action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Bagani: ABS-CBN’s Most Controversial Series Yet

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.

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.

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52 thoughts on “Bagani: ABS-CBN’s Most Controversial Series Yet

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why Encantadia though, not Amaya? Encantadia was more fantasy and magic-inspired, while Bagani seems to be more influenced by pre-colonial Philippines. So if anything, shouldn’t the show be compared to Amaya, not Encantadia?

    • It was the netizens’ fault. Encantadia only came in two years ago which means they can easily recall said series. Amaya premiered some six years ago and they forgot about it since the series didn’t exactly make an impact during its run.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well the ratings for Amaya, IIRC, were pretty good (Marian was still popular at the time), and apparently was even the leading primetime show at some point. Of course, that was according to AGB so take it with a grain of salt. Also, IIRC, it lasted about six months or so, which is pretty good by GMA standards.

        P.S. IANU is confirmed to be ending in two weeks, when’s your writeup about it going up?

      • Wait till the last week, as is the custom here. As for Amaya, it came at a time when ABS was slowly becoming a primetime powerhouse. Its rival Budoy proved to be a better show as far as viewers go since it had a more compelling storyline that relates to real life circumstances, something that GMA couldn’t relate to due to their costly productions of epic dramas.

      • GMA will never learn on their costly fantaseryes. Bagani might be costly by ABS-CBN fantaserye standards, but with star power of LizQuen, Kambal, Karibal might have a hard time competing against them just like KathNiel before them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Also, am I the only one who thinks Bagani might end up being a canned series? I know ABS has the finances, but man it looks expensive. It could end up being a drain if it flops.

    • I’m not worried at the slightest. Besides, ABS has done a particularly good job in promoting the series, and their social media impact could also play a huge role.

  3. Vince says:

    Grabe naman makaclaim yung sa Black Panther. Kung hindi yan Marvel movie sigurado lalangawin yan.
    Bihira lang ang isang Vice Ganda na proven kikita sa takilya. Ang mga kagaya ni Pokwang or Melai sinubukan naman pero sadyang walang hatak sa movies. Sasabihin nila bigyan ng roles ang mga Pinoy looking na artists tapos kapag nasa sinehan na wala naman nanunuod.

    Ang kinakatakot ko lang dito sa Bagani ay baka matulad ito sa La Luna na ang ganda lang sa simula tapos biglang lumaylay ng sobra yung istorya. Ang advantage lang ng show na ito ay ang ensemble cast na pwede makatulong para lagyan ng padding kung sakaling ma-extend ng todo. Hindi naman originally sa LizQuen ang show ito pero binigay sa kanila in the end kasi wala silang tiwala dun sa mga nauunang bida. Big production pa naman. Kawawa naman ang LizQuen na napilitan lang tanggapin ang show tapos na bash pa ng todo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sino ba raw yung original bida? May source ka na di originally LizQuen ang bida at parang no choice lang sila?

      • Vince says:

        Mga starlets ang unang mga bida. Special Participation lang dapat diyan ang LizQuen sa pilot week tapos parang mamatay sila at papalitan nung mga starlets. Dahil nga big production, natakot ang management na sugalan yung mga naunang cast. Yung Bailona dapat ang nasa role nila. Yung dalawang yun mas hirap managalog kesa kina Mateo at Liza kaya baka mas lalong uulanin ng bash. Pinay na pinay si Ylona kaya baka walang ingay kung siya ang natuloy.

      • Perhaps it’s for the better since BaiLona were not yet ready. Much like yung tandem nila MayWard, they need to start small first. Plus LizQuen is just too big and popular for a cameo role na baka mabitin lang ang mga manonood.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems that GMA is going to use Mitho as its Bagani competitor. “Gusto Maging ABS-CBN” much? To be fair to GMA though, they made the first fantaseryes and they’re known for them, so I guess it’s just them going back to their roots. Still, the timing seems off.

    By the way, here’s what I don’t get: Bagani got a lot of flak for casting Liza and Enrique. But Amaya’s casting of Marian wasn’t as controversial (there were some comments, but I think those were more due to historical accuracy than casting a Fil-Spanish mestiza as the lead). Weird.

    • Perhaps no one noticed it since Amaya didn’t even make an impact in the ratings.

      As for Mitho, we’re still not sure if this will indeed be their answer to Bagani. It might bump Sherlock Jr. to the second slot. We’ll have to wait for further details soon.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the best thing for GMA to do is to develop Mitho, but not air it until after the dust has settled and Bagani is but a memory. Also, I think it would be good for them to rework their concept into something original and which takes inspiration from sources that aren’t the same as Bagani. That would help remove the possibility of the show being called a rip-off.

        Also, I remember the rumor was that KK’s replacement is The Cure, though I haven’t seen any confirmation yet; might be best to wait and see.

        Also, I heard a rumor that Bagani will only be given a maximum of 26 weeks (i.e. six months, which is still pretty long), but as it’s just a rumor, let’s wait and see if that’s indeed the case. Wouldn’t be surprised though, considering the expenses.

      • Rumors notwithstanding, it will be interesting to see what next move GMA has planned to in the near future. Their morale on primetime has never been this worse and any sort of quick fix has failed. They need to cook up something interesting or else.

        As for Bagani, if they’re successful, I won’t be surprised if they go past six months. After all, LizQuen gave Primetime Bida plenty of boost in the past and this is no exception.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well Bagani appears to be a hit so far: 35% or so compared to only around 15% for KK in Kantar. Let’s see if this will continue.

    As for LLS’ ending, it won in both Kantar and AGB.

    • The recent spate of controversies didn’t seem to affect Bagani at all. Like I said, LizQuen has been known to attract a huge audience whether it’s a teleserye or a movie, so it’s no surprise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    By the way, it seems that KK managed to somehow beat LLS and Bagani a handful of times in AGB NUTAM (in all of them, by less than 1%), and somehow GMA fantards and GMA staff are celebrating to the point of buying cakes. There are even rumors that KK might get an extension. Never mind that KK’s winnings were flukes (such wins have been less than five so far), and LLS/Bagani’s lead in the nationwide ratings is so big it’s not even funny. It’s like GMA, or at least their fantards, are becoming desperate to find whatever victory they can find. Seriously, a cake just because KK beat LLS once, by a margin of less than 1%? Not even Ang Probinsyano does that despite kicking the opponent’s ass by significant margins in both Kantar and AGB.

    And speaking of ratings, I just wish AGB could just stick to one rating permanently (i.e. no more NUTAM/Urban Luzon/People’s/etc.). Like maybe they should stick to NUTAM. Using multiple ratings systems leads to confusion and skepticism by all but the most devoted Kapusos. That and they need to release their ratings faster and more consistently: like how if a GMA show is doing well, the ratings are out almost immediately, but if a GMA show is losing, the ratings can take months to come out (like how the AGB ratings for late January didn’t even come out until the middle of March). At least Kantar is consistent and releases quickly, even when some ABS shows are struggling.

    • Those fantards must be sarcastic to think that their show is ‘winning’, when in fact it’s not. Well, let them do a mock celebration for as long as they want to, for it will only humiliate GMA even further. Heck, if ABS announces the end of AP, GMA can just throw in a party at their headquarters to celebrate the end of Coco Martin’s show. It’s much like their annual New Year’s party in MOA, full of revelry but too much boastfulness.

      As far as ratings go, I’d rather not trust AGB anymore. Their manipulative ways date back to 2008 when there was a ratings controversy between ABS, GMA and AGB. You can still post the figures if you want to but for all intents and purposes, Kantar is more reliable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, from what I saw, the cake (which was bought by Suzette) got a lack of flak. Even some of the more sane Kapusos seemed embarrassed by the matter.

        Seriously though, does AGB not care about their credibility anymore?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Also slightly offtopic, but one thing I noticed about online communities is this: forums like PinoyExchange seem to be split beetween ABS and GMA. For Facebook pages, pages like LionhearTV seems to be 80% pro-ABS and 20% pro-GMA comments, but it’s the opposite for the PEP fanpage (most comments are pro-GMA).

    • If I were you just ignore them and stop commenting on things related to fantardism. What if some fantard entered this blog without warning? You’re just encouraging each of them to come to this blog. Better stop now or else.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Seriously though, I don’t get why GMA is making such a big deal about them “beating” Bagani if: 1. it only happened once or twice, 2. it was by a margin of less than 1%, 3. it was on AGB rather than Kantar, and 4. KK is still losing to Bagani nationwide by laughable margins. It would have been a big deal if KK won regularly even in Kantar, but no. Besides, I don’t recall Ang Probinsyano ever throwing cake parties for beating its many opponents.

    • That’s what separates GMA from ABS and the boastful from the humble. Such a celebration is considered unfathomable. But we’ll let them celebrate until their loyal viewers switch channels.

  9. Anonymous says:

    KK has now (according to LionhearTV) apparently been extended “due to high ratings”. I didn’t know barely winning on AGB a handful (and I do mean a handful) of times is considered high ratings now. But if that’s enough to keep GMA happy, then let them be. Because it seems that GMA’s management is becoming more delusional by the day.

    • They’re trusting the wrong ratings firm that is always inconsistent in releasing figures; sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It would be foolish to give KK an extension just because of winning by small margins and occasionally not unveiling these figures out of fear of losing. Because that’s what cowards do; they always think that they’re winning when in fact they don’t realize the truth.

      • Anonymous says:

        >when in fact they don’t realize the truth.
        I think that’s not the case at all: if anything, GMA is very much aware of the truth (that they’re losing to ABS nationwide: Gozon even admitted this in an interview a few years back). It might be the reason why they’re sticking to AGB in the first place, or why they made such a big deal about KK “winning”: they know they’re losing and want to keep up the appearance that they’re not, because otherwise their (hollow) claim to being #1 will become even more hollow. That’s actually the scary thing: it’s not that GMA doesn’t know they’re not #1, they do now, it’s that they’re finding ways to “cope”, and these ways tend to fail more than succeed. And even in the few times they do end up giving ABS a run for their money (like peak-AlDub or IANU), they end up shooting themselves in the foot afterwards.

        No wonder GMA can’t overtake ABS: they remain in their delusions and in fact seem to want to stay in those delusions, despite all evidence against them. If they could just humbly accept defeat (like “T5N” did) and focus on improving their infrastructure and management (like what T5N did *not* do), maybe 5 to 10 years from now GMA can actually have a legitimate chance of sustainably matching or even beating ABS. Baby steps, not boasting, will help them a lot. But sadly I can’t see that happening as long as Gozon and company still own the station.

      • Given the lack of conglomerate support (unlike ABS whose Lopez Group owns numerous business interests), GMA is in for a tough road back. A conglomerate like the SM Group of Henry Sy might help them, but Gozon should start thinking ahead instead of staying in the present where they play too many excuses to ‘remain’ on top.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and they killed off Sofia Andres’ character, and there is now speculation that LizQuen’s “special participation” might happen after all (in that they may give way to BaiLona at some point). Let’s see if there’s any truth to this, or if it’s just BaiLona fans making noise.

    • I don’t think LizQuen will defer so easily given their top-billing status. Besides, Bagani’s doing well that such a demotion could pose a huge problem.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It seems some people are so desperate that now they’re circulating rumors that Bagani will prematurely end due to “low ratings” and the “strong performance” of Kambal Karibal, never mind that KK only ever won a few times on AGB (all by margins of less than 1%), and never mind that AGB has been so inconsistent in releasing ratings that it’s like they only release ratings when KK is winning or putting up a fight. And never mind that not only has KK never won on Kantar, but the margins aren’t even close. Man are people getting desperate to put Bagani down.

      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair, Bagani does look more vulnerable compared to LLS: Bagani’s ratings have dropped somewhat lately, even doing sub-30 at times. While it’s still beating KK by a large margin, it does seem to not be doing as well as LLS. This could be a source of concern later on.

      • A win is a win as far as ABS is concerned, but the fallout from the controversy surrounding its story must be affecting Bagani. Perhaps the viewers find it hard to accept fantaseryes now because of its expensive nature.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Seems Bagani’s scriptwriters are having a bit of fun lately. A few days ago, there was a “kapatid, kapuso, o kapamilya” line in the episode, while the following episode had a “kambal kurimaw” line (probably a reference to Kambal Karibal, “kambal kurimaw” being a popular pejorative nickname for the said show).

    In more serious news, an AGB report came out recently, and despite Suzette’s claims and her cakes, it turned out that Bagani was actually the Top 2 Primetime series for the month of March (Top 1 of course being FPJAP). Mukhang nabali-wala ang mga cake nila ngayon, at napahiya pa ang GMA at mga GMA fanboy.

    • From Mekeni, Mekeni, Dugdug Doremi to Kambal Kurimaw, and I thought it was all serious like Amaya or Encantadia. It became a teleserye full of memorable and meme-able LOLWUTs and savage burns, catering fittingly to millennials.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hindi ko talaga maintindihan itong mga fantard at ang pagkiling nila sa AGB. I know these people are fantards, but it’s not like they’re even trying anymore. At least before, when people brought up flaws in AGB’s urban centrism, they would give the excuse that the urban centers have the majority of TV viewers. But not anymore, these days GMA fantards don’t even reply anymore to comments questioning why the ratings data excludes Visayas and Mindanao, or why the ratings are delayed by up to two months. I mean, AGB’s ratings are delayed so much it’s laughable, but GMA fantards refuse to acknowledge the problem and fall silent when the issue is raised. Pati nga constructive criticism ng AGB, bali wala sa mga Kapuso.

    • Both. Didn’t quite make an impact (blame it on the controversy surrounding the portrayal of native Filipinos and Liza Soberano’s selection) yet still overwhelmed its closest rival in Kambal Karibal by a wide margin.

      • Well, Bagani will not just be the only teleserye to wrap up but also on the same day, The Blood Sisters.

        I think Ralph will pen their ending separately, alongside its replacements, all in next week (the week after the immediate week after this writing of this comment).

      • Pretty much underwhelming, ika nga. Let’s see what ABS has to offer on post-Cardo Dalisay timeslot na isa rin sa mga sought-after ng mga viewers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Monday Kantar:
      Bagani 29.2%
      Onanay 17.7%.

      Wala pang AGB ratings for Monday

      Thoughts? Parang di ako masyadong impressed sa ratings ng Bagani ngayon.

      • Pagod na ang mga manonood. They’d rather watch Netflix than LizQuen. Love teams on ABS’ second slot is cause for oversaturation and the story in itself is losing quality.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ngayon at Kailanman ang papalit. More loveteams for ABS. Mukhang di sila natuto na sawa na ata ang mga viewers sa loveteam.

      • Pero for a change hindi LizQuen o KathNiel kundi JoshLia ang bida. So a different loveteam this time around. Tingnan na lang natin kung tuloy ang ‘sawa’ factor o kakagatin nila ito.

  14. Pingback: LizQuen Letdown: Disappointing Bagani to End Run Friday | From the Tube

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