The first-ever fashion series in the country, Magkaribal was a romance-melodrama that revolved around the life of two influential women in the fashion industry – Gelai Agustin/Angela Abella (Bea Alonzo) and Victoria Valera/Anna Abella (Gretchen Barretto), who later on discovered that they were actually estranged sisters. Their mother’s (Dimples Romana) death and their father’s (James Blanco/Mark Gil) infidelity forced them to dwell on the streets and eventually went their own way.
After being kidnapped from the hospital where she was confined, Angela was adopted by a couple (John Arcilla and Arlene Muhlach) who owned a textile shop in Quiapo and renamed her Gelai Agustin. She persevered to achieve her and her sister’s dream of becoming top Philippine designers and became junior designer at Vera Couture owned by Vera Cruz (Angel Aquino), their father’s paramour. On the other hand, the devastated and alone Anna was fostered by famous fashion designer Ronaldo Valera (Robert Arevalo) and was given the name Victoria Valera. She studied fashion design abroad and became a supermodel.
The lives of Gelai and Victoria intertwined after many years and they would clash because of Louie (Derek Ramsay), the man they both love. Unknown to them, Louie was Vera’s boy toy and she’s just using him and her business connections to easily topple down the sisters and reclaim her title as the fashion queen. However, in the end, the sisters finally discovered the real connection between them and they didn’t let Vera succeed in her plans.
Aside from its refreshing and well-written plot and the effectual portrayals of its cast, Magkaribal garnered a huge following during its run in 2010 due to the remarkable lines delivered by the rivals Victoria and Vera, such as the very infamous “You want war? I’ll give you war. Sabihin mo lang kung saan at kailan. I’ll be there in my red stilettos,” powerfully dropped by the former to the latter.
It was also where Kathryn Bernardo showcased her fascinating flair in acting as she played the young Victoria, which created a hullaballoo then as she had to act as prostitute in one of the episodes.
The series also received nominations and accolades from various award-giving bodies, including their “Best Telenovela” nomination in the 2011 New York Festivals TV and Film Awards.