With their entry into more streaming platforms and their wider audiences, local teleseryes now have more freedom and incentive to reimagine and break free from the formula.
Sure, the poor-boy-meets-rich-girl, star-crossed lovers trope still exists and Coco Martin’s addition to his FPJ universe doesn’t deviate from its action-packed predecessor. But showrunners are more conscious of today’s more critical viewers. Today’s actors are also aware of expectations to step up and match the energy of veterans.
Given these conditions, we’ve been seeing a rise in palaban teleserye characters played by equally spunky real-life women. Here’s our list of actors and their teleserye characters who’ve recently caught our eye.
Kaila Estrada as Sylvia in “Linlang”
Although we’re not the biggest fans of adultery plots, we can’t help but admire how fierce yet methodical Sylvia is in exacting revenge on her abusive and cheating husband who blamed her for reproductive issues. She could probably play a Filipino version of Amy Dunne.
Estrada also plays graceful yet headstrong Bettina in “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Xyriel Manabat as Roxy in “Senior High”
It is no surprise that Xyriel Manabat‘s performance as Roxy in “Senior High” is a fan favorite. She’s kikay, mataray, and her line deliveries when she’s beefing with Archie (Elijah Canlas) are hilariously Pinoy. And Roxy isn’t just the funny sidekick to protagonist Sky, the sweet and feisty live-selling icon’s sense of justice makes her a person to root for.
Maris Racal as Irene in “Can’t Buy Me Love” and Sarah in “Simula sa Gitna”
We love a versatile queen. Maris Racal in her first-ever antagonist role as Irene is something we didn’t know we needed until “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Playing scheming party girl Irene Tiu, Racal is showing us a new side to her. She’s a scene-stealer with her mean girl line deliveries while she’s trying to ruin half-sister Caroline’s (Belle Mariano) life. Irene is a girl who knows what she wants and will do what it takes to get it. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that she wreaks havoc with style.
Another Maris Racal role on the list is Sarah in the “Hintayan ng Langit” spin-off “Simula sa Gitna.” Foulmouthed Sarah with her Pinoy humor and life hugot is definitely in Racal’s wheelhouse.
Sarah is a soul guardian who gets assigned to newly deceased soul Andrew (Khalil Ramos) on his path to gaining ligtas points. While Racal gets to showcase her comedic timing, she also flexes her dramatic prowess in the show’s more emotional beats. It’s also fun to watch Racal and Ramos clearly enjoying funny scenes like their “Happy Birthday” vocal showdown in an elevator.
Barbie Forteza as Monique in “Maging Sino Ka Man”
Monique was content in living her life as a lonely troubled artist until she was forced into hiding and encountered a thief on the run, Carding (David Licauco), along the way. While the recently concluded series gave us BarDa scenes oozing with their chemistry, the highlight of this show is seeing Forteza act all butch while in her character’s Dino disguise and give rousing lines reflecting her sense of justice.
Honorable mention: Charo Santos-Concio as Tindeng in “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo”
Veteran actress Charo Santos-Concio is back on television as Tindeng, the devoted mother of Tanggol (Coco Martin) in “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo.”
Showcasing her acting skills that’s been honed for decades, Santos-Concio embodies a strong-willed, sharp-tongued Filipino grandmother who’s developed low tolerance for BS after years of hustling on the busy streets of Quiapo. This was especially evident in the scene where she lectures Roda (Joel Lamangan) about his greed. That’s mother right there!
Which teleserye character is your favorite on our list?
Art by Ella Lambio