MANILA, Philippines -- A Kapamilya actor who is no stranger to leading man roles on primetime TV will take on the character popularized by Mexican actor Arturo Peniche in the hit "telenovela" "Maria Mercedes."
According to Jake Cuenca, who last appeared in the primetime series "Kahit Puso'y Masugatan," his next TV project will be the Philippine remake of "Maria Mercedes," which starred Mexican superstar Thalia in the title role.
"Sobrang grateful ako kasi may teleserye ako ulit," the 25-year-old actor was quoted as saying by entertainment news site Philippine Entertainment Portal.
He added: "Si Jessy Mendiola pa ang leading lady at si Direk Chito Roño pa ang director. So, isa rin siyang bagay na hindi mo mahihindian."
The reported Kapamilya adaptation of "Maria Mercedes," while not officially announced, is said to feature "Paraiso" actress Jessy Mendiola in the title role.
Cuenca said he is excited to finally work with the 20-year-old actress. "Napapanood ko ang 'Paraiso' at ang laki na ng in-improve niya, ang laki na ng maturity level niya as an actress and as a person."
"Tapos, magkaibigan din kami, so excited akong makatrabaho siya," he said.
Aired locally by ABS-CBN in 1996, "Maria Mercedes" sees Thalia as a street urchin whose life takes a turn when she agrees to marry an immensely rich man who is terminally ill.
While Mendiola dressed up as the character in the recently released summer station ID of the Kapamilya network, no official announcement has been made on her reported part in the remake.