ILUSTRADO: Ang Kauna-unahang Bayani Serye sa Philippine Primetime

Some people only know the stories of others tell them, but for the first time in Philippine television history, GMA News and Public Affairs brings one of the nation's heroes to a new light - one that portrays him as human, someone people could understand, and most of all, love once again.

Ilustrado takes a step back and shows the man that embodied the positive qualities that Filipinos aim to be. The series showcases Jose Rizal's journey from his childhood, his colourful travels in Europe, his adventures in love, and most of all - the sacrifices he made for the love of his country.

What makes this series interesting is the incorporation of a variety of fictional characters that assist in highlighting and bring more life into the original storyline, making it more beautiful than it already is; for what is the hero without a villain? Though they are fictional, they are just as real as humans can be: capable of hurting other people, but at the same time showing that even people born into bad circumstances are worthy of redemption. That it is in the human spirit to learn and change for the good.

Top billing this momentous series is one of the most promising actors today, Alden Richards as Jose Rizal, Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, together with Solenn Heussaff and Max Collins as her European lovers Nellie Bousted and Consuelo Ortiga. What gives the production an even higher quality is the presence of top–calibre actors including this year's Cinemalaya's best actress Eula Valdes playing the role of Rizal's mother Teodora Alonzo, three-time Urian best actress Jaclyn Jose as Conchita Monteverde, Ricardo Cepeda as Francisco Mercado, Freddie Webb as Don Jose Alberto, Polo Ravales as Venchito Monteverde, Mailes Kanapi as Donya Teodora Formoso, among others. 

Behind this production is the same team who made the award-winning series Katipunan, and is filmed using the sophisticated Arri Alexa camera, along with equally high-end lenses provided by CMB Film Services Inc. To achieve the grandeur of the 19th-century Europe that Jose Rizal knew and had adventures in, modern visual effects will be used to show the never forgotten decadence of the places where he completed his two most famous novels--the Noli Me Tangere, and El Filibusterismo.

Ilustrado, ang kauna-unahang bayani serye sa Philippine primetime is set to make history this October 2014 on GMA Telebabad. 

Jose Rizal
Alden Richards 

One of the nation's heroes, Jose Rizal's humble beginnings and deep roots of love for his family shaped him to become the man that inspired a nation. A man as passionate for his country as he was with the women in his life, he sought for reforms for the country due to the injustices done to his fellow countrymen and women. What cemented his name into history was the two books he published that woke the nation from oblivion. He is a writer, an artist, a lover, and a nationalist. He is Jose Rizal.

Leonor Rivera
Kylie Padilla

Called by some as Jose Rizal's true love, Leonor Rivera is often overlooked in history and is known as the inspiration for Maria Clara. Steadfast despite the distance between her and Jose, Leonor shows that no matter what, the heart never gives up, even when his letters stopped coming from Europe. Wed to an Englishman named Charles Henry Kipping, the ashes of the letters between her and her beloved Jose were sewn into the hem of her wedding dress, scattering the lost sweet words exchanged between Jose and his 'Taimis'.

Teodora Alonzo/Donya Lolay
Eula Valdez

An intelligent and empowered woman ahead of her time, Donya Lolay is the epitome of the unbreakable and resilient human spirit. Unjustly arrested twice in her life, she was made to walk from Calamba, Laguna to Sta. Cruz, Manila as part of her punishment. And yet it was in her quiet suffering that she gathered her strength--not only for her, but for her family. Most importantly, she was the sole reason for shaping Jose Rizal into the man who became the hero of a nation.

Conchita Monteverde
Jaclyn Jose

She is the snake that lays hidden in the grass, ready to strike. Her venom is deadly and in her path lays the destruction of all who stand in her way. Conchita Monteverde, a woman with spite as blood that flows through her veins and envy that pulses in her heart. Selfish, heartless, and conceited, she would do anything in her power to stay on top, even if it means not fighting fair.

Nellie Bousted
Solenn Heussaff

Daughter of a wealthy British businessman, Nellie Bousted received the affections of Jose Rizal quickly after he learned of Leonor Rivera's marriage to Charles Henry Kipping. It was also because of Nellie that Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna almost had a deadly duel that unfortunately did not push through. The beautiful Nellie and Jose spent time together and she made his stay in Biarritz memorable as well as helped him finish his second novel. However, their relationship did not last due to differences in religion, as well as Rizal's unwillingness to convert. The parting between them was far from bitter, and the two remained good friends afterwards.

Francisco Mercado/Don Kikoy
Ricardo Cepeda

The rock of the family; Francisco Mercado remained strong for his family despite their tragic circumstances. Intelligent and wise, he took care of his family singlehandedly throughout Donya Teodora's arrest; something that is no easy task to do. Determination was the key to keeping his family together; along with the already existing deep relationship between him and his children.

Jose Alberto
Freddie Webb

Jose Rizal would not be the confident man he was if it were not for his namesake--Jose Alberto. Brother of Donya Teodora, he taught his young nephew to wrestle as well as ride a horse to boost Pepe's confidence. An educated man from Europe, he was learned in many things. However, even he was not spared from bad luck when his own wife accused his sister for poisoning her.

Venchito Monteverde
Polo Ravales

Taught on from an early age to be better than everyone, Venchito Monteverde is a man who is the opposite of who Jose is--spiteful, smug, and filled with nothing but hate. His appearance is cruelly deceptive; behind that sweet smile lays malicious motives, and his words are a silent venom that bring nothing but harm.

Paciano Mercado
Marco Alcaraz

He is the steady lighthouse against the strong beat of the waves against the rocks; the ever faithful brother who never gave up until the very end. Paciano Mercado is proof that family is important and always comes first. Blessed with emotional strength, he endured banishment and torture at the expense of his brother, accepting pain instead of surrender. Perhaps the most enigmatic of all the Mercado siblings, Paciano however is eponymous with the words strength, but most of all--love.

Padre Amado
Lito Legazpi

Padre Amado is a friar who resents those beneath him and treats them even far worse. Sharp-tongued and domineering; people respect him not because of the good he has done but the fear he has instilled to the people.

Young Rizal/Pepe
Jhiz Deocareza

Curious and imaginative, Young Rizal's world was filled with nothing but a sense of wonder for the world that was just waiting for him to discover. His education started from his own mother, who filled his world with wonderful stories that had lessons in them and instilled the values that he carried on throughout his life.

Young Venchito
Sean Ross

Raised to be the best, Venchito Monteverde knew from an early age that he is superior to everyone else. The rival of the young Rizal, he was drilled from boyhood to be exactly like his mother--rotten to the core with a heart full of envy and eyes blinded with the false promise of victory against his archenemy from Calamba.


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