We Pinoys love our soap operas. As much as we binge-watch our Koreanovelas and other foreign dramas, nothing truly beats the classic story of star-crossed lovers as portrayed by our favorite love teams, or the heart-wrenching tale of an underdog fighting all odds to rise to the top — we just can’t get enough of them! After all these years, we still haven’t kicked the habit of making our teleseryes a family affair: after a long day at work or school, we’re still glued to the screens like clockwork as we wait for our favorite drama to air.
There really is some pride to be taken in our local TV shows, with a beautiful powerhouse cast, compelling storylines and LSS-inducing soundtracks that we’ll be singing for years to come (because admit it, you’re still singing Vina Morales’ Pangako Sa’Yo in the most random of times!).
With an enormous population of OFW families around the globe, teleseryes have gone far and wide beyond the archipelago to give Pinoys abroad a taste of home. We’re not the only ones addicted to our local dramas, though. The same way that we’ve come to love some imported shows on our TV screens, other countries have truly embraced our own teleseryes, with many of our shows crossing over to their shores and making people of all walks of life laugh, cry, and feel that signature Pinoy kilig we know best. Here are the top 8 Pinoy teleseryes that are loved the most around the world. Which one is your favorite?
Starring: Maja Salvador, Joseph Marco, Vin Abrenica, RK Bagatsing, Aiko Melendez, and Tirso Cruz III
Countries aired: 43 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Myanmar, Vietnam)
It’s official: Lily Cruz is a global phenomenon. Wildflower is truly a guilty pleasure to watch as it spices up our afternoons with fiery lines, heart-stopping action and a compelling drama that you can’t keep your eyes off the screen. Maja Salvador lights up as Ivy-slash-Lily Cruz, a beautiful and tough woman seeking to avenge her parents’ death against a powerful and corrupt political clan. We’ve loved seeing Maja and Aiko’s explosive confrontations, and it’s clear that other countries do as well.
Starring: Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil
Countries aired: 44 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia)
With Forevermore airing in 44 countries, it’s no surprise that international audiences have become acquainted with Liza Soberano, ranked as the first in the list of 100 Most Beautiful Faces in 2017. Forevermore, filmed in the picturesque strawberry fields of Benguet, tells the unlikely romance between Xander (Enrique Gil), a rebellious and incorrigible hotel heir, and Agnes, the hardworking and strong-willed Strawberry Jam Queen of La Trinidad. Forevermore, directed by rom-com icon Cathy Garcia-Molina, introduced LizQuen as a love team to watch out for — and fall in love with.
Check out this news report in Kazakhstan on Forevermore:
6. Magpahanggang Wakas
International title: I’ll Never Say Goodbye
Starring: Jericho Rosales, Arci Munoz, and John Estrada
Countries aired: 44 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Samoa, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea)
Asia’s Drama Prince Jericho Rosales captivates foreign viewers once more as he stars with Arci Munoz and John Estrada in this heart-stopping drama. Jericho and Arci star as Waldo and Aryann, a young couple deeply in love with each other, whose relationship takes a dramatic turn after Waldo accidentally kills a man who tried to rape Aryann, sending Waldo to prison. Aryann soon meets Tristan, who helps her out of misfortune and the two are set to wed. Believing Waldo to be dead, Aryann is ready to move on with her life with Tristan — until she and Waldo cross paths again.
Take a look at this Indonesian trailer for Magpahanggang Wakas (I’ll Never Say Goodbye):
5. Be My Lady
Countries aired: 44 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Kazakhstan, Samoa, Papua New Guinea)
Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga made our hearts beat as Pinang and Phil in the morning rom-com, Be My Lady, and has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide as well. Pinang is a woman from a small town, belonging to a simple family with big dreams: Her mother, Marcy (Janice de Belen) is an OFW in Singapore working hard to reclaim the land her husband Emil (Al Tantay) once owned, which he now farms on. An unfortunate incident, however, gets Marcy deported back to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Phil, a handsome, independent and liberated young man lives a comfortable life in Singapore and takes a trip to the Philippines to attend a friend’s wedding. Phil also decides to take a side trip in the country to find and make amends with his childhood nanny. As he goes on his journey to find his nanny, he crosses paths with Pinang, and the two fall in love amidst the breathtaking sights of the Philippines.
4. Doble Kara
Starring: Julia Montes
Countries aired: 45 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand)
Airing for more than a year and named as one of the highest-rated afternoon dramas in 2016, we definitely tuned in to our television screens with the heart-thumping drama and action in Doble Kara, which turned Julia Montes into an afternoon drama star. Julia Montes played twin sisters Sarah and Kara, who grew up in a poor but happy family. The happy story takes a turn, however, after Kara is diagnosed with leukemia. Unable to afford the treatment, her mother is forced to give Kara up to her biological father. Sarah and Kara cross paths as adults, with their bond tested by love, identity, deceit, and ambition.
While the show has since wrapped up, African viewers are still enjoying the drama between Sarah and Kara with Season 2 currently airing in the region. Check out this English promo of Doble Kara in Africa:
3. On the Wings of Love
Starring: James Reid and Nadine Lustre
Countries aired: 45 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Thailand, Samoa, Indonesia, Myanmar)
Viewers around the world have fallen in love with the phenomenal reel-and-real love team of JaDine, as the widely popular On the Wings of Love has been shown in 45 countries. Directed by Antoinette Jadaone, this kilig-serye shot James Reid and Nadine Lustre into superstardom as they played the lovable characters of Clark and Leah.
OTWOL as promoted on the TV3 Thailand website!
Leah, a young woman from a modest family, travels to the United States to achieve the American dream and help her family. Clark, meanwhile, is a Filipino-American living in America who wants to help give his siblings in the Philippines a good life after his mother’s death. The two meet after Leah’s visa is about to expire and agrees to marry Clark to remain in the States, while Clark receives the money he greatly needs.
Because of the show, JaDine has gained fans, especially from Southeast Asia, with OTWOL reaching popularity in Indonesia and Thailand. Watch a clip of the Bahasa-dubbed version below:
2. Ina, Kapatid, Anak
International title: Her Mother’s Daughter
Starring: Kim Chiu and Maja Salvador
Countries aired: 46 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea)
Kim Chiu and Maja Salvador star in this memorable drama as Celyn and Margaux, two young women from different walks of life, whose lives are more intertwined than they think. Celyn (Kim Chiu) grew up in a poor family in the province, while Margaux (Maja Salvador) lived a wealthy life in the city as the heiress of the country’s biggest shoe company. The two meet and become unlikely best friends until it’s revealed that Celyn is the long-lost daughter of Margaux’s adoptive parents after a surrogate took Celyn away from them. From best friends, the two turn into rivals that compete over status, family, and love.
Fans from Africa, Southeast Asia, and Oceania tuned in to witness Kim and Maja battle it out in confrontations that were tense and even tearjerking, picking sides whether on #TeamCelyn or #TeamMargaux. Here’s a promo of Ina, Kapatid, Anak in Kenya:
1. Pangako Sa’Yo
International title: The Promise/La Promesa
Starring: Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Ian Veneracion
Countries aired: 50 (Sub-Saharan Africa, Peru, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand)
The Philippines’ most successful import remains to be Pangako Sa’Yo, which captivated audiences worldwide and turned Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa into global household names. The remake in 2015 which starred the country’s phenomenal love team, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (KathNiel) also proved to be a hit as fans awaited the millennial retelling of this beautiful story about love and family.
With its original directors and screenwriter at the helm — Rory Quintos, Olivia Lamasan, and Dado Lumibao — Kathryn and Daniel made us fall in love again with beloved characters Yna and Angelo, while Jodi Sta. Maria and Ian Veneracion breathed new life into Amor Powers and Eduardo Buenavista, formerly star-crossed lovers separated by destiny.
Like Jericho and Kristine, Kathryn and Daniel rose as a phenomenal love team in Asia, with fanbases in Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Thailand. Kathryn and Daniel are also nominated for Best Actress and Actor in Vietnam’s upcoming Face of the Year Awards. This is the second time the couple has been nominated, after the two previously won the award for “Got 2 Believe”, also a hit in Vietnam.
Pangako Sa’Yo is also the second Filipino teleserye to air in Latin America as La Promesa, after Bridges of Love, translated as Puentes de Amor. Maybe instead of a Filipino remake of a Latin American drama, we might see a Latin American version of a Filipino original instead!
Here’s KathNiel promoting La Promesa in a Latin American teaser:
Did we miss other internationally known Pinoy teleseryes? Let us know in the comments!