ENCANTADIA 2016 is probably the biggest and most ambitious television project of GMA Network ever! Producers and director Mark Reyes calls the new Fantaserye (Fantasy Series) a REQUEL which is a portmanteau of the words “remake” and “sequel”.

The original series first aired on May 2nd of 2005 and made a successful run up to December 9th of the same year. This series received various recognition including Gawad Amerika Award’s Best TV Series of 2005. Encantadia was followed by two more related series – ETHERIA (Dec 12, 2005 – Feb 17, 2006) and ENCANTADIA: PAG-IBIG HANGGANG WAKAS (Feb 20 – April 28, 2006).

ENCANTADIA was created by Suzette Doctolero and directed by Mark Reyes together with Gil Tejada Jr.

Direk Mark Reyes
Direk Mark Reyes

I think it was two years ago, when we received some news that GMA Network is planning a reboot of ENCANTADIA – it was unclear if it was going to be a full TV remake or for a stage musical – and then, earlier this year casting calls made it clear that the Fantaserye is indeed to make a big come back on television.

Last Wednesday, I was invited to the grand presscon and surprised special screening of the pilot episode of Encantadia 2016. The event also presented to the media and guests majority of the cast members of the TV series all wearing their costumes including the four new Sang’gres of Encantadia 2016 – Pirena (Glaiza De Castro), Amihan (Kylie Padilla), Alena (Gabbi Garcia) and Danaya (Sanya Lopez) all in their warrior costumes!

The Sang’gres: Sanya Lopez, Glaiza De Castro, Kylie Padilla and Gabbi Garcia

It was a star-studded night! GMA Network has really brought out the big guns for this project and as far as first impression is concerned, I am quite satisfied with the pilot episode.  Original series fans will surely be thrilled at how the producers upgraded the scenes but stayed true to the story and feel of the old series.

I am also pretty sure that ENCANTADIA 2016 will make a whole new fan base with all first-time viewers. BUT PLEASE, DON’T COMPARE THIS TO “GAME OF THRONES (GOT)” – and other multi-million dollar international fantasy-adventure TV series projects… they’re obviously not on the same playing field. Let’s put it this way – GOT’s winning the majors, while Encantadia is the best team there is in the Little League. 🙂

I will not give you any spoilers about the pilot episode but here are three reasons why you should watch the REQUEL.


ENCANTADIA 2016 Director Mark Reyes got emotional as he went up the stage to face the press people during the Grand Presscon last Wednesday saying, the project took almost a year and a half to conceptualize. 10 years after the last airing of the 3rd Encantadia book, it’s finally back! And it’s even BIGGER than the first one.

Direk Mark Reyes with the Cast of Encantadia 2016
Direk Mark Reyes with the Cast of Encantadia 2016

For one thing, the production value of this series is equivalent to at least 5 GMA Teleseryes already, Direk Mark explained. It also has an enormous cast, all of which were tediously selected through numerous casting calls. To give you an example, the selection of the actors who will play the four Sang’gres (the main characters of ENCANTADIA) took almost a year to finish.

Here are the cast of ENCANTADIA 2016:

THE SANG’GRES: Glaiza De Castro (Pirena), Kylie Padilla (Amihan), Gabbi Garcia (Alena) and Sanya Lopez (Danaya)


THE MAIN CAST: Ruru Madrid (Ybarro/Prinsipe Ybrahim), Roco Nacino (Aquil), John Arcilla (Hagorn)

Roco Nacino:

Ruru Madrid as Ybrahim
Ruru Madrid as Ybrahim

THE SUPPORT CAST: Rochelle Pangilinan (Agane), Vaness Del Moral (Gurna), Pancho Magno (Hitano), Carlo Gonzales (Muros), Christian Bautista (Apitong), Klea Pineda (Muyak), Migo Adecer (Anthony), Mikee Quintos (Lira/Milagros), Kate Valdez (Mira), Ana Feleo (Ades), Buboy Villar (Wantuk), James Teng (Apek), Neil Ryan Sese (Asval), Julienne Lee (Alira Naswen), Nar Cabico (Banjo), Sofia Pablo (Diwani Danaya), Altheyah Ablan (Diwani Alena), Dayar Shane (Diwani Amihan), Barbara Miguel (Diwani Pirena)

SPECIAL PARTICIPATION: Sunshine Dizon (Adhara), Marian Rivera (Ynang Reyna Mine-a), Dingdong Dantes (Raquim), Solenn Heusaff (Cassiopea), Max Collins (Reyna Amihan), Leandro Baldemor (Dado), Angelu De Leon (Amanda), Roi Vinzon (Arvak), Jestoni Alarcon (Armeo) and Noel Urbano (as the voice of Imaw)


Also part of the cast is Conan “The Mountain” Stevens (Game of Thrones) who will be playing a special role in the series. So that’s one more thing worth waiting in the series.



You would expect a reboot to be better than the original, but in films, most of the time it never happens. I only know a couple of remakes that has surpassed its original. ENCANTADIA 2016 on the other hand has three major attributes that has made it BETTER than the 2005 version.

The Special FX of the pilot episode is a “WOW” – you can tell that they have spent a lot of time in making it really “magical” – not “realistic” but something that’s really wonderful and pleasing to the senses. They have incorporated background graphics that were not present in the original series, but of course, CGI animations are way better now than it was 10 years ago.

The Costumes are also a big wow! Direk Mark said they had to re-conceptualize and redo everything! They made everything from scratch, from the costumes to the set and props. Except for the costumes of the sang’gres of 2005 but it’s a museum piece already – displayed at the main reception hall of the GMA Network Building.

Here are your first look at the warrior outfits of the sang’gres:

The Action or Fight Scenes are now more refined! The cast, especially the Sang’gres had to train some unique mix of Asian martial arts to make the fight scenes more believable. You’ll see some of the amazing choreography at the pilot episode – it will be action-filled!


When I interviewed Glaiza De Castro (Pirena), a couple of weeks prior to the Grand Presscon event, she said that while she was able to watch some episodes of the original series, they were all advised not to watch too much so that they will not make the mistake of copying the styles of the original cast.

Glaiza De Castro as Sang’gre Pirena:

The style of retelling the story has some similarities with the original but the pace of Encantadia 2016 is way faster and more direct to the point.

Another thing that’s new about this series is that it is now more than just an ordinary Fantaserye that you simply watch on television. ENCANTADIA 2016 is now part of Pinoy Pop culture, interaction has extended to social media, pop art and even local cosplay agendas. The show was even showcased in the recently held annual ToyCon Philippines event. They even have a mobile game app.

To sum up, ENCANTADIA 2016 is Bigger, Better and something New for all viewers to enjoy! My only wish is for the production team and writers is that they’ll be able to sustain the energy of the pilot episode until the end of series.

ENCANTADIA 2016 begins on July 18 (Monday) – Primetime!



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