo manga series “Hana Yori Dango” by Yoko Kamio. It tells the story of a poor but spunky schoolgirl who caught the attention of four rich and cute guys popularly known in their school as the F4.

The Taiwanese version starred Jerry Yan, Vic Zhiu, Vanness Wu, Ken Chu and Barbie Shu, while the Korean “Boys Over Flowers” was headlined by Lee Min-ho, Ku Hye-sun, Kim Bum, Kim Hyun-joong and Kim So-eun.

The Philippine version of “Boys Over Flowers” will be GMA’s answer to the Chinese “Meteor Garden” to be aired by GMA’s rival ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN officially bags the exclusive rights to air China’s remake of the phenomenal hit “Meteor Garden,” the idol drama that captivated the hearts of Filipino fans and started the Asianovela craze in the country.

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In a press conference held last November 9 in Shanghai, China, the new F4 members were formally introduced, namely Dylan Wang, 19, as the Dao Ming Si; Darren Chen, 22, as Hua Ze Lei; Connor Leong, 23, as Mei Zuo and Caesar Wu, 21, as Xi Men. Rookie Chinese actress Shen Yue, meanwhile, bagged the coveted role of Shan Cai.

According to “Meteor Garden’s” original producer Angie Chai, the cast was chosen based on their personalities that are similar to the Taiwanese version of F4.

The production group started its casting call in June this year, and various auditions were held in major cities’ first tier Universities – Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and China. The production team received over 30,000 applications and resumes from F4 hopefuls.

When asked why Angie thought of rebooting “Meteor Garden” this coming 2018, she said, “It is fate that led me to producing this new version of ‘Meteor Garden,’ considering that it has been 15 years already since the launch of the Taiwanese version. The original manga for me seems ‘unfinished’ and that’s why I think I did not produce the series completely. At least now, I have gotten once more the trust and license approval of the original author, and I am very happy that I get to relive the events 15 years ago and feel youthful once again.”

The first and original “Meteor Garden,” topbilled by Taiwanese actor Jerry Yan, aired on ABS-CBN in 2003. This is where the “Meteor Garden” fever began for Filipino fans.

After six years, the fever is very much alive, this time for the Korean remake titled “Boys Over Flowers, which also aired on ABS-CBN. The KBS-produced adaptation formally introduced international superstar Lee Min Ho to Pinoy viewers, who is now dubbed as the “King of Asianovelas” in the country.

ABS-CBN remains to be the home of “Meteor Garden” on Philippine television as the Kapamilya Network will air the Chinese remake next year.

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