Pinoys in the U.S. honor Philippine culture and history in “Maria Clara at Ibarra” watch party

Clad in their best Filipiniana attires, Pinoys abroad from New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco took a historical trip to Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo via a watch party of GMA Network’s most-talked about and acclaimed primetime series ‘Maria Clara At Ibarra.’

Hosted by GMA Networks’ flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV, the event is the Kapuso Network’s way of bringing Filipino culture to the Kapuso abroad of all ages, especially the Gen Z.

“Maria Clara at Ibarra is a GMA program that we are very proud of. Led by its director Zig Dulay, Ms. Helen, and the production staff, this watch party is our way to impart to our Kapuso in the United States and many parts of the world the lessons that our generation needs to know about our history and our culture.  We recognize that our young Filipinos abroad today may not be familiar with a lot of things already from the Philippines. What we, in GMA International, do are bridging activities like this to our Filipino communities because if we know more about our culture, wherever we are in the world, we will be #StrongerTogether,” says GMA International First Vice President and Head of Operations Mr. Joseph T. Francia.

The event was attended by the powerhouse cast of Maria Clara at Ibarra — Barbie Forteza (Klay), Juancho Triviño (Padre Salvi), David Licauco (Fidel), Rocco Nacino (Elias), Juan Rodrigo (Kapitan Tiago), Lou Veloso (Mr. Torres), Ces Quesada (Tiya Isabel), Karenina Haniel (Victoria), Dennis Padilla (Mang Adong), and Dennis Trillo (Crisostomo Ibarra).
The program’s creative team were present and answered questions from the audience. Among those who attended were GMA’s Assistant Vice President for Drama Ms. Helen Sese, Program Manager Edlyn Tallada-Abuel, Executive Producer Ms. Shielyn Atienza, Creative Consultant Suzette Doctolero, Head Writer J-Mee Katanyag, and Director Pam Miras.

“Maria Clara at Ibarra,” a teleserye based on Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibisterismo, is still very relevant. Until now, it mirrors the realities that we are facing today. Aside from that, we also want to remind the youth that we have a beautiful culture, art, and literature that we can be proud of. It is great that Filipinos are already going global and experiencing the culture of other countries, but as Filipinos, it is important that we still go back to our colorful roots. This is why we create shows like Maria Clara At Ibarra,” says Creative Consultant Suzette Doctolero.

The cast also expressed their gratitude to the Filipinos in the U.S. who came in their best Philippine costumes and showed their support to Maria Clara at Ibarra.

“I am so proud to be Filipino, knowing that we are present in every corner of the planet because of the Kapuso abroad. I am also eternally grateful to GMA for creating and choosing me to be a part of a show that reminds us Filipinos of our wonderful history and culture,” says Barbie.

Dennis also took notice of the efforts of the Kapuso abroad in the United States who wore their Filipinianas even in cold weather. “We are very grateful to the Kapuso abroad for joining us in this watch party. They look very beautiful in their Filipino costumes. Thank you so much for wearing it even during the cold season. We can’t thank you enough for the support you’re giving us every night by watching Maria Clara at Ibarra,” he shares.

Vice Consul Adrian Baccay of the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco also reiterated the importance of shows like Maria Clara at Ibarra to the young Filipino-Americans who want to reconnect with their roots,”It is not often that we are able to watch a Filipino drama based on our culture here in the US. That’s what I’ve been noting with GMA–it’s really the home of the many teleseryes that are really based on our culture and history. The grade schoolers we’ve invited for this watch party are able to reconnect with their culture and heritage because of shows like this, especially those who are born and educated here in the US. We are very thankful for entertainment companies like GMA who produce content and entertainment like Maria Clara at Ibarra.”

Finally, the President of the Filipino American Arts Exposition Al Perez thanked GMA Network for introducing him to Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. “Thank you to GMA for creating and producing this project. It’s a great way to make our history and culture relevant, accessible, and current. I really enjoyed the episodes that we saw tonight and I appreciate the high quality of production and the great acting of the cast. My family immigrated to the US when I was just a young kid and I never got the chance to read Noli Me Tangere when I was in school. This production is really inspiring me to revisit and read the book of our national hero.”

The Maria Clara at Ibarra watch party is an initiative of GMA Pinoy TV in partnership with DollarHits, NYCFilipinos New York and Los Angeles, and the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco.

The high-rating and well-loved fantasy series Maria Clara at Ibarra airs on GMA Pinoy TV. To watch its full episodes overseas, subscribe now to GMA Pinoy TV or visit to know more.

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