IMAGE GMA (Marian and Glaiza) / ABS-CBN (Maja and Claudine)
Here are the kick-ass characters portrayed by (L-R) Marian Rivera, Glaiza de Castro, Maja Salvador, and Claudine Barretto in Filipino teleseryes.
Teleseryes with avenging women as central characters are becoming a trend on Philippine television.
In fact, fans of two shows—GMA-7's Contessa and ABS-CBN's Wildflower—engaged in debates on social media about one being a "copycat" of the other.
However, did you know that revenge stories have been tackled in teleseryes for a long time now?
Most of these shows feature kick-ass women who vowed to succeed in life and get back at people who made their lives miserable in the past.
They inspired viewers by showing they can rise from the ashes and become even better women.
Since seeking revenge has become a popular plot in teleseryes, TV networks made sure to give the lead characters several distinct qualities that would differentiate them from previous projects.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) lists down 13 female TV characters who proved to be worthy examples of women empowerment.
BEA RESURECCION in Contessa
Contessa tells the story of Bea (Glaiza de Castro), a woman seeking to exact revenge on the people who made her life miserable. She is accused of being the mastermind behind the death of her husband Marco (Mark Herras). While serving time inside prison, Bea meets Guada Venganza (Tetchie Agbayani), a mysterious woman who helps Bea orchestrate her revenge as she takes on the identity of Contessa.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Since this GMA-7 show just started airing last March 19, Bea's revenge has yet to be seen by viewers. During the first few episodes of the show, Bea engaged in a pool catfight with the rich Daniela Imperial (Lauren Young) after seeing her and Marco kissing each other. Bea is clearly not a woman who will just weep and back down when aggrieved.
Photo by: Contessa (GMA-7)
LILY CRUZ in Wildflower
Upon her entry to Poblacion Ardiente, young Lily's (Maja Salvador) life changed drastically when the death of her parents was plotted by the town's governor Julio Ardiente (Tirso Cruz III) and his family. The young girl gets help from the wealthy Prianka (Priscilla Meirelles) in getting her revenge against the Ardientes. The grownup Lily returns to Poblacion Ardiente as the feisty Ivy Aguas in order to plot the downfall of the Ardientes.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Lily sure knows how to stage her big reveals and make grand entrances. Remember when she surprised everyone by wearing a black gown on her wedding, or a golden gown while revealing her real identity? She's also one of the few girls who can fight the bad guys in heels! However, in the end, Lily still acknowledged that she is not an angel and she should have not have put justice in her own hands.
Photo by: Wildflower (ABS-CBN)
CATHERINE RAMIREZ in Iisa Pa Lamang
Catherine (Claudine Barretto) is a humble barrio girl who falls in love with the rich Miguel (Diether Ocampo), her childhood friend. However, Miguel's mom Isadora (Cherry Pie Picache) wants the classy girl Scarlet (Angelica Panganiban) for her son. When Miguel and Catherine tried to elope, Isadora had Catherine abducted and locked up inside a hospital basement. After her escape, Catherine meets the wealthy Martin dela Rhea (Bembol Roco) who is smitten by her and eventually marries her. She uses his money to wreak havoc in the lives of Isadora and Scarlet, with the latter being Martin's only daughter from a previous marriage. Rafael (Gabby Concepcion) is cast as another childhood friend who pursues her.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Catherine made use of all available resources to her advantage. She flaunted her stylish clothes and sophisticated look and hurled witty insults agaist Isadora and Scarlet. In one instance, Catherine wore diamonds while swimming! Her reason? "Siyempre, diamonds are forever, like me!" Catherine became poor again and she was instrumental in the capture of Isadora who sequestered the land of farmers. In the end, Catherine distanced herself from the others by conducting charity work. However, Rafael found a way to reunite with her and they ended up being a couple.
Photo by: Iisa Pa Lamang (ABS-CBN)
MARIMAR PEREZ in MariMar
Marimar (Marian Rivera/Megan Young) is an innocent lady who married Sergio (Dingdong Dantes/Tom Rodriguez), believing that he is truly in love with her. However, the marriage brought misery to Marimar because of Sergio's evil stepmother Angelika (Katrina Halili/Jaclyn Jose). To humiliate her enemy, Angelika forced Marimar pick up jewelry from the mud by using her mouth. Marimar discovers her real identity as a rich heiress and assumes a new identity as Bella Aldama. The new Marimar eventually gets back at Sergio, Angelika, and everyone who wronged her.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Marimar's transformation is truly "goals"—she shifts from being an innocent, barrio lass to a smart, classy woman wearing signature clothes and bags. She did not resort to guns and goons for her revenge. Instead, she used her beauty as a tool to make Sergio fall in love with her again and challenge Angelika to a swimsuit showdown.
Photo by: MariMar 2007/2015 (GMA-7)
AMOR POWERS in Pangako Sa 'Yo
Amor (Eula Valdes/Jodi Sta. Maria) vowed to herself that she will get back at the Buenavistas whom she blamed for the death of her child Maria Amor. After years of living in the United States and establishing a name for herself, she returns to the Philippines to plot her revenge against Eduardo (Tonton Gutierrez/Ian Veneracion) and Claudia (Jean Garcia/Angelica Panganiban). Little did Amor know that her daughter (Kristine Hermosa/Kathryn Bernardo) is still alive.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Amor made calculated moves by becoming a business partner of the Buenavistas and acquiring all their wealth. From being the weak, soft-spoken maid of the Buenavistas, she transformed into a classy, fierce woman whom everyone admired. The hatred in her heart dissipated when her love for Eduardo prevailed and she discovered that her daughter is alive.
Photo by: Pangako Sa 'Yo 2000/2015 (ABS-CBN)
EMMA DOQUEZA in Ika-6 Na Utos
All hell broke loose when Emma (Sunshine Dizon) discovered that her husband Rome (Gabby Concepcion) is cheating on her with her best friend Georgia (Ryza Cenon). To make matters worse, the legal wife found out that her husband lost interest in her because she looked "manang" and fat. After overcoming Georgia's evil plans that erased her existence in Rome's life, Emma became determined to be a better version of herself.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: With her new looks, Emma gave Georgia and Rome a taste of their own medicine by staging different gimmicks that would humiliate the mistress, and make her ex-husband drool over her. Emma also did not back down every time Georgia provoked her into engaging in a physical fight. Emma succeeded in the end when she and her family became complete again.
Photo by: Ika-6 Na Utos (GMA-7)
CARMELA FERNANDEZ in Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw
While other women are being admired for their beauty, Carmela (Marian Rivera) became the subject of ridicule and judgment because of her looks. People in their town assumed that she's using her beauty to make men to fall for her. True enough, the men in an influential family all fell for Carmela: Mayor Fernando (Roi Vinzon), Dante (Raymond Bagatsing), and her one true love, Yago (Alden Richards).
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Women in the town may be right after all—Carmela used her beauty to get Mayor Fernando, not to seduce him, but to avenge her mother Amanda (Agot Isidro). Carmela made the powerful man fall for her so that she can discover the mayor's "activities" and use the information to ruin his life. Despite this, she remained pure and surrendered herself to Yago, who is her only love.
Photo by: Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw (GMA-7)
ROSE BUENAVISTA in Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon
Rose (Bea Alonzo) was blamed for the death of her father (Chinggoy Alonso). However, she got an opportunity to defend herself through the help of her lawyer Emmanuelle (also played by Bea). Unfortunately, an incident killed Emmanuelle and caused Rose to have a burned face. She took this as a chance to use Emmanuelle's face and identity, and get justice for what happened to her.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Rose, who assumed the identity of Emmanuelle, used her newfound beauty to her advantage. She seduced her ex-boyfriend Patrick (Paulo Avelino) after he married her stepsister Sasha (Maricar Reyes). Sasha picked catfights with Rose but her plans always backfired because of Rose's wit. One such incident was when Sasha fell into the pool and Rose asked if she needed her help. Sasha tried to grab Rose's hand but the latter refused to help her as she said, "Kaya ka na ng asawa mo," and walked out with a smile.
Photo by: Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon (ABS-CBN)
VICTORIA VALERA in Magkaribal
Anna (Gretchen Barretto) experienced a lot of hardships in life after the death of her mother (Dimples Romana) and losing her younger sister Gelai (Bea Alonzo). Anna's troubles started because of the extra-marital affair of her father Manuel (Mark Gil) with Vera (Angel Aquino). When Anna got the opportunity to study in the United States courtesy of Ronaldo Valera (Robert Arevalo), she made the most out of it and transformed into the fashionable, beautiful Victoria Valera. When she made her comeback, she made Manuel and Vera's lives miserable. Unfortunately, her quest for revenge affected Gelai since Anna did not know that they were sisters.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Victoria fights her battles through fashion and even through her choice of words. One time, Victoria challenged her arch-nemesis Vera: "You want war, I'll give you war! Sabihin mo lang kung saan at kailan, I'll be there in my red stilettos."
Photo by: Magkaribal (ABS-CBN)
ANA DIMASALANG in Asintado
In Asintado, Ana (Julia Montes) almost died after Senator Salvador del Mundo (Nonie Buencamino) and Miranda Ojeda (Lorna Tolentino) had her kidnapped and tortured. This was because Ana reported to the authorities Senator Salvador's plans of killing another senator. Six months later, Ana wakes up from a coma and joins the group of Xander (Aljur Abrenica) in plotting their revenge and getting justice for their family members who were killed by Senator Salvador. Ana also vows to get even with Samantha (Shaina Magdayao), Salvador's daughter who witnessed her suffering and took advantage of it to steal her boyfriend, Gael (Paulo Avelino). However, Ana has yet to discover if Samantha is her long lost sister.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Ana pretends to be Xander's dead wife Stella. However, her persona as Ana still comes out every time she sees people who needs help, mainly because of her background as a nurse. When Ana receives insults from Samantha, Ana retaliates by giving classy yet fierce comebacks.
Photo by: Asintado (ABS-CBN)
LOVELIA VILLACORTA in Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas
Lovelia's (Lovi Poe) meek and innocent attitude made it hard for her to live up to the expectations of her grandmother (Liza Lorena). It didn't help that Lovelia is the illegitimate daughter of Roel (Gary Estrada) to a maid (Ina Feleo). All hell broke loose upon the arrival of Agatha (Charee Pineda), Roel's new wife who used Lovelia's weakness to her advantage. Lovelia's brush with death made her more determined to return what is rightfully hers.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Lovelia had a low-key yet shocking comeback a year after her grandmother and Agatha thought that she died. From being a meek girl, Lovelia transformed into a fierce woman who is not fazed by trivial things.
Photo by: Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas (GMA-7)
VALERIE ROSALES in Hanggang Kailan
After escaping the wrath of her abusive husband, Valerie (Lorna Tolentino) returned to San Sebastian to claim what is rightfully hers when her one and only love Dado (Christopher de Leon) married her kind-hearted half-sister Thelma (Alice Dixson). Valerie's comeback to San Sebastian became a nightmare for the whole town.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Known as one of the first bida-kontrabidas on television, Valerie knew how to use her influence and money to get back at her sister and ex-boyfriend, especially since the couple is not well-off. She was known for her choice of words for subtle insults, like when she called one character "hampaslupa," she clarified, "That was not an insult, that was an adjective." In the end, her love for Dado prevailed when she took the bullet that was meant for him.
Photo by: Hanggang Kailan (GMA, from YES! Magazine April 2004 issue)
NOEMI MANANSALA in Sinner or Saint
Noemi (Bianca King) sacrificed a lot for her boyfriend Raul (Dennis Trillo). The martyr girlfriend took the blame after Raul accidentally killed her uncle. For this reason, Noemi became convicted of murder. Unfortunately, Raul decided to marry Corrine (Alessandra de Rossi), a woman from an influential clan. This left Noemi dumbfounded and determined to avenge the injustice that happened to her.
WHAT MAKES HER KICK-ASS: Among the ladies in this list, Noemi did not need the help of a rich patron or an influential person to make everyone pay for their sins. She remained determined to find her lost daughter and get justice for what happened to her. In the end, her innocence was proven and karma hit hard on the people who used her.
Photo by: Sinner or Saint (GMA-7)
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20 Pinoy teleserye characters who are empowered women