The hype surrounding ‘Bagani’ has been on a high for the past few months.
On the good side, this upcoming ABS-CBN drama series will be led by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, one of the Philippines’ most popular love teams today. On the bad side, however, ‘Bagani’ has been beset by controversy from the start.
When the trailer for ‘Bagani’ first popped out, netizens immediately compared it to ‘Encantadia’ due to its similar themes and landscape. The discussion even spread to the writers of the two shows, namely Suzette Doctolero and Mark Duane Angos.
‘Bagani’ also drew flak for its questionable casting choices. While the series was inspired from pre-colonial Philippines, some of the cast were not pure-blooded Filipinos, particularly the LizQuen tandem and co-star Matteo Guidicelli.
Writer Mark Duane Angos defended ‘Bagani”s casting decisions and setting in a series of tweets.
Colorism is real and we as a society must continue to have a nuanced discussion of it. But to use it as a bullet to demonize Filipinos who have mixed heritage is disingenuous, and frankly, disgusting.
Sana like BlackPanther, pinanood mo muna Bagani bago mo hinusgahan. You’ll know it’s not precolonial. Speaking of colonial, do you see the irony of your tweet- na katanggap-tanggap lang ang isang locally produced show kung maihahantulad ito sa gawang banyaga. Very postcolonial. pic.twitter.com/vidjFzkpif
Bagani is set in a fictional world called Sansinukob- isang alternatibong mundo na may mga elemento ng mitolohiyang Pilipino. It is not PRECOLONIAL. It is not HISTORICAL. Hence it is not a portrayal of sinaunang tao or a particular historical period or event.
Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding ‘Bagani’, fans can’t help but be excited over the return of LizQuen to the small screen. This time, however, the duo will be engaged in plenty of action as fight scenes will become the norm in ‘Bagani’.
That doesn’t mean any moment of ‘kilig’ will be nonexistent. There will still be occasional cheesy scenes that make viewers gush, just not much due to the serious physicality involved.
So far, the confirmed lead cast of ‘Bagani’ include Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, Sofia Andres, Makisig Morales and Matteo Guidicelli. An extended cast is yet to be revealed.
Star Creatives will handle the production duties for ‘Bagani’. It will be directed by Richard Arellano and Lester Pimentel.
With the impending debut of ‘Bagani’, ABS-CBN has entered the world of epicseryes (for which the likes of ‘Encantadia’ were derived). But unlike GMA whose production of ‘Encantadia’ drained much of their finances, ABS-CBN should pose no concern for ‘Bagani’ as far as money as concerned, and if the series rates well, it will not be a big problem.
Still, it remains to be seen if the various controversies will affect ‘Bagani’ in any way. LizQuen may give this series a boost, but it may also cost them some disgruntled viewers in the process.
‘Bagani’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida. In the meantime, here is the full trailer for the series.