Luna Blanca

Luna Blanca is a 2012 Philippine television drama fantasy series broadcast by GMA Network. The series served as a sequel to the 2008 Philippine television series Luna Mystika. Directed by Dominic Zapata, it stars Jillian Ward, Mona Louise Rey, Bea Binene, Barbie Forteza, Bianca King and Heart Evangelista. It premiered on May 21, 2012 on the network's Telebabad line up replacing Biritera. The series concluded on October 26, 2012 with a total of 115 episodes. It was replaced by Temptation of Wife in its timeslot.

Luna Blanca
Luna Blanca title card.jpg
Title card
Genre
Created by
Developed byKit Villanueva-Langit
Written by
  • Ma. Cristina Velasco
  • Luningning Ribay
  • Marlon Miguel
Directed byDominic Zapata
Creative director(s)Jun Lana
Starring
Opening theme
Composer(s)
  • Willy Cruz & Baby Gil (main theme)
  • Tata Betita (love theme)
Country of originPhilippines
Original language(s)Tagalog
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes115
Production
Executive producer(s)Mona Coles Mayuga
Producer(s)GMA Network
Production location(s)
CinematographyRoman Theodossis
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time30-45 minutes
Production company(s)GMA Entertainment TV
Release
Original networkGMA Network
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseMay 21 (2012-05-21) –
October 26, 2012 (2012-10-26)
Chronology
Related showsLuna Mystika

Cast and charactersEdit

Bea Binene portrays teen Luna Sandoval.
Barbie Forteza portrays teen Blanca Sandoval.
Heart Evangelista portrays adult Blanca Sandoval.
Chynna Ortaleza portrays Divine Alvarez.
Main cast
Supporting cast
Guest cast

OverviewEdit

Associate producer, Jonathan Pachica, said that Luna Blanca is a sequel to Luna Mystika,[3] GMA Network's 2008 drama series, which also starred Heart Evangelista. It premiered on November 17, 2008 and concluded on March 6, 2009.[4] The prequel's story revolves around the twins' lives and their relationship with each other. On the other hand, the story is set 30 years later, which is about the twin sisters and their journey toward discovering their ancestry and fulfilling their personal destinies.[5]

The connection between these two series was presented during Luna Blanca's premiere episode 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 who intends to scare the children. Lolo Igme, Rowena's grandfather portrayed by Dante Rivero (who was 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 is revealed to be the last descendant of Luna Mystika; one thing she does not believe because she thinks that the engkanto and other supernatural creatures are just myth or merely imagination. Her disbelief persists until she encounters a black, smoke-like creature known as the engkanto[6] in the forest who 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, Luna also has a mystical twin shadow aside from Blanca.[7] the same eerie creature first unveiled in Luna Mystika.

ProductionEdit

On May 2, 2012 at the story conference of the series, Cheryl Ching-Sy, the Senior Program Manager,[8] explained that the series is a multi-generational drama.[9] 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.[10]

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][11] 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.[12] Zapata is known to have directed top-rated shows like T.G.I.S., Mulawin, Captain Barbell, Darna, Ako si Kim Samsoon, LaLola, Diva and Grazilda.[13]

ThemesEdit

Luna Blanca consists of three prominent themes: love, family and mysticism. In the first chapter of the series, the story focused more on family and mysticism. The first three episodes focuses on the ancestry of Rowena, her connection to Luna and Celestina, the mystery behind the sudden loss of her parents [which her grandfather blames on the engkantos], herself being a victim of sexual assault of a supernatural being [black engkanto], and the appearance of Luna's mystical shadow.[14] Luna's mysterious persona is not revealed yet until the end of the first chapter. However, the story eventually develops into realistic drama that tells the sufferings of Rowena's family on raising the twins alone,[15] alongside Luna's quest in conquering her mother's love, care, and acceptance despite the discrimination she faces.[16] The unexpected, tragic death of Lolo Igme[17] and the sisters' huge love for each other despite physical differences and ultimately, separation. Camille Prats, who is part of the series' main cast was quoted:

"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."

— [18]

"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 enters their adolescence and young adult years, respectively. The characters Joaquin who was played by Kristofer Martin and Aki by Mark Herras in the second and third books serves as love interests (as well as the "intricator")[clarification needed] of Luna and Blanca. Mystic themes take place when Luna's persona unveils itself alongside the return of her twin shadow Annie,[19] the human form of Devolas with Diego entering the picture,[20] and the transformation of Luna's unnatural appearance to that of a typical morena, as she wished.[21]

CastingEdit

At the series' press conference held on May 15, 2012,[22] the producer presented six actresses to portray and breathe life to the characters of Luna and Blanca.

Chosen to play the lead roles in the first chapter are child stars Jillian Ward as Luna, and Mona Louise Rey as Blanca. Prior to casting, the two child actresses were popular in 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; saying that Ward reminds her of Niño Muhlach (a well-known mid-70's child star) for being witty, jolly, and restless; Rey on the other hand is described as "sweet, ladylike, and reserved type who flashes a wholesome personality on and off camera.[23]

Portraying the teen characters in the second chapter are Barbie Forteza as Blanca and Bea Binene as Luna. Forteza said in one of her interviews that she finds her role very challenging, saying: "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."[24] Her character who lives in the squatter's area requires her to act like rather rough 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 got to express herself more than just following the script letter by letter. On the other hand, Binene finds the acting task three or four times grueling than her past projects. Aside from the dramatic acting it requires, she has to endure the itchy, hot feeling while her face and body are heavily covered with dark make-up. It usually takes two hours for her fair complexion to turn dark as soot, and makeup artists had to re-touch in every scene due to perspiration and oiliness.[25]

In the first and second chapter, Camille Prats, Raymart Santiago and Chynna Ortaleza[26] were cast 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.[27][28]

In the last installment of the series Bianca King and Heart Evangelista[29] played as the adult Luna and Blanca respectively.

Mark Herras taken over the role of Joaquin, the love interest of Blanca (Evangelista) and Luna (King),[30] while, veteran actors Lani Mercado, Christopher de Leon and Carmi Martin taking over the now rapidly aged characters of Rowena, Luis and Divine, respectively.[31][32][33][34]

ReceptionEdit

RatingsEdit

According to AGB Nielsen Philippines' Mega Manila household television ratings, the pilot episode of Luna Blanca earned a 26.3% rating.[35] While the final episode scored a 24% rating.[36]

Critical responseEdit

Alfredo B. Severino of Negros Daily Bulletin[37] said 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 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."[38]

AccoladesEdit

Accolades received by Luna Blanca
Year Awards Category Recipient Result Ref.
2012 26th PMPC Star Awards for Television Best Child Performer Jillian Ward Nominated [39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://pep.ph/news/34733/kristoffer-martin-switches-loveteam-partner-from-joyce-ching-to-bea-binene
  2. ^ http://pep.ph/news/34732/derrick-monasterio-is-barbie-forteza39s-leading-man-in-luna-blanca
  3. ^ Childstars Jillian Ward and Mona Louise Rey topbill ‘Luna Blanca’ | Entertainment | Philippine News Archived January 23, 2013, at Archive.today
  4. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  7. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  8. ^ PEP Alerts – Sa May 2 na ang story conference ng Luna Blanca ng GMA-7 na tatampu… | News on Tweet
  9. ^ Luna Blanca, kauna-unahang multi-generation series ng GMA-7 | GMA News Online | The Go-To Site for Filipinos Everywhere
  10. ^ The Mothers of the stars | Sun.Star
  11. ^ Latest News and Information on Dominic Zapata Archived June 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Dominic Zapata Is Undoubtedly The Busies GMA-7 Director These Days | Showbiz Portal
  13. ^ Dominic Zapata - IMDb
  14. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  15. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  16. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  17. ^ GMANetwork.com - Entertainment - Home of Kapuso shows and stars
  18. ^ Camille enjoys doing mommy roles - Yahoo! OMG! Philippines
  19. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-08-31/20629/Luna-Blanca-Makaligtas-kaya-si-Blanca-at-Aki-sa-poot-ni-Ani
  20. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-09-19/20856/Luna-Blanca-Diego-nakuha-ang-loob-ni-Luna
  21. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/videos/2012-09-21/20872/Luna-Blanca-Ang-hiling-ni-Luna
  22. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/lunablanca/photos/2012-05-16/790/At-the-Press-Conference-for-Luna-Blanca
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=827916&publicationSubCategoryId=70
  26. ^ 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
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ 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
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ 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
  32. ^ http://www.abante.com.ph/issue/sep0512/ent_jb.htm
  33. ^ 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
  34. ^ http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/372316/christopher-de-leon-to-seek-higher-political-post-next-year
  35. ^ Santiago, Erwin (May 22, 2012). "AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (May 18–21): Luna Blanca debuts strongly; Walang Hanggan still on top". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  36. ^ Santiago, Erwin (October 29, 2012). "AGB Mega Manila Household Ratings (Oct. 23-28): Walang Hanggan ends with a big bang; Extra Challenge debuts strongly". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  37. ^ Negros Daily Bulletin Archived July 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ TV's little darlings - The Philippine Star » News » Entertainment
  39. ^ "PMPC bares nominees for 26th Star Awards for TV". September 26, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2020.

External linksEdit