Is the Philippines ready for a drama that tackles issues such as corruption, bureaucracy, malnutrition, illegal logging, and political dynasties?

We find out this March, when GMA News TV launches its first original series and most ambitious project to date — Bayan Ko.

Inspired by the life of Jesse Robredo as well as the social realist films of director Lino Brocka, Bayan Ko tells the story of newly elected Mayor Joseph Santiago — who sets out to make a difference in the fictional town of Lagros.

The idealistic mayor, played by Rocco Nacino, faces roadblocks at every turn. He discovers a bunch of wayward employees have turned the municipal hall into a boarding house and, worse, have been making under the table deals at every turn. He must learn to lead lazy and uncooperative municipal employees and change the mindset of a mendicant populace.

But his efforts to fight corruption — both petty and large scale — are blocked by a political dynasty led by Governor Antonio Rubio and Congressman Anton Rubio, played by father-and-son tandem Pen and Ping Medina.

Indie film princess Mercedes Cabral the powerful contractor, LJ Reyes the mayor’s chief of staff, while Betong Sumaya and Love Anover take on roles as slacker municipal employees.

Bayan Ko tackles serious matters with a touch of comedy — and an unexpected romance — but its primary goal is to bring political and social issues closer to the heart of regular viewers.

“We hope that through Bayan Ko, voters realize that good governance is not only possible but crucial to our progress and start to demand better performance from the officials they elect,” says News TV channel head and Bayan Ko creator Nessa Valdellon.

Bayan Ko, a groundbreaking television project and GMA News TV’s 1st original series, is shot entirely on high definition and unlike most television dramas, goes through the color grading process. The six-part series was directed by Adolfo Alix Jr., produced by Eliza Zamora Solis, and written by Rodolfo Vera. It airs Sundays at 6:30 PM starting March 10, on Channel 11.

Ederic Eder

Filipino blogger

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