After two years in production, the action-packed series from GMA Public Affairs will finally hit the small screen.
Entitled Lolong, the series is headlined by Ruru Madrid, who gave his all in playing the titular role. The series also marks Ruru’s return to primetime television. His last project was a romantic-comedy series, TODA One I Love, in 2019. Since then, he has been preparing for his role as Lolong.
Despite their early preparations, the series kept getting pushed back due to the pandemic and other problems such as natural calamities and having someone on set test positive for COVID-19 during their first taping. These struggles and more left the actor doubting his future in showbiz.
“Umabot sa point na nawalan ako ng gana sa career ko. I felt na maybe this is not the right career for me, maybe hindi talaga eto ‘yung tama na para sa akin. Parang gusto ko na bumalik sa pag-aaral noong mga panahon na ‘yon,” Ruru said during the online media conference for Lolong.
He also shared that he countered his reluctance with faith and listening to the people who believed in his skills. In the end, believing in himself paid off as he landed a significant role worthy of his 10th year in the industry.
“Malaki ang pinagbago ng buhay ko because of Lolong. Bago gawin ‘tong Lolong, hindi ko pinapahalagahan kung anong meron ako. But because of this project, sobrang bumalik ‘yong fire. Bumalik ‘yong passion ko, ‘yong commitment ko sa trabaho ko,” the Kapuso hunk said.
All the challenges Ruru faced during production became relevant life lessons for him. He believes that if he could surpass these struggles, then he can also overcome other curveballs life throws his way.
Within the two years in production, the team behind Lolong had ample time to write a compelling script, apply impressive computer-generated imagery (CGI), and prepare a talented roster of actors. One element the audience is looking forward to watching is the giant crocodile named Dakila, made of a fiberglass body and silicone skin. The production team uses pneumatic technology and an air compressor to operate Dakila. They also use CGI to make the giant crocodile’s actions more realistic.
Sitting on the director’s chair for Lolong is Rommel Penesa. The series is Penesa’s first television show where he’s the lead director, which is why he poured all his creativity and experience into creating an action-packed series mixed with elements of drama and romance.
“Hindi magiging ganito ka-ganda ang programa na ito kung hindi dahil kay Direk Rommel Penesa,” Ruru gushed.
In the series, Ruru comes from a tribe called Atubaw, a group of people who lived peacefully alongside crocodiles for years. Because of the time and proximity they spent living beside each other, the Atubaws slowly adapted some of the crocodiles’ abilities, like rapid healing.
Although some viewers might be dismayed, Ruru clarified that his character doesn’t transform into a giant crocodile.
Joining Ruru in Lolong is a star-studded cast composed of Shaira Diaz, Christopher de Leon, Paul Salas, Jean Garcia, Arra San Agustin, Malou de Guzman, Rochelle Pangilinan, and Bembol Roco, among others.
Lolong premieres today on GMA Telebabad after 24 Oras.