Quick–when was the last time we ever saw and wholeheartedly appreciated anything historical on mainstream Philippine television, that is, before and after the films “El Presidente”, “Heneral Luna”, “Goyo”, and the like?
Never, we assume.
Our prime time soap operas have always been set in modern day period, with the usual tropes: “poor girl, rich boy” , cheating husbands/wives narrative, the dysfunctional family. Most recently, we’ve seen a steady rise in Filipino adaptations of some popular K-Dramas that have captured the hearts of Filipinos in their original format.
While there’s nothing completely wrong with that, something does seem to be missing in the types of media and entertainment being show on local television. Why can’t Philippine media giants, which are so keen on opening their doors to anything Hallyu (even the saeguk/historical drama kind), try their hand in producing historical entertainment?
Kapuso network and meme bank GMA is doing it now, and they’re showing that there is room for educational TV in our country.
Yes, we may have liberally poked fun at GMA due in part to their rather questionable edits and effects in some of their shows (we have not forgotten that nurse trying to do CPR), but they’re actually doing something right at a time where history is slowly being changed to suit the narrative of a misinformed audience.
Producing and creating shows that showcase an integral part of Philippine history is not something you see every single day on Philippine entertainment, which is why GMA’s newest show, “Maria Clara at Ibarra” is steadily gaining traction on social media. If you’re someone who hasn’t seen an episode but has seen the huge amount of positive comments about it on Twitter and Facebook, it makes the show look promising.
darna's exec producers can learn a lot from this one scene from maria clara at ibarra alone pic.twitter.com/gMuNLO22UG
— khaia 💫 (@aseulandia_) October 6, 2022
since maria clara at ibarra just had its first week, i just wanna say again that they're sick with this opening scene pic.twitter.com/IJHWI8PrHe
— khaia 💫 (@aseulandia_) October 7, 2022
“Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius
— Teacher (@LPTSese) October 7, 2022
The Philippines is a country with a rich history to tell. Everyone’s aware of that, but do they find fun in it? No, because for the longest time, history has been taught through memorization, which is boring and repetitive. What better way to connect the ordinary Filipinos to our rich backstories and lore than by creating substantial TV shows and films with historical themes to expose them to it?
Pwede naman pala kasi! (It can be done after all!)
It’s time for the Philippine media to set its sights on captivating Filipinos with a number of TV series that not only entertain, but also spread awareness about the real 411 on Philippine history (the kind that’s not generated by chismis lmao), and that begins by producing shows and films that are historical in nature. Professionals and historians are just waiting to get those verified, thoroughly-researched facts and information out for everyone to digest and appreciate–the Philippine entertainment industry just needs to get the ball rolling. We vastly underestimate the propensity of the general masses to appreciate history-based entertainment. We’ve seen the success of “El Presidente”, “Heneral Luna”, and “Goyo” so we know very well it can be done.
Hopefully our entertainment industry grows out of its comfort zone of never-ending rich vs poor or adultery tropes. Education is more effective when it’s visual in nature, so if we want more Filipinos to pay attention to our history, then the Philippine media scene should start producing more Maria Clara at Ibarras. /VT
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