Esperanza is a Philippine primetime television drama that was aired by ABS-CBN from February 17, 1997 to July 30, 1999 replacing the 5 year run Mara Clara. It was re-aired in Studio 23 and Kapamilya Channel (now S+A), which are both an ABS-CBN subsidiaries. The show posted the country's highest rating of a single episode in a TV series, at 68%, in one of its airings in 1997. Its finale episode rating of 59.8% is the second highest rated finale episode in all of Philippine television, behind the 2002 finale episode of Pangako Sa 'Yo (also aired by ABS-CBN). A film adaptation was subsequently made in 1999 by Star Cinema with the same title.
The series was delayed in 1997 on its international channel TFC due to late broadcasting. It was aired on June 2, 1997 to November 12, 1999 with current broadcasts of Mula sa Puso.
Template:Long plot The series follows Esperanza's search for her real family. Esperanza's parents, Isabel and Juan Salgado, elope and marry without their family's approval, breaking Isabel's betrothal to Jaime Elustre, and Juan's planned engagement to his long time girlfriend, Sandra.
Isabel and Jaime have three children: two daughters and a son. One day Isabel takes them on a bus trip but somehow are separated after an accident. Both Isabel and Juan believe all three perished.
The three siblings survive, but due to their very young age with nothing to identify them, are adopted by families in the same neighborhood.
The eldest Socorro, renamed Esperanza by a poor family who takes her in but never tells her she is adopted. They treat her like a servant child. She grows up in this sad environment where she is mistreated or ignored by a couple she thinks are her parents, and yet sees them lavish attention towards their own children JunJun and Andrea. Esperanza's only bright moments while growing up is spending time with her childhood friend and later her sweetheart Anton.
Raphael, Esperanza's younger brother is more fortunate. He is rescued by another poor family: Ester and Luis who have a son named Noel, and they treat him as if he were their own son. He thrives in the happy and loving environment and is renamed Danilo.
Regina, the youngest of the three siblings, is adopted by a rich couple, Belinda and Mayor Joaquin Montejo who are childless. They rename her Cecille. She grows up in wealth but her parents are controlling and secretly beats her.
Esperanza eventually learns about her parentage, and sets out to find out the truth about her real family. She thinks her mother and brother died in the accident, and her adoptive father saves her and youngest sister, Regina but couldn't support them both so he gives up Regina to the Majors.
Danilo and Esperanza stumble upon the newspaper article featuring Juan's story about his search for his missing family. Piecing together the information stated in the article fit their story and both realize they are siblings.
While Danilo now knows the truth he initially refuses to join in Esperanza's search for their father because his heart is with the family who loves him and the only family he wants. Esperanza understands and she goes on to tell Cecille the truth, and who begs Esperanza to take her away.
Esperanza and Cecille make their escape to Manila, and in the last moment are joined by Danilo. They find their father but learn that their father remarried his ex fiancé, Sandra.
All these years, Sandra knows his children are alive and has been keeping this secret from him.
Cecille's adoptive father Mayor Montejo takes Cecille once again and discovers that Anton is his son, a product of rape. He works out a deal to exchange Cecile with Anton. Because of his love for Esperanza, Anton agrees, and is sent to America to study, and as the Major hopes, to forget Esperanza.
In Manila, Esperanza meets Brian, a new suitor and finds a job as the nurse maid or companion to Isabel Elustre, Jaime's wife. Isabel had suffered a nervous breakdown after she believed her children perished in the bus accident decades ago. In a manic depressed state she agrees to marry her original betrothed, Jaime. Isabel and Jaime do not recognize Esperanza as Isabel's daughter, but the nursemaid forms a bond with Isabel and helps her heal.
Years pass and Esperanza never hears from Anton, except that he is marrying Donna, Jaime's niece who is pregnant with his baby. When they see each other again, Anton attempts to resolve their issues but Esperanza refuses because does not want to hurt Donna. She later changes her mind but it's too late.
Donna learns that her Aunt Isabel does not love her Uncle Jaime who has stolen her away from her family. She tries to help her aunt escape from her uncle's clutches and Anton assists them. Jaime tries to shoot Anton but instead hits Donna, killing her.
Meanwhile, Sandra abducts Cecille and Danilo away from Esperanza and takes them to her place to make them her slaves along with their grandmother Isabel's mother and discovers that Isabel and Sandra are half-sisters. Esperanza gets help from a lawyer named Cynthia Lazaro to get her brother and sister back from Sandra, which she eventually does.
Cynthia has her own sinister plot against Sandra, Esperanza and her whole family. She is Rosella Salgado, the illegitimate daughter of Juan Salgado whom everyone has rejected. She has been planning for years to get vengeance on her father's family, even sending her lover Brian as her spy who accidentally fell in love with Esperanza. She has also taken Isabel captive after the "escape" and kills Sandra.
Cecille dies in a car accident when she crashes with Cynthia who both survives. Cynthia reunites the whole Salgado family, including Juan. Brian loses interest in Esperanza, Anton and the police come to the rescue and to capture Cynthia. She dies just before she can shoot Esperanza, who shot Cecilia instead, dying in the arms of her family.
After all the pain and suffering, in her quest to complete her family, Esperanza finally gets reunited with them, even though Cecille is gone.
Cast and characters
- Judy Ann Santos as Esperanza Estrera
- Wowie de Guzman as Anton Montejo
- Piolo Pascual as Brian
- Angelika dela Cruz as Cecille Montejo
- Marvin Agustin as Danilo
- Jolina Magdangal as Karen Carvajal de Montejo
- Carmina Villarroel as Cynthia Salazar
- Jericho Rosales as Buboy
- Charo Santos-Concio as Isabel Illustre de Salgado
- Dante Rivero as Juan Salgado
- Sylvia Sanchez as Celia Estrera
- Rosa Rosal as Doña Consuelo Illustre
- Bembol Roco as Luis
- Chat Silayan-Baylon as Ester
- Spencer Reyes as Noel
- Joel Torre as Mayor Raul Estrera
- Tanya Garcia as Andrea Estrera
- Rochelle Pangilinan as Eliza
- Emman Abeleda as Jun-Jun Estrera
- Beth Tamayo as Donna
- Elizabeth Oropesa as Sandra
- Teresa Loyzaga as Belinda Montejo
- Romnick Sarmienta as Emil
- Lito Legaspi as Mayor Joaquin Montejo
- Tommy Abuel as Dr. Jaime Illustre
Supporting, recurring, extended and guest cast
- Sharmaine Suarez as Vanessa
- Rez Cortez as Delfin
- Melissa Mendez as Elena
- Dianne dela Fuente as Marivic
- Patrick Fiori as Larry (1997–1998; 1999)
- Connie Chua as Kuala
- Jeffrey Hidalgo as JayJay
- Augusto Victa as Ponso
- Steven Alonzo
- Gio Alvarez as Raphael Salgado
- Richard Arellano
- Monina Bagatsing as Regina Salgado
- Leandro Baldemor as Rick
- Allan Bautista
- Jackie Lou Blanco as Monica
- Ana Capri as Rosella Salgado
- Diego Castro as Bai
- Sharmaine Centenera
- Gandong Cervantes
- Amado Cortez
- Renato del Prado
- Marianne dela Riva as Karen's mother
- Miguel dela Rosa
- Andrea del Rosario as Ditas
- Fredmoore delos Santos
- Luz Fernandez
- Bella Flores
- Eric Fructuoso
- Cheska Garcia-Kramer as Socorro Salgado
- JR Herrera as Anton's friend
- Mel Kimura as Ramona
- Hilda Koronel as Stella
- Ronnie Lazaro as Duarte
- John Mari Locsin
- Anna Marin
- Aya Medel
- Corrine Mendez as Cristy
- Rad Dominguez
- Felindo Obach as
- Dominic Ochoa as Robbie
- Suzette Ranillo as
- CJ Ramos as
- Dimples Romana as Paola
- Stella Ruiz
- Jennifer Sevilla as Elaine
- Jean Saburit as Joy
- Via Veloso as Marita
- Mark Vernal
- Jane Zaleta as Alma
- Rose zen Lopez as Cecille's friend
- Tricia Roman as Cecille's friend
- John Apacible as Montejos' Family Driver
- Emilio Garcia
- Korinne Mei Clirio as young Cynthia Salazar
- Mat Ranillo III
Template:Infobox film Both Mula sa Puso and Esperanza ended up with successful finales and their own movies. The 1999 film finishes up where the TV finale left off, chronicles with another triggering ending, and opens up with the beginning of the lives of the characters. It released on February 10, 1999 at the same day as Mula sa Puso and became the entry to the 25th Metro Manila Film Festival. The film was distributed to home video in December 2000.
Even as the show was airing on ABS-CBN, the management confirmed that there were foreign buyers of the soap opera and was to be translated. It is slated to air on foreign TV channels, having the international title Esperanza. After the original run on its mother network TFC, released it and was delayed from its original air date and aired at 7pm EST and 4pm PST.
The theme song was sung by April Boy Regino for TV while the movie version was sung by Andre Ibara. The song was re-released in 2010 via 60 Years of Music of Philippine Soap Opera.