THE EVOLUTION OF FPJ’S ‘ANG PROBINSIYANO’
by Pablo A. Tariman
In one setting, one got to see the entire cast of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” who joined the media in celebrating its first anniversary as a prime time leading teleserye Wednesday night.
Coco Martin said the project was conceptualized out of his pure admiration for the late action king Fernando Poe, Jr. He was profuse with thanks as he turned to Susan Roces who not only approved the project but agreed to play the part of Kapitana Flora Borja, the feisty but gentle barangay captain.
Said Susan: “One year of this teleserye brought me closer to the characters, more than the actors who portrayed them. When I was on the set interacting with Coco (Martin), I really felt it that Cardo and Ador are my real life grandsons. Of course you have to feel that way to make your part credible. The story of this teleserye feels so real I felt like I was part of true-to-life happening unfolding on television. Funny but I already feel like a real sister of Police Chief Supt. (General) Delfin S. Borja played by Jaime Fabregas.”
Coco pointed out some episodes in the teleserye making their way in prime time news are purely accidental and unintentional. “Our writers do a lot of research and I always meet with the creative team to assess what we have. Then it happens that one episode closely resembles one operation of the anti-drug team combing bars and other entertainment places to monitor peddlers of prohibited drugs. Yes, our story should look real but we are also careful not to get in the way of government’s operations against drug dealers. We insert pointers during commercial breaks and I think they are highly appreciated especially in the provinces.”
What he learned from one year of the teleserye the actor shares with media friends.
The actor who is also creative consultant of the project looks back. “The consistent high rating of this teleserye is a product of hard work. It didn’t happen overnight. When it received nation-wide patronage, the more I became aware of our responsibility to our viewers. Because I believe we should not only entertain. More than anything else, we should also try very hard to inform. The government is trying very hard to put this country in order. For this reason, this teleserye is also a tribute to our policemen. They deserve our recognition for putting their lives in danger just to protect us. For the same reason that I believe we should also do our part. But we should not also forget that we have our rights which we should defend at all cost. After every episode there is regular assessment of how the show was received and how we can reach out to wider audiences.”
Thus the entry of two kids — Simon Ezekiel Pineda as Honorio ‘Onyok’ Amaba and McNeal “Awra” Briguela as Macario ‘Makmak’ Samonte, Jr.
Onyok turns 6 this month and was given advance birthday treat in the presscon.
Said the popular kid in the teleserye. “I already got an advance birthday gift from Kuya Cardo (Coco Martin) in the form of a Starwars saber sword. How did the teleserye change my life? For one, I learned how to act in this teleserye thanks to Kuya Cardo. Now I feel like a real actor. My birthday wish? Kapayapaan (peace).”
To which the media reacted with a buzz and a howl of amusement.
Noticing the uproar he created, Onyok pleaded, “Peace lang po.”
Present in the presscon were the bad men in the cast namely Eddie Garcia as Don Emilio Syquia, Arjo Atayde as Police S/Insp. Joaquin Tuazon and Albert Martinez as Tomas Tuazon.
“It feels good to be a bad man for one year,” said Albert Martinez. “To be bad, you need good people in the cast to provide the contrast. That is why I am grateful to my co-stars for a very fruitful collaboration.”
Added Arjo Atayde whose very expressive eyes define evil in his character: “You can only give your best if your co-actors are just as good. They motivate me to do good in every scene. Every acting I do is a product of a reaction from my co-stars. They are just so good you have to do your best as well.”
The high-rating teleserye is based on a 1997 film with the lead actor originally played by Fernando Poe, Jr.
Will there be other vintage FPJ films turning into teleseryes in the future?
“That will depend on Coco (Martin),” said the actor’s widow. “I believe he know the pulse of his audiences and he knows what past FPJ films will suit the new generation. For now, I am happy I to be part of a project originally conceived by my husband. One way or the other, it will keep his legacy alive.”
(Dreamscape Entertainment will mount FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano Isang Pamilya Tayo The Anniversary Concert on October 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum. Admission is free.)