'Maria Clara at Ibarra' not copied from Wattpad, other time travel dramas — Suzette Doctolero

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
'Maria Clara at Ibarra' not copied from Wattpad, other time travel dramas � Suzette Doctolero
Barbie Forteza, Dennis Trillo and Julie Anne San Jose (from left) star in GMA-7's historical time travel series "Maria Clara at Ibarra," inspired by the novels of Dr. Jose Rizal, namely, "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo."
GMA Drama, GMA-7

MANILA, Philippines — GMA-7 Creative Consultant and Headwriter Suzette Doctolero is aware that there are those comparing "Maria Clara at Ibarra" to shows with the similar historical time travel genre, notably the Wattpad novel "I Love You Since 1892" (ILYS1892).

Many of the comments left by those who have watched the music video, audio-visual presentations and related promotional materials of the show referenced the said novel written by Mia Alfonso or otherwise known as Binibining Mia. There are some who also brought up the Korean drama, "Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo" (2016).

"Sa nabasa ko, nakarating siya sa year 1892 pero hindi siya sa 'Noli' at 'Fili.' So okay lang 'yun," Doctolero said to Philstar.com in an exclusive interview right after the show's mediacon. 

"ILYS1892" tells the story of a modern woman who travels back in time in 1892 where she meets the great love of her great grandmother. 

First published in Wattpad by Alfonso, it was picked up by ABS-CBN Books with the covers featuring "Darna" star Janella Salvador and her former love team partner Marlo Mortel.  

GMA-7's "Maria Clara At Ibarra," which premieres tonight, October 3, right after "24 Oras," is the network's attempt to explore the popular transmigration/time travel dramas. 

In the case of GMA-7's upcoming show, Maria Clara "Klay" Infantes (Barbie Forteza) finds herself living with the characters of Dr. Jose Rizal's novels, "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo." 

She meets Crisostomo Ibarra (Dennis Trillo) and her namesake, Maria Clara (Julie Anne San Jose). The cast will not be complete without the familiar characters from the classic Filipino literature: Padre Damaso (Tirso Cruz III), Kapitan Tiago (Juan Rodrigo), Tiya Isabel (Ces Quesada), Padre Salvi (Juancho Trivino), Sisa (Andrea Torres) and Elias (Rocco Nacino). 

This is where the similarities between the two said shows and the Korean drama aforementioned lie. All the female leading ladies transmigrated or went back in the past. 

"Itong ganitong klase, ang tawag dito, 'transmigration.' Kung saan may character sa modern na nakarating sa kwentong luma o di kaya'y may character sa lumang mundo na nakarating sa bago. Transmigration 'yung tawag nila sa genre na ito. Sa ngayon, uso siya sa Japan. Ginagawa sa Japan na may mga characters na nakakarating sa mga nobela nila," explained Doctolero.

"Isekai" is a popular genre in Japanese pop culture (i.e. anime, manga) where a person or groups of people are transported from their world to another world.  

Doctolero said she does not mind being compared to other similar works because she knows every writer will have a different take on the popular genre. 

"In fact, kahit naman sino pwede naman magsulat ng ganitong genre din na makakarating din sa ibang mundo," she said. 

She takes pride in the meticulous and long preparation that the production and creative team did in creating "Maria Clara at Ibarra." 

They did not only read the two books but also researched on the customs and traditions of the Spanish era, the setting of the story. 
"Ultimo 'yung mga manners, ano ang kinakain ng mga tao ng mga panahon na 'yun. Ang adobo at that time, may soy sauce na ba or adobong puti lang? Mga ganoong tipo para maging makatotohanan... Importante kasi, tama siya. Bagama't maaring sabihin na iba't iba ang mga political beliefs natin, pero pagdating dito, dapat tama siya," she stressed. 

Both she and director Zig Dulay also said it is important to be reminded of our history through the show. They previously collaborated on another hit cultural show, "Legal Wives." 

The award-winning Cinemalaya director also wanted the show to serve as an inspiration for the younger generation to pick up their classic Filipino books. 

"Maliban doon sa nabanggit ko na pagpapahalaga sa kasaysayan, siguro pagbibigay halaga sa literatura lalong-lalo na sa mga kabataan ngayon kasi taken for granted kapag napag-uusapan 'yung 'Noli' at 'Fili.' Malalaman nila sa teleserye mismo kung gaano kahalaga ng 'Noli' at 'Fili.' Hindi lang 'yun. May iba pang mga nobela, may iba pang mga kwento na nagawa na tungkol sa kasaysayan at kung paano siya umaakma o napapanahon pa rin hanggang sa kasalukuyan," Dulay said. 

RELATED: 'For nation building': GMA gives 'Maria Clara at Ibarra' almost same budget as 'Encantadia'

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