DINGDONG Dantes has reason to be proud of his new show, the local adaptation of the hit Koreanovela “Descendants of the Sun”. The pilot episode was shown to the press last Thursday night and it’s obvious that GMA-7 left no stone unturned to make it truly worth watching. The big opening sequence shows Dingdong as Capt. Lucas Manalo aka Big Boss rescuing his dad (Roi Vinzon) who was kidnapped by rebels led by Neil Ryan Sese.
He and his co-soldiers invaded the lair of the rebels and successfully saved his dad. The sequence ended with a series of spectacular explosions. The pilot episode also showed the first meeting of Dingdong with Jennylyn Mercado as Maxine or Doc Beauty in a mall where Jen rescued a man who’s dying from choking.
We are sure viewers who’ve seen the original version won’t be disappointed with this big-budget adaptation, directed by Dominic Zapata. “I’m a fan of the original ‘Descendants’, kami ni Direk Dom,” says Dong. “We both watched it again to refresh us as we want to make sure na hindi kami mapapahiya sa mga nakapanood noon with our own version.”
Do they feel any pressure now that their own take is about to be shown on February 10? “Hindi namin iniisip ang pressure. Basta foremost in our minds, mapaganda namin ang aming trabaho. GMA has assembled a very good cast at lahat kami, nagtutulung-tulong, along with the staff and crew, to make sure we’ll come up with a very good show na bawat episode, hindi bibitiwan ng mga manonood.”
What changes did they make from the original Koreanovela? “Walang masyado,” says Direk Dominic Zapata. “We just made some minor changes to make the story more Pinoy. But when it comes to the craft, we made sure we made no compromises para masiguradong it will be of top quality, so we can meet the expectations not only local viewers who loved the original show but even the Koreans themselves kung sakaling panoorin nila ito.”
Supporting Dong and Jen in the show are Rocco Nacino as Sgt. Diego Ramos or Wolf, who Dong considers as his personal friend as they’re now both reservists in the Philippine Navy, and Jasmine Curtis Smith as Capt. Moira Defensor, Rocco’s ex-girlfriend in the story who he broke up with upon orders of her dad, Ricardo Cepeda as Gen. Carlos Defensor.
Other members of the military team are Antonio Aquitania as Col. Bienvenido Garcia, Lucho Ayala as Sgt. Allen Eugenio or Snoopy, Jon Lucas as Sgt. Benjo Tamayo or Harry Potter, Paul Salas as former thief Marty and Prince Clemente as Sgt. Randy or Piccolo. The rebels include Ian Ignacio as Greg Abad, Rich Asuncion as Janet Pagsisihan and Carlo Gonzales as Val.
The medical team includes Pancho Magno as Dr. Daniel Spencer, Renz Fernandez as Dr. Earl Jimeno, Andre Paras as Dr. Ralph Vergara, Chariz Solomon as Nurse Emma, Nicole Donesa as Nurse Via, Reese Tuazon as Dr. Sandra Delgado, Jenzel Angeles as Nurse Hazel and Bobby Andrews as Dr. Eric Feliciano.
Also in the cast are Tonton Gutierrez as Gen. Cruz, Sophie Albert as Dr. Liza, Kim Rodriguez as Denis, Addy Raj as Alif Fayad, Ronnie Henares as Manager Ed, Gabby Eigenmann as Sen. Sintallan, Marina Benipayo as Jennylyn’s mother and Hailey Mendez as Dong’s sister.