Kapamilya Fantaseryes Through The Years

Filipino culture is replete with rich mythology and folklore, so it’s no surprise that fantasy has been a beloved theme in Pinoy television. These shows, called fantaseryes, typically feature a variety of wonderful characters and mysterious beings such as mermaids, vampires, aliens, ghosts, and superhumans, drawn from the concepts of Pinoy folktales. 

But, beyond the fantastical elements and ambitious plots, these series has left an indelible mark for the lessons they continue to impart about compassion, friendship, hope, and courage. 

ABS-CBN, in particular, has produced a selection of the finest fantaseryes to grace our screens, which we've compiled in this Kapamilya Time-List video.


ABS-CBN’s first fantaserye, “Marina” (2004), ushered in the rise of fantasy-themed series in Philippine television. It’s a magical journey through enchanting landscapes and beneath the sea, following the tale of Cristina/Marina, played by the Optimum Star Claudine Barretto, cursed by Victoria (Cherie Gil), a vengeful deity in disguise, to become a mermaid once she turns seven. The curse was rooted in Victoria’s bitterness after Elias (Joel Torre) rejected her and chose to marry Cristina’s mother, Esther (Snooky Serna). 

Elias left his family, thinking that doing so would convince Victoria to lift her curse on his daughter. But the curse turned true, forcing Esther to release Cristina into the sea out of fear. Saved by the mermaid queen, Istah (Sunshine Cruz), Cristina took on the name Marina and grew up underwater, dreaming of a life on land.

To swap her fins for legs, Marina struck a deal with the mighty sea witch Dugong (Malou de Guzman), who also became a legendary character in the fantaserye world. Along the way, Marina crossed paths with Rodge (Rafael Rosell), sparking a love story amidst the waves. 


Krystala, dubbed as ABS-CBN’s first ‘superserye’ in 2004, starred the one and only Drama Queen Judy Ann Santos. It follows the story of Tala, a young woman from the Madulom tribe, on a mission to save the world from evil.

Tala discovered her superhero alter ego, Krystala, after stumbling upon a crystal containing the spirit of the sorceress Luwalhati (Angel Jacob). Luwalhati had been trapped inside the crystal for centuries by the villainous Harimon (Emilio Garcia) and his crew, who are hell-bent on spreading chaos in the human world.

Determined to fulfill her promise to Luwalhati and protect the innocent from Harimon's wrath, Tala realized she must become Krystala. As Tala embraced her superhero identity, she unraveled the truth about her own past. She discovered that her mother was possessed by Harimon's spirit and abandoned her as a child, so she was raised by Aleta (Susan Africa) and Joram (Ronnie Lazaro) of the Madulom tribe. 

Kampanerang Kuba

Telling the tale of Imang, a good-hearted hunchbacked church bell-ringer, "Kampanerang Kuba" (2005) delivered profound lessons on life and love. Beyond its magical allure, viewers adored its lighthearted moments complete with song and dance.  

Anne Curtis's portrayal of Imang made the show even more exceptional. This teleserye marked a significant milestone in her career, serving as her first major breakthrough as a Kapamilya. We can all agree that she delivered a dazzling performance, showcasing her commitment and passion for her craft despite wearing prosthetic makeup to transform into Imang. Her stellar acting in "Kampanerang Kuba" paved the way for her success in other iconic fantaserye roles "Dyosa" and "Dyesebel." 


After the groundbreaking success of “Marina”, “Krystala”, and “Kampanerang Kuba,” ABS-CBN brought to life the iconic “Panday” with Jericho Rosales at the forefront. Adapted from Carlo J. Caparas’ renowned novel, ABS-CBN’s “Panday” (2005) marked the novel's television debut, following a string of movie adaptations since the ‘70s.

Departing from the original narrative, the TV iteration was set in the aftermath of Flavio (Philip Salvador) defeating his archrival Lizardo (Victor Neri). Unbeknownst to Flavio, Lizardo’s soul remained intact and was revived by his minions, the Sombras. Consequently, the once peaceful Sto. Sepulcro found itself under the shadow of evil once more. 

A new hero emerged in the form of the town’s blacksmith, Tristan (Jericho), who crafted a sword identical to Flavio’s, signalling a new chapter of heroism and adventure. The fantasy series was remarkable for its dazzling special effects, adrenaline-pumping battles, and the captivating chemistry between Jericho and his leading lady Heart Evangelista.

Super Inggo

In 2006, "Super Inggo" followed the journey of Budong (Makisig Morales), a young boy leading a double life as the superhero Super Inggo. Alongside his trusty best friend and sidekick Jomar (Jairus Aquino), and inspired by his admiration for Maya (Kathryn Bernardo), his ultimate crush, Budong embarked on thrilling adventures of combating evil and rescuing the innocent. 

"Super Inggo" not only propelled the career of Makisig Morales in the titular role but also stands out as one of Kathryn's most memorable projects as a child actress.


“Paglaki ko, gusto kong maging Rounin!" Ah, the nostalgia that line evokes! The 2007 fantasy-martial arts series "Rounin" broke new ground by being filmed in high-definition video technology. Set in the fictional planet of Lumeria, the series followed an elite group of warriors tasked with protecting the planet and its inhabitants from the threats of Helion, the City of Death. The ‘Rounins’ trained in distinct martial arts discipline and were bound by rules. 

Featuring an impressive ensemble cast including Shaina Magdayao, Angelica Panganiban, Luis Manzano, Melissa Ricks, Geoff Eigenman, Rafael Rosell, Joross Gamboa, Ina Raymundo, Agot Isidro, and Diether Ocampo, the series captivated audiences with its gripping storyline and dynamic characters.


The iconic Kapamilya alien! Both children and adults followed this show for its portrayal of love and friendship, as well as its thrilling out-of-this-world adventures.

Kokey (2007) was adapted from the 1997 movie of the same name. It’s about an alien named Kokey from the planet Yekok, who crash-landed on Earth in his ship and became friends with a child named Bong (Joshua Cadelina), who helped him build his ship to get back to his planet. However, they must also fight Korokoy, the enemy who followed him to Earth trying to get his hands on the crystal that Kokey possesses.

In 2009, a sequel titled "Kokey@Ako" aired, featuring Toni Gonzaga and Vhong Navarro in lead roles. 


In 2007, Vhong Navarro took the lead role in the TV adaptation of the Mars Ravelo classic comics. The TV version followed the journey of Eskappar (Vhong Navarro), a half-alien, half-human who landed on Earth and was adopted by a kind-hearted earthling, who named him Miguel. Endowed with the power to stretch and distort his body, Eskappar assumed the alter ego Lastikman, using his elastic abilities to fight crime and evil as a superhero

Lobo, Imortal, and La Luna Sangre

A series earns its iconic status when it evolves into a saga. "Lobo" (2008) marked the beginning of a trilogy, followed by "Imortal" (2010) starring Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz, and "La Luna Sangre" (2017) starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. 

In "Lobo," Angel and Piolo Pascual took the lead roles. The narrative revolved around Lyka (Angel), an aspiring fashion designer who was unaware of her werewolf heritage, and Noah (Piolo), who harbored resentment towards werewolves due to his father's demise at the hands of one. Despite their differences, love blossomed between them amidst the challenges they face.

As the seemingly unending war between the werewolves and vampires escalated, Angel and John Lloyd (as Mateo, the vampires’ chosen one) continued the ‘forbidden love’ saga in the sequel “Imortal.” The characters met and fell in love amidst the two faction’s fight, unaware that their love would trigger their powers and separate them. 

In the concluding chapter “La Luna Sangre,” Lia and Mateo gave up their powers and found solace as mortals. However, a new prophecy would change the destiny of their daughter, Malia (Kathryn), believed to be the ‘chosen one’ fated to free their lineage from the vampire king.


Over the years, the title "Dyosa" has become synonymous with Anne Curtis, thanks to her portrayal in the fantaserye with the same name. The 2008 series centered around Josephine, played by Anne, a young orphan who discovered her extraordinary identity as the "Takda" (Chosen One) and learned of her destiny in the realm of gods and goddesses. 

Endowed with divine powers as the Takda, she was tasked with saving the world from the malevolent creatures called ‘Kasamyan’.  As a goddess, she possessed control over the elements of water, air, and earth. To wield these powers effectively, she must transform into Dyosa Agua, a mermaid; Dyosa Cielo, a harpy; and Dyosa Tierra, a half-human, half-horse woman. 


Ella Cruz further solidified her acting chops by taking on the titular role in the 2017 fantasy drama “Aryana.” The saga took shape through the journey of Aryana, an ordinary teenager, whose world turned upside down when a mysterious curse turned her into a mermaid on her 14th birthday. 

Juan Dela Cruz

Before he became Cardo Dalisay and Tanggol Dimaguiba, Coco Martin rose to fame as the charismatic hero Juan dela Cruz. Born to a mortal who perished during childbirth, Juan was raised as an orphan within the confines of a church by a righteous parish priest. 

Unbeknownst to Juan, he's half Warlock, destined to fulfill the prophecy as the Prince of Darkness, slated to govern his supernatural lineage and potentially dominate humanity.  

However, Juan's destiny carries a twist. His mother hailed from a lineage of guardians known as Keepers of the Cross, tasked with wielding the Cross of Steel—an ancient weapon utilized to combat Warlocks and Witches. Unfortunately, the Cross of Steel entrusted to Juan's mother was stolen before her demise. Its recovery became imperative for Juan to safeguard humanity from the sinister schemes of his own kind—the Warlocks and Witches.

Juan dela Cruz. (2012) is a fantasy series depicting the timeless battle between good and evil, centering on the journey of an unlikely hero. 

Galema: Anak ni Zuma

An extraordinary tale of family and love, adapted from the timeless Jim Fernandez novel, “Galema: Anak ni Zuma” (2013) brought to life the story of Galema (Andi Eigenmann), a young woman burdened with a curse inherited from her monstrous father, Zuma (Derick Hubalde) – twin snakes coiled around her neck from birth. 


Here’s another Anne Curtis fantaserye on the list! Inspired by our local lore, we, Filipinos have a soft spot for mermaid tales. It’s no surprise viewers were captivated all over again when Anne swam as “Dyesebel,” another Mars Ravelo classic, in 2014. The iconic half-human, half-fish character first made a splash in a movie way back in 1953.

Dyesebel, a young mermaid, embarked on a quest to uncover her origins, only to discover she's the daughter of a merman and a human. Cast out by the sea for being the child of the merman prince Tino (Albert Martinez), she ventured into the human world where she met Fredo (Gerald Anderson). ABS-CBN reimagined this timeless tale by focusing on Dyesebel's journey as she navigated between two conflicting worlds, striving to create harmony between them.


Remember when Julia Barretto and Enrique Gil teamed up in a project? The two topbilled “Mirabella” (2014), a tale centered around Mira (Julia), a young girl burdened with a peculiar curse that gives her skin a wood-like texture. She was ridiculed for her strange appearance, but she remained kind-hearted, thanks to her foster parents, Osang (Pokwang) and Paeng (John ‘Sweet’ Lapus). Then along came Jeremy (Enrique), who brought even more love and acceptance into her life, fulfilling the longing in her heart. 

My Super D

What if your dad becomes a real superhero? Drama-fantasy series “My Super D” (2016) was headlined by Dominic Ochoa as Dodong, a responsible father granted with superpowers to save his son Dennis (Marco Masa) from the bad guys, and from then on lived in two worlds as an ordinary dad and a real superhero. 


In 2018, we entered the realm of Sansinukob and embarked on an epic journey alongside five ordinary individuals who each hailed from distinct regions within Sansinukob and rose to become heroes in "Bagani." The tale revolved around Lakas (Enrique Gil), Ganda (Liza Soberano), Lakam (Matteo Guidicelli), Dumakulem (Makisig Morales), and Mayari (Sofia Andres).
Lakas originated from the desert region, born into a clan of warriors banished to the arid lands due to circumstances. Despite the challenges, he embodied resilience, compassion, and unwavering determination to honor his people and protect his loved ones.

Ganda, from the fertile farmlands, possessed a gentle facade but harbored a fiery spirit, willing to make sacrifices to ensure the prosperity of her family and community. 

Across the desert and farmlands lies the trade region, home to Lakam, where ingenuity, style, and cunningness thrive among its affluent inhabitants. Dumakulem, an adventurous soul, hailed from the forest tribe, while Mayari, determined to transcend her enslaved status, yearned to be with her beloved nobleman.

In 2018, “Bagani” received a nomination as Best Primetime TV Series at the 32nd PMPC Star Awards for Television. The series instilled in viewers the virtues of bravery, love, hope, and perseverance, exemplified through the journeys of its five central characters. 

Mars Ravelo’s Darna

Considered one of the most legendary comic book heroes in the Philippines, Darna has been the subject of numerous movies and teleseryes.  But, one adaptation that truly stood out was the most recent modern version, starring Jane de Leon in the titular role in 2023.

Set in the fictitious Nueva Esperanza, a town plagued by crime, the modern iteration followed a young woman named Narda (Jane), who inherited the magical white stone from her mother, Leonor (Iza Calzado), the First Darna.

Embracing her destiny as Darna, she embarked on a mission to combat evil and inspired ordinary people to become heroes, too, by performing acts of kindness and service to those in need of help. 

Revisit these timeless fantaseryes and the magic they continue to bring into our lives, Kapamilya!