Indio (TV series)

Indio is a 2013 Philippine television drama epic fantasy series broadcast by GMA Network. Directed by Dondon Santos, it stars Bong Revilla. It premiered on January 14, 2013 on the network's Telebabad line up replacing Aso ni San Roque, and worldwide on January 15, 2013 on GMA Pinoy TV. The series concluded on May 31, 2013 with a total of 97 episodes. It was replaced by Anna KareNina in its timeslot.

Title card
Created bySuzette Doctolero
Written by
  • Geng Delgado
  • Marlon Miguel
  • Jason Lim
Directed byDondon Santos
StarringBong Revilla, Jr.
Theme music composerVon de Guzman
Opening theme"Indio theme"
Ending theme"Lupang Payapa" by Gian Magdangal
  • Von de Guzman
  • Vim Nadera
Country of originPhilippines
Original language(s)
No. of episodes97 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Meann P. Regala
Production location(s)
CinematographyDavid Siat
Camera setupMultiple-camera setup
Running time30-45 minutes
Production company(s)GMA Entertainment TV
Original networkGMA Network
Picture format480i (SDTV)
Original releaseJanuary 14 (2013-01-14) 
May 31, 2013 (2013-05-31)

Cast and characters

Bong Revilla, Jr. portrays Indio.
Main cast
Guest cast

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."[12] GMA Network assigned Dondon Santos to helm the series. The series is his very first project for the network.[13] Historians Vic Villan and Rolando Borrinaga were hired to ensure the accuracy of the series.[14]


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."[15] Revilla finds his very first television series "exciting but very challenging" and described it as "a movie but done for TV".[12] 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 coach.[16] 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."[17][18] 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, Jennylyn Mercado and Rhian Ramos were announced to be Revilla's two of three love interests.[19] In August 2012, Maxene Magalona was officially added to the cast, wherein her role had previously been offered to Sunshine Cruz.[20][21] 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.[22]

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.[23] Katrina Halili played the antagonist Burigadang Pada Sinaklang Bulawan, the goddess of greed and vengeance,[24] 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.[25]


Filming for the project began on September 2012,[26] 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.[27] 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.[28][29][30] The series is slated for 20 weeks run (98 episodes).[31]


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.[32]



According to AGB Nielsen Philippines' Mega Manila household television ratings, the pilot episode of Indio earned a 29.3% rating.[33] While the final episode scored a 26.6% rating.[34]

Critical response

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."[35] 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."[17] 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!"[36] 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.[37] 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."[38] 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."[39] 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."[40] 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."[41]

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."[42] 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."[43] 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."[44] 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."[45]

International broadcast

The TV series has been dubbed in Khmer and broadcast in Cambodia by the local channel CTN and also dubbed in Vietnamese and broadcast in Vietnam by the local channel SCIV13.


Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2013 27th PMPC Star Awards for Television Best Primetime Drama Series Indio Nominated [46]
Best Drama Actor Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. Nominated
2014 Golden Screen Awards for TV Best Supporting Actress Sheena Halili Nominated


  11. Director ng ABS, magdidirek ng epicserye ni Bong sa GMA Archived August 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Abante. Retrieved August 17, 2012
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Rhian at Jennylyn nag-uunahan kay Sen. Bong Pilipino Star Ngayon. Retrieved August 17, 2012
  16. Sunshine, ayaw makipaghalikan kay Bong Abante-Tonite. Retrieved August 17, 2012
  17. Maxene Magalona says no hurt from a breakup will come close to the hurt of losing a dad By: Rose Garcia. Retrieved August 17, 2012
  18. Zsa Zsa: I’m so frustrated! + Indio series Journal. Retrieved August 17, 2012
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. Jimenez, FR. "Epic-telemovie ng GMA 7 na 'Indio,' pangunguhan ni Sen. Bong Revilla Jr". Chika Minute. GMA News. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  24. Brosas, Alex Valentin (August 23, 2012). "Bong Revilla Dubs First TV Series 'Epic-telemovie'". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  27. "AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (Jan. 7-17): Indio shows remarkable strength on its pilot week; anchors GMA-7 to the top". January 21, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  28. Tuazon, Nikko (June 7, 2013). "AGB Nielsen Mega Manila Household Ratings (May 31 to June 2): Magpakailanman and PGT Season 4 Finale tied for top spot last June 1". Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  38. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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