Stars share lessons from Maria Clara at Ibarra

KAPUSO DAY - Angel Javier Cruz - The Philippine Star
Stars share lessons from Maria Clara at Ibarra
Dennis Trillo, who played Ibarra and Simoun, shares that he realized that Rizal was a real genius.

It’s only been a week since the last episode of the successful GMA series, Maria Clara at Ibarra (MCAI), aired on the Kapuso Network, but fans are still raving over the cast, the costumes, and the cinematography.

Based on Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, the series made these novels more interesting to the younger generation by incorporating contemporary characters into the mix.

In 105 episodes spread out over 21 weeks, viewers were treated to an engaging story that had them waiting for each new episode to drop. Fans were vocal in their admiration for Maria Clara at Ibarra, especially on social media.

One user said it was a “groundbreaking teleserye that changed free TV’s primetime viewing experience,” while another lauded the show’s lush cinematography that added much impact to the storytelling. “I will forever be in awe of its visuals,” the user tweeted. “We need more dramas like this that show the beauty of the Philippines.”

'I learned that nothing good comes easy,' says Barbie Forteza who played Klay in the series.

We asked the stars of Maria Clara at Ibarra what for them was the most important lesson they learned while doing the show.

Dennis Trillo, who played Ibarra/Simoun, said he realized that Rizal was a real genius. “I understood fully what he was trying to tell the people back then through his writings. He was clearly thinking ahead of his time, and was the perfect example or role model every Filipino should emulate.”

For Julie Anne San Jose, who portrayed Maria Clara, she learned more than the importance of history during the run. “Maliban sa kahalagahan na matutunan ang ating kasaysayan, ito ay higit na nagpapaalala sa atin na mahalin ang ating sarili, kapwa, at ang ating bayan.”

Julia Pascual, who played Paulita Gomez, said that being part of the MCAI cast taught her to find hope even in the unknown. “Just like Klay’s experiences in the books, I learned that hope drives us to pursue the things and people that we love, especially when it gets hard. If we keep on believing — one way or another — hope and love can make the biggest difference in our circumstances.”

It’s a sentiment shared by fan-favorite Barbie Forteza, who portrayed Klay. “I learned that nothing good comes easy,” she said.

These are just some of the lessons learned throughout the course of the series but there are other gems like the picture cards posted by the network on Twitter showing the different characters and their quotes: “Hindi pa huli ang lahat para matuto at mabago” (Klay); “Ang tunay na pag-ibig ay nakapaghihintay” (Ibarra and Maria Clara); and “Walang hangganan ang pag-ibig ng isang ina” (Sisa).

When the show ended late February, viewers were generous with their praise. “I never imagined myself being this invested in a Philippine TV series. Our 8 p.m. will never be the same again. Maraming salamat, Maria Clara at Ibarra. It was one heck of a ride,” one fan tweeted.

“Kahit na tapos na ang Maria Clara at Ibarra, habambuhay naming dadalhin ang mga alaala at aral na binigay sa amin ng show na ito! Muchas Gracias at Adios, aming PAMBANSANG TELESERYE! Isa kang yaman sa industriyang ito,” gushed another.

For Julie Anne San Jose, who portrayed Maria Clara, she learned more than the importance of history during the show's run.

Still hungover? Intramuros Administration earlier this week announced the opening of a fashion pop-up on Real St. in Plaza San Luis, where visitors to the Walled City can rent terno and barong for photo ops. The pop-up is open for business Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of March.

As I close this, join me in giving a resounding round of applause to everybody behind GMA Network’s Maria Clara at Ibarra. This groundbreaking masterpiece surely made a profound impact on the Filipino audience around the world and has definitely changed the landscape of television programming.

Julia Pascual, who played Paulita Gomez, says that being part of the MCAI cast taught her to find hope.

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