Renz has been a blogger, writer and content creator for half a decade in the Philippines.
GMA's Top Fantaserye
In the world of Philippine Television, fantasy-based series, locally known as either Fantaserye or Telefantasya, started to boom and become highly popular beginning in 2004. It was this year when fantasy series became an instant trend wherein you see kids on the streets trying to imitate characters from various fantasy series.
GMA 7, one of the 2 largest TV networks back then, is believed to be the one who started this craze over these fantasy-based series. The network's Mulawin was even 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 in the country (i.e. ABS-CBN and GMA) both filled their primetime with fantasy series in order to keep up with the trend and grab as many viewers as possible.
Of all the fantasy series released by both networks, there were good ones but there were those that quickly got buried in the deep. That's why here in this article, we will list the top seven fantasy series aired by GMA Network.
Note: The ranking is based on my personal opinion and may vary with other rankings (which are based on TV ratings).
1. Encantadia (2005)
Cast: 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 three sister fairies to persuade Pirena to go back into the good side, in order to restore what has been lost.
2. Etheria (2005-06)
Cast: Karylle Tatlonghari, Iza Calzado, Sunshine Dizon, and Diana Zuburi
Etheria: The Fifth Kingdom Encantadia, or 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 to find the Four Herans (powerful allies). She found them, kept their spirits in a crystal ball, and brought them to the future. After their spirits were set free, they hid in Hera Andal to practice and enhance their fighting skills. Ether was plotting to steal the four jewels held by the four sister fairies, so Etheria may rise again in glory.
3. Mulawin (2004-2005)
Cast: Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez
As mentioned, Mulawin was the first successful fantaserye of the 2000s. It's 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 on 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.
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This series was also adapted into Mulawin the Movie, which also features characters from Encantadia.
4. Darna (2009)
Cast: Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo, and Mark Anthony Fernandez
Darna is the Filipino heroine who resembles Wonder Woman.
Darna tells the story of Narda, an 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 superpowers. Narda unexpectedly meets Eduardo, her childhood lover, at the same orphanage. The dreams of Narda being in a relationship with Eduardo were cut short after knowing that her best friend, Valentina, had already fallen for him.
Recovering from a broken heart, Narda declines at first the responsibility of being the chosen one. She reasons that she cannot take such a huge responsibility because she was just an ordinary crippled woman. Later on, she will be brought into a situation where she needs to face her responsibilities as Darna.
5. Darna (2005)
Cast: Angel Locsin and Dennis Trillo
This TV show has an almost identical plot to Darna (2009). 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 to 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.
6. Dyesebel (2008)
Cast: Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes
Dyesebel is a fantasy Philippine drama that 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 that makes her human (but with a consequence of losing her beauty every time she becomes human).
7. Captain Barbell (2006)
Cast: Richard Gutierrez, Rhian Ramos, and Camille Prats
Teng grows up with ugly burn scars on one side of his face, 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 accompanying responsibilities. This barbell becomes the key for Teng in becoming the most powerful superhero known as Captain Barbell.
© 2012 Renz Kristofer Cheng
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on February 22, 2013:
Yup, sometimes our life itself is already full of drama, that we just need some deviation away from it. :)
mendez on February 22, 2013:
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 from india on June 28, 2012:
useful hub...visit my to..expecting your valuable suggestions in hub writing
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on June 16, 2012:
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 from USA on June 15, 2012:
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.
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on June 14, 2012:
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 from USA on June 13, 2012:
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.