Kapuso Action-Drama Prince Ruru Madrid will be joined by some of the biggest names in the local entertainment industry in GMA Network’s upcoming primetime series “Lolong” where he takes the titular role.
It was earlier announced that Shaira Diaz and Arra San Agustin will be Ruru’s leading ladies in what is dubbed as the Philippines’ biggest primetime adventure series of 2021. The rest of the artists who will be part of the GMA Public Affairs-produced show were revealed last July 16.
Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia, Bembol Roco, Malou de Guzman, Rochelle Pangilinan, and Ian de Leon are part of the powerhouse cast of this exciting series about a man’s extraordinary friendship with a giant crocodile.
Joining them are Mikoy Morales, Paul Salas, DJ Durano, Marco Alcaraz, and Maui Taylor. Set to portray special roles as well are Leandro Baldemor and Priscilla Almeda.
Ruru admits he is overwhelmed with the star-studded lineup that makes up his biggest project to date. “Sobrang nakakataba po ng puso. It’s an honor na makatrabaho silang lahat. I just can’t wait na magawa itong proyektong ito at maipanood sa atin pong mga Kapuso,” said Ruru.
The homegrown Kapuso actor said he is grateful for the trust GMA Network gave him through Lolong. “I feel so blessed na pinagkatiwala sa akin ang proyektong ito. Ang maipapangako ko lamang po sa inyong lahat ay talagang ibubuhos ko po ang lahat dito para po mapaganda nating lahat,” said Ruru.
Meanwhile, Shaira shared that Lolong has a lot to offer. “Ang ganda ng kuwento ng Lolong—bukod sa action siya, love story, mayroon kang aral na mapupulot tulad ng heroism,” she said. “Isa rin ‘yung pag-raise ng awareness sa ecosystem natin, paano natin dapat pahalagahan yung mga hayop sa paligid natin,” she added.
Like Ruru, Arra also cannot believe they will be working with some of the country’s veteran actors. “Sobrang honored po na makatrabaho ko ang bawat isa sa kanila, ang sarap po sa pakiramdam na marami pa po kaming matututunan sa kanila,” she said.
“It’s an exciting material,” said Christopher of the upcoming Kapuso primetime series. “When I watch any series on TV, gusto ko entertaining. This one, may puso at the same time entertaining, so I’m very excited lalong lalo na sa mga makakasama ko,” he added.
Jean also said she is looking forward to her new project. “Excited ako kasi marami akong makakatrabaho na ngayon ko lang makakasama. And medyo kakaiba nga dahil medyo adventure, action. Sana maiba ko yung atake [sa karakter ko]. Papatulong ako kanila Direk Rommel (Penesa) at Direk Rado (Peru), at syempre sa mga writer.”
Netizens expressed their excitement for the upcoming GMA primetime series when it dropped its official teaser on 24 Oras late last May, with some praising the graphics and animation used and even compared it to Disney-produced shows.
The idea of making a crocodile-themed drama series came from award-winning journalist and host Jessica Soho, and Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho Program Manager, LJ Castel.
“I thought it would be interesting to weave reality with fiction and come up with a riveting adventure drama on primetime TV. I’m also hoping that the story would help educate our viewers about these fascinating but feared creatures with whom we share our many rivers, lakes, and seas,” Soho said through the production team. She added that the inspiration came “from all the crocodile stories we follow on KMJS, even in far-away islands like Balabac in Palawan. Humans versus crocodiles!”
Dakila, who will be Lolong’s (Ruru) friend in the story, is made of fiberglass body and silicone skin. Referred to as the “highest paid actor” of the series, Dakila needs to be manned by 14 people. Using pneumatic technology and an air compressor operated by a technician, Dakila’s tail can wag and his snout can open. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) will also be used to make the creature more realistic.
Lolong is produced by GMA Public Affairs—the same team behind some of the country’s top-rating primetime series, “Inday Will Always Love You,” “One of the Baes,” “Owe My Love,” as well as the well-loved series that showcased stunning cinematography and superb visual narratives “The Lost Recipe,” “Ilustrado,” “Alamat,” and “Sirkus,” among others.
Directing Lolong are Rommel Penesa and Rado Peru.