Aso ni San Roque
|Aso Ni San Roque|
|Also known as||San Roque's Pet|
|Created by||Jun Lana|
|Developed by||Denoy Navarro Punio|
|Written by||Jules Katanyag
Rona Lean Sales
|Directed by||Don Michael Perez|
|Creative director(s)||Jun Lana|
|Starring||Mona Louise Rey
Angelika dela Cruz
|Opening theme||"Itatawid Mo Sa Landas"
by Rocco Nacino
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|Original language(s)||Filipino, Tagalog, English|
|No. of episodes||90 episodes|
|Executive producer(s)||Winnie Hollis-Reyes|
|Cinematography||Carlo S. Montano, Jr.|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||30-45 minutes|
|Original channel||GMA Network|
|Picture format||480i NTSC|
|Original run||September 10, 2012– January 11, 2013|
Aso ni San Roque or San Roque's Pet (international title) was a Filipino drama-fantasy-adventure series created by Jun Lana, developed by Denoy Navarro Punio, under the direction of Don Michael Perez and produced by GMA Network. It bannered child actress, Mona Louise Rey as Fatima and Princess 'D Dog in the title role. Also part of the main cast were LJ Reyes and TJ Trinidad with Angelika dela Cruz, Gardo Versoza and Paolo Contis as the villains.
The series followed the life of Fatima, a blind little girl who has the power to fulfill a prophecy and to transform the lives of everyone who crosses her path. With her, is the dog named Anghel who is sent by heaven to protect and guide her through her adventures.
The series was also part of the networks set of shows for the last quarter of 2012, along with Coffee Prince, Paroa: Ang Kuwento ni Mariposa and Temptation of Wife. It premiered on September 10, 2012, replacing Makapiling Kang Muli on GMA Telebabad block and September 12, 2012 worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV.
The series was replaced by an historical epic drama, Indio. It ran for 18 weeks with 90 episodes overall.
Separated from her birth parents at a very young age, Fatima grows up under the protective wing of Mother Ben, an old gay man who happens to be under the control of a syndicate. Since then, Mother Ben became the sole protector of poor child. He uses Fatima’s disability to help her escape all the hardships and mischief brought about by cruel syndicate members.
But aside from having a pure, good heart, a dark secret lies upon Fatima's persona. She is the daughter of a mortal man to a manananggal. Behind her persona is a prophecy that is said to end the life of all evil beings on earth.
Cast and characters
- Fatima Salvador / Raquel – the main protagonist; character portrayed by Mona Louise Rey. Fatima is a blind girl with a golden heart who is the offspring of a mortal and a manananggal. Behind her persona is a prophecy that destined her to end the dark forces that plaguing the human race. Because of this mission, her life is now in danger as the legions of darkness are lurking to kill her to prevent her from fulfilling the prophecy.
- Anghel – the main protagonist/title role; played by the dog, Princess. Anghel is St. Roch's dog who came to life to be Fatima's guide through her quests and battles to defeat the evil forces.
- Lualhati Salvador / Lourdes – protagonist; character played by LJ Reyes. She is Mateo's great love. Lourdes is a beautiful and kind-hearted young lady. But behind this beautiful persona concealed a dark secret—she belongs to a family of manananggal, but the reluctant one. This revelation altered the love Lourdes and Mateo hoped to share together for life. This dim chapter in Lourdes' life turns into a joy as she gives birth to Mateo's child—a beautiful baby girl she named Fatima. But another tragic twist of fate unwittingly leads Lourdes apart from her baby.
- Police C/Insp. Mateo Salvador – protagonist; character played by TJ Trinidad. Mateo is a righteous, very principled and reliable policeman with a scarred past—one that continues to haunt him till this very day. In the wake of his doomed romance with Lourdes, Mateo vows vengeance on the whole manananggal race, completely unaware that Lourdes is carrying his child. Years passed. In an unexpected turn of events, he cross paths with a blind beggar named Fatima and eventually became attached to her, unaware of their real connection.
- Ben "Mother Ben" Asino – portrayed by veteran actor Pen Medina. Mother Ben is an old gay man who happens to be under the control of a syndicate. Loud and unconventional. He is a merry deviant in a cheerless world of misery and tears. He adopts Fatima and from then on, he became the sole protector of the poor, blind little girl.
- Supremo – the main villain; character portrayed by veteran actor, Eddie Garcia. The evil of all evil, Supremo is the powerful head of all aswangs. Though he acknowledges the age-old adage that good will always triumph over evil, this does not prevent him from trying to make a difference. His mission is to spread evilness to mankind, to conquer the earth and make it his kingdom and to kill the blessed child, Fatima.
- Kanlaon – villain; character portrayed by Gardo Versoza. He is the king of the "aswang ng hangin" or the winged-vampires, better known in Philippine mythology as manananggal. He goes to great length to find and kill Fatima to prevent her from fulfilling the prophecy.
- Bulan – villain; the character played by Angelika dela Cruz; Bulan is an evil witch, who also ruled as the queen of the "aswang ng apoy" or the fire-powered witches. In the real world, she is known as the ruthless and fearless head of a syndicate involved in child trafficking and where Mother Ben and Fatima work. Legend has it that Bulan was once a goodhearted person, but the tragic death of her beloved husband and son led her to embraced evilness. She is the traitor to aswang's by not listening to Supremo.
- Anaira – villain; character played by Gwen Zamora. Anaira is an evil mermaid who also ruled as the queen of the "aswang ng tubig" or the sea-based evil creatures. She preys on fishermen by using her mesmerizing beauty and charm. Anaira apparently has a soft spot for children, converting them into her minions whenever possible. This makes her the least motivated at hunting down the prophesied child. She now seeks to become Fatima's surrogate mother, unaware that she is the very child her brethren seeks to eliminate. Because of that soft spot her human heart and mind has a conscience and still has good in her heart.
- Sento / Peter Silverio – villain; portrayed by Paolo Contis. Sento is the leader of the "aswang ng lupa" or the land-based aswangs. In his past life, he was Peter Silverio, a wealthy and popular equestrian who sold his soul to the devil to regain his strength and to have eternal life. Using his strength and fast ability, he preys on people that's cross his paths, most commonly virgin women and lost travelers.
- Bernice Montemayor – antagonist; character played by Rich Asuncion. Bernice is an ambitious, aggressive and tough TV reporter/journalist. She is so focused and she would do everything to attain her goals and would do everything for the man she loves—Mateo. Although not intentionally she led Bulan and Sento to Fatima before she can get to Mateo and in the process she became a mixture of n aswang of lupa and apoy by them.
- Police Director Danilo P. Aragon - played also by Eddie Garcia, the husband of Doña Constancia and the brave and principled head of "Task Force Kababalaghan" or the paranormal division of National Police. His son was killed by the aswang and vows to take revenge on them.
- Doña Constancia Aragon – portrayed by Boots Anson-Roa, the wife of Director General Danilo Aragon, a rich and strict woman who finds Fatima while wandering in the streets with her pet dog, Anghel. Upon learning that the girl is an orphan, Constancia takes her to her mansion to look after her.
- SPO3 Paul Andrade - portrayed by Gene Padilla. Mateo's bubling, yet loyal, sidekick and fellow cop. Serves as the series' source of comic relief, he apparently suffers from an allergy to dogs; and because of that, he can tell whenever Angel the dog is within his vicinity, much to Mateo's convenience.
- Ofelia Sandoval – played by veteran comedienne, Nova Villa; Ofelia is the ever loving aunt of Mateo who also acts as his surrogate mother. Deeply religious and full of virtue. She also served as one of Mateo’s sources of comfort in his times of distress, and has some knowledge concerning the supernatural, such as the Tikbalang's weakeness.
- Noah – portrayed by APO Hiking Society's Buboy Garovillo. Noah is a former clergyman who lost his mind after he witnessed the tragic death of his family.
- Rafael Rosell as Anton
- Diva Montelaba as Ruka
- Ehra Madrigal as Lena
- Sherilyn Reyes as Diga
- Gerard Pizarras as Iwak
- Raquel Montesa as Anton's mother
- Ervic Vijandre as SPO4 Robert Tolentino
- Ryza Cenon as Grace Santos
- Mariz Ricketts as Rosa Santiago
- Djanin Cruz as SPO3 Zita Dizon
- Kiel Rodriguez as SPO3 Timo Magno
- Roldan Aquino as General
- Miguel Tanfelix as Onyok
- Julian Marcus Trono as Joem
- Chinggay Riego as Oryang
- Mary Joy Gula as Kiting
- Barbara Miguel as Didi
- Elvis Gutierrez as Marcus
Production and development
Originally created/conceptualized by writer and director, Jun Lana for GMA Network, Aso ni San Roque is a drama-fantasy-adventure serial lies in the old "battle between good and evil" plot. Contrary to the first report published in entertainment news website, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), the series is not based from Lana's 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival entry, Bwakaw. Lana clarifies that the series is actually inspired from San Roque and his canine's moving story. San Roque, also known as Saint Roch or Saint Rocco, is the saint usually depicted in statue form in Catholic churches as the one with a walking stick on the left hand, while the other hand is pointing on to a wound on one of his knees with a dog sitting by his side. The Catholic Church named him patron of dogs, plague, pestilence and AIDS. He is also the patron saint of invalids. In the series, San Roque brought his dog come to life to save and be a guide to Fatima, the blessed child who prophesied to be the one who will end the existence of evil entities on earth. Using a saint as part of a drama series is actually not new for the network, as they already used the same formula/format [miracle, apparition] in their previous TV series like in 2007 television adaptation of the hit 80's movie, Mga Mata ni Anghelita (lit. Angelita’s Eyes) and in 2010 fantasy-dramedy series Magic Palayok (lit. The Magic Clay Pot).
The series also highlights Pinoy mythology by putting aswang, manananggal, tikbalang, bruha and sirena as part [villains] of the story. Series' director, Don Michael Perez stated that, the network is aiming to enrich Filipinos [especially the young ones] knowledge of the country's rich culture, beliefs and mythology by using this kind of concept, just like what the network did in their past television series, in the likes of Darna, Dyesebel, Joaquin Bordado and Luna Mystika. In the story, the aswangs are divided into four classes: Aswang ng Hangin, most commonly known as the manananggals or the winged-vampires. It headed by the dreadful Kanlaon which played by Gardo versoza; the Aswang ng Lupa or the land-based evil entities, who ruled by Sento, played by Paolo Contis, the heartless half-human, half-horse creature popularly known as the tikbalang; Aswang ng Tubig or the sea-based evil creatures. It headed by Queen Anaira, an evil mermaid which portrayed by Gwen Zamora; and the Aswang ng Apoy or the fire-powered witches ruled by Bulan, played by Angelika dela Cruz.
The whole casts were first presented during the series' story conference held on August 2, 2012 at GMA Network Center. Child actress, Mona Louise Rey was chosen to play the role of Fatima, the main protagonist. Rey, who rose in stardom after the successful drama series Munting Heredera, felt overwhelmed with the network's support for her career and at the same time, excited for the role assigned on her.
Meanwhile, after given a starring role in Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival 2012 entry, Bwakaw, Princess, a two-year-old half Golden Retriever and half Cocker Spaniel, was chosen to be part of the series as Anghel, San Roque's dog who defend and guide the main character through her adventures. Princess, who was a former bomb-sniffing dog, can do several tricks like roll over, play dead, sit and dance. Director, Don Michael Perez is all praise for the dog, "Princess, is definitely born to be a star," he says. The dog's trainer Ergie Estrella said that he did not encounter difficulty in training the star dog, saying that all it takes is positive reinforcement.
TJ Trinidad and LJ Reyes shared equally important roles in the series. Reyes considered this series as her biggest break ever. After being typecast in villain characters [she's associated in her villainous roles in Time of My Life and The Good Daughter], the network assigned her to play one of the main characters in the series, as birthmother of Mona Louise Rey's character. In one of her interviews, Reyes said that it's her first time to play a mother role on TV but she doesn’t mind doing it as long as the story is good and the character, as well. Meanwhile, Trinidad is all praise for his screen partner, said that Reyes is nice and very committed. "And I think, it’s gonna be a good partnership for the show and, you know, with the whole cast, story, and the script, it’s so exciting. Very fast-paced", he added.
The dark forces or the main villains of the story are portrayed by Angelika dela Cruz, Gardo Versoza, Gwen Zamora and Paolo Contis. Dela Cruz was cast as Bulan, an evil witch and the leader of the syndicate; Versoza playing Kanlaon, the king of the manananggals; Zamora playing the role of Anaira, an evil mermaid; while Contis playing the role of Sento, the leader of the tikbalangs.
Actor, Rafael Rosell had a special participation in the series. He played Anton, the man who saved LJ Reyes' character from the wrath of manananggals. This served as his first ever project after he transferred to GMA Network.
On the other hand, veteran stage and television actor, Pen Medina was cast as Mother Ben, an elderly gay and the adoptive "mother" to the lead character. Originally, the role was offered to Eddie Garcia but due to unforeseen health concern, Garcia later requested the producers to give him less time-demanding character, so he portrayed the role of Supremo, instead.
The production began on August 24, 2012, with series' creator Jun Lana and director, Don Michael Perez; creative team headed by Jake Tordesillas [for primetime]; creative consultant Dode Cruz; developer Denoy Navarro Punio and writers Jules Katanyag, Des Garbes-Severino and Rona Sales and brainstormers, John Kenneth de Leon, Borgy Danao and Jason Lim. The series is executive produced by Winnie Hollis Reyes with Helen Rose Sese as the program manager and Lilybeth Rasonable as the overall in-charge of the production. Different locations are used for both provincial and urban backdrops.
- List of programs broadcast by GMA Network
- List of telenovelas of GMA Network
- Mga Mata ni Anghelita
- GMA Network official website
- GMA Network Official Facebook Page
- Aso ni San Roque on Facebook Official Fan Page
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