GMA-7 pairs up the former Bad Boy of Philippine movies Robin Padilla and the telefantasya queen Angel Locsin in the adventure-love story Asian Treasures.
Dubbed as the first blast of the Kapuso First Quarter Storm, this epic series is directed by Eric Quizon and is set to premiere on January 15.
Asian Treasures is the most ambitious and most expensive show of GMA-7 to date. This action-packed series involves a quest for hidden treasures that date back to pre-colonial Philippines.
It is said that these treasures were gathered from different parts of Asia by 10 Bornean datus who formed a city in a place known as Itim na Ginto (Black Gold). The secret location of these treasures has been passed on among the descendants of two competing groups of Filipinos. The Kapatirang Kumakalinga ng Kayamanan (KKK) wants to protect the treasures while the Sugo ni Datu Makatunaw (Sudama) only want to use the treasures for their own selfish reasons.
As one of the descendants of the KKK, Gabriela (Angel) is an iron-willed young lass who is well-trained in the field of combat for the all-important task of carrying on the mission of her ancestors.
In an unlikely turn of events, Gabriela meets the auto mechanic-stuntman Elias (Robin), who will be her companion in this special mission. Together, they will travel to different countries of Asia in search of the 10 powerful amulets and clues leading to the secret location of the Asian Treasures.
Elias and Gabriela meet friends and foes as they face peril after peril in their search of the much-coveted Asian Treasures. Prof. Wakan U. Matadtu (Eddie Garcia), a history professor, will serve as guide for the two treasure hunters. Ingrid (Diana Zubiri) is a shooting expert who is attracted to Elias.
Two-time Best Actor Marvin Agustin plays the role of Hector, Gabriela's ex-boyfriend who wants to obtain the treasure for his own benefit. Marvin was named as Best Actor during the 2005 Metro Manila Film Fest and during the 2006 Luna Awards.
Veteran actor Jaime Fabregas is Gomburza, a mysterious priest who happens to be an expert on martial arts. Meanwhile, Joonee Gamboa is Don Julian, the grandfather and mentor of Gabriela.
Completing the cast of Asian Treasures are Marky Cielo (Mateo), Glaiza De Castro (Clara), Caridad Sanchez (Miranda), Ronaldo Valdez (Ulysses) and Rommel Padilla (Leo). Comebacking star Gio Alvarez (Cedric), Margaret Wilson (Via), Ella V. (Lady Grace), and Francis Magindayao (Pogi) are also in the stellar lineup.
MARTIAL ARTS EXHIBITION. During the January 7 press conference at the Metro Bar in West Avenue, Quezon City, Robin Padilla says that Filipinos can view various forms of martial arts in Asian Treasures: "Lahat po ng martial arts mapapanood niyo, hindi lang muay thai. Nagkataon lang na ako ang Chairman ng Muay Thai sa Pilipinas kaya Muay Thai yung pino-promote namin. Nandito po ang wushu, nandito po ang arnis. Nandyan ang jujitsu, wrestling, kumpleto po."
Robin is currently the Chairman of the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines, with Roberto Valdez as President.
Angel Locsin, one of GMA-7's most bankable stars, is very thankful for this new project. She told the press in attendance that night: "Ang laki po ng pasasalamat ko po sa GMA family ko po. Kay Tita Wilma Galvante. Maraming maraming salamat po sa pagtitiwala niyo ulit sa akin. Sa lahat po ng bumubuo ng Asian Treasures dahil pinagkatiwalaan niyo pong ibigay sa akin ‘tong napakalaking, napakaganda at napakamahal na proyekto.
"Salamat dahil pinagkatiwalaan niyo ako na kaya kong gawin yung pinapagawa ni Kuya Binoe. Nagpapasalamat din po ako kay Kuya Binoe [Robin's nickname] dahil pinili niya ako na maging leading lady. Marami po akong natutunan na magagamit ko sa totoong buhay (chuckles)."
When PEP asked Robin to describe Angel as a muay thai student, the "instructor" jokingly said, "Babaeng Robin to!"
He continued: "Ang mga fight scene iba. Walang inaatrasan to, wala. Tinuturing niya akong instructor, master niya ako sa martial arts."
Acting veteran Eddie Garcia also spoke about his relationship with fellow cast members: "It was a very pleasant working relationship. The cast, they're all professionals. They're easy to work with. Most of them, I've worked with in the past. So there is no problem." He is also quite confident about this project. "The concept is very good [with] a very well written script. I think its gonna click."
Asian Treasures will premiere on Monday, January 15, right after 24 Oras.