Marimar started out as a harmless program. I was watching it even before it became popular because of its utter ludicrousness. Then it became primetime threat as Polgoso challenged Noli De Castro for the ratings throne. In order to avert an impending disaster, the popular afternoon drama Mara Clara was put in place against the competitor. Mara versus Thalia. Clara versus Angelica. The stroke of genius is the supposed ending of Mara Clara. People tuned in. Anticipating a resolution to the convoluted lives of the Del Valle and Davis families, the audience were treated or duped as Mara Clara did not end and instead entered a second chapter. If that is not enough, ABS-CBN got the rights of Maria Mercedes – another Thalia vehicle – and delivered a perfect combination to knock the opposition out. It was reported that ABS-CBN will revive the iconic drama but left fans wondering who will star as Mara Del Valle and Clara Davis. Big shoes to fill.
NUMBER TEN: DAN FERNANDEZ CAPITALIZED ON HIS TIYO KARDO ROLE TO WIN AS A POLITICIAN.
Dan Fernandez was a former vice governor of Laguna. One of his earliest campaign slogans read “Dan Fernandez: Tagapagtanggol ni Mara.” I am from Laguna.
NUMBER NINE: STAR CINEMA PRODUCED A MOVIE VERSION OF THE SOAP OPERA.
Mara Clara premier villain Eruel Tongco already died when the film was produced so William Martinez starred as the bad-ass Gary Davis. I guess the film is a hit as other soap operas received movie treatment including Esperanza and Mula sa Puso.
NUMBER EIGHT: MAQ FILMS CAPITALIZED FIRST ON THE SANTOS-REYES TANDEM BEFORE STAR CINEMA.
MAQ Films scored an unexpected hit with Sana Naman featuring the untested screen presence of Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes. This led to a string of hits and a sterling career for Santos in particular. Never underestimate soap operas.
NUMBER SEVEN: THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR IS EMIL CRUZ JR.
Thanks a lot Wikipedia.
NUMBER SIX: THE ACTORS WHO PLAYED THE DEL VALLE AND DAVIS COUPLES.
Juan Rodrigo and Beverly Vergel starred as Amante and Almira Del Valle who were the real parents of Mara. The late Eruel Tongco and Susan Africa played Gary and Susan Davis the real parents of Clara.
NUMBER FIVE: THE MOST FAMOUS BABY SWITCHING IN THE HISTORY OF PHILIPPINE SOAP OPERAS.
Spot listed this as the most overused plot in Philippine soap. “The rich couple’s baby is switched with the poor couple’s baby.” No doubt the switching of Mara and Clara is the most popular among all soaps.
NUMBER FOUR: THREE OF SANTOS PERENNIAL SCREEN PARTNERS APPEARED IN MARA CLARA.
Love Team Partner Number 1 : Wowie De Guzman as Christian the ultimate love of Mara
Love Team Partner Number 2: Rico Yan as Derick
Love Team Partner Number 3: Piolo Pascual as a troubled teen whose name in the series escapes me
NUMBER THREE: REMEMBER THE TALKATIVE CHILD STAR IN THE SERIES?
Her name is Agatha Tapan. She also made films and even won a best child actress statuette for her role in the remake of Trudis Liit. Tapan is a regular topic in several “whatever happened to “ forum threads as in the case of Fatima Alvir and Manolet Ripoll. (I just needed to mention Fatima and Manolet. The hell happened to them?!). A Peyups Forum member enlightens us with her present status, “Part siya ng ANC Business Development Group. Off-cam job. Medyo pini-pimples siya ngayon.” I am not sure if there indeed a need to mention her acne situation.
NUMBER TWO: IT AIRED FOR FIVE YEARS.
The first episode of Mara Clara was aired on June 22, 1992 and ended on February 14, 1997 equivalent to 1,209 episodes. Young cast members practically grew up in front of the camera. In an interview, Gladys Reyes recalled that Christopher Roxas, who became his real-life husband, underwent circumcision in the early years of the soap.
NUMBER ONE: THE KEY IS THE DIARY.
Major spoiler alert.