9 badass women from Filipino teleseryes
Women in teleseryes are often portrayed as damsels in distress, who, instead of standing up to their antagonists, wait for their knight in shining armor to come to their rescue.
Many of us are probably tired of formulaic TV shows, but it’s good to know that a number of iconic characters try to shatter stereotypes about women. This Women’s Month, we pay tribute to nine ladies who prove that they are more than just Rapunzels waiting for their princes.
Amor Powers (Pangako Sa’yo)
Amor Powers (Eula Valdez) is the definitive martir who transforms into a femme fatale in stiletto heels. The love of her life, Gov. Eduardo Buenavista, is married off to Claudia because that’s how politics (and teleseryes) work. Upon learning this, she vows to seek revenge against the Buenavistas.
Later on, she marries a filthy rich American guy who abuses her during their marriage, so she leaves him to die while he is having a stroke. She inherits all his money, which she later uses to become a powerful businesswoman.
Badass Factor: A rags-to-riches tale is cliche, but c’mon, letting your abuser husband die in front of you and inheriting all his money afterwards? It’s mean, alright. But definitely badass.
Claudia Buenavista (Pangako Sa’yo)
If you were to make a list of teleserye villains you hate with all your wits, Madam Claudia Buenavista (Jean Garcia) should make it to the top. In typical kontrabida fashion, she steals Amor Powers’ first love and the love of her life, she gambles, she lies about who the real Maria Amor is, and she has her own daughter killed. While Claudia may seem to be the worst person to ever exist, you have to admire her perseverance and how, after everything, she still seeks for everyone’s forgiveness.
Badass Factor: She’s badass in the worst way possible, yet she’s humble enough to recognize that she has done a lot of evil stuff.
Alena, Danaya, Amihan, Pirena (Encantadia)
The sang’gre sisters of Lireo—Alena (Karylle), Danaya (Diana Zubiri), Amihan (Iza Calzado), and Pirena (Sunshine Dizon)—share little in common. But they all want the same thing: to become the heiress to their Ynang Reynang Minea. But if there is one thing that binds the fierce brood of four, that is they are all skilled warriors, breaking the stereotype that a good queen must only be a good ruler.
Badass Factor: The ladies of Encantadia prove that women aren’t only good homemakers, but are also fierce fighters.
Eloisa Santiago (The Legal Wife)
Monica de Villa’s (Angel Locsin) mother Eloisa (Rio Locsin) has had a scarred and traumatizing marriage with Javier. Because of this, she decides to leave her husband for her own good. While leaving one’s children behind is quite questionable, it’s unfair for everyone over at The Legal Wife to portray her as a terrible mother.
Badass Factor: Because once someone’s relationship becomes abusive, staying in it is already out of the question.
Amaya (Marian Rivera) is a fictional pre-Colonial character who did not allow her boundaries as a binukot (a special kind of princess who is completely separated from the outside world) hinder her from having it all: she is a slave, warrior, babaylan, teacher, and later on, queen of a puod (similar to barangays today). According to the story, Amaya is the daughter of a Datu and a slave, who has a snake twin, and, according to a babaylan’s prophecy, she is destined to kill Rajah Mangubat. She defeats the evil queen-wannabe Dian Lamitan for the good of all.
Badass Factor: Binukot are believed to be weak beings, since they have literally never lifted a finger all their lives and they have never seen the world beyond their kubo. But Amaya steps out of her comfort zone and rescues her people from Dian Lamitan.
The ultimate Pinay superhero is also credited for being the first female superhero ever. Created by Mars Ravelo during the 50s, Darna was recreated numerous times on the big screen, but it was only in 2005 when her role was played on TV: Angel Locsin in 2005 and Marian Rivera in 2009.
Badass Factor: Battling crime, giants, and human snakes. Enough said.
Rhodora (Rhodora X)
Timid and soft-spoken Rhodora (Jennylyn Mercado) has Dissociative Identity Disorder, a mental illness that triggers two or more distinctive identities in a person. In the teleserye, she is abducted as a child and suffers a ghastly fate of physical abuse that leaves her emotionally and mentally battered. To cope with her trauma, she develops a second personality: Roxanne. Roxanne is Rhodora’s smart, cunning, and evil alter ego, who wants to take revenge on the sister who abandoned her when she was abducted. Despite her struggles, Rhodora battles her own demons for the sake of her daughter Jenna.
Badass Factor: We still have a lot to learn about mental health and illnesses, and Rhodora makes us understand that people like her aren’t hopeless cases. In fact, they should even be admired because of their strength to overcome their inner monsters.
Millet Real (Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real)
Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real recounts the story of Millet (Maricel Soriano) and Anthony (Dingdong Dantes) Real’s typically happy marriage, until he meets Shiela (Lovi Poe), gets her pregnant out of wedlock, and secretly marries her, too. Instead of sulking and wallowing in sadness, Millet picks herself up and confronts her husband’s second wife in the classiest way possible.
Badass Factor: She gives up her career to become a full-time, hands-on mother and wife, despite constant disapproval from her Dad. Also, she confronts her husband’s second wife with lines like “Bago mo ibuka ang hita mo, mag-research ka!” Wise words indeed.
Lally (My Husband’s Lover)
Lally (Carla Abellana) gets pregnant when she and her boyfriend Vincent (Tom Rodriguez) are still in college. Since Vincent loves her so much, they decide to get married. Lally has an almost-perfect family life, but her husband is a closeted gay man, who is having an affair with his true love Eric (Dennis Trillo).
Obviously, Lally is devastated with this discovery. While surges of violent anger are expected from her, she still takes the high road by confronting Vincent and Eric, not because of their relationship per se, but because of Vincent’s infidelity.
Badass Factor: Despite being emotional, Lally still accepts the fact that Vincent and Eric are the loves of each other’s lives. She’s a lady who knows how to pick herself up after a failed relationship.