From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
|Directed by|| Nuel Naval|
Mae Czarina Cruz
|Starring|| Sarah Geronimo |
and Maja Salvador
|Ending theme|| "Kapag Ako ay Nagmahal" |
Sung by: Juris
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|No. of episodes||94 (as of November 5, 2010)|
|Running time||30-45 minutes|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original run||June 28, 2010 – November 5, 2010|
Magkaribal (lit. Rivals) is a currently running Philippine fashionserye (fashion series) about love, ambition, family and revenge produced by the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation. It airs weekdays, 9:10 – 9:50pm after ”Imortal”.
Magkaribal is the story of two women: Victoria (portrayed by Barretto), the most glamorous woman in the Philippine fashion industry; and Gelai (portrayed by Alonzo), the simple seamstress who becomes Victoria’s rival not only in fame but also in love. They try to outshine each other with fabulous creations that are, in fact, made by renowned real-life Filipino designers who also grace the show from time to time. Two battles unfold—Victoria’s unstoppable desire for vengeance and Gelai’s yearning to be reunited with her real family.
 Cast and Characters
- Sarah Geronimo as Gelai Agustin / Angela Abella
- Kaye Abad as Victoria Valera / Anna Abella
- Sam Milby as Louie Villarama / Dos
- Angelica Panganiban as Vera Cruz
- Maja Salvador as Chloe Abella
- Coco Martin as Caloy Javier
- Kiray Celis as Gigi Fernando
- Ronaldo Valdez as Ronaldo Valera
- John Estrada as Manuel Abella
- K Brosas as Hermes Agustin
- Helen Gamboa as Sonia Agustin
- Mylene Dizon as Carolina
- Dimples Romana as Rosa
- Kim Chiu as Kate
- Cathy Garcia-Molina as Jean Paul
- Agot Isidiro as Betsy
- Albie Casiño as Calvin
- Erich Gonzales as Stella Abella
- Sharlene San Pedro as Young Vera
- Jane Oineza as Young Anna / Victoria
- John Manalo as Young Louie / Dos
- Julia Montes as Young Angela / Gelai
- Nash Aguas as Young Manuel
- Dante Rivero as Young Ronaldo
- Carmen Soo as Young Betsy
- Jericho Rosales as Paul
- Jake Cuenca as Christian
- JM De Guzman as Nick
- Ariel Rivera as Neil
- KC Concepcion as Carmen
- Sam Concepcion as Salvador
- Shaina Magdayao as Romina
- Gelai Agustin / Angela Abella — A talented seamstress in Divisoria whose fresh and stylish creations pave the way for her to work as a designer in a house of fashion owned by her greatest idol. She is also Victoria’s long-lost sister and later becomes her toughest rival in career and love after an unexpected turn of events.
- Victoria Valera / Anna Abella — Gelai’s sister and Vera’s biggest rival, she lives in deep hatred and thirst for vengeance with the memory of her mother’s death, their father’s desertion and the accidental separation from her beloved sister. She is considered the most glamorous woman in the Philippine fashion world.
- Louie Valderama — a professional wrestler who becomes torn between the love of Victoria and Gelai.
- Vera Cruz — Once known as the Queen of Philippine Fashion, she quickly loses her touch and becomes dependent on Gelai’s natural talent to regain the power and glory that she feels is rightfully hers. She is also the reason Manuel (Gelai and Victoria’s father) left their family.
- Chloe Abella — The adopted daughter of Vera and Manuel, she dreams of following her mother’s footsteps but fails miserably to win her love.
- Caloy Javier — Gelai’s best friend and fellow Divisoria worker who has always been secretly in love with her. He eventually meets his perfect match as the story progresses.
- Manuel Abella — As a young man, he goes to Milan for a job while his wife Stella and daughters Anna and Angela remain in the Philippines. There, he starts an affair with Vera Cruz, a young model and aspiring designer. Upon returning to the Philippines, he decides to raise a family with Vera and ultimately leaves his wife and children.
- Ronaldo Valera — Victoria’s adoptive father and owner of the House of Ronaldo.
- Hermes Agustin — Gelai’s adoptive father who treats her as his own child.
- Sonia Agustin — Hermes’s wife and Gelai’s adoptive mother who resents her at first but loves her eventually.
- Gigi Fernando — Gelai and Caloy’s close friend who also lives in Divisoria.
- Carolina — Vera’s loyal customer who transfers to Victoria. She is known to be a notorious flirt and is also Louie’s former lover.
- Kate — One of the assistants at Vera Couture, she is Chloe’s only friend.
- Jean Paul — A senior fashion designer at Vera Couture, he is Vera’s right hand man and is set to make Gelai’s stay at the fashion house miserable.
- Rosa — One of the designers and personal assistants at Vera Couture.
- Betsy — Victoria’s nanny.
- Calvin — Caloy’s friend who also trains as a URCC fighter.
 Episodes 1 – 5 “The Unveiling” (28 June to 2 July 2010)
Sisters Anna (Kathryn Bernardo) and Angela Abella (Barbie Sabino) are orphaned after their father Manuel (James Blanco) leaves them for Filipino-Italian model Vera (Alessandra de Rossi), and their mother dies after being hit by a car. Both are forced to look out for themselves and become squatters. Soon, Angela becomes sick with food poisoning, giving 16-year-old Anna no choice but to sell her body to be able to afford the medicine. When she returns to the hospital for Angela, she is horrified to find the building in flames.
Thankfully, Angela survives the fire, but is captured by gang who makes kids beg for money on the streets. Anna, on the other hand, is adopted by a wealthy gay fashion designer who changes Anna's name to Victoria Valera. Angela escapes from the syndicate, but is compelled to leave her friend Dos (Nash Aguas) who later becomes Louie Villarama (Derek Ramsay). Angela is adopted by a poor couple who treats her like a daughter, though it takes time for her adoptive mother (Arlene Muhlach) to accept her. Her name is also changed to Gelai Agustin.
Years pass, Gelai (Bea Alonzo) meets her fashion idol Vera (Angel Aquino) in her first ever fashion shoot with her best friend Caloy (Enchong Dee). She makes her way to fulfilling her dreams as she applies as a fashion designer at Vera Couture, but is rejected due to her unfinished design.
Victoria (Gretchen Barretto) and her foster father (Robert Arevalo) return to the Philippines from Paris, with Victoria intending to steal the limelight from Vera Cruz as the new queen of fashion in the country—an act of revenge against the woman who tore her family apart.
 Episodes 6 – 13: “The Tug-of-War”(5 to 14 July 2010)
Vera is pressured when she hears about Victoria's plans to take her place in the fashion industry. Victoria’s billboard, which replaces hers, infuriates her and she decides to harm the latter by hitting her car. Meanwhile, Gelai, who is angered when she discovers that Vera stole her designs, arrives in time to save Victoria’s life, whom she doesn’t recognize as her long-lost sister.
Victoria tries to use Gelai against Vera by pushing her to expose Vera’s theft and invites her to her homecoming party. At the event, she announces it herself, humiliating Vera and making Gelai mad as she walks out. Victoria then goes off with Louie, her boyfriend whom she once met in Hong Kong three years before.
Manuel (Mark Gil), Gelai’s real father whom she initially does not recognize, visits Gelai’s house and offers her a job at Vera Couture which she soon accepts. At the fashion house, she is harassed to design and make a dress for a rich client overnight, which Vera has no actual plans of using. Gelai accepts the challenge. Jean Paul (Toffee Calma), Vera’s senior designer and assistant, is tasked to steal Victoria’s designs for the fashion gala. He fails, but uncovers Victoria’s dirty little secret—that she is having an affair with URCC fighter Louie, who was also her top client Carolina’s (Irma Adlawan) lover. Caloy (Enchong Dee) and Chloe (Erich Gonzales) try to help Gelai with her first assignment but to no avail, as Vera dismisses it as something too colorful and tacky. Despite Vera’s attempts at sabotaging Gelai’s dress for the gala, it still ends up being showcased as the finale dress, with Gelai herself modeling it on the runway.
In the middle of the fashion show, Caloy barges in and tells Gelai that her mother (Arlene Muhlach) was rushed to the hospital. Gelai is threatened by Vera to stay on the stage or get fired but she runs off anyway. With no taxis in sight, she pleads Louie, fresh from being embarrassed and denied by Victoria in front of the crowd, to drive her to the hospital.
 Episodes 14 – 23: “The Great Fight”(15 to 28 July 2010)
Gelai arrives at the hospital, and her mother, who has resented her for a long time, finally sees how much she loves her and makes amends. Louie tries to apologize for showing up unannounced at the fashion gala despite Vera being the culprit of it all.
Vera tells Gelai that she is fired, but Manuel contradicts her, telling Gelai how Vera Couture is starting to lose its clients and how they need her talent to bring the company to its feet again.
Foreign entrepreneur Alexander Jacobs opens an opportunity for one fashion house to get their designs featured in his store abroad, and Vera and Victoria compete to win his favor. Gelai suggests an event that would combine fashion and URCC, but Vera only scoffs at the idea. Later on, she realizes that both are Alexander Jacobs’s passions, and she sets out to create “The Great Fight” on one condition: Jacobs’s favorite URCC fighter, Markado (Marked), must fight in the main event. Vera promises to get the icon without knowing that Markado is actually Louie Villarama.
Gelai volunteers to convince Markado to appear at the event since he works out at the same gym as her best friend Caloy. However, when he realizes that the fight is a Vera Couture event, he ditches the contract and leaves for the province. On Vera’s insistence and her need to earn money for her mother’s hospitalization, she soon follows.
Gelai and Louie share a spicy rapport, and even the locals can see they have chemistry. After days of trying to persuade Louie, Gelai understands why he doesn’t want to participate so she leaves. Louie then realizes that while his appearance might anger Victoria, he still has to do it for himself. He tries to go after Gelai, and finds her bus stranded. With a call to Vera, they are brought to the venue by helicopter in the nick of time.
Unknown to Vera, Chloe invited Victoria to witness “The Great Fight”. Louie wins the match and Victoria steps out, mad that Louie showed up and learning that it was Gelai who convinced him. Louie proposes to Victoria, but is turned down.
Alexander Jacobs almost signs a contract with Vera Couture, but Victoria stops it by telling him that the company is in deep financial trouble. Jacobs backs out, and a confrontation ensues between Vera and Victoria until Manuel and Ronaldo stops them. Vera realizes that Manuel is actually protecting Victoria and leaves him, while Vera turns down Louie’s proposal a second time.
Manuel apologizes to Victoria for the pain he had caused her years ago but the latter ignores him, telling him she would only forgive him if he leaves Vera for good. Manuel, who could not give her eldest daughter what she wants, reconciles with Vera. With her financial woes increasing, Vera decides to follow her husband’s advice of giving up her position as President of the Fashion Designers Guild of the Philippines (FDGP). Victoria is half-pleased, thinking her biggest rival might be up to something.
 Episodes 24 – 28: “The Special Day”(29 July to 4 August 2010)
Gelai celebrates her birthday with her family and friends at an orphanage. Gigi (Bianca Manalo) finds Louie in Gelai’s house and brings him to the party too. Later on, Gelai receives news about her long-lost sister and discovers they are close to locating her. Meanwhile, Manuel confesses to Chloe that Victoria is his daughter.
Manuel and Vera agree on transferring 18% of the company’s shares to Christian (Victoria’s conspirator) to save what remains of the V label, making Christian the new manager of the Abella Group of Companies. Just before the contract is signed, Chloe and Gelai manage to stop it, exposing how it was Victoria’s plan to eventually take over the company herself. A potential investor gives an offer, but with a stipulation: Vera has to sleep with him. Instead of surrendering to the investor’s wishes, Vera decides to let Victoria take over Vera Couture.
 Episodes 29 – 36: “The Takeover”(4 to 16 August 2010)
Victoria officially takes over Vera Couture and implements various changes, from the designs to renaming the company. She takes over the Creative Director position and begins criticizing Gelai’s designs and later instructs her to design a dress for her for the upcoming “V Re-launch.” After some advice from Manuel, Gelai makes the dress with a memory of one of the dresses their mom had made for them. Victoria bashes Gelai’s creations and tells her to make another one.
Gelai, who continues searching for her long-lost sister, starts falling for Louie but is confused between him and Caloy. Chloe resigns from Victoria’s company, while Vera, who feels a hunch that Gelai might actually be Angela, takes a strand of her hair for DNA testing. The results prove to be positive.
 Episodes 37 – 46: “The V Label”(17 to 31 August 2010)
Victoria discovers that Louie and Gelai are starting to fall in love and becomes upset and is not alone, as Caloy also accuses his best friend that she has changed since Louie came. This angers Gelai, while Caloy gets frustrated and decides to fight in the underground boxing warehouse where Chloe follows and tries to stop him from fighting.
Caloy gets beaten up badly and Chloe, Gelai and Louie try to make him quit the fight. The police arrive at the site, and Caloy and Louie both get arrested. The two girls bail them out.
At the FDGP meeting, Victoria fires Vera who, in turn, asks Manuel to convince Victoria to rehire her again. He fails.
Chloe and Caloy start to fall for each other, and just when they’re about to share their first kiss, Vera arrives and moves them apart. Meanwhile, Gelai gets torn between Victoria and her feelings for Louie. With Manuel’s advice, she tells Louie she’s in love with him.
While Gelai makes a dress for Victoria for the upcoming “V Launch”, she tells Manuel about her long lost sister Anna, leading him to the assumption that Gelai could be his missing daughter Angela.
- Note: The show was pre-empted on 23 August 2010 due to ABS-CBN’s special news coverage of the Manila Hostage Crisis.
 Episodes 47 – 55: “The Funeral”(1 to 13 September 2010)
Victoria launches the “V Label”. Manuel finds the DNA results proving Gelai was his other missing daughter and later confronts Vera about it. Vera tries to commit suicide by jumping off the building, but a turn of events take Manuel’s life as he saves both Vera and Gelai. Manuel’s death leaves everyone in grief, but the tension between Victoria and Vera continues to grow. Gelai is blamed for the tragedy, while Manuel’s last will and testament reveal that there was nothing left but the house.
While packing Manuel’s belongings, Gelai discovers her mother’s diary. Caloy tries to cheer Chloe up.
 Episodes 56 – 59: “The Deception”
Ronaldo, upset at how badly Victoria has been behaving, leaves and is nowhere to be found. In grave distress, Victoria goes to Louie, and they have a one-night stand. Gelai also visits Louie just after Victoria leaves, and they make love too. She discovers Louie’s scar on his back and she realizes that the man she loves is also Dos, a boy she had befriended as a beggar.
Gelai reports late for work and Victoria fires her while also making sure that she’ll have difficulties landing on another job. Meanwhile, Vera plans to sell the house and Chloe, upset, decides to leave Vera behind to live with Caloy. Opportunities rain for everyone: Chloe gets a scholarship in photography, while Louie receives an offer from Alexander Jacobs to pursue boxing in the United States.
 Episodes 60 – 63: “The Makeover”
Gelai becomes the declared winner of a fashion competition, while Vera sinks deeper into a financial and emotional black hole, as she is implicated in a smuggling scheme. Gelai also gets an offer to launch her own fashion company.
Caloy tells Chloe that he has to go to America with his mother, causing her great pain.
A few months pass and everyone returns home: Ronaldo from visiting his family in Milan; Louie from America; and Chloe, who is now in a relationship with Neil, returns from Spain. Gelai sees Vera on the streets and later offers her a position as a creative consultant.
Victoria discovers that she is pregnant with Louie’s child from their one-night stand, and is desperate to tell him the news, but the latter has decided to move on for good with plans to marry Gelai. Finally, she manages to confront Louie and forces him to tell Gelai.
 Episodes 64 – 72: “The Wedding”(24 September to 6 October 2010)
Chloe and Vera finally make up and Caloy, who has just arrived, finds out that Chloe is already in a relationship with Neil. Louie manages to tell Gelai about Victoria’s pregnancy. Gelai is devastated by the news and leaves.
Despite Victoria’s announcement to the media about her pregnancy and her intention to marry Louie so they may raise their baby together, Louie still decides to marry Gelai, but Gelai’s adoptive father Hermes opposes. In love with Louie and with Vera’s advice to fight for him, Gelai chooses to accept his proposal.
While shopping for the fabric to be used in Gelai’s wedding gown, Vera commits a slip of the tongue and tells her how she met Manuel in Milan. Gelai tells her that their father used to work there, and Vera, realizing she might lead her to the truth, convinces her that it was nothing but a coincidence. Victoria thinks of killing her unborn child after seeing Louie and Gelai happy together, but Ronaldo encourages her to keep the baby.
Caloy, who still loves Chloe, attempts to win her love again. Chloe says that she has moved on, but knows that she still has feelings for him. In a spur of emotions, the two make love while Neil is away on business. Upon his return, he proposes to Chloe, and she agrees to marry him. Neil later finds out about what happened between her and Caloy, but decides to push through with the wedding anyway.
The rivalry between Gelai and Victoria heats up in a photo shoot with Chloe.
 Episode 73: “The Separation”(7 October)
It is Louie’s and Gelai’s wedding day—everything is set and everyone is present, including Hermes who used to oppose her daughter’s marriage. As Louie is about to leave the house, Victoria appears and begs him to choose her and their baby instead. Just when Louie is about to leave, Victoria bleeds in pain, sidetracking him to the hospital. Back at the church, Gelai is anxiously waiting for Louie to arrive, and tries calling him. She almost gives up on Louie until the latter manages to call Caloy and tell him he’s coming. At the hospital, he is forced to make a decision to choose who lives between the baby or Victoria. Louie chooses Victoria, and he finally leaves for the church.
 Reception and Production
Magkaribal received heavy promotion, competing with GMA-7’s “Endless Love”. The pilots of both shows aired simultaneously on 28 June 2010, and Magkaribal earned a 25.3% ratings share.
In an article published in ABS-CBN News Online on 1 October 2010, Angel Aquino, who stars as Vera Cruz, confirmed the conclusion of Magkaribal.
“Personally, gusto kong matapos ang Magkaribal na gustung-gusto pa siya ng mga tao para bitin na bitin pa sila at hindi ‘yong pinagsawaan. (I’d like to have Magkaribal end while it is still well-loved by the viewers, while they’re still clamoring for it and not yet fed up with it.) You know, it’s always nice to end on a high note,” the actress said. She also refuses to confirm reports saying there will be a second season for the fashion series.
Magkaribal is directed by Nuel C. Naval and Mae Czarina Cruz.
- The series is set in the field of fashion and makes use of creations made by local designers who also do cameo appearances in some episodes.
- Magkaribal is the only airing soap opera that shows a full opening credits sequence at the beginning of every episode. The credits are interspersed with a recap of the previous episode.
- The theme song “Kapag Ako Ay Nagmahal” (“When I Fall In Love”) by Juris is sometimes used during the closing credits, but is heard more prominently in the episode itself.
- “Magkaribal.” Abs-cbn.com. Accessed 13 October 2010.
- Valera, Edel. “Primetime TV's fiercest face-off: 'Magkaribal' vs. 'Endless Love'.” The Philippine Online Chronicles. Accessed 14 October 2010.
- Buan-Deveza, Reyma. “Angel confirms conclusion of 'Magkaribal'.” Abs-cbnnews.com. Accessed 13 October 2010.