There has been an exciting transformation in women on television for quite some time now. From the traditional damsels in distress, we see a shift to stronger female protagonists who are passionate, independent, bold and goal-oriented. Yes, these heroines still deliver our much needed dose of “kilig” with their fairy tale love stories and drive us to cry bucket of tears when they play the underdog. But now, they do so while they take charge of their loved ones, strive to excel at their chosen fields, pursue their passions and dreams, and stand up for their convictions. They are now regularly portrayed as decision-makers, advocates, authority figures, stakeholders in their communities. They are still flawed, which makes them all the more relatable, but they also inspire and empower other women with their resiliency and positive attitude. Through their struggles, sacrifices, and aspirations, we see how every woman can survive through painful, challenging circumstances and come out even tougher.
It’s truly a compelling time for female characters on TV, now more than ever. So this week, let us celebrate the women who are defined not by their looks, age, or body measurements, but by their courage, confidence, and heart. Here are the 7 strong women of today’s Kapamilya teleseryes!
1. Lala Chavez, “Langit Lupa”
Enterprising and entrepreneurial, Lala (Yam Concepcion) started a shoe company with her best friend, Dey (Alessandra de Rossi), right after college. While the business flourished, Lala soon fell in love with Ian (Patrick Garcia) and they married. However, after stealing the company’s money, Ian left her and their daughter and fled to the US to evade arrest. Because of the theft, Lala was not able to give back Dey’s shares in the company in time for a surgery that could have saved her from a fatal cardiac arrest. Though betrayed by her own husband and carrying the burden of guilt for Dey’s death, Lala refused to be broken and instead did her best to expand the company for the future of her daughter, Princess (Xia Vigor). When Ian came back with a new girlfriend and wrestled the shoe company from her, Lala proved again that she’s more than just a survivor, but also a fighter. She stood up once more and made the best of the situation. As a mom, Lala would sacrifice anything for her daughter’s happiness, even if it meant allowing Ian back to their lives.
2. Camille Saison, “The Better Half”
Camille (Shaina Magdayao) found true love in Marco (Carlo Aquino) and they eventually tied the knot. Marco then headed to Dubai to prepare for a better future for a family that he and Camille dream of, but fate played a cruel joke and the plane he was on crashed. Thinking that her husband has died, Camille decided to give up on life as well. However, a stranger named Rafael (JC De Vera) intervened and saved her from drowning. After realizing the pain that she had almost caused her parents, Camille began to accept her husband’s death little by little. And although Marco’s memories still caused her pain, she mustered up the resolve to stand up once again and gradually move on with her life, with the help of Rafael.
3. Gloria Alegre, “The Greatest Love”
They say that a mother’s love is the greatest in the world, and Gloria’s (Sylvia Sanchez) devotion for her children is an embodiment of that inexhaustible love. When she was young, a rejected suitor named Andres (Junjun Quintana) raped Gloria (Ellen Adarna) and got her pregnant. For the sake of the baby, she married her abuser, sacrificing her happiness and her dream of a future with the love of her life, Peter (Ejay Falcon). But after they had three kids, Andres left while Gloria soldiered on and turned to scavenging to earn a living. By fate, she crossed paths again with Peter who admitted that he still loved her and offered to take care of her and her kids. But, just when Gloria was ready to reunite with the one she truly loved, Andres reappeared and threatened her that she would never see their children again. Once more, she chose her kids over the desires of her heart. However, her time with Peter resulted in pregnancy and she gave birth to Lizelle (Andi Eigenmann). When the three older Alegre children found out about their youngest sister’s parentage, they could not forgive their mom for what they judged as a betrayal against their father. But her limitless love as a mother gave Gloria the resilience to accept her children’s contempt while shielding them from the pain of finding out the truth about Andres’s sins. This love also became her strength in facing the uncertainties and challenges that come with her Alzheimer’s disease which she knows would one day take away all of her memories. Although grieved by what the future holds for her, Gloria resolutely chooses to fight off the symptoms as long as she could – writing down important reminders and information, recording videos, and signing up for therapy sessions, all the while doing her best to put the lives of her children in order.
4. Lily Cruz/Ivy Aguas, “Wildflower”
Lily might just be the toughest and most kick-ass lady on this list! At a very young age, her innocent and carefree life was shattered when both her parents died at the hands of the powerful Ardiente family. Their suffering started when Camia (Sunshine Cruz), Lily’s mother, became the object of desire of Raul Torillo (Wendell Ramos), the womanizing husband of then Mayor Emilia Ardiente (Aiko Melendez). Lily’s father, Atty. Dante Cruz, who is a prosecutor with high principles, sought to file charges against Raul for his attempts to take Camia by force, but Dante met an untimely death right after being summoned by Mayor Emilia. Lily then found her mother beaten and violated by the mayor’s hooligans; she was only able to escape because Camia held on to the goon’s legs while begging him not to touch her daughter, an act that cost her her life. Emilia ordered her men to hunt down and kill Lily as well, so the young girl ran away to Manila where she had to fend for herself until Prianka Aguas (Priscilla Meirelles), a rich woman with a sad story of her own, decided to take her in. Under her harsh guidance, Lily transformed to Ivy and trained to be fit and competitive in combat, shrewd and business-savvy, and alluringly classy, all the qualities she would need to bring down the Ardientes.
5. Lola Flora, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”
Lola Flora (Susan Roces) is the grandmother we all remember in our childhood – sweet and caring, and always has an insightful advice to share. But don’t let her age and gentle demeanor fool you because Cardo’s (Coco Martin) grandmother is definitely one resilient woman! As the barangay captain, Lola Flora or Lola Kap ensured the peace and order in her community and spearheaded the implementation of projects and ordinances for the betterment of their barangay. In her personal life as well, Lola Flora has shown great fortitude in a family of police officers, especially when she lost her son, SPO4 Pablo de Leon, who was killed in the line of duty. She was then left to raise her twin grandsons, Ador and Cardo (Coco), on her own until she had to make the painful decision of putting Cardo up for adoption so his injuries could be treated abroad. Years later, Lola Flora endured yet another tragedy when her grandson, Police Insp. Ador de Leon, was killed during a police operation. Now, she has to be stronger still as Cardo faces even more innumerable life-threatening situations in his quest to bring Joaquin (Arjo Atayde) and Don Emilio (Eddie Garcia) to justice.
6. Dr. Margaret Divinagracia, “My Dear Heart”
The cold-hearted chief heart surgeon and perfectionist boss at Dr. Luke Divinagracia Medical Center and an inflexible matriarch at home, Dr. Margaret (Coney Reyes) is an iron lady through and through. Ruthless and calculating, she knows exactly what she wants and allows no room for opposition or incompetence. Her exacting nature has paved the way for her to become the number 1 heart surgeon in the country at the age of 55. But, behind Dr. Margaret’s seemingly impenetrable facade is a fiercely loyal heart. Her devotion for her deceased father fuels her deep-seated desire for vengeance against the people who unfairly ruined his name, while her boundless love for her daughter Lana (Ria Atayde) drove her to commit unimaginable acts that she saw as justifiable and necessary to protect her child.
7. Andrea “Andeng” Agoncillo, “A Love To Last”
Andeng (Bea Alonzo) is a hard-working events planner who is passionate about her work. A problem-solver and a people person, she is the one whom people turn to for resolution and leadership. At home, her role is similar. Apart from being the breadwinner, her large family turns to her for sound advice and trusts her when it comes to settling conflicts and resolving crises. Even though her father had a second family, Andeng never lost her faith in love and was even happily planning her wedding with her then boyfriend Jerold (Victor Silayan). But she called off the engagement after discovering that Jerold was cheating on her. Despite her broken heart, Andeng turned her attention to solving their family’s dilemma of losing their home. To help raise the money to pay for the mortgage, she strove to win the biggest client yet for their events team, the CELBA Corporation where she met the dashing Anton Noble (Ian Veneracion). The two unexpectedly find themselves falling in love. Still reeling from her ex-boyfriend’s betrayal, Andeng hesitated at first, especially after she considered the difference in their age and the fact that Anton already has three children and an ex-wife. But, being the fighter that she is, Andeng finally decided to admit her feelings and brave the odds to be with Anton.