AJ comes into his own, leads series on ‘aswang’ | Tempo

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By: Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: “No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

IN HIS OWN TERRITORY: He’s no matinee idol, AJ Muhlach acknowledges, reason why he has opted to specialize in roles with lots of character.

“I want to establish my own identity as a good actor first and foremost,” he tells us during a recent media event.

The young actor recently starred in an action-drama film, “Double Barrel” (Viva Films).

AJ topbills, in the role of Elias, anew suspense-thriller series called “Tabi Po” that airs on Cignal TV through its Sari-Sari channel. The bold and brave series is inspired by the popular, if also controversial, Filipino folkloric character known as the aswang, at once a feared and dreaded creature.

“Tabi Po” attempts to balance the equation where aswangs are concerned. Always depicted as a flesh-eating and ruthless creature hunting for its prey, are they really nothing more than mindless killing ghouls?

ASWANG HUMANIZED: “Tabi Po” tells the story of Elias, a neophyte aswang. Born from a tree during the Spanish era, Elias embarks on a journey with two older aswangs, Tasyo and Sabel, in the quest to understand their true nature.

Along the way, Elias meets Salome, a sex slave of the friars, and falls in love with her. In the middle of a rising revolution, Elias is forced to face his own battles – his love for Salome versus his hunger for flesh, the growing rift between himself and Tasyo, the society’s stigma with aswangs, and the battle with his own inner demons.

MORE ABOUT ASWANG: “Tabi Po” shows love, beauty, amidst the horrific lives of these creatures called aswang. Where did they come from? What is their purpose? Is there more to the massive killing, gore, and bloodshed typically associated with them?

The series attempts to unfold the untold stories behind the aswang in this new TV series.

“Tabi Po” is a TV adaptation of Mervin Malonzo’s best-selling graphic novel series with the same title that won the National Book Awards for Graphic Literature. Directed by award-winning director Paul Basinilio, “Tabi Po” stars a powerhouse cast that includes Luis Alandy as Tasyo, Phoebe Walker as Sabel, Jourdanne Castillo as Salome.

The epic series set in Philippine history premiered on Oct. 27 and airs every Friday at 8 p.m. until Dec 1, 2017.

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