Luna Blanca

Luna Blanca is a 2012 Philippine television drama fantasy series broadcast by GMA Network. The series is the sequel of the 2008 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 and worldwide on May 23, 2012 on GMA Pinoy TV. 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
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 characters

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

Overview

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 [intend to scare the children]. Lolo Igme, Rowena's grandfather portrayed by Dante Rivero [which 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 revealed to be the last descendant of Luna Mystika, one thing she doesn't believe, because for her, the engkantos and other supernatural creatures are just myth or mere products of imagination. Not until she encountered a black engkanto [a creature in the form of black smoke][6] in the forest and 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, aside from Blanca, Luna also has a mystical twin shadow,[7] the same eerie creature first unveiled in Luna Mystika.

Production

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 for having directed top-rated shows like T.G.I.S., Mulawin, Captain Barbell, Darna, Ako si Kim Samsoon, LaLola, Diva and Grazilda.[13]

Themes

Luna Blanca consists of three prominent themes: love, family and mysticism. On the first chapter of the series, the story focused more on family and mysticism. The first three episodes tackled the ancestry of Rowena, her connection to Luna and Celestina, the mystery behind the sudden lost of her parents [which her grandfather blaming it to the engkantos], she, being victim of sexual assault of a supernatural being [black engkanto], and the appearance of Luna's mystical shadow.[14] Luna's mysterious persona doesn't reveal yet until the first chapter ended. However, the story eventually developed into realistic drama, tackled the sufferings of Rowena's family, on raising her twins single-handedly,[15] Luna's suffering because of discrimination and her quest in conquering her mother's love, care and acceptance,[16] Lolo Igme's tragic death,[17] the sisters huge love for each other despite their physical differences and the separation of the two. Camille Prats, one of the main characters in the series, explained that...

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 entered their teenage-adulthood years. The character Joaquin/Aki which played by Kristofer Martin and Mark Herras in the second and third book, respectively, served as the love interest [as well as the "intricator"] of Luna and Blanca. Mysticism takes place when Luna's persona finally unveiled; the return of Luna's twin shadow Annie;[19] Devolas in human form, Diego enters the picture;[20] and the transformation of Luna from being black to fair-skinned woman.[21]

Casting

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

Chosen to play the lead roles in the first generation are child stars, Jillian Ward as Luna and Mona Louise Rey as Blanca. The two child actresses gained their popularity through 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; said that Ward reminds her of Niño Muhlach [mid-70's popular child star], for being witty, jolly and restless, while Rey, on the other hand is sweet, ladylike and reserved type, and flashes a wholesome personality on and off camera.[23]

Portraying the teen characters in the second generation are Barbie Forteza as Blanca and Bea Binene as Luna. Forteza said in one of her interviews that she finds her role very challenging. According to her... "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 ruggish 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 gets to express herself more than just following the script to the letter. On the other hand, Binene finds the acting task three or four times gruelling than her past projects. Aside from the dramatic acting it requires, she has to endure that itchy, hot feeling while her face and body are heavily covered with dark make-up. It usually took two hours for her fair complexion to turn dark as soot. They have to re-touch [make-ups] 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]

Reception

Ratings

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 response

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]

References

  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. http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/entertainment/showbiz-news/37240-alessandra-junks-torrid-kissing
  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
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