High Five Reasons why Maria Clara at Ibarra series on GMA is a must-watch

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Alissa Evangelista


Maria Clara and Ibarra is one of the most trending local primetime shows in the Philippines. Featured photo by GMA Worldwide

Note: This article contains spoilers from Maria Clara at Ibarra

Admit it, you also caught yourself curious about the social media posts sharing screen grabs of Maria Clara at Ibarra, GMA Network’s freshest concept to date. From Maria Clara’s intricate Filipinianas to Sisa’s tearjerking scene, the show has been trending for quite some time now. This historically-inspired show’s ratings have taken over its famous superhero show counterpart in primetime.

Haven’t seen what everyone’s raving about? Here are High Five reasons why you should start binge-watching Maria Clara at Ibarra this holiday season!

Its Gen-Z’s Perspective

Maria Clara at Ibarra GMA Network Barbie Forteza

For starters, while set during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, this show revolves around the perspective of Klay, a nursing student who read Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere for one of her required classes in college. Relatable? Just like many of us, Klay found herself tangled in all of the confusing storylines and metaphors of the novel.


Although this portal fantasy show does not depict all accurate scenes written in Rizal’s novels, it provides an entertaining and Gen-Z-friendly view of what occurred in the iconic historical piece of the national hero. For those who need a crash course before diving into Rizal’s work, Maria Clara at Ibarra works as a fun supplementary to bridge the past and the now.

Its Filipino Wits and Humor

Maria Clara at Ibarra GMA Network Barbie Forteza David Licauco

What sets Maria Clara at Ibarra apart from history books is the fact that at the end of the day, it is an entertainment show. Filipinos love good humor, and the show does not disappoint. Moreso, it serves younger generation references without coming off disrespectful, which makes it a must-watch for all the good reasons.

On top of that, the #FiLay loveteam, played by David Licauco and Barbie Forteza, hooked many viewers, both with their excellent chemistry and acting. Their equally entertaining banters will stop viewers from getting bored over history lessons.

Its Detailed Production Design

Maria Clara at Ibarra GMA Network Production Design

From the present time to the 19th century, the two different worlds came to life through its stellar production design. Modern Philippines did not hinder the production team to create set designs that mimic locations from more than a century ago. Their team’s attention to detail in every prop and costume that comes to screen is worth praising for. Coupled with unique camera work and post-processing, Maria Clara at Ibarra stands out from other local television shows ever aired in the Philippines.

Its Award-winning Acting

Maria Clara at Ibarra GMA Network Sisa Scene

Don’t be fooled by its cast featuring GMA network’s staples such as Dennis Trillo and Barbie Forteza. Each addition to the cast offers flavor to the story. While their Old Filipino and Spanish may be improved, the cast’s good effort is impressive enough. Particular cast members stood out from the roster. Andrea Torres’ Sisa monologue was one of the best performance we have seen so far. Lead Actress, Barbie Forteza, proves her versatility by venturing into this role, bagging the Gawad Banyuhay sa Programang Pang-Edukasyon award recently.

Its Thought-evoking Message

Maria Clara at Ibarra GMA Network Julie Anne San Jose

While set centuries ago, Maria Clara at Ibarra adapts the social injustices ingrained in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. It is hard to deny the parallelisms of these issues to modern times. The show tackles issues such as misogyny, domestic abuse, and other social norms hampering women empowerment. Unlike the novel which is packed with metaphors, the show tackles social issues in a digestible manner, leaving audiences across all ages with Rizal’s thought-evoking message.

You may catch Maria Clara at Ibarra on local TV via GMA Network from Mondays to Fridays at 8 PM. Binge-watch the full episodes for free via GMANetwork’s official website.

The show will run for 20 weeks, until February 2023.

Convinced? Comment below the Maria Clara at Ibarra character you are most excited to see in this show!

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