by: Maan D’Asis Pamaran
August 25, 2015 (updated)
Fernando Poe Jr. would have been 76 last Aug. 20. It was quite apt, then, that ABS-CBN held a premiere showing of their latest teleserye project “Ang Probinsyano” on that day. The soap is based on one of Da King’s iconic films released back in 1997, as a touching tribute not only to his life’s work but also to the honest and hardworking men and women of the Philippine National Police.
There were several touching and significant elements at the event: The lobby of the Trinoma cinema had a red carpet, upon which walked the members of the cast headed by Miss Susan Roces, wife of the late FPJ. She says that she could not be happier with the choice of Coco Martin, who portrays the lead character in the telenovela. Senator Grace Poe, wearing the same powder blue hue as Miss Susan, also came to the premiere with her family.
Other guests at the event were the top brass of the PNP and big executives of ABS-CBN, along with other network stars who lent their support to the project. A mini exhibit was mounted, featuring the King of Philippine Cinema in his movie stills along with his family photos.
The telenovela starts off as a modernized retelling of the classic movie, with Coco as FPJ’s Ador. It follows his journey as a cadet of the Philippine National Police Academy, highlighting the rigors of their training while building bonds of brotherhood with their classmates. As he graduates, he faces the challenges that the upstanding officers of the law undergo, from breaking up small fights to standing up to their the moral code their uniforms represent. A plot twist after a covert operation goes awry, and new characters such as Kardo are introduced, with a special nod to the Special Action Forces.
Coco is very ably supported by a stellar cast that includes big names such as Albert Martinez, Jamie Fabregas, Agot Isidro, Bella Padilla and Maja Salvador. Arjo Atayde is a revelation as the soap’s antagonist and there are cameos to watch for that add flavor to the story. FPJ fans are sure to be delighted with Miss Susan’s role as Ador’s Lola Kap, which she plays in a delightfully endearing way that only she can.
The seasoned actress thanked those who were involved in the epic telenovela. “Ang aming pamilya ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa ABS-CBN at kay Coco sa pagbibigay parangal sa alaala ni FPJ.” She also notes that this project continues to support the advocacy of FPJ to honor the members of the PNP.
The series will premiere on ABS-CBN worldwide on The Filipino Channel in September.