MANILA — By returning to primetime with another adaptation of a Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) film, actor-director Coco Martin believes he is offering what Filipino viewers are looking for, given the successful, seven-year run of his previous teleserye, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”
Aside from being the lead actor and a co-director, Martin will also be co-producing “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo,” a new ABS-CBN series announced early this week. It is based on the 1986 action-comedy film “Batang Quiapo,” which centered on Baldo (FPJ), a former pickpocket who becomes reformed after his time behind bars.
Returning to Quiapo, he is asked by a young pickpocket, Maria (Maricel Soriano), to teach her his ways, but instead he attempts to put her on the right path.
“Isa siyang napakagandang kuwento, konsepto, kasi napaka-rich ng kultura,” Martin said of the modern retelling of the story, on the sidelines of the story conference of the 2023 version.
“Kung ito ‘yung gusto o hinihingi ng mga tao, bakit hindi ito ‘yung ibibigay o ihahain namin sa ating mga manonoood?” he added, as he thanked those who supported “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” during its history-making run.
Referring to the challenges of filming, particularly at such a busy location like Quiapo, Martin said, “Alam ko, mahirap, sobrang stress, pero bahala na, alam ko namang hindi ako pababayaan ng Diyos, e!”
Martin was involved in picking the new series’ cast members, whom he described as close to his heart. “Lahat ng mga artistang kasama ko rito, talagang lahat sila malalapit sa puso ko,” he shared.
Martin will be joined by acclaimed actress Lovi Poe, FPJ’s daughter who will portray Baldo’s love interest, as well as screen icon Charo Santos-Concio, who will play the lead character’s grandmother.
Several other screen veterans are part of “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo,” including Christopher de Leon, Tommy Abuel, Cherry Pie Picache, Pen Medina, Lito Lapid, Susan Africa, and John Estrada.
Other cast members earlier introduced are Mark Lapid, Ronwaldo Martin, Ping Medina, Mercedes Cabral, Allan Paule, and Benzon Dalina.