Darna Mania begins on GMA-7

Marian Rivera (left) takes flight as Darna through a harness used during the grand press conference of her new show. In the TV special Darna Mania: the Making of Darna, it was revealed that it takes about two to four hours to put on the prosthetics of Kobra (Paolo Contis) and Valentina (Iwa Moto).

In GMA-7's Darna Mania: The Making of Darna, Dominic Zapanta, the show's director explained that the focus of the 2009 TV series in not the special effects nor the fight scenes, but the story of Narda's life.

"Pamilyar sila sa itsura ni Darna, pamilyar sila sa kapangyarihan ni Darna, pero wala talagang nakakakilala kay Narda," he pointed out during the TV special that was aired last Sunday, August 9.

"We wanted to tell the story of the woman behind the superhero. Mga sakripisyo na kailangang gawin ng isang ordinaryong babae para maging superhero yung mga kailangan niya i-give up," he added.

Direk Dominic revealed that it took them two years to finalize everything for the 2009 version of the Mars Ravelo classic.

He also explained that the story will touch the human side of Darna, exploring how the orphan lived a double life. The telefantasya would also focus on the love story between Narda and her childhood sweetheart Eduardo (played by Mark Anthony Fernandez). It will show how things became complicated when Narda's friend, Valentina (played Iwa Moto), discovers that she also has feelings for Eduardo too.

Narda will learn that she is the anointed one chosen to save the world from evil.

At first Narda declines. She believes that a crippled woman such as herself is no position to take on such a huge responsibility. Her refusal, however, has consequences.

Evil forces start to terrorize their town. Narda then finally decides to accept her fate and destiny as the new Darna.

Marian Rivera, the actress who play the role of Darna and Narda said that it's an honor to play "the most desired female role in the history of Philippine Television.

"Siguro kahit sinong babae papangaraping maging si Darna," said Marian.

This is the second Mars Ravelo character that Marian has been handpicked to portray. In 2008, Marian played the role of the mermaid Dyesebel with Dingdong Dantes as her leading man.

The first episode of Darna was aired last night, August 10, 2009. The show also features the return of the other four villains originally created by Mars Ravelo.

Paolo Contis is cast as Kobra, the half-man, half-cobra creature that lives in a cave. He tricks Consuelo (Janice de Belen) into giving him a sacrifice in exchange for a child. Her baby turns out to be a girl who is born with snakes living on her head. She grows up to be Valentina, the childhood friend of Narda at Eduardo.

Three to four persons are needed to create the elaborate costumes of Kobra and Valentina. In fact, it takes about two to four to put on the prosthetics of the actors.

Viewers of the pilot episode were also able to meet the Tagapangalaga ng Bato (portrayed by Angel Aquino). She was revealed to be Darna before the responsibility was turned over to Narda.

The villains in the story were already shown wrecking havoc on the town. Babaeng Lawin (Ehra Madrigal) has the power to control birds and possesses a killer sound. Ang Babaeng Tuod (Francine Prieto) has the power to control plants and she can grow five times her original size. The red-colored Babaeng Linta (Maggie Wilson) has immense strength and can assume the identity of any person that she touches.

Ang Babaeng Impakta (Nadine Samonte) has an evil twin Impy that she carries on her back.

Now that Narda has been born, follow the story of her life on Darna, airing weeknights on GMA-7 right after 24 Oras.

Based on overnight ratings of AGB Nielsen Philippines among Mega Manila households, the pilot episode of Darna last night, August 10, reached 44.1 percent.






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