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New GMA series 'Maria Clara at Ibarra' reimagines Rizal's novels with a Gen Z twist

By Katelyn Cassandra Alvarez Published Sep 22, 2022 4:34 pm

What would happen if a modern Filipina steps into the world of Jose Rizal’s novels?

It’s time to visit ‘History’ through ‘HERstory’ as GMA launches new historical-fantasy drama Maria Clara at Ibarra.

On September 21, Wednesday, GMA revealed the official cast and a new teaser for their upcoming TV series which will make its world premiere on October 3, 2022. The show described as a "soap opera that promotes nationalism and love of country" takes inspiration from Rizal's classic works, with a Gen Z twist.

Starring Kapuso Primetime Princess Barbie Forteza, Maria Clara at Ibarra's story revolves around Klay, a Gen Z nursing student who wakes up and finds herself in the world of Jose Rizal’s novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) set during the Spanish colonization period in the Philippines. 

In the series, Klay crosses paths with characters Crisostomo Ibarra, played by Dennis Trillo, and Maria Clara portrayed by Julie Anne San Jose.  

The show will also feature prominent actors playing the roles of Narsing (Manilyn Reynes), Padre Damaso (Tirso Cruz III), Kapitan Tiago (Juan Rodrigo), Elias (Rocco Nacino), Mang Adong (Dennis Padilla), Sisa (Andrea Torres), Tiya Isabel (Ces Quesada) and many more. 

Directed by Zig Dulay, Maria Clara at Ibarra will surely bring a breath of fresh air to Jose Rizal’s famous novels as it tweaks it with a Gen Z point of view through the series’ main character, Klay.

Barbie Forteza shared a bit of background about the series in an interview with 24 Oras.

“Pagpasok ni Klay sa loob ng Noli, doon niya makikilala lahat ng characters. Tapos in a way, doon magbabago rin ‘yung perspective niya sa buhay, ‘yung pagiging Pilipino niya, gano’n. ‘Yung pananaw niya sa pag-ibig, gano’n," she said.

 “Very mabusisi si Direk Zig kaya I’m very excited. Also ‘yung mga costumes namin, grabe, legit na legit,” she added. 

 Lead actor Dennis Trillo also shared some of his experiences and realizations during the shoot as he played the role of Crisostomo Ibarra. 

“Hindi siya basta-basta na role eh,” says Trillo in an interview with 24 Oras, “Kailangan mo talaga siyang aralin. ‘Di ka pwedeng basta mag-adlib na lang ng mga gusto mong sabihin do’n sa character. Kailangan talaga, parang nakasukat lagi ‘yung mga gagawin mo at sasabihin.  

GMA Network has been a home for historical-fantasy themed television series with their historical period dramas such as Amaya, Indio, Katipunan, and Ilustrado which told the life of the author behind Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Dr. Jose Rizal.  

Revisit the life of Filipinos through Jose Rizal’s novels as GMA invites you on a roller coaster ride of a Gen Z experience of history!