Top 7 GMA Fantasy Series (Fantaserye) Philippine TV Shows

Updated on July 22, 2016
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In Philippine Television (TV), fantasy series (also known as Fantaserye or Telefantasya) started to boom and become highly popular in 2004. It was this year when fantasy series became an instant trend (e.g. talked about in the forums, Multiply and Friendster, yes you heard that right!).

Based on various accounts, GMA 7 (one of the 2 largest TV networks back then) was deemed to be the one responsible for the re-rise of fantaserye. This was because the said network's Mulawin was claimed to be the "first"-ever highly successful fantasy series in the history of Philippine TV (after the longest running fantaserye in 1987, Okay Ka Fairy Ko). From then on, the two largest competing TV networks, ABS-CBN and GMA, both filled in their primetime line up with fantasy series in order to keep up with the trend, and grab as many viewers as possible.

From all the fantasy series released by both networks, there were good ones as well as not-so-good ones. That's why here in this article, we will list the Top 7 Fantasy Series. But for now, we will focus on the TV shows of GMA Network.

Note: The ranking is based on my personal opinion and may vary with other rankings (which are based on TV ratings)

GMA Encantadia was one of the top-rating TV Fantasy Series during the time it was aired.
GMA Encantadia was one of the top-rating TV Fantasy Series during the time it was aired.

1. Encantadia

Main casts: Karylle Tatlonghari, Iza Calzado, Sunshine Dizon and Diana Zuburi

Encantadia, an original fantasy series produced by GMA Network, was set in the world of fairies (or diwatas). The story started with the four gems of nature (the source of balance) being passed down to the four sister fairies. These four gems each represent one of the four elements of nature: wind, fire, water and earth. These gems of nature gave them power which shall be used to maintain peace and order within their world.

Conflict arose when the fire tribe decided and attempted to take over not only the world of fairies but also the world of humans. This was made possible through the guidance of Pirena, holder of the fire gem who betrayed the other sisters in the process. Now, two worlds were at stir, and it was the mission of the 3 sister fairies to persuade Pirenha to go back into the good side, in order to restore what has been lost.

Watch the trailer of Encantadia on the right to get an idea of the plot.

2. Etheria

Main casts: Karylle Tatlonghari, Iza Calzado, Sunshine Dizon and Diana Zuburi

Etheria: The Fifth Kingdom Encantadia or just Etheria for short, is the second book/season of Encantadia.

Etheria was the oldest and most powerful kingdom in Encantadia but it was destroyed soon after series of tragic events. After the destruction of the kingdom, Ether, ruler of Etheria, flew away from her kingdom to find the Four Herans (powerful allies). She found them all and kept their spirits in a crystal ball and brought them to the future. After there spirits were set free, they hid in Hera Andal to practice and enhance their fighting skills. This is because Ether was plotting to steal the four jewels (held by the four sister fairies) so Etheria may once again rise back in glory.

3. Mulawin

Main casts: Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez

As mentioned, Mulawin was the first highly successful fantaserye of the 2000s.

Mulawin is a story about two races of winged humanoids: the Mulawins and the Ravenas (the evil ones). Driven by the greed for power and control, Ravenum leader of the Ravena race, plotted an attack to the humans. Hence, the Mulawins had sworn to battle off the Ravenas to protect the mortals from Ravenum's wrath. Aside from this, the story revolves around the life of the two main characters, Aguiluz and Alwina.

This series was also adapted into a movie - Mulawin the Movie which also features characters from Encantadia.

Watch the first episode below (though there are still no translations).

4. Darna 2009

Main casts: Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo and Mark Anthony Fernandez

Darna is the Filipino heroine who resembles Wonder Woman.

Darna tells the story of Narda who is attractive young woman who grows up in an orphanage and lives a quiet and simple life until she was specially chosen to be the heiress of a stone that gives unimaginable super powers.

Narda unexpectedly meets Eduardo, her childhood lover, at the same orphanage. The dreams of Narda being in a relationship with Eduarda was cut short after knowing that her best friend, Valentina, fell already for Eduardo.

Recovering from a broken heart, Narda declines at first the responsibility of being the chosen one. She reasons out that she cannot take such a huge responsibility because she was just an ordinary crippled woman. Later on, she will be brought in a situation where she needs to face her responsibilities as Darna.

Darna with a different set of cast.
Darna with a different set of cast.

5. Darna 2005

Main casts: Angel Locsin and Dennis Trillo

This TV show has an almost similar plot with Darna (2009) - with respect to the general plot.

After Braguda, queen of the fallen planet Marte, discovers that Narda possess the powerful white stone, she has sworn to steal it from her. She will use the powerful white stone together with her magic black stone to transform Planet Earth into another "Planet Marte" and mutate all mortals into becoming Anomalkans. All of them will serve her in her quest ot achieve "galactic supremacy".

Hence, it was Narda's (Darna's) quest to prevent this from happening in order to protect and preserve the world of humans.

Dyesebel is a popular mermaid character created by famous Filipino graphic novelist Mars Ravelo
Dyesebel is a popular mermaid character created by famous Filipino graphic novelist Mars Ravelo

6. Dyesebel

Main casts: Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes

Dyesebel is a fantasy Philippine drama that which is an adaptation of a famous graphic novel about a mermaid created by Mars Ravelo.

The story revolves around the forbidden love between Dyesebel, a mermaid, and Fredo, a mortal, This is why she desired to become human in order to be with the man of her dreams. That's the time when she discovers that can happen through the help of Amafura, who then gives Dyesebel a secret necklace which makes her human (but with a consequence of losing her beauty every time she becomes human).

Captain Barbell (2006) was renewed in 2011 wherein the same actor played as Captain Barbell.
Captain Barbell (2006) was renewed in 2011 wherein the same actor played as Captain Barbell.

7. Captain Barbell (2006)

Main casts: Richard Gutierrez, Rhian Ramos and Camille Prats

Teng grows up with an ugly burn scars on one side of his face and painfully aware that he is merely an adopted child with a completely unknown background.

One night, Teng was left beaten and barely alive in a junkyard. But then, he discovers the powerful barbell that will completely change his life but with an accompanying responsibilities. This barbell becomes the key of Teng in becoming the most powerful superhero known as Captain Barbell.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for viewing the list of Top Filipino Fantasy Series produced by GMA Network. Don't forget to drop some feedback.

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    • yougotme profile image
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      Renz Kristofer Cheng 4 years ago from Manila

      Yup, sometimes our life itself is already full of drama, that we just need some deviation away from it. :)

    • profile image

      mendez 4 years ago

      Yeah I agree of the top seven. And of course it come from GMA network. I love all their fantasy series. It's beautiful to watch some fantasy than heavy drama.

    • techarea profile image

      techarea 5 years ago from india

      useful hub...visit my to..expecting your valuable suggestions in hub writing

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 5 years ago from Manila

      I hope that they can think of something more unique. Because, I noticed that they keep on recycling ideas and concepts.

      It would be great watching a new and unique fantasy series.

      And now that you mentioned it, most series indeed involve familial separation. And there's this "familiarity" factor that makes you bored watching them.

      I really do hope they come up with some great TV shows! :)

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Lol. I could say Amaya would be "in between." ^.^' But the first few scenes I remember with the word/name "Amaya" was her twin that can transform into a snake and control the forces of nature ^-^' Wished GMA would make more fantaserye, I don't know if it's just me but I've been noticing that the recent and the current series now are mostly with the story of babies and mother being separated and so on.

    • yougotme profile image
      Author

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 5 years ago from Manila

      I was able to catch the two fantaseryes/telefantasya you mentioned. (Luna Mystika and Amaya) .

      But, do you think Amaya will still be classified under the fantasy genre? It's more of a taste of Philippine history. But, since it has some unnatural things involved (e.g. potions, walking on the water etc), it probably can be classified as one.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Like this hub so much! Reminds me of all those series. :) My mom loves drama but I'd rather watch and enjoys fantaseryes. I had watched Captain Barbel, but the one I won't forget is Luna Myztika. ^-^' And of course there's Amaya too which I loved.

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