Kathleen A. Llemit – Philstar.com

September 22, 2021 | 12:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Can you imagine Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla as Salome and Elias or Liza Soberano as Sisa?

Cultural Center of the Philippines President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso shared that he dreams of casting the three in his planned TV series adaptation of Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere.”

“I’m working on getting millennial actors so that our senior students can relate to the modern actors like Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo and Liza Soberano. Nag-uumpisa na po ako ng pre-prod,” Lizaso shared at last week’s presser.

“Noli Me Tangere” is one of the two required readings for high school students in the country. The other is “El Filibusterismo.” Both are written by National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

Sweethearts Elias and Salome are among the major characters of the novel that tackled the Spanish colonization of the Philippines and explored the themes of inequalities and social injustice.

Sisa, meanwhile, is among the most recognizable characters of “Noli Me Tangere.” She is the mother of Crispin and Basilio who went crazy after suffering physical abuse from her husband. Interestingly, Liza was cast in the Netflix animated series “Trese” last June. In the animated series, Liza’s character, Alexandra Trese, has two bodyguards named Crispin and Basilio.

Related: Liza Soberano addresses critics of her Tagalog speaking for ‘Trese’

Lizaso said that the idea came when he was approached by a former high school classmate who shared to him that when they were in school, he did not understand the 1887 novel. He was only able to understand it when he watched CCP’s opera staging of “Noli Me Tangere.”

Gemma Marco, officer-in-charge of the marketing department, said that they aim to present the TV series in June 2022 in time for the 161st birthday celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal.

RELATED: Margie Moran: Arts alive even during pandemic

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