Actor Ian Veneracion has backed out of the hit ABS-CBN inspirational series Huwag Kang Mangamba.
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, September 27, ABS-CBN said that Ian will no longer be able to join the show "due to conflicts in taping schedules", as well as his "prior commitments."
Nonetheless, it said that the series "will continue to offer hope and inspiration by taking viewers on a new journey with sisters Mira (Andrea Brillantes) and Joy (Francine Diaz), and introducing fresh characters in its latest chapter."
It was in late July when producer Dreamscape Entertainment announced that Ian would join Huwag Kang Mangamba to give life to a new character named Elias.
Talking about his role during a script reading for the show's new cast members, the actor said: "I'm really excited kasi si Elias, darating siya sa buhay ni Mira, pero 'di ko pwedeng sabihin sa inyo kung kaibigan ba siya, kalaban ba siya, mabait ba siya o masama. May pagka-surprise 'yun eh, so excited ako para sa character ko."
At the time, Huwag Kang Mangamba directors Manny Palo and Darnal Villaflor, as well creative producer Danica Domingo, said that Ian was a perfect choice for the role, as they wanted to depict a "mysterious character" who will teach sisters Mira—played by Andrea Brillantes—and Joy—portrayed by Francine Diaz—to fight for their faith in "Bro".
Aside from Ian, other stars who were introduced as new cast members of Huwag Kang Mangamba in July were Andi Abaya, who will play the role of Mikay; Nash Aguas, as Apollo; and Andrea del Rosario as Thelma.
Huwag Kang Mangamba started airing last March. Original cast members include Kyle Echarri, Seth Fedelin, Sylvia Sanchez, Eula Valdez, Mylene Dizon, RK Bagatsing, Nonie Buencamino, and Diether Ocampo.
To date, Ian's last project with ABS-CBN was the 2020 primetime series Make It With You.
Starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, the series was among the Kapamilya shows that were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the government shutdown of ABS-CBN's broadcast operations on account of its lapsed franchise.