GMA Network has invested a lot in the production of the upcoming series Sahaya having rented a shore for six months to recreate a Badjao Village. This location set in Calatagan, Batangas is complete with stilt houses, boats and other details that reflect the livelihood and way of life of the tribe.
“It’s an Instagram-worthy location. We studied every detail when we went to Tawi-Tawi including the baskets and boats we have on the set… they are custom-made. And the set is strategically located to capture the sunset,” program manager Helen Rose Sese said during a pocket press conference.
Showing the photos on her mobile phone, Sese added, “We’ve already seen a few material from the initial shoot and we are amazed with the camera movements. And this is also the first time that a GMA drama will use the C700 cameras, the same kind of cameras used for Netflix.”
“That’s what we have been meaning to tell you,” Bianca Umali butted in, “The network is aiming to have it shown on Netflix and if that happens, the series is going to make history.”
In Sahaya, Bianca plays the titular character who embraces her own identity and heritage as a Badjao, even defying the power of love. Her positive outlook in life will inspire her family and her people as she becomes their role model.
“The series has a bit of everything, there’s romance, there’s drama, and it has a cultural aspect. It also talks about life, the importance of education and family. And the best thing that we wanted to highlight in this series is women empowerment. ” Bianca told Manila Standard.
She further added that the series brings the Badjao community to the limelight, as her role will also show how the Badjao will fight for their rights outside their community.
“It’s all about the journey of life and how you are going to fight for the things you love and the things that you believe in,” said Bianca.
The teen actress underwent diving lessons, and dance workshops and learned the cultures and traditions of the Badjao to immerse herself in the role.
According to the series’ program manager, Bianca was chosen to play the title role because she resembles the physical features of a Badjao girl.
For this upcoming series, Bianca is once again paired with her perennial onscreen partner Miguel Tanfelix who portrays the role of Ahmad, a simple Badjao who will fall in love with Sahaya. He will do everything in order to win her heart. Completing the love triangle is Migo Adecer who plays the role of Jordan, who will become Ahmad’s rival in Sahaya’s heart.
Portraying equally important roles are Zoren Legaspi, Mylene Dizon, Eric Quizon, Ana Roces, Pen Medina, Ashley Ortega, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith.
A product of the visionary minds of Marlon Miguel and Jonathan Cruz as concept creators, Suzette Doctolero as headwriter, this top-notch production is under the helm of seasoned director Zig Dulay.