Stan Lee,95, the person behind the Marvel heroes such as Iron Man, Hulk and Spiderman to name a few, passed away on November 12 this year. Many fans mourned for the loss but his contribution will forever be immortalized by the characters he had created.
And as the world are in pain due to Lee’s passing, the Philippines is gearing up for another revival of the favorite local superhero, Darna. A new movie is set to be released sometime soon although the date isn’t guaranteed yet. The character is so iconic and is to die for. Among local actresses and celebrities, playing the role is a catapult to fame.
So as we anticipate this another magical movie, let’s learn about some Filipino superheroes. This list isn’t complete but includes only the most iconic and popular that Filipinos across ages are likely to know.
9. Tiny Tony. – Similar to Antman, he has the ability to alter atoms and he shrinks in size but unleashes super strength.
8. Gagamboy. – An obvious rip-off of Spiderman.
7. Pepeng Agimat – Agimat is from the word “amulet” or “good luck” charm. The main character Pepe possesses a magical amulet and fight off a gang of ‘aswang”, shapeshifters that eat humans especially pregnant woman who are about to give birth.
6. Lastikman – Loosely based on western counterparts, this superhero has the ability to stretch like rubber and take the form of things or people. There is no limit of his shapeshifting ability.
5. Enteng Kabisote – He is an ordinary human who married a fairy but he fights off evil doers with his sheer ability.
4. Pedro Penduko – A local legend who also possesses a magical amulet and is able to fight off all kinds of mythical creatures in the Philippine folklore.
3. Panday – He is a blacksmith who has incredible swordsmanship. The character wears a red sleeveless shirt (showing off his ripped biceps and triceps), tight boots and dark skintight pants.
2. Captain Barbell. – Similar to Thor and Superman, he has the superhuman strength, invincibility and super visual. Enteng, the main character, is a frail man often bullied so he wishes to have more strength in order to defend himself. He stumbled upon a magical barbell that transforms him into a superhero by powerfully lifting the barbell and roaring “Captain Barbell!”. As Captain Barbell, he wears a yellow suit with red cape and a trademark medallion.
1. Darna. – Created by Mars Ravelo in 1951, Darna is probably the most iconic heroine in the Philippines. The ordinary girl Narda turns into a super hero with super strength, heat vision and flight by swallowing a magical stone and shouting “Darna”. The gorgeous heroine is clad in two-piece red and gold suit, a headdress similar to Wonder Woman and a belt where some of her strengths are tucked. She has a boy apprentice called Ding. Her arch nemesis is Valentina, a woman with a hair of snakes.
Although the local superheroes have a lot in common with the Western ones, there was never a movie where everyone of them joined forces unlike Marvel’s Avengers or DC’s Justice League. Nevertheless, the powers unleashed by these characters always signify the good versus bad scenario. And may the good defeat the bad even in the real world.
Let’s Discuss with Aimtalk teachers:
- Please name some of the famous characters that resembles a superhero. Which one is your favorite? Why?
- Why do you think people are hooked to fictional characters such as superheroes?
- “Not all superheroes wear capes”. What do you think about this phrase? Please expand your answer.
immortalize(n): to make someone or something famous
to die for: extremely nice, attractive or desirable
a catapult to fame(catapult someone to fame/stardom/limelight) : suddenly make someone very famous
unleash(v): to suddenly let a strong force, feeling, etc have its full effect
rip-off of something(n): a copy of something else without admitting that they are copies
counterpart: a person or thing that has the same purpose as another one in a different place or organization
doer(n):someone who gets actively involved in something rather than just thinking or talking about it
biceps(n): the large muscle on the front of your upper arm
triceps(n): the large muscle at the back of your upper arm
invincibility(n): the extreme strength
frail(adj): thin and weak
be clad in: wearing a particular kind of clothing
apprentice: someone who works for an employer for a fixed period of time and often for low payment in order to learn a particular skill or job
nemesis: an opponent or enemy that is likely to be impossible to defeat