is a 2013 fantasy-drama series from the Philippines created and developed by Suzette Doctolero. While largely set in the backdrop of Spanish colonization
(more specifically, the initial decades following Ferdinand Magellan's expedition
), the story itself starts off in pre-Hispanic times. Ynaguiguinid, the diwata
goddess of war, who have fallen in love and had chosen to marry a warrior tribesman lives with their newborn child, who's later called Malaya. Things come to an abrupt end however when the Conquistadores arrive
. Realizing that all would soon be lost, she sacrifices her life to ensure Malaya's survival, helped in part by the now orphaned baby being adopted by a local Tagalog couple. For a time, and with the help of another goddess named Mayagon, Malaya begins to learn his heritage and destiny...only have his adoptive parents taken away
and end up under the care of an ambitious encomendero
named Juancho Sanreal.
Many years later, Malaya (or Simeon as he's now called) maintains a strong relationship and unrelenting devotion for Juancho. Until he uncovers Juancho's manipulation and deceit, including the oppression of the common people and the latter’s involvement in the death of Rosa, the love of his life. This prompts him to finally embrace his mission. With this his quest and battle for peace and freedom begin.
The series is known locally for its high production values and being a major flagship series for its home network, GMA 7, as well as its sharp break
from the conventional Filipino teleserye/teledrama.
It's also notable for its historical accuracy
and efforts to show things from both sides. The title itself
is a term used during the Spanish Era referring to indigenous Filipinos.
Provides Examples Of:
- Actor Allusion / Recycled IN SPACE!: The lead actor, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., plays yet another sword-wielding character with a magic amulet.
- All Myths Are True: Apparently, the diwata and local deities exist. And both feel threatened by the Spanish and their Christian missionaries.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Juancho, who's a lot more interested in becoming Governor-General than actually looking after his personal fief.
- But Not Too Foreign: Esperanza Sanreal is a creole.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Justified; the Spaniards also sought to bring Catholicism to the "heathens." Although the diwata and anito aren't so pleased with how they're going about it.
- End of an Age: The show begins towards the end of pre-colonial life in the Philippines. The decline and gradual purging of the old ways become a major plot point.
- Fantastic Racism: Also crossed with Deliberate Values Dissonance.
- Faux Affably Evil: Juancho. He deliberately tries to present himself as a nice guy to Simeon only because of what his abilities could do for his own ambitions.
- Foregone Conclusion: Anyone familiar with Spanish colonial history knows how the prologue (and much of the series) is going to play out.
- Gold Fever: Not exactly gold, but many Spaniards seem lured in by all the potential trade they could profit from.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Justified, although it helps that there are also a lot of Spanish loanwords in Filipino.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Malaya/Simeon's real mother was a diwata goddess.
- La Résistance: What Malaya/Simeon hopes to shape his countrymen into.
- The Magic Goes Away: Subverted. Christianity may have driven the local deities and creatures further afield. On the other hand, some of the more antagonistic Spaniards aren't above trying to harness it for their own ends.
- Meaningful Name: Malaya is an indigenous word for "free" in both Filipino and Tagalog (the language that forms the basis of Filipino).
- The Messiah: Malaya/Simeon
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Hernando, Juancho's second-in-command. He's torn between his conscience and loyalty to his superior.
- Outside-Context Villain: The local inhabitants and diwata certainly didn't expect the new visitors from the seas to be brandishing guns.
- Punch Clock Villain / Anti-Villain: The Spanish colonists. With certain exceptions, not all of them are evil.
- Rock Beats Laser: Subverted. Magic and sheer determination weren't enough to counter steel, armor and guns.
- Shown Their Work: The creators went through a good deal of effort to research not only Spanish colonialism but also pre-colonial mythology.
- Translation Convention: For the most part, everyone speaks in Filipino (including the Spaniards). Although bits and pieces of Spanish are increasingly used as the series progresses.