Luna Blanca

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Luna Blanca
LunaBlancatitlecard.jpg
Genre Drama
Fantasy
Created by RJ Nuevas
Dode Cruz
Developed by Kit Villanueva-Langit
Written by Ma. Cristina Velasco
Luningning Ribay
Marlon Miguel
Directed by Dominic Zapata

Lore Reyes
Gina Alajar
2nd Unit Directors
Creative director(s) Jun Lana
Starring Jillian Ward
Mona Louise Rey
Bea Binene
Barbie Forteza
Raymart Santiago
Camille Prats
Chynna Ortaleza
Bianca King
Heart Evangelista
Christopher de Leon
Lani Mercado
Carmi Martin
Opening theme "Sana'y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan"
(Main theme)
sung by Rachelle Ann Go
"Ang Mundo Ko'y Ikaw"
(Love theme)
sung by Jonalyn Viray
Composer(s) Willy Cruz & Baby Gil (main theme)
Tata Betita (love theme)
Country of origin Philippines
Original language(s) Filipino, Tagalog, English
No. of episodes 115 episodes
Production
Executive producer(s) Mona Coles Mayuga
Producer(s) GMA Network
Location(s) Manila, Philippines
Malabon City, Philippines
Quezon City, Philippines
Cavite, Philippines
Tagaytay, Philippines
Cinematography Roman Theodossis
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30-45 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel GMA Network
Picture format 480i NTSC
Original run May 21, 2012 (2012-05-21)  – October 26, 2012 (2012-10-26)
Chronology
Related shows Luna Mystika
External links
Website

Luna Blanca is a Filipino multi-generational fantasy drama created by Dode Cruz and RJ Nuevas, written by Kit Villanueva - Langit, produced by GMA Network and directed by Dominic Zapata. It premieres May 21, 2012, replacing Biritera on GMA Telebabad block and May 23, 2012 worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV.[1][2]

The series is also one of the three new primetime shows of the network for the second quarter of 2012, along with Makapiling Kang Muli and One True Love.

This series is the sequel of the 2008 hit telefantasya, Luna Mystika. The series is set in the fictional outskirts of Barrio Mausok and in seaside town of Santa Monica, Malabon, follows the lives of twin sisters Luna and Blanca. The two are believed to be the last descendants of Luna, the woman with a distorted face and Celestina, her mystical twin shadow (see Luna Mystika cast and characters). Although they are twins, the two sisters have completely opposite features, one with a very dark complexion and the other one with fair skin.[3]

The show attempts to build a successful narrative on the Philippine society's resentment of those with darker skin, while favoring those with lighter skin, using the concept of blackface.

The series is divided into three chapters. On its first chapter, the series features child stars, Jillian Ward and Mona Louise Rey in the title roles. On the second chapter, which will revolve around the teenage years of Luna and Blanca, teen stars Bea Binene and Barbie Forteza will play the roles, respectively. In the last chapter, actresses Bianca King and Ms. Heart Evangelista will play the adult Luna and Blanca, respectively.

On its premiere episode (May 21), the television series out-rated in Mega Manila its counterpart program from ABS-CBN,[4] gathering the percentage of 26.3% against 25.8 of Princess and I, putting Luna Blanca on the 2nd spot of the top 10 shows for the said date.[5]

The series concluded on October 26, 2012 and replaced by Temptation of Wife. It ran for twenty three weeks with the total of 115 episodes.

Chapter synopses[edit]

Chapter 1 (Childhood)[edit]

The first chapter opens up with Rowena who is believed to be the last descendant of Luna Mystika, the woman with a mystical twin shadow named Celestina. Rowena grows up under the protective wing of her grandfather, Lolo Igme. She is clueless of her mythical roots and Lolo Igme would always warn her to be mindful of her surroundings.

Then, Rowena meets Luis, the rich and kind-hearted unico hijo of Doña Consuelo. Despite the extreme difference in their lifestyles, they fall madly in love with each other and their relationship grows even stronger with Rowena's pregnancy. When Lolo Igme learns of Rowena's situation, he once again cautions her to be extra careful of the supernatural beings that inhabit their land. He tells that engkantos are believed to be most fond of pregnant women.

One day, Rowena gets lost while roaming in the forest. Engulfed in tension and fear, Rowena feels that a shadow is following her. Suddenly, she sees an unknown creature - a dark and terrifying engkanto! Panic-stricken, Rowena immediately faints upon seeing the dreadful creature.

When she wakes up, Rowena learns from the villagers that it has been a week since her disappearance. She slowly regains her memory and Rowena reveals that an engkanto raped her. No one would believe her story including Luis who vows to exact revenge. He sets off to the forest and comes face to face with the engkanto. He fights against the terrible monster and because of its powers, Luis will be banished to their realm.

Doña Consuelo's anger aggravates towards Rowena and blames her for Luis' unexplainable disappearance. Left with no choice but to leave their mansion, Rowena heads out to Manila to start anew. Meanwhile, she feels uneasy with her pregnancy and fears that it has something to do with her horrible experience with the engkanto. On the day of her delivery, Rowena gives birth to twin girls, but much to her bewilderment, the babies have different features - one is a fair-skinned mestiza while the other one has a very dark complexion and unknown to Rowena she gives birth to another child, a baby in a form of a shadow (Luna names her Annie from the word Anino which means shadow in English).

Rowena believes that Luna is her offspring from the engkanto. Because of this, she resents and neglects Luna but showers Blanca with her love and affection. Despite this, Luna doesn't harbor any grudge against her mother. The twins are likewise very close and inseparable. Luna is carefree and even becomes the protector of the weakling Blanca. Luna's (and also Blanca's) twin shadow also turns out to be their friend and defender whenever someone bullies them.

However, the twins' life is about to change with Rowena barely making enough money to make ends meet. Because of her dire situation, Rowena decides to give up Blanca for adoption to Madam Priscilla, a rich but lonely widow who likes Blanca very much and treats her like her own daughter.[6][7] Plot thickens when the old lady's friend arrived at the mansion—Doña Consuelo with her son Luis and Divine. Blanca instantly feels strong connection and finds solace with Luis (whose by that time, is in catatonic state), not knowing that the father she always longed for is in front of her. But he eventually recovers and back to his senses again after he heard Blanca singing a very familiar song... a lullaby... the same lullaby he often sang to Rowena before. On the other hand, the evil Divine doesn't like Blanca, and schemes to destroy her, especially after she learns that Blanca is actually the daughter of Rowena.[8]

Rowena and Luna face more difficulties in life that would result to their closeness. Rowena finally realized how lucky she is having Luna in her life. Rowena and Luna end up living in a resettlement area. Adding to their woes are the accusations of their neighbors that they are "malignos" so they are left with no choice but to leave their place. While Divine succeed in all her schemes against Blanca that leads Madam Priscilla to banish the poor child. Luis then decides to take care of Blanca and take her out of old lady’s mansion. He will find the legal help of an attorney for adopting Blanca but Divine won't let that happen and will take Blanca back to Rowena again.[9]

Rowena and her twins find themselves in Payatas, but life there turned out to be much crueler than they expected. One fateful night, while storming hard, garbage-slide occurred—a tragedy that will separate Luna apart from her mother and twin sister.

Chapter 2 (Teenage years)[edit]

Devolas, the evil engkanto presented in black smoke form and fiery eyes and mouth.

The second chapter of the series chronicles the journey of the twin sisters, Luna and Blanca as they enter their adolescent years. In this generation, the main characters will not only hurdle the distance between their separate lives but also become more deeply involved in dealing with love and their relationship with family and friends.[10]

The story starts eight years after the tragic separation of the twins. Luna ends up in San Sebastian with Linda and Crispin who find and raise her as their own daughter. Both Linda and Crispin are working for Doña Consuelo, as servant and driver, respectively. Believing that she’s already an orphan, Luna accepts her fate and whole-heartedly embraces her new life with her new family, as well as, new challenges that come her way. In the mansion, Luna meets new friends, people who treat her as family but also gains new nemesis who hate her for her appearance and failed to see the pureness of her heart. Among them are Luis, a kind-hearted man with a scarred past. She instantly creates a special bond with him. They find solace in each other, as they both grieving in the lost of their loved ones; Doña Consuelo, Divine and her equally arrogant younger sister, Ashley, the people that will make Luna’s life a living hell; and Aki, the boy who once saved her life and she considered as her first love. Also here, she will unravel the mystery behind her roots and true identity, as the evil Devolas [a supernatural entity presented in creepy black shadow] continues to chase her and repeatedly haunts her in her dreams every night.[11]

Meanwhile, Blanca lives a difficult life as a scavenger. Her persistent dream of elevating her life from the quagmire of poverty and the eagerness to earn enough money for the medication of her mother, Rowena, will lead her to engage with an akyat-bahay gang [a group of robber]. By a stroke of fate, Blanca meets her ultimate idol, the popular singer Joaquin Alvarez. Although they meet in a very awkward situation, the two will eventually develop a very special friendship, to the dismay of Kiko, Blanca's bestfriend who has a hidden affection to her.

As the twins discover and fulfill their own separate destinies and forever forget the tragic episode in their lives, fate will bring their paths cross again, as they both fall in love with the same guy—Joaquin "Aki" Alvarez.

Chapter 3 (Womanhood)[edit]

The third and the last chapter begin seven years later and chronicles the separate lives and loves of the now full bloomed Luna and Blanca.

Blanca stays with her wheelchair-bound father Luis and endures ill treatment of her ruthless stepmother Divine. She instantly becomes the breadwinner of the family after the Buenaluz's doomed to bankruptcy and debts. She managed to land herself in a hospital working as janitress. Here she crosses paths again with Joaquin, her first love, whom she thought she lost in an accident seven years ago. But Divine goes to great length to torment Blanca and continuously deny her a blissful life with the man she truly loves.

While Blanca constantly faces the outpouring problems and hardships, Luna, on the other hand, is living a princess-like kind of life with her mother Rowena who is now under the spell of Diego [Devolas in human form]. But despite being surrounded by material things and wealth, Luna still yearning to see her long-lost loved ones. She remains brave and steadfast in the hopes of one day she will reunites with her dear twin sister and father Luis. Not long after, she found the missing amulet of her grandpa Igme, which is the only key to escape Devolas' spell. After many attempts, she finally escapes from Devolas' realm and goes back to San Sebastian. But Luna's world shattered when she discovered that Luis and Blanca are no longer there. Left devastated at the thought that her sister and father have already abandoned her, Luna harbors enmity towards them, prompting her to accept Diego/Devolas and embrace the life with him as her father. In return, Diego/Devolas gave her everything she wanted – money, freedom and even transformed her into a beautiful, fair-skinned woman.

A journey through time, the twin sisters will find themselves entangled again in a web of love, deceit and betrayal. Their only salvation is their love for one another.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Luna Sandoval / Luna de Jesus / Cara Amor Montecines– the main protagonist; the character is initially played by child actress, Jillian Ward and teen actress, Bea Binene for the first and second chapter of the series, respectively, and later by actress Bianca King as the adult version of the character. Luna is the twin sister of Blanca. Born with a very dark complexion and is believed as Rowena's offspring to an engkanto. Eversince a little child, Luna already knows that she is different. Difference that is not only shows on her physical appearance, but also on how people, including her own mother, treated her. While Blanca continues to enjoy the life of the favorite child, Luna learns to face that she will never be as good as her twin sister in her mother's eyes. However, Luna always stays positive, selfless, warm and caring. But aside from Blanca, she also has a mystical twin shadow named Annie that will serve to be her protector and savior every time she needs help or she's in danger. Luna's only wish is to feel a little affection and acceptance from the world that has deprived her of love and care she has always longed for.
  • Blanca Sandoval – the main protagonist; initially played by child actress, Mona Louise Rey and teen actress, Barbie Forteza for the first and second chapter of the series, respectively, and later by actress Heart Evangelista as the adult version of the character. Blanca is the twin sister of Luna. Blessed with fair skin and pretty face, she is also showers by love and care of her mother Rowena. Albeit having completely different features, Blanca loves her twin sister very much. For her, Luna is a superhero that will save and defend her in time of need. But as she goes along with life’s harsh journey and in order to take their lives out from miserable state, Blanca strives hard to face every hardships and challenges that come her way. Her personality transformed from being a shy, timid girl to a spunky and tomboyish young lass. But despite having the whole world on her shoulders, she raises herself in fervent dreams of better things to come.
  • Rowena Sandoval – protagonist and antagonist; the character is initially played by actress Camille Prats for the first and second chapter, and taken over by Lani Mercado for the third chapter of the series as the older version of the character. She is believed to be the last descendant of Luna Mystika, an engkanto blooded woman with a distorted face and her twin shadow, Celestina. Beautiful and naive. Rowena grows up under the care of her loving and protective grandfather, Igme. She falls in love with the wealthy businessman, Luis. When Rowena becomes pregnant, she and Luis plan to marry. But before they could tie the knot, something unnatural happened. This leads to Luis' mysterious disappearance leaving Rowena alone and devastated. Amidst all the problem encountered, the only person she has left to count on is her grandfather, Igme. With her Lolo, she decides to continue her pregnancy and raise her child the best way she can. Soon, Rowena gives birth to twins, but much to her bewilderment, the twins are very much different from each other... as different as night and day! One with fair skin and the other one with very dark complexion. Rowena eventually faces different chaos in her life. However, amidst all of these misfortunes, she still holds on her faith in God and believes that the sun will shine again for her and her daughter Blanca.
  • Luis Buenaluz - protagonist; initially played by actor, Raymart Santiago for the first and second chapter of the series, and taken over by Christopher de Leon for the last chapter as the older Luis. Luis is the unico hijo of Doña Consuelo Buenaluz and the sole heir to their family business. Rich, handsome and with a good heart—indeed, a "perfect catch" for every woman. He has always been the object of Divine’s affection but his heart remains true to Rowena, his one, great love. In spite of all obstacles and maneuvers, Luis will continue to fight for the love and happiness that up until now life had denied him.
Chynna Ortaleza plays the villain Divine Alvarez-Buenaluz.
  • Divine Alvarez-Buenaluz – the villain; the character is initially played by actress, Chynna Ortaleza for the first and second chapter, and taken over by Carmi Martin for the last chapter of the series as the older version of the character. Divine is the ex-girlfriend of Luis. She is a doctor and comes from a well-off family. She is still head-over-heels in love with her ex-flame. Beautiful, socialite and free-spirited. However, deep down, she is scheming and tries in lots of ways to hurt Rowena, Luis' girlfriend, and vows to do everything just to win the latter back in her life again. Her world shattered when Luis disappeared. She vows to find him but to no avail. But she doesn't lose hope that one day, she will be able to find Luis again. Her long quest finally come to an end, when Luis returns, however, he is in catatonic state. She and Doña Consuelo decide to bring Luis to Manila to find treatment. Unbeknownst to Divine, there, she will crosses paths with Rowena again. Feared of losing the man she loves once again, she vows to do everything to take Rowena out of the picture.
  • Doña Consuelo Buenaluz - played by Marissa Delgado, Consuelo is the arrogant mother of Luis. She strongly opposes her son's relationship with Rowena, because for her, only Divine, is the perfect girl for her unico hijo (lit. one and only son). She even threatens Luis that she won't give him his inheritance if he insists to marry Rowena. Feared to of losing his one and only son, she eventually gave in when she realized that Luis is willing to give up everything for the girl he loves. She promises to accept Rowena. But after the unexplainable disappearance of Luis, she blames the poor lady for what happened and banishes her.
  • Linda De Jesus - played by seasoned actress, Gina Alajar; the character first appeared in six last episodes of the first chapter and officially become one of the main characters in chapter of the series. Linda is the kind-hearted lady that Luna saved during the garbage-slide in Payatas. Being a Sto. Niño de Pandacan devotee, Linda believes that the miraculous child Jesus have been sent Luna just to save her and give her another chance to live. In return, Linda and her husband, Crispin, help Luna to search for her missing mother and sister. But when their efforts to locate the whereabouts of Luna’s family remain fruitless, the couple decide to adopt the poor child and raise her as their own daughter. In the latter part of the first chapter, it was revealed that the couple is working at Barrio Mausok—in Doña Consuelo’s mansion!
  • Joaquin "Aki" Alvarez – played by Kristofer Martin and Mark Herras for the second and third chapter of the series. He is a popular singer who becomes Luna's defender and confidant. He is Divine's younger brother, but unlike his evil sister who despises Luna, Aki would always protect and look after her. Luna secretly loves him but his heart belongs to Blanca. Being the center of two sisters’ affection, Joaquin threatens to cause a rift between the twin sisters.[12]
  • Kiko - initially played by Nicky Castro as the little version of the character, Derrick Monasterio as the teenage Kiko. The character first appeared in the last part of chapter one. He is the boy from the slum community in Payatas who will become close friends with Blanca. They will grow up together and Kiko will develop special feelings for Blanca. Though he is jealous of Blanca and Joaquin's closeness, he will do everything to win her heart.[13]

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Devolas / Diego Montecines – main villain; Devolas is the evil and powerful engkanto initially presented in the form of black smoke with fiery eyes and mouth. He is ready to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. In his ruthless quest to get Rowena and Luna, he turned himself as an attracted man [Diego, played by Carlos Morales] for him to get close with them and earn their trusts, and later, captured them.
Barbie Forteza plays the teen Blanca Sandoval.
  • Annie - she is the twin shadow of Luna. She became the protector and savior of Luna and Blanca whenever they are in danger. In the last part of chapter one, in order to save Luna, Annie was captured by the evil Devolas and banished to their realm.
  • Lolo Igme Sagrado - played by veteran actor, Dante Rivero, Igme is the loving, supportive and protective grandfather of Rowena. He works as a fisherman to earn a living and to support Rowena's twins. He is a man of good words and virtue. He always tell Luna that the real beauty is beyond skin deep. A series of unfortunate events will lead the old man to his death. His untimely demise brings about a string of misfortunes, sufferings and pains in the lives of Rowena, Luna and Blanca.
  • Marietta - the younger version of the character is played by Mercedes Cabral for the first book of the series. Marietta is the loyal best friend and confidante of Rowena and the loving mother of Toti. She works as a supervisor in a dried fish factory. Kind-hearted but tough and ambitious. She will do everything just to alleviate her life and give her son a better future.
  • Tetchie - initially played by Karen delos Reyes for the first and second chapter, and later by Jenine Desiderio for the last chapter. Tetchie is the bestfriend and partner-in-crime of Divine. Together, they will plot schemes to make Rowena's life a living hell.
  • Toti - Arkin Magalona played the child version of the character for the first chapter. He is Marietta's one and only son and friend to Luna and Blanca.
  • Madam Priscilla – played by veteran actress, Boots Anson-Roa; the character appeared in the first chapter of the series, as the wealthy but lonely widow abandoned by her children. She is also a philanthropist who helps poor and homeless people through her feeding programs. She meets Blanca and instantly adored the simple and innocent beauty of the kid. By that time, Rowena and her twins are living miserably on the streets after their landlady kicked them out of their apartment. Another series of unfortunate events happened which eventually leads Rowena to give up Blanca for adoption. Without any hesitations, Madam Priscilla adopts Blanca and promises that she will give Blanca a good life and raises her as her own daughter. Plot thickens when Priscilla’s close friend arrived, who turned out to be Doña Consuelo Buenaluz with her stupor son, Luis and Divine. Blanca instantly feels a strong connection with Luis, not knowing that the father she always longed for is very close to her, far closer than expected.
  • Ashley Alvarez – one of the main villainess in the second chapter, played by Ryza Cenon. Ashley is the younger sister of Divine. She grew up in the states but decides to take a vacation in the Philippines with Doña Consuelo. Like her sister, Ashley is also an arrogant person who looks down on people. From the day she set foot in Doña Consuelo’s mansion, she has always had an ill treatment towards Luna, who she sees as a disgusting creature. Worse, she makes it her business to maltreat and humiliate the poor Luna.
  • Samuel "Samboy" De Jesus – the character played by Buboy Villar. Samboy is the one and only son of Linda and Crispin. Although they are not related by blood, Samboy and Luna grew up and formed a strong bond as siblings. Samboy will be the confidante, as well as, defender of Luna from naughty and haughty people.
  • Crispin De Jesus - portrayed by Alan Paule; the character first appeared in the last five episodes of the first chapter and officially become part of the second chapter of the series. Crispin is the loving husband of Linda and the caring father of Samboy. Crispin and Linda decide to help Luna to search for her missing mother and twin sister. But when the search yields no clues, the kind-hearted couple decide to adopt Luna and raise her as their own.

Other characters[edit]

As the show progressed, numerous minor characters appeared in the show. Alex, the character played by Marco Alcaraz, the best friend and confidante of Luis; Manang Eloisa played by Dexter Doria, the mean-spirited head servant in Madam Priscilla's mansion; Belen, Rowena's friend from the slum area, played by Jan Marini Alano; Yassi Pressman played Kate, the mean-spirited onscreen partner of Joaquin; Cara Eriguel portrayed Andrea, Joaquin’s handler/manager; Alvin Aragon portrayed Boyong, the head of “akyat-bahay” gang; Marnie Lapuz portrayed Manang Bella, Luna’s nanny in the third chapter; Jade Lopez played Roma, Blanca’s loyal friend introduced in the last chapter of the series; Bettina Carlos played Cherry, the social climber girlfriend of Teddy, which was portrayed by Luis Alandy, the opportunist suitor of Luna in the last installment of series.

Origin[edit]

Main article: Luna Mystika

Associate producer, Jonathan Pachica, explained during the series' story conference, that Luna Blanca is a sequel to Luna Mystika,[14] GMA Network’s hit drama-fantasy series last year 2008, which also starred Heart Evangelista in dual role, as Luna and her evil twin shadow, Celestina. Also big part of the said series is Mark Anthony Fernandez as Dexter Samaniego, the twin sister’s love interest. It premiered November 17, 2008 and concluded March 6, 2009.[15] The prequel’s story revolves around the twins' lives and loves and how their relationship turned from sweet to bitter as they compete for the heart of a man they both love. On the other hand, Luna Blanca's tale sets 30 years later. It tells the story of the twin sisters and their journey toward discovering their ancestry and, at the same time, fulfilling their personal destinies.[16]

The connection between these two series was presented during Luna Blanca's premiere telecast on May 21, 2012, where selected clips from Luna Mystika was shown while Rowena, the character played by Camille Prats, narrating a story to a bunch of children about the Sagrado family and the engkanto-blooded twins Luna and Celestina and how the latter transforms into a monster every time the full moon shines brightly at night [intend to scare the children]. Lolo Igme, Rowena’s grandfather portrayed by Dante Rivero [which also part of the prequel as Don Joaquin Sagrado], came and asked Rowena not to make fun of her origin again. In the story, Rowena revealed to be the last descendant of Luna Mystika, one thing she doesn’t believe, because for her, the engkantos and other supernatural creatures are just myth or mere products of imagination. Not until she encountered a black engkanto [a creature in the form of black smoke][17] in the forest and raped her. Rowena’s nightmares are far from over when she gives birth to an unusual twin, one with fair skin (Blanca) and the other one with very dark complexions (Luna). Unknown to Rowena, aside from Blanca, Luna also has a mystical twin shadow,[18] the same eerie creature first unveiled in Luna Mystika.

Production[edit]

On May 2, 2012 at the story conference of the series, Cheryl Ching-Sy, the Senior Program Manager,[19] explained that the series is a multi-generational drama.[20] It will run for three chapters with a different line up of actors starring in each generation's story. The production is targeting a 25-week run for the series.[21]

The producer hired, director Dominic Zapata to handle the series. Although he's busy doing two projects [helming primetime series, My Beloved and filming Boy Pick-Up: The Movie][22] at that time, Zapata accepted the job, said that he loves his work, he’s hardly rest, but he’s not complaining because he is a certified workaholic.[23] Zapata is known as the "golden boy" of GMA Network, for having directed top-rated shows like T.G.I.S., Mulawin, Captain Barbell, Darna, Ako si Kim Samsoon, LaLola, Diva and Grazilda.[24]

Themes[edit]

Luna Blanca consists of three prominent themes: love, family and mysticism. On the first chapter of the series, the story focused more on family and mysticism. The first three episodes tackled the ancestry of Rowena, her connection to Luna and Celestina, the mystery behind the sudden lost of her parents [which her grandfather blaming it to the engkantos], she, being victim of sexual assault of a supernatural being [black engkanto], and the appearance of Luna’s mystical shadow.[25] Luna’s mysterious persona doesn’t reveal yet until the first chapter ended. However, the story eventually developed into realistic drama, tackled the sufferings of Rowena’s family, on raising her twins single-handedly,[26] Luna’s suffering because of discrimination and her quest in conquering her mother’s love, care and acceptance,[27] Lolo Igme’s tragic death,[28] the sisters huge love for each other despite their physical differences and the separation of the two. Camille Prats, one of the main characters in the series, explained that...

"The message of Luna Blanca is not all about social discrimination on the basis of skin color. It is rather the inner conflict, social stigma and the self-inflicted torment that a woman experienced after being raped by a supernatural being or an Engkanto. It was an Engkanto symbolic rape because the series is set within the paradigms of its preceding story, Luna Mystika."

[29]

"The series will eventually develop into a realistic high drama with a social message overriding the mysticism of its prequel", she added.

On the second and third chapter, romance and mysticism became the main core of the story. The "love" aspect takes place when the two protagonists entered their teenage-adulthood years. The character Joaquin/Aki which played by Kristofer Martin and Mark Herras in the second and third book, respectively, served as the love interest [as well as the "intricator"] of Luna and Blanca. Mysticism takes place when Luna's persona finally unveiled; the return of Luna's twin shadow Annie;[30] Devolas in human form, Diego enters the picture;[31] and the transformation of Luna from being black to fair-skinned woman.[32]

Casting[edit]

At the series' first press conference held on May 15, 2012,[33] the producer presented six actresses who will portray and breathe life to the characters of Luna and Blanca.

Chosen to play the lead roles in the first generation are child stars, Jillian Ward as Luna and Mona Louise Rey as Blanca. The two child actresses gained their popularity through their previous hit drama series, Trudis Liit and Munting Heredera, respectively. Marissa Delgado, a veteran villainess who plays the children’s grandmother in the show, compares Ward and Rey; said that Ward reminds her of Niño Muhlach [mid-70’s popular child star], for being witty, jolly and restless, while Rey, on the other hand is sweet, ladylike and reserved type, and flashes a wholesome personality on and off camera.[34]

Portraying the teen characters in the second generation are Barbie Forteza as Blanca and Bea Binene as Luna. Forteza said in one of her interviews that she finds her role very challenging. According to her... "It is easier to play the Tweety Pie roles, but not when the role demands control and let your partner in a scene cower in fear and tears."[35] Her character, who lives in the squatter’s area, requires her to act like ruggish and boyish. She initially read the script and asked director Dominic Zapata’s nod to deliver her lines with her own words. That way, she gets to express herself more than just following the script to the letter. On the other hand, Binene finds the acting task three or four times gruelling than her past projects. Aside from the dramatic acting it requires, she has to endure that itchy, hot feeling while her face and body are heavily covered with dark make-up. It usually took two hours for her fair complexion to turn dark as soot. They have to re-touch [make-ups] in every scene due to perspiration and oiliness.[36]

In the first and second chapter, Camille Prats, Raymart Santiago and Chynna Ortaleza[37] were casted as Rowena, Luis and Divine, respectively, the three prominent characters in the series.

Although reluctant to play the role for the second chapter, fearing that she might not fit nor be credible enough to be a mother of teenagers, Prats [who’s only in her late 20s] accepted the role after producers explained how significant her role was.[38][39]

Ortaleza, on the other hand, was overwhelmed every time people called her Divine instead of her name [Chynna]. "I'm pleased. That means I'm playing my role really well," she says. "My character's name is Divine and yet she is so evil [...] it's a deep character that gives me a lot of leeway to play with. It's not just a bad girl thing, she's got her own dilemma that gives her some sort of crisis, which in turn drives her to do bad things to other people," she added.[40]

In the last installment of the series, a complete set of new actors were cast, headed by Bianca King and Heart Evangelista[41] as the adult Luna and Blanca, respectively. During the series' last story conference held on September 4, 2012, King stated that she felt overwhelmed to work with Evangelista. "It's big deal for me to share equal billing with her. It is such an honor to work with her, I look up to her," she added.[42]

Mark Herras taken over the role of Joaquin, the love interest of Blanca (Evangelista) and Luna (King),[43] while, veteran actors Lani Mercado, Christopher de Leon and Carmi Martin taking over the now rapidly aged characters of Rowena, Luis and Divine, respectively.[44][45][46][47]

Filming[edit]

Production began on May 4, 2012, with Dode Cruz and RJ Nuevas serving as creators of the show, Kit Villanueva-Langit as head writer, Jun Lana as creative director, Mona Coles-Mayuga as executive producer, and Lilybeth Rasonable who served as the over-all in charge of production. The fictional seaside town of Santa Monica, where the humble home of Rowena's family located was entirely shot in some parts of Malabon. Most of the scenes in the second chapter (especially dumpsite scenes) was shot entirely in Barangay Payatas in Quezon City, and in some parts of Manila. While fictional town of San Sebastian was shot on location in Cavite City.

Music[edit]

The series’ producer uses the classic and original Filipino Music, "Sana’y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan" (lit. Hope That Eternity Will Wait) as the theme song. It re-arranged by Edward Mitra for the series and interpreted by Rachelle Ann Go. The song is actually a sad and heartbreaking song. The lyrics tell of a person who’s waiting in vain for the one she/he loves and expressing willingness to wait until forever in hope that that someone might love her in return.

Prior to Luna Blanca, the song has been used many times as soundtrack both in films and television series. The song is composed by renowned Filipino composer,[48] Willy Cruz (music) and written by Baby Gil. "Sana’y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan" was originally used as soundtrack of the 1985 hit movie, Bituing Walang Ningning (lit. Shine less Star)[49] which starred Sharon Cuneta, Cherie Gil and Christopher de Leon. Cuneta performed the said piece and became one of her signature songs. In 2002, singer/actress Zsa Zsa Padilla did her own version of the song and used as the theme for Lorna Tolentino starrer drama series Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (lit. I've Waited for You for So Long) on ABS-CBN. Four years later, 2006, GMA Network Films used the song as one of the soundtracks[50] of the hit movie Moments of Love, which starred Iza Calzado opposite Dingdong Dantes. Singer/actress, Karylle, which also part of the said flick, performed the song.

Due to its popularity, the song has been covered and recorded many times by many different singers/artists. Aside from Sharon Cuneta, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Karylle and Rachelle Ann Go, the following artists also have their own version of the song: Jolina Magdangal for the album, Jolina Sings The Masters, released by Star Records on August 15, 2002;[51] Jun Polistico for the album, The Number 1 Album, produced and released by VIVA Records on September 2002;[52] Martin Nievera for the album, Awit ng Puso (lit. Song of the Heart), produced and released by EMI Philippines on 2006;[53] and Basil Valdez for self-titled album, Basil S. Valdez, also released by VIVA Records on December 23, 2011.[54]

Ratings & critical reception[edit]

The premiere telecast of the television series (dated May 21, 2012) outrated in Mega Manila its counterpart program from ABS-CBN gathering the percentage of 26.3% against 25.8 of Princess and I, putting Luna Blanca on the 2nd spot of the top 10 shows for the said date.[4][5]

Aside from the ratings game, positive reviews, both from critics and viewers outpoured. Alfredo B. Severino, a Bacolod based writer of Negros Daily Bulletin[55] reviewed that... “Luna Blanca is an Epic literature in many ways. It was not written in poetic style but the extended narrative, its press release called multi-generational story, and the development of an old folk tale qualifies it to be epic-based.” While writer, Jerry Donato of The Philippine Star finds Jillian Ward and Mona Louise Rey as this generation’s Flordeluna and Roberta who can touch the viewer’s heart and make him shed tears as their adorable characters enter the School of Hard Knocks.[56]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Airing of 'Sharon' pushed back again | Showbiz
  2. ^ Paolo naagawan ng trabaho ni Derek - ABOUT SHOWBIZ Ni Nitz Miralles - Pilipino Star Ngayon » Pilipino Star Ngayon Sections » Showbiz
  3. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  4. ^ a b GMA-7 performs strongly in National Urban Television Audience Measurement in May 2012 | PEP.ph: The Number One Site for Philippine Showbiz
  5. ^ a b AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (May 18-21): Luna Blanca debuts strongly; Walang Hanggan still on top | PEP.ph: The Number One Site for Philippine Showbiz
  6. ^ Fantasy-drama premieres on GMA 7 - The Philippine Star » News » Entertainment
  7. ^ Showbiznest: GMA-7 Brings Love and Inspiration to all Kapamilya with Luna Blanca
  8. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  9. ^ Friendship between Jillian Ward and Mona Louise Rey stronger than ever - The Freeman » The Freeman Sections » Cebu Entertainment
  10. ^ http://mb.com.ph/articles/366002/barbie-bea-step-into-world-of-luna-blanca
  11. ^ http://www.malaya.com.ph/index.php/entertainment/8523-barbie-bea-binene-step-into-the-world-of-luna-blanca
  12. ^ http://pep.ph/news/34733/kristoffer-martin-switches-loveteam-partner-from-joyce-ching-to-bea-binene
  13. ^ http://pep.ph/news/34732/derrick-monasterio-is-barbie-forteza39s-leading-man-in-luna-blanca
  14. ^ Childstars Jillian Ward and Mona Louise Rey topbill ‘Luna Blanca’ | Entertainment | Philippine News
  15. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  16. ^ http://www.tribuneonline.org/life/20120615lif5.html
  17. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  18. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  19. ^ PEP Alerts – Sa May 2 na ang story conference ng Luna Blanca ng GMA-7 na tatampu… | News on Tweet
  20. ^ Luna Blanca, kauna-unahang multi-generation series ng GMA-7 | GMA News Online | The Go-To Site for Filipinos Everywhere
  21. ^ The Mothers of the stars | Sun.Star
  22. ^ Latest News and Information on Dominic Zapata
  23. ^ Dominic Zapata Is Undoubtedly The Busies GMA-7 Director These Days | Showbiz Portal
  24. ^ Dominic Zapata - IMDb
  25. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  26. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  27. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  28. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  29. ^ Camille enjoys doing mommy roles - Yahoo! OMG! Philippines
  30. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-08-31/20629/Luna-Blanca-Makaligtas-kaya-si-Blanca-at-Aki-sa-poot-ni-Ani
  31. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-09-19/20856/Luna-Blanca-Diego-nakuha-ang-loob-ni-Luna
  32. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-09-21/20872/Luna-Blanca-Ang-hiling-ni-Luna
  33. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/photos/2012-05-16/790/At-the-Press-Conference-for-Luna-Blanca
  34. ^ http://mb.com.ph/node/359368/jillian-mona-loui
  35. ^ http://www.ndb-online.com/060412/feature/feature-luna-blanca-challenge-epic-proportion
  36. ^ http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=827916&publicationSubCategoryId=70
  37. ^ http://www.pep.ph/news/34160/chynna-ortaleza-on-why-her-relationship-with-former-actor-railey-valeroso-has-lasted-nine-years-hindi-magulo-pag-yung-isa-wala-sa-showbiz/1/4
  38. ^ http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/entertainment/showbiz-news/34329-camille-laughs-off-rumor-about-her-and-sam
  39. ^ http://www.malaya.com.ph/index.php/entertainment/9294-camille-denies-romance-with-sam-milby
  40. ^ http://gulfnews.com/arts-entertainment/celebrity/showbiz-tsismis-everyone-s-favourite-kontrabida-chynna-ortaleza-1.1049071
  41. ^ http://www.pep.ph/news/35554/heart-evangelista-on-real-score-with-senator-chiz-escuderoldquodating-ba-lsquoyan-or-going-out-irsquom-just-confused/1/1
  42. ^ http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=845844&publicationSubCategoryId=96
  43. ^ http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/entertainment/showbiz-news/37240-alessandra-junks-torrid-kissing
  44. ^ http://pep.ph/news/35562/carmi-martin-on-her-search-for-a-partner-ldquopinagdaanan-ko-na-yung-gumulung-gulong-ako-umiyak-ako-and-everything-just-to-find-the-right-guyrdquo/1/1
  45. ^ http://www.abante.com.ph/issue/sep0512/ent_jb.htm
  46. ^ http://pep.ph/news/35570/lani-mercado-changes-her-mind-about-not-running-for-re-election-reveals-son-jolo-revilla-will-run-for-vice-governor-of-cavite
  47. ^ http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/372316/christopher-de-leon-to-seek-higher-political-post-next-year
  48. ^ Willy Cruz - IMDb
  49. ^ Bituing walang ningning (1985) - IMDb
  50. ^ iTunes - Music - Moments of Love (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists
  51. ^ iTunes - Music - Jolina Sings The Masters by Jolina Magdangal
  52. ^ iTunes - Music - The Number One Album by Various Artists
  53. ^ iTunes - Music - Awit Ng Puso by Martin Nievera
  54. ^ iTunes - Music - Basil S. Valdez (Digilite) - EP by Basil Valdez
  55. ^ Negros Daily Bulletin |
  56. ^ TV's little darlings - The Philippine Star » News » Entertainment