Feature: Luna Blanca: A Challenge of Epic Proportion
The casts of Luna Blanca are the cutest of all interviews. Child stars dominated the Bacolod press conference held at Mely’s Garden last Friday.Leveling with kids is extra difficult but we saw how "dalaga" Jillian Ward (the Child Luna) and Mona Louise Rey (the Child Blanca) were on national television. What a fascination these two before the local press, too.
The press interview of Luna Blanca cast was held at Mely’s Garden last Friday.* H. James G. Toga/NDB)
The "feeling soltero" of course were the impressive Buboy Villar (Jojo) and Arkin Magalona (Toti). Even before the conference began, they were in an intellectual exchange which ended in a cerebral expression, "We are planning to produce ‘Luno Blanco’" in matter-of-fact tone. They were lovingly corrected "Sol Blanco" instead but the extent of their creativity is observable. A big laugh was elicited when ask about their "crushes".
Wait until the 14-year old Barbie Fortaleza’s (the adolescent Blanca) spoke about "Mas magaling pag-laruan ang role ng mataray". The intimacy of Luna and Blanca would developed into animosity, Barbie explained, and she preferred to be silent about the triggering factor (she knows marketing schemes). Where did she learn about this "pag-lalaruan ang role"?
"It is easier to play the Tweety Pie roles," she said, "But not when the role demands control and let your partner in a scene cower in fear and tears." Is there need to ask more questions when confronted by a young adolescent with such clarity of mind. Barbie is enrolled under a home study program and her behavior is courteous and focused.
Along came the encounter with the young adults Camille Pratts (Rowena, the mother of Luna and Blanca) and Chynna Ortaleza (Divine). They tied loose ends of the story by speaking their minds without tinges of hesitation.
Camille was very emphatic, "The message of Luna Blanca is not about social discrimination on the basis of skin color. It is rather the inner conflict, social stigma and the self-inflicted torment that a woman experienced after being raped by a supernatural being (Engkanto)."
"It was an Engkanto symbolic rape because Luna Blanca is set within the paradigms of its preceding story, Luna Mystika. Luna Blanca eventually will develop into a realistic high drama with a social message overriding the mysticism of its prequel," she added.
Chynna did not have the time to explain her role but she explained Luna Blanca’s social relevance, "Unfortunately, society is quick to judge but very slow in understanding what a woman feels after a traumatic experience from sexual abuse (she cannot say this outright). We are quick to see skin color but refuse to judge the goodness of character."
At the outset, discrimination seems to be the plot of Luna Blanca but Chynna hoped that their viewers will understand radically the travails of a despondent "Rowena".
Luna Blanca is an Epic literature in many ways. It was not written in poetic style but the extended narrative, its press release called "multi-generational" story, and the development of an old folk tale qualifies it to be epic-based.
Both Camille and Chynna assured the Bacolod audience of superb performance. Hundreds of their Tweeter fans are critical and participative; every move, they said, cannot escape the instantaneous reaction drawn from the watchful eyes of the online community. Luna Blanca has no room for "an epic fail".*