4 protectors of Encantadia’s gems revealed

By: - Reporter
/ 12:09 AM June 20, 2016

Recreating a revered television show or film is always a tricky, challenging undertaking: Expectations will be high and comparisons are inevitable.

When GMA 7 announced late last year that it was retelling the story of “Encantadia”—one of the prime-time series that defined the peak of the network’s fantaserye movement back in the mid-2000s, much of the buzz was fueled by speculations on who will be playing the four Sang’gres who protect their world’s elemental gems.


Pirena, keeper of the fire gem is Glaiza de Castro; Amihan, keeper of the wind gem is Kylie Padilla; Alena, keeper of the water gem is Gabbi Garcia, and Danaya, keeper of the earth gem is Sanya Lopez.

The much-awaited reveal, held a few months back during the station’s evening newscast, was done with considerable fanfare.


The feedback in social media, however, was quite mixed, with not a few fans still feeling uncertain about the new cast.

But Glaiza, Kylie, Gabbi and Sanya said they are determined to do their roles justice, prove their doubters wrong and make their respective predecessors—Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, Karylle Yuzon and Diana Zubiri—proud of them.
Most convincing

Glaiza, who many felt was the most convincing casting choice of the lot, said she was overwhelmed and, at the same time, pressured by the positive response from the fans.

“This is challenging and inspiring for me, and I try not to think too much of the people’s expectations, because it will not do me any good,” she told the Inquirer in an interview, shortly after the cast of “Encantadia 2016” was presented in front of an eager crowd at the recent ToyCon 2016.

“I am not here to compete with anyone,” added Glaiza, who—like the three other Sang’gres—debuted her intricate royal garb, which was crafted by Filipino designer Francis Libiran. “I just want to give a portrayal that is heartfelt, honest and relatable.”

Kylie, who admitted that she was not fully aware of the original version’s impact on local pop culture, said she was initially daunted by the task.

But eventually, as the actress started to learn more about the program, she grew more confident that she has the necessary chops for the job.


“I will not fail myself. I will do my best to shut them (the naysayers) up!” quipped Kylie, whose background in martial arts will come in handy in shooting the fight scenes.

Having Iza’s blessing, the 23-year-old Kapuso talent added, has also given her some much-needed assurance.

“I worked with her in my very first show, ‘Joaquin Bordado,’ and we have become friends since. She tweeted me when she found out about the news, and told me that she was passing the crown to me,” Kylie said. “That is important to me.”

Discovered by the late industry icon and star-builder German Moreno, Sanya, the least experienced of the four, is hopeful that “Encantadia 2016” will help her make her mark in show biz.

“I am still a newbie, so this project will surely boost my career,” she said, adding that she likewise feels the pressure because the ardent fans—the “Encantaddicts”—have such emotional attachment to the show.

Stepping in Alena’s shoes is something Gabbi, 17, considers an honor. And she, too, received messages of support from one of the original Sang’gres, Karylle. “I was touched and thrilled that she went out of her way to connect with me. We followed each other on Twitter,” she related.

She is well aware of the fact that she cannot please everyone. But at the very least, she said, she wants to show that she deserves her role. “At the end of the day, I got the assignment,” Gabbi said. “And I am going to own it.”

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TAGS: “Encantadia”, Entertainment, GMA-7, Television
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