Jane de Leon the new cinematic Darna

JaneDarna
Jane de Leon and Darna. (note: picture of the actress sourced from IMDB.com)

Remember when Israeli actress Gal Gadot revealed that she auditioned for a role at Warner Bros. not knowing that she would eventually get hired to play Wonder Woman?

Such a development like that happened here in the Philippines as ABS-CBN formally announced on July 17 that they hired 20-year-old actress Jane de Leon as the new cinematic Darna (finally replacing Lisa Soberano) and this puts the much delayed Darna live-action movie back on track.

In an interview with Preview.ph, de Leon revealed that she went through a process that involved a public audition, a special audition for artists, the final call, the panel meeting and the big meeting with the bosses at ABS-CBN. Along the way, she remembered auditioning for a villain role and the audition involved the participation of around three hundred candidates (according to ABS-CBN’s official announcement).

In the network’s official announcement, there was the final deliberation in which the network management asked the actress how committed she is in getting the role. De Leon replied that she would “everything and anything” for it and added that she believes “in what Darna stands for.”

Olivia Lamasan, who is the ABS-CBN Films managing director, asked De Leon (translated from Tagalog): “Are you ready? Are you ready to hold the stone? Are you ready to be Darna? This is because we are giving you (the role of) Darna.”

Unsurprisingly, De Leon got shocked with getting the role. Darna, after all, is a Philippine superhero icon that started way back in the 1950s and multiple comic books, movies and TV episodes were made featuring the character. The late Mars Ravelo created Darna.

Lamasan stated to ABS-CBN News that the Darna movie is a “genesis story” (origin) with a coming-of-age theme. She added that having someone “young and with an air of innocence” as well as “strength of character.”

Personally, I am not surprised that an origin story is the concept of the still unmade movie. This is, after all, the newest version of Darna under ABS-CBN and the new actress has to not only play the icon but also make her relevant with today’s moviegoers, including the many Filipinos born just before or just after the year 2000.

Behind the scenes, experienced filmmakers were involved in the selection process and they carefully made their choices. Darna movie director Jerrold Tarog said that De Leon was their unanimous choice.

Very notably, after the announcement, former Darna actress Liza Soberano congratulated De Leon on winning the role.

Beyond the casting for the icon, it remains to be seen what kind of quality moviegoers will get once the Darna film project finally gets made. We moviegoers have to ask: how much spectacle will the film have? Will the script have childish humor? Will the Darna costume for Jane de Leon still be the traditional 2-piece swimsuit with boots, helmet and that front loincloth? Will the movie serve as a platform for the possible launch of single, shared cinematic universe of Mars Ravelo’s superheroes?

From this point on, the producers and filmmakers should be able to move forward at last with making the Darna movie while Jane de Leon prepares herself.

Details of De Leon

A native of Laguna province, Jane de Leon stands 5’3 and is talented with acting, singing, dancing and playing drums and guitar. She also took part in modeling. With regards to movies and television, her credits include The Debutantes (2017 movie), Ipaglaban Mo (TV series), Maalaala mo kaya (TV series), and Halik (TV series).

Regarding her talent, check this out.


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Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEX) 27-Kilometer Segment Construction Has Begun!

As a resident living in South Metro Manila, I always prefer to see the entire Philippines’ infrastructure get developed and expanded tremendously because the benefits of improved travel time and experience will be felt by the riding public for the long term. At the same time, such improvements will help travelers reach the far-away destinations with better speed and in less time.

Today I learned about some good news – the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEX) has started construction beginning with a 27-kilometer section. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Alapan II-B Village in Cavite Province on March 27. The CALAEX itself has a grand total distance of 45 kilometers.

As announced on the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website, the P12-billion Cavite segment will ensure a safe, efficient and seamless travel for motorists from the history town of Kawit in Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) – Mamplasan Interchange. It is expected to cut travel time from 2.5 hours to less than 45 minutes and help decongest approximately fifty thousand cars.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar declared that  the project is part of the President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s masterplan to connect Luzon from north to south, to be called the “Luzon Spine Expressway Network” (LSEN), to increase the current 300-km. high-speed expressway to 1,000 km. by the year 2022. Duterte’s term of office will end in that year.

“We will deliver not just on our promise to solve traffic, but to bring development to our provinces,” Villar announced.

More on speed, the expressways are not only expected to cut travel time for motorists but help add to the development of the provinces of Cavite and Laguna.  Cavite is now the biggest in terms of population among the country’s provinces, with an estimated 4.1 million people according to 2016 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

In terms of cooperation, Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla said this “speaks volumes about the dynamism of the government and its private partner.” He said the expressway will connect Laguna and Cavite, and declog the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Meanwhile the Laguna segment of the CALAEX project is now in full swing which, according to Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) president and Chief Executive Officer, Rodrigo Franco, is expected to open the first section during the third quarter or as early as July this year.

When it comes to economic development by means of job creation, the CALAEX will employ some 1,200 personnel for its Laguna segment and close to 1,300 more for site and office personnel as its Cavite segment progresses. It is part of the network of toll roads that the MPTC is constructing and developing, which will connect to Cavitex and the C5-South Link and will make transfers from Laguna, Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and CP Garcia Ave. seamless.

The CALAEX is one of many projects being done under the highly ambitious Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration. Build Build Build lists down high impact projects that are envisioned to improve the economy, increase incomes, invite investments leading to job creation. In his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, President Duterte envisioned the reduction of poverty from 21.6% in 2015 to 13% to 15% in 2022. It was emphasized that the acceleration of infrastructure development will pave the way for a more comfortable life, better travel and improved economic development nationwide.