Why ABS-CBN shelved Julia Barretto's 'Cofradia'


Posted at Aug 10 2013 03:26 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2013 09:03 AM

Why ABS-CBN shelved Julia Barretto's 'Cofradia' 1
Julia Barretto

Young actress thrilled over new project 'Mira Bella'

MANILA -- For the first time, young actress Julia Barretto has directly addressed the reason behind the cancellation of her debut series "Cofradia."

Speaking with reporters during a press conference for her new product endorsement early this week, the 16-year-old actress explained that the series' storyline drew criticisms for alleged racism.

"Madami po kasing nagreklamo about racism, and ABS-CBN and Dreamscape (Entertainment Television), they really listen sa audience, sa viewers and everybody," Barretto said.

At the time it was unveiled in May, "Cofradia" was introduced as a series based on the Dominador Ad Castillo novel of the same title, which had film adaptations in 1953 and 1973.

The story centers on Cofradia, a young woman who is afraid to fall in love because of her dark complexion. With the help of a magic candle, she eventually transforms into a beautiful lady.

In July, a press conference was held announcing Barretto would instead star in the lead role of a new, original series titled "Mira Bella."

During the same event, Dreamscape's AdProm Head, Biboy Arboleda, explained that "Cofradia" was indeed shelved as it risked negatively affecting Barretto's launching vehicle as leading lady.

"They decided to pursue, they decided na gawin nalang 'Mira Bella' with an original story na dapat abangan, dahil sobrang ganda ng kwento niya," Barretto told reporters early this week.

"Wala [akong panghihinayang]. I mean, it's equally exciting, equally beautiful, sobrang ganda. I'm so excited na po ako na mapanood ninyo. Ang ganda ng storya," she added.

Also billed as a fantaserye, "Mira Bella" will see its title character struggle to overcome a curse.

Joining Barretto in the series as her leading men are Diego Loyzaga and Kiko Estrada.

Directed by Erick Salud ("Aryana," "May Isang Pangarap") and Jerome Pobocan ("Mara Clara," "May Bukas Pa"), the series also stars Liza Soberano, Gloria Diaz, Mylene Dizon, Pokwang and John Lapus. Its target airing date has yet to be announced.