The story is set in the 1500s, during the time of Rajah Mangubat's reign. He was known as the undefeated notorious leader of chief captains... See full synopsis »
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1  
2012   2011  
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Sherilyn Reyes ...
 Reynalyn Isabella (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Marian Rivera ...
 Amaya (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Sid Lucero ...
 Bagani (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Mikael Daez ...
 Lumad (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Gina Alajar ...
 Dian Lamitan (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Lani Mercado ...
 Dal'lang (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Gardo Versoza ...
 Rajah Mangubat (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
...
 Datu Bugna (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Glaiza de Castro ...
 Binayaan / ... (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Ryan Eigenmann ...
 Angaway (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Rochelle Pangilinan ...
 Marikit (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Irma Adlawan ...
 Mantal (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Ana Capri ...
 Agang (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Roy Alvarez ...
 Awi (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Ayen Munji-Laurel ...
 Hara Lingayan (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Robert Villar ...
 Banuk (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Sheena Halili ...
 Ahak (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Roxanne Barcelo ...
 Kayang (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Mon Confiado ...
 Songil (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
AJ Dee ...
 Paratawag (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Rob Sy ...
 Paragahin (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Mia Pangyarihan ...
 Silay (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Ana Feleo ...
 Bayang (165 episodes, 2011-2012)
Leopoldo Salgado ...
 Banu (148 episodes, 2011-2012)
Angie Ferro ...
 Hilway (146 episodes, 2011-2012)
Dion Ignacio ...
 Kuling (140 episodes, 2011-2012)
Edgar Manuel ...
 Waba (122 episodes, 2011)
Pancho Magno ...
 Agul (120 episodes, 2011)
Yutaka Yamakawa ...
 Gadang (98 episodes, 2011-2012)
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Storyline

The story is set in the 1500s, during the time of Rajah Mangubat's reign. He was known as the undefeated notorious leader of chief captains... See full synopsis »

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1500s | love triangle | epic | See All (3) »


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May 2011 (Philippines)  »

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Narcissism over culture = expensive failure
21 May 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is the very first time I am reviewing anything on IMDb.com, I guess this is because I feel somewhat strongly about this particular historical drama piece.

I saw this title recently (meaning it was only some months ago) primarily because I was impressed with Cathy Garcia-Molina and a very select few other Filipino directors, whose works I had to hunt down over the internet as I do not live in the Philippines.

In my research I came across Amaya, which is concurrently holding the most expensive historical piece for Philippine Television. On top of the production cost, it also holds the impressive reputation for being thoroughly well-researched. I HAD TO WATCH IT BASED ON THESE TWO FACTS: expensive and well-researched, with the added bonus that it is penned by a stage director (or someone who not only worked in Television but with Theater too - sorry I cannot remember as this was months-back information I read online).

I do not know much about the history of The Philippines since I did not grow up there; which formed another sub-basis for me to want to really watch this. In fact, it was a strong factor for me to really want to like this series, so imagine the disappointment that followed. Let me explain.

The opening title sequence with the boats approaching the Island; everything in this sequence, the way it was done, etc. was stunning. It was thoroughly impressive I thought that I said to myself, "finally, something worth watching".

Anyways, as the series continued, the less and less - and this continues - engaged I became. Not only did each episode seem REALLY contrived and executed poorly, but the story, which is indeed focused around on Amaya, suddenly became JUST about her! Let me elaborate:

First off, I have been made aware that Marian Rivera is a very well known and considered beautiful actress in the Philippines. It is obvious - so no point stating that. However, the series goes beyond stating this fact. Amaya gradually becomes a series much like the later Mission Impossible films (particularly the Third) where each scene only serves to heighten and even more emphasis the fact that Marian Rivera is indeed beautiful and is star of the show. This is minus any actual display of acting. She has no subtlety, and apart from displaying probably emotions you can count on one hand (which isn't very impressive), her body language (which is supposed to be warrior-like) does not denote anything of the sort.

Secondly, and this is where I heave a massive sigh. I have to ask the question, what was the purpose of all the research if it isn't really implemented in the story-telling or the plot? Apart from the costumes and words, there is very few things I detected which displayed the culture very well. What about the customs of the time?

They spent a HUGE SUM on this drama, and it is a very long drama (in terms of Asian TV - Japan and Korea range from 10 to 26 episodes), yet the core of it, which is the human drama (affected by the customs of the time) has been completely tossed out of the window. They start with a few customs then its like the custom never existed. It just became superficial drama dressed in very expensive costumes and set in historical time with an added snake. All I can remember as each series ended was Amaya was more bullied. I understand that they were trying to show how oppressed she got and they wanted to entice us to feel for her, but honestly, the scripting, staging, everything was poorly executed. I felt like my emotions were betrayed and forced.

I do not remember much of this series, in fact I saw it just a few months ago and I completely stopped it even before I got half-way through it. For me, it boiled down gradually to a drama with expensive clothing but very little substance. I do not know or understand what the fuss is with Amaya aside from being beautiful. Also, a side note, Amaya as Marian Rivera's introduction into the series is really poorly done. I was waiting for something cool or unexpected to happen when she got introduced. But yet again, it was the cliché-slow motion, appear from the curtain sort of introduction. That for me was the initial indication that the series, from a powerful opening, went down hill for me. There is hardly no cinematography to speak of either, let alone a good soundtrack. (Please do not argue that this is only TV, have you seen what is actually on TV recently? Game of Thrones for example. Beautifully shot, each characters given enough screen-time and attention, good story, good soundtrack, etc).

Thirdly, apart from a very FEW actors (and I am aware there are many veteran actors in this piece), none of them are given enough material to work with. Majority of the characters are like two-dimensional and I kept wondering why I should root for this or that particular character or why I should even care about them.

What was the point of all the research if it wasn't implemented in the story-telling aside from dressing the characters in traditional costumes? For me, this was a narcissistic drama just to display Marian Rivera's star power and very little else. I have nothing personal against any of the crew particularly Marian Rivera. Personally, I don't think she had much to work with in the first place. It failed her and it failed to live up to all the hype and fuss around it. Regardless of historical inaccuracies, which is pervasive in all historical pieces, this drama series fails to engage in terms of story, acting (characterization) and over-all execution and use of all that supposed-research.

Wasted opportunity to execute an engaging story with beautiful set-pieces.


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