‘Reptiles represent’: Snake species in Valentina’s snake hair for ‘Darna’ episode

October 20, 2022 - 6:45 PM
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Publication material of the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines (BCSP) about Valentina's snake hair (Facebook/BCSP)

A group of conservation practitioners gave a nod to the snake hair of Valentina, the antagonist in the superheroine show “Darna.”

In a post on October 18, the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines (BCSP) took notice of Valentina’s hair during one of the episodes wherein the group said had shown different kinds of “snake morphospecies”.

Valentina, the alter-ego of Regina Vanguardia, is played by Janella Salvador.

“Reptiles represent! The current reimagining of ‘Darna’ features an evolution of her arch-nemesis, Valentina, who has classically been depicted with snakes for hair,” the society said.

“In this iteration, the venomous locks of ‘Ang Babaeng Ahas’ take the form of various snake morphospecies, reflective of the split personalities coiled within her human alter ego, Regina Vanguardia (played by Janella Salvador),” it added.

Merriam-Webster defines “morphospecies” as “a taxonomic species based wholly on morphological differences from related species.”

Morphology, meanwhile, is a branch of biology that deals with “the form and structure of animals and plants.”

Zeroing in on the snakes, the BCSP said that two of them resemble the Philippine Pit Viper (Trimeresurus flavomaculatus) and the Samar Cobra (Naja samarensis).

“Herpetologists might recognize the familiar fangs of a viper or the cobra’s iconic hood. The rest of Valentina’s snake heads may have been inspired by dragons and other reptilian creatures from various myths and folklore,” the BCSP said.

The conservationists further said that these small details on snakes mirror the country’s rich diversity of these reptiles.

“While we don’t entirely approve of the common association between snakes and villainy in stories, this new Valentina’s snake-do nicely mirrors the rich diversity of snakes (about 140 species) that we have in the country,” the BCSP said.

In an article released by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it was stated that the Philippine pit vipers are common endemic species of snakes that are found in Luzon.

They are also colored green and are considered to be one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

A Samar cobra, meanwhile, is recognizable for its yellow, black and green hue.

Avilon Zoo, where this reptile is being taken care of, stated on its website that the Samar cobra is endemic to the Visayas and Mindanao.

In the latest episode that the BCSP referenced in its post, Regina was able to conjure up Valentine out of her rage for Darna.

This moment can be viewed on the YouTube channel of ABS-CBN Entertainment.

Janella’s version of Valentina first appeared in the series last September.

Regina’s alter-ego costume received mixed reactions from viewers at that time.

READ: ‘Don’t worry’: Janella Salvador yet to unveil full Valentina’s costume in ‘Darna’ 

Despite being the villain, Janella fell in love with Regina, the lawyer-vlogger who will slowly transform into Valentina, after reading her lines in the script.

READ: Why Janella Salvador fell in love with Regina character in ‘Darna’