Suzette Doctolero reveals how she conceptualized GMA-7 telefantasya Encantadia

IMAGE Encantadia 2005 (GMA-7)

Suzette Doctolero reveals that Encantadia's concept came from the Filipino myth about Maria Makiling. The concept then evolved to feature four lead characters called Sang'gres, played by (L-R) Diana Zubiri, Karylle, Sunshine Dizon, and Iza Calzado.


After 14 years, GMA-7 creative writer Suzette Doctolero revealed how she conceptualized the fantasy series, Encantadia (2005).

Suzette is the concept creator of the Kapuso telefantasya, which enjoyed a phenomenal run from May 2005 to April 2006. It was also her first headwriting job.

In 2016, it was given a requel ("remake + sequel"). The new version was a retelling of the 2005 version's first chapter with added elements and events.

In GMA-7 creative manager RJ Nuevas' scriptwriting lesson vlog on YouTube, Suzette told the story behind Encantadia's conception.

According to her, the idea for Encantadia came during a summit meeting of GMA-7 writers in Tagaytay City.

It was also where the Kapuso's first telefantasya, Mulawin, was first conceptualized.

She narrated, "Ang binigay na peg sa akin, 'Gawa ka ng diwata stories, parang Maria Makiling, yun lang ang peg."

In Filipino mythology, Maria Makiling is a beautiful goddess living in Mount Makiling.

She continued, "Kasabay ito ng Mulawin na ang nauna nating naisip na title ay 'Alwina.' Si Joseph Balboa [GMA writer] ang nakaisip noon na parang lumilipad, babaeng ibon.

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"'Tapos sabi natin, 'Alwina' ang title pero yun na ang naging pangalan, noong napunta kay Don Michael [Perez, Mulawin headwriter], yun na ang naging pangalan."

RJ explained that in story ideas, Encantadia falls under the commissioned work category, given that there were pegs and parameters set for the project.

He then asked Suzette: how did the Maria Makiling peg evolve into the kingdom of Encantadia?

"Ito yung first headwriting job ko sa GMA at sa gabi pa, parang big deal siyempre yung primetime.

"So sabi ko, anong klaseng headwriter ang gusto kong maging? Kailangan meron akong ...alam mo yun...branding as a writer!

"Pero ito, sinabi ko na matutuwa ba ako na Maria Makiling lang na, siyempre, ang konsepto naman ng diwata ay nakaputing costume na long flowing hair na naglalakad tapos mawawala sa may puno, paglabas isa na siyang usa.

"So sabi ko, parang ang boring naman no'n. So doon na pumasok yung, 'What if ang mga diwata pala ay mga warrior women? Sila ay strong women.'

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"Nandoon pa rin ako, bumabalik pa rin ako sa maka-babaeng theme.

"'Tapos ayun, isinubmit yung konsepto ng Encantadia tungkol sa magkakapatid na babae."

Originally, the show only had three sisters, but it was GMA-7 executive Annette Gozon-Valdes who suggested having four lead characters in the telefantasya.

That was when the four elements became central to the story.

Suzette added, "Kinuha ko 'yan doon sa tubig, apoy, hangin, lupa, four elements plus yung horoscope.

"So lahat ng personalities nito, nandoon. Kaya distinct yung character ng apat kasi given na 'yan mula sa horoscope.

"Ito yung fire sign, water sign, air sign. Madali siyang gawin kasi fantasy siya, ikaw gagawa ng sarili mong rules."

The writer was also excited by the freedom given to her to create a new world, since she was writing for a fantasy-themed show.

"'Pag nagsulat ka, lalo na pag fantasy, nagke-create ng isang mundo, mundo ng mga diwata.

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"Definitely, ibang-iba, hindi tao ang kanilang paniniwala sa paano sila kumain, ano ang kanilang political o socio-economic system.

"Paano sila makipag-siping, paano sila mamatay, paano sila maglibing. Nagke-create ka talaga ng sarili mong mundo na ibang iba sa mundo ng mga tao na totoo, kasi yun ang hinihingi ng fantasy, e. Yung imagination."

CRYING OVER FIRST EPISODE

Seeing Encantadia 2005's lead stars, Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, Karylle, and Diana Zubiri, gave Suzette goosebumps.

She reasoned out, "Pag pumupunta ako sa set, naa-amaze ako kasi in character sila.

"In fact noong unang punta ko doon na naka-costume sila, ang tingin ko hindi si Iza Calzado, hindi si Karylle, hindi si Sunshine hindi si Diana, ang tingin ko sa kanila, yung mga character nila at amazed na amazed ako."

In fact, when she watched the pilot episode of Encantadia, Suzette was emotional.

"Noong first time ko ngang napanuod yung Encantadia, as in yung first episode, umiyak talaga ako.

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"Di ba, kapag nagsusulat ka, para kang nanganganak, at pag ipinanganak mo na, maiiyak ka talaga.

"Naiyak talaga ako kasi first headwriting ko sa primetime at na-amaze din naman ako. Para talaga siyang ibang mundo."

Here is the full video of Suzette and RJ's conversation about Encantadia:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Enjoys life by binge-watching pinoy teleseryes.


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