La Luna Sangre and Wildflower are among ABS-CBN's highest-rating shows that aired from 2017 to 2018.
The success of these two shows is evident based on the ratings they registered in their respective timeslots, aside from the fact that the shows often trended on social media.
This is the reason why PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) used these two Kapamilya shows as case studies for this special report titled Anatomy of a Teleserye.
The first part of this special report discussed how these shows were conceptualized and executed.
This part reveals interesting trivia about these two shows.
Check out these little-known facts about these shows, as disclosed to PEP.ph by the show's respective business unit heads, Lourdes De Guzman-Tanwangco and Ruel Santos Bayani, who helmed the conceptualization and execution of their respective shows.
LA LUNA SANGRE. This fantasy-themed series served as the third installment to ABS-CBN's Lobo trilogy, following the success of the latter's sequel, Imortal, aired in 2010.
It was one of the most anticipated shows in 2017 since it top-billed the team-up of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, one of the prime love teams of the Kapamilya Network.
Aired from June 20, 2017 to March 2, 2018, La Luna Sangre follows the love story of Malia (Kathryn) and Tristan (Daniel), and their battle to save everyone from the wrath of supreme vampire Sandrino (Richard Gutierrez).
How did the staff convince Richard Gutierrez to portray a kontrabida for the first time?
What were Kathryn and Daniel's struggles while doing the show?
Here are five behind-the-scenes trivia about the show, as revealed by Star Creatives business unit head Lourdes De Guzman-Tanwangco:
1. The third installment of Lobo was really not intended anymore for Angel Locsin.
According to Tanwangco, La Luna Sangre was already conceptualized for a young couple. For this reason, Angel Locsin was not chosen to top-bill the third installment.
Angel was the lead actress of the trilogy's first two installments: Lobo (2008) and Imortal (2010).
"Yung kwento kasi, siyempre nauuna yung kwento at kahit alam mong KathNiel yan or whoever love team who will play the characters, hindi talaga siya for Angel Locsin na.
"Yung bida, kumbaga the story is for one young couple. So si Angel, hindi na talaga pang third installment."
This is the reason why the love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla were handpicked to do the series.
However, Angel still appeared in the third installment, reprising her Imortal role as Lia, and later, as Jacintha Magsaysay.
Tanwangco said about Angel's short stint in the series, "Ganun lang siya talaga kaiksi.
"So maybe, yung mga tao, akala nila, finill in lang namin tapos bigla lang namin tinanggal, pero ganun lang kasi talaga ka-short yung stint ng character."
Angel Locsin, the lead actress of Lobo (2008) and Imortal (2010), also had a special role in its third installment La Luna Sangre as Jacintha Magsaysay.
2. KathNiel was supposed to do La Luna Sangre first before Pangako Sa 'Yo.
This was revealed by Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla during the June 2017 press conference of La Luna Sangre.
According to Tanwangco, it has been three years since the third installment of Lobo was conceptualized.
"Matagal na namin plano yun, e. Matagal na matagal na. So na-award siya sa KathNiel. Three years ago na yung konsepto."
However, the executives of Star Creatives decided to let Kathryn and Daniel star first in the remake of Pangako Sa 'Yo.
Tanwangco reasoned out, "We felt na ang KathNiel, during that time, kailangan ng mas mature role, so why not do Pangako Sa 'Yo first before this Sangre."
Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla were already tapped to do La Luna Sangre when ABS-CBN decided to cast them in the remake of Pangako Sa 'Yo in 2015.
3. Richard Gutierrez's mom and manager Anabelle Rama initially rejected the role of Sandrino.
In this special report's first part, it was discussed how Star Creatives came up with the idea of casting Richard Gutierrez in the role of Sandrino.
When the creatives of La Luna Sangre pitched the idea of having Richard in the show, Tanwangco did not expect that he will accept the role mainly because it's a kontrabida role.
"Siyempre ako, ine-expect namin hindi 'yan, medyo kontrabida, di ba.
"Pero kasi, kami naman, kapag gumawa ng kontrabida, it's always four-dimensional, hindi siya parang cardboard na all out masama. Lagi siyang may redemption sa dulo, may good heart 'yan na nagiging bad.
"So when I told Tita Malou, nagulat ako, sabi niya, 'Sige pitch niyo.' Apparently, ano na pala, may gagawin din sanang MMK, parang nakausap niya si Tita Annabelle. So parang open si Richard during that time."
"So ayun, we sent the character description kay Tita Annabelle. Si Tita Annabelle, binasa niya siguro, kontrabida. Ang sinabi sa kanya ng talent coordinator namin, kontrabida. So tinanggihan ni Tita Annabelle."
However, Richard expressed his interest in the role, and his management later asked for a detailed character description.
"The detailed character description was sent to Richard. So parang nabasa ni Richard.
"So tinawagan niya si Tita Annabelle, parang sabi niya gusto niya.
"So bumalik si Tita Annabelle sa amin, natuwa kaming lahat, sabi nga daw ni Richard sa kanya na gusto niya yung character.
"So nag-negotiate, ayun, nagustuhan ni Richard. Happing-happy kami."
Looking back at the show's journey with Richard, the executives of Star Creatives are very happy with him.
"Bagay sa kanya. Tapos we are very happy sa kanya, sa performance niya, siya being a professional actor, kasi hand-to-mouth yung show, marami siyang difficulties, concerns, di ba? Dahil hand-to-mouth, e.
"Tapos siguro, di ba, nagustuhan niya talaga yung character, very challenging for him, so wala siyang... naging masunurin siya sa amin.
"Nagtatanong siya pero pag in-explain mo sa kanya, pinagkatiwalaan niya kami."
Richard Gutierrez took on a kontrabida role for the first time in La Luna Sangre as Sandrino. This was the death scene of Richard in the series on its final episode.
4. Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber's love story was supposed to come in earlier in the story.
However, at that time, the MayWard love team was busy with their first movie Loving In Tandem.
Maymay already appeared in La Luna Sangre without Edward.
Tanwangco disclosed, "Kasi si Edward, hindi niya pa kayang sumegue.
"E, di ba, nagmovie muna sila. So medyo na-delay yung pasok nila sa amin.
"Dapat kasi, medyo early pa yung exposure nila kaya lang, nagmovie."
At that time, the Star Creatives executives considered that Maymay and Edward were still newbies in the industry.
In January 2018, Edward finally appeared in the show as one of the bodyguards of Maymay's character.
Edward Barber and Maymay Entrata played the characters of Collin and Apple in La Luna Sangre.
5. There was one taping that had to be packed up due to Kathryn Bernardo's allergies.
At that time, Kathryn was wearing a wig when her character Malia was pretending to be a guy named Miyo.
Tanwangco recalled, "Nag-a-allergy, kasi ikaw ba naman, bente-kwatro oras, nakasuot yun tapos dinidikit yun.
"So ilang beses nagpapalit yun kasi hindi pwedeng kapag napawisan na, ididikit mo ulit, may ilang number of shooting days mo lang siya magagamit.
"May time pa na nag-allergy na siya talaga, kailangan namin i-pack up yung taping kasi nagkaroon siya ng rashes sa mukha.
"Kasi, di ba, may patilya na kumakapit tapos umano dito [sa forehead].
"They sent me a photo niya sa Viber, naku kailangan niya magpagaling so may isang beses nag-pack up kami ng taping. So umisip kami ng paraan pano ba hindi ididikit yun."
Despite these struggles, the business unit head of Star Creatives commended Kathryn for doing a good job in this offbeat role.
"Favorite ko si Miyo, gusto kong i-commend si Kath doon kasi ang galing galing niyang naportray si Miyo. Challenging yun para sa kanya.
"Marami akong favorite scenes ni Miyo kasi, di ba, si Kathryn, babaeng-babae, so we had to tell Kathryn na, 'Kathryn, kailangang tanggalin lahat 'yan.'
"Kinilayan namin siya, makapal na kilay, tapos yung sacrifice niya doon kasi nakawig siya doon."
Meanwhile, for Daniel's part, Tanwangco revealed that he doesn't ask for doubles for his stunts.
"Si DJ, magaling na action star. Hindi siya nagpapa-double, e.
"Magaling siyang sumipa, magaling siyang tumalon. Hindi kami nahirapan sa kanya.
"Natural, so lahat ng eksena niyang action, kita mo maganda."
Kathryn Bernardo (left) sported a boyish look when her character disguised as a guy named Miyo.
WILDFLOWER. This drama series is one of ABS-CBN's hit shows in 2017. It became popular for its viral memes, trending episodes and unforgettable lines that became part of pop culture.
The show allowed the Kapamilya Network to regain its audience in the pre-prime-time slot for teleseryes, after a game show temporarily took over the slot for several months.
It was also considered as one of the Network's longest running-series. It aired for 52 weeks (one year) from February 15, 2017 to February 9, 2018.
The story revolved around a woman named Lily (Maja Salvador) and her journey of exacting revenge on the Ardientes for the hardships they inflicted on her.
How was Maja Salvador chosen to play the lead role in Wildflower?
What were the risks taken by the production took to pull off a politically themed show?
These questions were answered by RSB Drama Unit's business unit head Ruel Santos Bayani:
1. Maja Salvador was still part of FPJ's Ang Probinsyano during the conceptualization of the show.
Without naming names, Bayani admitted that the production also considered getting other actresses to bring life to Lily Cruz.
"In fact, kapag na-trace mo, nagkaroon kasi ng situation wherein Maja left Probinsyano.
"It was only because she became available na napunta sa kanya yung show. But when it was being conceptualized, hindi pa siya available noon."
When Maja became available, the producers pitched this concept to her.
Bayani recalled, "I bumped into her in a restaurant, and I said if you're free, can we pitch something to you. Wala siyang ka-ide-idea.
"When we pitched it to her, nagbago yung kulay ng mukha niya, kasi hindi siya makapaniwala na ganoon kaganda yung offer, kasi siyempre hindi pa niya alam, e.
"So from the get-go, wala na, hindi na nagkaroon ng pilitan. They accepted right away and nagstart na kami.
"So I believe this is really meant for her. It was really meant for her and true enough, hindi ko na ma-imagine ngayon kung ibang tao pa ang gumanap noon."
Bayani revealed that Maja contributed a lot of ideas while doing the show.
"She's a very intuitive, she's a very insightful actress. Hindi siya tipong basta na lang sumusunod ng hindi niya kina-clarify or may importanteng conflict na hindi nare-resolve. And I like that in actors, e.
"Sa akin kasi, yung actor na nagsasabing susundin lang niya kung ano yung nabasa niya, pera lang talaga ang habol noon, e. Pero yung katulad ni Maja, alam mong seryoso siya sa trabaho niya at I think masasabi nating ang character na Ivy Aguas-Lily Cruz is really her kasi ang dami na niyang nai-input doon na sarili lang niya."
After leaving FPJ's Ang Probinsyano in late 2016, Maja Salvador took on a lead role in Wildflower as Lily Cruz.
2. Danita Paner was supposed to portray the role of Natalie.
In a previous report, Danita revealed that she turned down the role of Natalie because for her, it was "sobrang sexy."
She was later replaced by Roxanne Barcelo, who at that time, had just returned to the Kapamilya Network.
Bayani said that even before the storycon, Danita already left the production.
"Bago mag-story con, she was already replaced. So wala na siya sa storycon, e. She was replaced by Roxanne."
In the end, the producers and even viewers were very happy with Roxanne's performance.
Bayani said, "I'm sure you will agree with me na it was a good decision also. But that is life, e. Ganoon naman ang buhay sa production, di ba."
The business unit head has seen the growth of Roxanne, since he helmed her first teleserye, the 2002 weekly series Kahit Kailan.
"Hindi ko rin akalain na ganito na pala kalayo yung kanyang naging growth as an actress, from that time."
Roxanne Barcelo earned praises for her portrayal of Natalie in Wildflower.
3. Wildflower's business unit head believes that the black wedding gown will remain iconic in the history of teleseryes.
One of the most iconic scenes in Wildflower was its Wildflower Wildest Wedding where Ivy Aguas surprised everyone by wearing a black wedding gown on her wedding with Arnaldo (RK Bagatsing).
Of this, Bayani said, "Siyempre the black gown was iconic kasi nga, sinong makakaisip, sinong gagawa noon sa isang napakalaking eksena.
"Hindi man lang alam ng pamilya Ardiente na naka-black pala siya pagbukas ng pinto. Siyempre, yun nga yung nakakatawa doon. Nagulat na lang sila, 'Oh My God!'"
Bayani, who also directed ABS-CBN's grand teleseryes like Iisa Pa Lamang and Tayong Dalawa, believes that the wedding scene has earned its place in the history of Kapamilya teleseryes.
"It's a scene I'll never never forget kasi tatatak 'yan, not just this year but in the years to come. Probably in the history of teleseryes, di ba, or the history of ABS-CBN drama programs.
"Yung black gown kasi, ang lakas talaga ng dating. Ang lakas, bagay kay Maja, bagay sa show, bagay sa mangyayaring revelation. It wasn't just her entrance, e. It was everything that happened in that wedding."
Maja Salvador and RK Bagatsing's Wildest Wedding became one of the most iconic scenes in the show.
4. Producers deliberately planned the grand revelations in Wildflower.
One of the most noticeable developments of Wildflower is its use of colors to match every season: from green to white to black to gold to red.
In fact, Bayani admitted that there was a time they ran out of ideas on which color to use since the show wasn't really intended to run for a year.
Bayani explained, "Yes, they were all planned. Napansin mo, we saved red for last, para may impact. We started with green.
"Sa totoo lang, hindi ko naman ide-deny na hindi naman kami dapat ganito tatagal. So nangarag kami dahil at some point, nauubusan na kami ng kulay.
"So sabi namin, ano pa, ano pa bang natitira? Kasi nga hindi naman talaga intention na mag-one year siya."
The show also has the most number of grand entrances—from the flamingo dance number of Ivy, to the comeback of Camia, to the revelation that Lily Cruz is alive.
"Marami 'yan, yung mga puro small grand entrances. If you think about it, we have the most number of grand entrances kasi laging may 'diyaran,' laging may gulat na ganun."
This photo shows the grand reveal that Ivy Aguas is still alive after being buried alive by the Ardientes. Ivy also revealed her real identity, that she is the missing Lily Cruz. It was where she blurted out the lines, "Black is out, gold is in, and just like gold, I am indestructible!"
5. The political aspect of Wildflower was one of the risks the creators took during the production of the show.
Bayani admitted that during the show's conceptualization phase, he and the creators were initially scared of using politics as the plot's milieu."
At that time, noong una natatakot pa kasi yung politics. But I knew that hindi magwo-work yung kwento without that backdrop. So pinanindigan na lang yun.
"I mean, aminin na natin, masyadong maingay ang politics ngayon. Kung maduduwag ka, sasabihin mo agad, 'Naku, huwag na nga, baka mapahamak pa tayo.'
"Hindi naman kami napahamak. Natapos naman ang isang taon na wala namang nagalit sa amin sa gobyerno."
It was a risk worth taking since they believed that using this setting would tell the story of Lily more effectively.
He continued, "Because the backdrop of politics, yung politics sa Ardiente, hindi kayang ikwento yung kwento ni Lily nang hindi ganun ang nangyayari sa bayan na yun.
"So it's one of those many decisions and many risks that we took na nag-pay off."
Aside from politics, the show also tackled women empowerment, which Bayani takes pride in.
This advocacy was depicted through the characters of Lily, Camia (Sunshine Cruz), Emilia (Aiko Melendez), Natalie (Roxanne), Anna (Yen Santos), and Helena (Zsa Zsa Padilla).
"What I'm proudest about [the show] is women empowerment, because we're not talking about one empowered woman. We're talking about several empowered women.
"How many are they, I mean they're like six! Marami yun for a normal show, for them to be having their own stories.
"For the creative team to be able to develop the other relationships and other characters and still, echo the same women empowerment, the same advocacy na yun, I'm proud of that, I'm proud na naitawid namin."
Bayani admitted that it was not easy creating stories for each of the characters in the show, especially since Wildflower features a big ensemble.
"Ang isa pa sigurong I'm proudest about is may global trend, kasi when you have a story, yung buong ensemble, fully-explored, nabibigyan mo sila ng tigi-tigisang stories, hindi naman yun yung tipikal na template natin.
"Usually, noong araw, noong mga Judy Ann [Santos]-Claudine [Barretto] days, it's either them or yung triangle nila tapos doon umiikot.
"But now, the trend is you have a big cast, lahat sila may kwento, lahat sila sabay sabay na may nangyayari, na-achieve namin 'yon sa Wildflower. Gaano karaming characters yun.
"Hindi mo pwedeng sabihing walang nangyari kay Christian Vasquez, kay Wendell Ramos, kay Sunshine, kay Aiko, walang nangyaring iba kay Yen Santos, kay Vin, kay RK, di ba? So lahat sila, umaandar.
"Hindi rin siya madali. Pag pinapanood mo, madali. Pero hindi siya madali. So ayun, napa-proud ako for my team dahil na-achieve namin yun together."
The main cast of Wildflower: (standing) Joseph Marco, Sunshine Cruz, Aiko Melendez, Wendell Ramos
(seated) Vin Abrenica, Maja Salvador, Tirso Cruz III, RK Bagatsing