Indio (TV series)

Genre Historical drama
Epic fantasy
Created by GMA Entertainment TV Group
Developed by Suzette Doctolero
Written by Geng Delgado
Marlon Miguel
Jason Lim
Directed by Dondon Santos
Starring Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.
Jennylyn Mercado
Rhian Ramos
Maxene Magalona
Michael de Mesa
(List of characters)
Theme music composer Von de Guzman
Opening theme "Indio theme"
Ending theme "Lupang Payapa"
sung by Gian Magdangal
Composer(s) Von de Guzman
Vim Nadera
Country of origin Philippines
Original language(s) Filipino
No. of episodes 97 episodes
(List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Meann P. Regala
Location(s) Pagsanjan, Laguna
Subic, Zambales
Bolinao, Pangasinan
Tanay, Rizal
Cinematography David Siat
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time 30-45 minutes
Original network GMA Network
Picture format 480i NTSC
Original release January 14 (2013-01-14) – May 31, 2013 (2013-05-31)
Preceded by Aso ni San Roque
Followed by Anna KareNina
Related shows Ilustrado
External links

Indio is a Filipino historical drama-epic fantasy series created and developed by Suzette Doctolero and produced by GMA Network. It premiered on January 14, 2013 on GMA Telebabad block, replacing Aso ni San Roque, and January 15, 2013 worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV.[1] The show concluded its twenty-week run on May 31, 2013 with the total of ninety-seven episodes. The series features Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. playing the title role, with Jennylyn Mercado, Michael de Mesa, Maxene Magalona and Rhian Ramos. It executive produced by Meann P. Regala and directed by Dondon Santos. Historians Dr. Vic Villan and Dr. Rolando Borrinaga were tapped to ensure the accuracy of the series.[2]

Indio (which was the Spanish Colonial racial term for the native Austronesian peoples or the commoners of the Philippines between the 16th and 19th centuries) is set during pre-colonial to Spanish colonial era (1565-1663). It chronicles the life of Malaya/Simeon who rises from a lowly slave to a demigod on his quest for freedom from the Spanish Crown. With its high production value and powerhouse cast, the series is regards as a "telemovie" or a movie made for television and dubbed as the most expensive series of the network for 2013.


The story begins in Central Visayas followed by the death of Amaya and Bagani, and the story was setting during the pre-colonial period, where human natives and diwatas (Visayan gods and goddesses) are living together in harmony, harvesting the bounty of the earth and sea, guided and loved by Laon (the Creator).

Ynaguiguinid, the goddess of war, who have fallen in love and had chosen to marry a warrior tribesman lives with their newborn child, a demigod. But they had to face a pitiful separation when chaos, confusion, death and destruction comes with the arrival of the Spaniards conquistadors whose aim is to spread Christianity and at the same time, to take control of the strategic trade routes and to control the resources of the archipelago. Due to the wounds from a battle in an attempt to defend the settlement, Ynaguiguinid had to transfer all her powers to her lifeless son to survive, resulting to her own death. The baby was later found and raised by a native couple, Tarong and Linang, who named the child, Malaya after a Tagalog word which means "Free".

Being a half-human, half-diwata, Malaya's supernatural abilities, incredible strength and invulnerability increased steadily as he grew up. By the help of Magayon, the goddess of all flying creatures, Malaya found out who he really was, his roots and the ultimate task he must fulfill – which is to save and protect the indigenous people from the abuses of the Spanish colonial government.

An unfortunate turn of events had led to the separation of Malaya from his adoptive parents. He finds himself under the custody of Juancho Sanreal, a despotic encomendero. Upon discovering the child’s extraordinary abilities and seeing him as a great asset in fulfilling his dream of becoming a Governor-General, Juancho adopts Malaya, gives him a new name – Simeon, and does everything to get the child's sympathy (for him to be able to use the child and his powers for his own personal intentions). Blinded by Juancho’s false compassion, Simeon will treat him as his master and will do anything he commands.

Many years have passed. Simeon maintains a strong relationship and unrelenting devotion for Juancho. Until he uncovered Juancho's manipulation and deceit, including the oppression of the common people and the latter’s involvement in the death of Rosa, the love of his life. This prompted him to finally embrace his mission, and with this his quest and battle for peace and freedom begin.

Cast and characters

The series featured eleven major characters throughout its run.

Production and development


"It is the first word that comes into our minds when we talk about Spanish colonization here [in the Philippines]. It mirrors every Filipino. With this series, I want to turn this label into something dignified and a source of pride.""
— Series' creator, Suzette Doctolero on the title Indio

The series was developed in early 2012 by screenwriter, Suzette Doctolero (the writer behind such epic series as Encantadia, Etheria and Amaya) and under the supervisions of historians: Dr. Vic Villan of the University of the Philippines Diliman (who was also the consultant for Amaya) and Dr. Rolando Borrinaga; and GMA Entertainment TV creative heads, Jake Tordesillas and Jun Lana. The idea for series was conceived during the time Doctolero did her research on Amaya. According to her, the series is a combination of Philippine history and Filipino mythology. The show's staged in pre-colonial to Spanish colonial period setting (1565-1663). Regarding the title "Indio" –which was a label intended to be a badge of imposed by the Spanish on the natives— Doctolero stated that "It is the first word that comes into our minds when we talk about Spanish colonization here [in the Philippines]. It mirrors every Filipino. With this series, I want to turn this label into something dignified and a source of pride."[14] GMA Network assigned Dondon Santos to helm the series. Santos is a former resident director of ABS-CBN and Indio is his very first project for GMA Network after he transferred and inked a contract with them.[15][16][17][18]


Headed the series' stellar casts is Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. who plays the titular character. GMA Network's Vice President for Entertainment TV, Lilybeth Rasonable said that "Indio was really made for him."[19] Revilla finds his very first television series "exciting but very challenging" and described it as "a movie but done for TV".[14] The actor-politician went through rigorous acting trainings under director Laurice Guillen for his preparation for the role. He also gets Phillip Salvador to be his acting couch.[20] He also did some readings and research regarding Philippine history because "even though it is a fictional show, it has some historical undertones that should at least have some sense of accuracy."[21][22] Actor Alden Richards signed on to play the teenage version of the title character while Vincent Magbanua auditioned and successfully cast as the young Malaya. In March 2012, it was revealed that actresses, Jennylyn Mercado and Rhian Ramos will be Revilla's two of three love interests. This is Rhian Ramos comeback show, after two years since her special guest in Capital Barbell in 2011.[23][24][25] In August 2012, Maxene Magalona was officially added to the cast, wherein her role had previously been offered to Sunshine Cruz.[26][27] Sheena Halili was chosen to play another important role in the series. Rocco Nacino was originally cast as Tuhay but later replaced by Dominic Roco for the said role. Veteran character actors, Michael de Mesa and Jackie Lou Blanco were signed on to portray the antagonist roles of Juancho and Victoria Sanreal. Other casts were all announced during the series' story conference, held in GMA Network Center, the same month of 2012.[16]

The cast of characters grew over the course of the series. Some of the notable actors that appeared and portrayed important characters were Mark Gil, Ramon Christopher, Aljur Abrenica, Katrina Halili and Ryan Eigenmann. Gil played Miguel López de Legazpi, the very first governor-general of the Philippines, while Ramon Christopher played António Sanreal, father of the main antagonist, Juancho Sanreal. Both characters appeared only on the pilot week. Abrenica acted as Bagandi, the brave native warrior who became an ally to Simeon/Malaya. First appeared on the penultimate episode of the first chapter, Abrenica became one of the prominent casts in the second chapter of the show.[28] Katrina Halili played the antagonist Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan, the goddess of greed and vengeance,[29] while Eigenmann played Sidapa, the god of death. In an interview, Eigenmann described his character as "a little bit tricky since he is not totally evil. In fact, even if he is the god of death, he wants to be fair to everyone. However, a twist in the story, which will be revealed in the coming episodes, will change all that." The character first appeared on the 64th episode of the series.[30]


Filming for the project began on September 2012,[31] to give ample time for the production team to come up with elaborate sets, props and costumes for January 14, 2013 premiere. The production uses different filming locations. The series is shot primarily in the towns of Pagsanjan and Cavinti in the province of Laguna. The entire Spanish-era village was built along the banks of the Pagsanjan River in Pagsanjan especially for the series. It is where most of the "Pueblo" scenes are shot. The setup includes a church facade, the Spanish quarters (including the mansion of Juancho and Victoria Sanreal), and the village of the locals. Other locations include: Intramuros Manila, Inao-Awan, Lumot Lake in Cavinti, Laguna, Morong Park and Subic Bay Port in Subic, Zambales, Bolinao, Pangasinan and Tanay, Rizal. Filming locations were chosen by production designers Rodell Cruz and Jerran Ordinario.[32] Theater and independent film director Dennis Marasigan was hired as movement and crowd director. The production budget was reported to be at 50 million pesos, making the series as one of the most expensive drama series in local television history.[33][34][35] The series is slated for 20 weeks run (98 episodes).[36]


The network assigned Von de Guzman to create the underscore for the series. De Guzman—who also created the underscore for the network's very first historical epic series, Amaya— composed the opening credits theme or the "heroic" music playing during the opening credits. De Guzman also worked in tandem with writer Vim Nadera in creating other themes like: "May Laya" (lit. There is Freedom), a war song or the song usually playing during the battle scenes; the closing credits theme "Lupang Payapa" (lit. Peaceful Land) which was also used various times as a "love theme" for Malaya/Simeon and Rosa's scenes; and "Aking Anak" (lit. My Child), a "melodic" or somewhat a lullaby used during scenes involving Malaya and his adoptive mother Linang.[37]


The series is considered as a "ratings success" from its premiere telecast. According to the Mega Manila overnight ratings gathered by the TV ratings supplier, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, the show marked a household rating of 29.3%, 6.2 higher than its counterpart program in ABS-CBN, and landed at #2 position in the Top 10 primetime shows that date.[38] The pilot episode also became a trending topic in the Philippines in the micro-blogging site Twitter with the hashtag #IndioGMA.[39][40]

"While the ratings war remains to be tough and the battle is fought day by day, the people behind this wonderful series have a reason to sleep soundly at night, for they not only have done their jobs well, they have also created a piece of art that viewers will always remember."
— Blogger, Neil Celeste Rara on Indio[41]

Aside from the ratings, the series have also received positive reviews throughout its run. Alwin M. Ignacio of The Daily Tribune said: "Grand is the best adjective to describe Indio. The camera shots are panoramic. The grandeur is seen and felt during the fight scenes and exodus sequences. You grasp the opulence and magic when you first catch sight of the diwatas in meeting."[42] The Philippine Star's entertainment columnist, Ricky Lo felt that the series "It's almost as big as a movie. No. Indio is even bigger than and presumably better than a movie."[21] Bibsy M. Carballo of The Philippine Star said that "If there were to be a historical drama-fantasy series that would reach epic proportions, it would have to be Indio!"[43] Entertainment columnist and Startalk host, Lolit Solis praised the ensembles' acting performances, including Vince Magbanua's, the 10-year-old Palaweño who played young Malaya/Simeon.[44] Isah V. Red of Manila Standard Today and Nestor Cuartero of Tempo praised Revilla's acting performance. Red said that "He isn't too far behind in scenes that have actors like Michael de Mesa, Chinggoy Alonso, Ronnie Lazaro, and Jackielou Blanco. Viewers can easily discern each of the characters they are watching due to the clear portrayal by the actors who fittingly tint their roles with the proper tones, and Revilla, though not formally schooled in acting, displays keen understanding of characterization."[45] While Cuartero said "He proves beyond doubt that aside from being an "action star", he is also very competent in drama, investing the part with his heroic presence."[46] Writer-director Ronald Carballo impressed with the moving performances of Revilla, De Mesa, Jennylyn Mercado, Sheena Halili and Vaness del Moral, said that "With the great flow of the story, wonderful performances and excellent cinematography, I am hooked now on the show, as in every night."[47] Noel Asiñas of The Journal praised the show's action stunts, said that "Indio's stunts are well-choreographed. It's my first time to watch that kind of stunts in local television."[48]

Indio was also positively received by other writers. Blogger, Ely Valendez of Ely's Planet reviews: "What's more interesting in Indio 'though is the story itself that's strongly related to the Philippine history." Valendez also dubbed "Indio as the new Encantadia."[49] Jason Lim of the blog Taking A Break praises the series' special effects, said that "Indio really benefited from an early pre-production date as most of the effects are seamless. The scene with the Baconaua and the opening scene that tied down the timeline/era were exceptionally done."[50] Blogger Neil Celeste Rara described the show as "thrilling and visually captivating", stating "While the ratings war remains to be tough and the battle is fought day by day, the people behind this wonderful series have a reason to sleep soundly at night, for they not only have done their jobs well, they have also created a piece of art that viewers will always remember."[41] While Dinno Erece of the blog Show and Tell, said "We were so impressed by the special effects of the Indio to think it's only a television series. We're daring to say this but Indio has a better special effects than that of Si Agimat, si Enteng Kabisote at si Ako and Shake, Rattle & Roll 14. [And] it's not just the special effects, even the production design and the costume and the history, they're fully researched."[51]

International Broadcast

The TV series has been dubbed in Khmer and broadcast in Cambodia by the local channel CTN.

Awards and recognitions

Year Award-giving Body Award/Recognition Category Nominee Result Source
2013 Philippine Movie and Television Press Club 27th PMPC Star Awards for Television Best Primetime Drama Series Indio Nominated [52]
Best Drama Actor Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. Nominated

See also


  4. 1 2
  6. 1 2
  12. 1 2 3
  14. 1 2
  15. Director ng ABS, magdidirek ng epicserye ni Bong sa GMA Archived August 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Abante. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  16. 1 2 Zsa Zsa: I’m so frustrated! + Indio series Journal. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  17. Hinintay lang ma-expire ang contract... Guwapong Kapamilya aktor malilipat-bahay sa GMA Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  18. ABS-CBN director na si Dondon Santos ang napili ng GMA 7 para mamahala sa Indio Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  20. 1 2
  21. Rhian at Jennylyn nag-uunahan kay Sen. Bong Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  22. Pirmahan ng kontrata para sa Indio ni Bong naudlot dahil sa baha Phil Star. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  23. Rhian excited kay Sen. Bong Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  24. Sunshine, ayaw makipaghalikan kay Bong Abante-Tonite. Retrieved 08-17-2012
  25. Maxene Magalona says no hurt from a breakup will come close to the hurt of losing a dad By: Rose Garcia. Retrieved 08-20-2012
  30. Jimenez, FR. "Epic-telemovie ng GMA 7 na 'Indio,' pangunguhan ni Sen. Bong Revilla Jr.". Chika Minute. GMA News. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  31. Brosas, Alex Valentin (23 August 2012). "Bong Revilla Dubs First TV Series 'Epic-telemovie'". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  37. 1 2
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