Big Boss forays into the Netflix Phl world
Dingdong Dantes, lead star of GMA 7’s Descendants of the Sun, which makes its Netflix Philippines debut on Nov. 13: Regardless of the platform, we have to give what we could bring to the table as actors.
Big Boss forays into the Netflix Phl world
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — GMA 7’s Descendants of the Sun Philippines is a welcome addition to the existing Netflix Philippines content as it premieres on Nov. 13. So more Pinoy audiences can watch the show on the streaming platform. This latest development allows viewers to revisit and see why Descendants of the Sun Philippines snagged the Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year Award and the Asian Star Prize (for lead actor Dingdong Dantes) at the 15th Seoul International Drama Awards.

“I honor the recognition,” said Dingdong of his first international award that recognized his inspired performance as AFP Special Forces Capt. Lucas Manalo, a.k.a. Big Boss. “The effort of recognizing is something worth of honoring at least (from) my perspective... I welcome and rejoice over (it), kumbaga, (the award) is a (pat on the back) for actors.”

Dingdong added that he looks at an individual merit as a product of teamwork, “Maaaring may maganda kayong ginawa (The team must have done something good),” he said. “Recognitions always bring me back to the essentials of how to prepare for work... Kung ano yung nag-work dito, ibig sabihin pwede nating i-apply sa susunod (whatever acting approach or preparation that worked for me in this project I think I could also use it in the next one), baka medyo meron tayong ginawa na tama. What that is, of course, trade secret na yun.”

Now that Descendants of the Sun Philippines will be accessible to more Pinoy audiences, does Dingdong have any apprehension that the show (and their work) will be subject to comparison?
“Whether it will be streamed on Netflix or not, (our work) is subject to comparison,” he said, “there is no denying that Descendants of the Sun (the Korean version) was very well-loved here in the Philippines, not just the show, but the characters and the stars (were also well-loved). (That remains true) to this day, grabe yung fanbase.”

“Comparison is inevitable,” added Dingdong, “aminin natin na hindi naman tayo siguro magiging better than the original. But at least, we have to be true to form in terms of bringing to life the Philippine context of the story. Yun naman yung tungkulin natin dito as storytellers. It’s not to perhaps overshadow the other one, it’s not to be better than the other one, but at least, gawin naming maayos yung pagkukwento ng version natin na ito.”

Right from the start, Dingdong and the rest of Descendants of the Sun Philippines team were aware that they had big shoes to fill. Proof to that was the amount of time and energy they put in crafting the script, designing the over-all production and acting. Regardless of the platform, Dingdong said, “Dapat ibigay namin talaga ang pwede naming ibigay (We should give what we could offer or bring to the table) as (part of a) network and as actors.”

In the course of their work, what also impressed Dingdong was the resilience fellow Kapuso (from stars to crew) showed on set given the global health crisis.

“Imagine we were able to bounce back amidst the pandemic and alam kong di naging madali yan sa production, pero nagawa namin, natapos namin,” he said. The two-week recap of Descendants of the Sun Philippines starts on Oct. 26, while the airing of new episodes is on Nov. 5. With that, the individual stories of the brave military personnel (played by Rocco Nacino, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Paul Salas, Jon Lucas, Lucho Ayala and Prince Clemente) and the hard-working doctors and nurses (Jennylyn Mercado, Bobby Andrews, Renz Fernandez, Chariz Solomon, Andre Paras, Nicole Donesa, Reese Tuazon and Jenzel Angeles) continue.

With what the people behind Descendants of the Sun Philippines have showcased so far (and will present), one can say that they have served their purpose to narrate a story that is close to home.

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