By Spanish definition, ILUSTRADO refers to a special class of people who are educated or learned (enlightened ones). In the Philippines and during the Spanish colonial period, the term is given to the Filipino middle class who were educated in Spanish and exposed to Spanish liberal and European nationalist idealism.
Five of the most prominent Ilustrados in the late 19th century were Marcelo H. Del Pilar , Mariano Ponce, Graciano Lopez Jaena , Antonio Luna and Jose Rizal. Yes, before Rizal became our National Hero, he was an Illustrado.
Some people only know the stories of others tell them, but for the first time in Philippine television history, GMA News and Public Affairs brings one of the nation’s heroes to a new light – one that portrays him as human, someone people could understand, and most of all, love once again.
Ilustrado takes a step back and shows the man that embodied the positive qualities that Filipinos aim to be. The series showcases Jose Rizal’s journey from his childhood, his colourful travels in Europe, his adventures in love, and most of all – the sacrifices he made for the love of his country.
What makes this series interesting is the incorporation of a variety of fictional characters that assist in highlighting and bring more life into the original storyline, making it more beautiful than it already is; for what is the hero without a villain? Though they are fictional, they are just as real as humans can be: capable of hurting other people, but at the same time showing that even people born into bad circumstances are worthy of redemption. That it is in the human spirit to learn and change for the good.
Top billing this momentous series is one of the most promising actors today, Alden Richards as Jose Rizal, Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, together with Solenn Heussaff and Max Collins as her European lovers Nellie Bousted and Consuelo Ortiga. What gives the production an even higher quality is the presence of top–calibre actors including this year’s Cinemalaya’s best actress Eula Valdes playing the role of Rizal’s mother Teodora Alonzo, three-time Urian best actress Jaclyn Jose as Conchita Monteverde, Ricardo Cepeda as Francisco Mercado, Freddie Webb as Don Jose Alberto, Polo Ravales as Venchito Monteverde, Mailes Kanapi as Donya Teodora Formoso, among others.
Behind this production is the same team who made the award-winning series Katipunan, and is filmed using the sophisticated Arri Alexa camera, along with equally high-end lenses provided by CMB Film Services Inc. To achieve the grandeur of the 19th-century Europe that Jose Rizal knew and had adventures in, modern visual effects will be used to show the never forgotten decadence of the places where he completed his two most famous novels – the Noli Me Tangere, and El Filibusterismo.
Ilustrado, the very first bayani serye on Philippine primetime television is set to make history TONIGHT (October 20) on GMA Telebabad.
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