“I die without seeing dawn’s light shining on my country… You, who will see it, welcome it for me… Don’t forget those who fell during the nighttime.”
― Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere
He is widely regarded as the country’s most beloved hero. This Monday, get to know the man behind the hero as GMA News and Public Affairs brings to life the untold stories of Jose Rizal with the world premiere of the first-ever Bayaniseryeon primetime television, ILUSTRADO.
Ilustrado offers an educational and entertaining viewing experience as it features the life of Rizal as a young student in the Philippines to his travels in Europe as well as the major events and influences that shaped his mind and actions as a reformist. Through his letters to his family and friends, Ilustrado depicts Rizal’s struggles while living abroad. And through his love letters, the series tries to illustrate his relationship with women and why he is considered a notorious lover boy.
Produced by the same creative team behind the highly-acclaimed historical drama Katipunan and mini-series Bayan Ko, Ilustrado boasts of an ensemble of topnotch artists led by award-winning actor and Kapuso homegrown star Alden Richards as Jose Rizal.
Joining him are Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, who many historians believe was Rizal’s true love, and Solenn Heussaff as Nellie Boustead, the French woman Rizal almost married.
Portraying the role of Rizal’s beloved parents are this year’s Cinemalaya best actress Eula Valdez (Teodora Alonzo) and Ricardo Cepeda (Francisco Mercado). Freddie Webb gives life to Rizal’s uncle, Don Jose Alberto, while Rizal’s brother Paciano Mercado is played by Marco Alcaraz. Child star Jhiz Deocareza plays the young Rizal.
Also incorporated in the Bayaniserye are fictional characters representing some of Rizal’s antagonists – mother and son Conchita and Venchito Monteverde (played by five-time Urian best actress Jaclyn Jose and Polo Ravales, respectively); Padre Amado (Lito Legaspi); and young Venchito (Sean Ross).
The cast also includes Max Collins as Consuela Ortiga, JC Tiuseco as Antonio Luna, Lucho Ayala as Jose Alejandrino, Bryan Benedict as Juan Luna, Jak Roberto as Maximo Viola, and Rhen Escano as Isidra Monteverde.
Under the direction of King Marc Baco, Ilustrado is filmed using the sophisticated Arri Alexa camera, along with equally high-end lenses provided by CMB Film Services Inc. GMA Post Production, using up-to-date 3D visual effects technology, has recreated the grandeur of the European cities where Rizal lived and completed his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
The series’ theme song is composed and performed by Gloc9 featuring Lirah Bermudez with additional arrangement by Simon Tan.
Ilustrado, the first Bayaniserye on Philippine primetime, airs beginning Monday, October 20, 9:30pm right after Hiram na Alaala.
It will also air simultaneously on GMA Pinoy TV. To learn more about Ilustrado’s airing schedule, visit GMA International’s website, www.gmanetwork.com/international, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV, and follow GMA Pinoy TV on Twitter and Instagram via @gmapinoytv.