Asian Treasures is an action-adventure Philippine drama aired and produced by GMA Network starred by the Superstar For All Season, Angel Locsin and Robin Padilla, and was directed by Eric Quizon.
It was the first Philippine drama shot in multiple countries such as Mongolia, Thailand and China. Its pilot episode, which garnered a 41.8% rating (Mega Manila), aired on January 15, 2007. It was the most expensive TV series ever produced in the Philippine television costing more than 140 million pesos, roughly 3.1 million dollars.
There were plenty of speculations on which show Robin Padilla will have a come back on. He specifically wanted an action-pack series to be able to use his fighting techniques. It was later unveiled that his come will be one of GMA Network
's biggest project to date.
The management chose Philippine icon Angel Locsin as Padilla's leading lady, and Eric Quizon as the director. The filming production began on October 2006 for an early 2007 release because the series was filmed in different countries, thus filming many scenes abroad as possible.
Alfred Vargas was initially given the role of Hector. Due to Muli, which was shot in Malaysia for a month, he couldn't join the cast. Mark Herras and Dennis Trillo were also considered for the role of Hector. The role eventually went to Marvin Agustin.
Joey de Leon was also offered a significant role in the series. However he had to beg off due to health reasons. It was reported in tabloids that the role offered to Joey was that of Professor Wakan. Veteran actor Eddie Garcia eventually bagged the role.
Cesar Montano and Sunshine Cruz made cameo appearances in the series' pilot episode.
The series gained much popularity even before the pilot episode was telecast. This was because of the popularity of its two leads, Robin Padilla
and Angel Locsin
. It garnered a high 41.8% rating on its pilot episode.
Originally scheduled for a 100 episode series to be inevitably replaced by Impostora, an additional 20 episodes were made because of its high ratings. As a result, Impostora replaced Super Twins instead. And with its rising popularity, GMA Network has decided to release a DVD series for the series in volumes, through GMA Records.
Philippine pop band Cueshé
recorded the theme song for the series. Composed by GMA Network's very own music scorer Tata Betita, the song is entitled "Walang Yamang Mas Hihigit Sa 'Yo" and is included in two (2) albums: the repackaged version of their album Back to Me
and Mga Awit Kapuso (GMA TV Themes Volume 3).
The story is about the hunt for the ten anting-anting (or powerful amulets) that serves as keys to the Asian Treasure. The Asian Treasure referred to is the treasure collected from all over Asia left by the ten Bornean Datus
in the island of Panay
. The treasures were locked in a cave and can only be opened through the ten anting-anting. The powers of the anting-anting made divisions among the datus; Datu Puti founded the KKK (Kapatirang Kumakalinga sa Kayamanan), while Sultan Makatunaw founded the SUDAMA (Sugo ni Datu Makatunaw). The two groups battled for the possession of all ten anting-anting and ownership the treasure. But as time passed, the amulets were lost and the SUDAMA won the struggle.
It is up for KKK members Gabriela Agoncillo (Angel Locsin) and Elias Pinaglabanan (Robin Padilla) to find the amulets and reclaim them for the KKK. But, challenges met them like Gabriellas discovery that Hector, her ex-boyfriend turned enemy, was her childhood friend Diego. Gabriella also discovered that Ingrid was her childhood arch rival. Prof. Wakan (Eddie Garcia) allowed Hector and Ingrid, who were also KKK members, to join Gabriella and Elias in their adventures.
Their quest took them to Thailand and China. They battled the SUDAMA and their leader, Victor (Paolo Contis) for the amulets to be used for their groups aims.
The legend of SUDAMA
SUDAMA (SUgo ni DAtu MAkatunaw) is the rival group of KKK (Kapatirang Kumakalinga sa Kayamanan) in the quest for the anting-anting and the Asian Treasures.
In an episode of Asian Treasures, Lola Miranda (Caridad Sanchez) told something about the origin of the SUDAMA. It was said that Datu Makatunaw had a child named Kiyahata, who later died in a battle; Kiyahatas soul never rested upon its death. Until his last breath, Makatunaw promised that he will take revenge on the death of his child. Like Kiyahata, Makatunaws soul never rested he still holds his promise of revenge for Kiyahata. He believed that by taking the possession of the amulets, his promise would come true.
The ten amulets
The ten anting-anting wield powers and were once possessed by one of the ten Bornean Datus. The amulets are as follows:
- Datu Sumakwel – summoning and manipulating dark entities
- Datu Libay – healing
- Datu Bangkaya – levitation
- Datu Balensuela – enhanced speed
- Datu Paduhinogan – weather control
- Datu Paiburong – animal shapeshifting and manipulation
- Datu Dumangsol – invisibility
- Datu Dumangsil – enhanced strength
- Datu Dumalogdog – pyrokinesis
- Datu Puti – powers of all nine anting-anting; this particular anting-anting also has the power to grant wishes through the help of Datu Puti himself, as he will appear like a genie to whoever possesses the amulet.
The anting-antings locations
The team of the "Kapatiran" (KKK) used Don Julian Agoncillos (Sulaiman)—grandfather of Gabriela and a KKK member—diary to locate the ten amulets. It consists of codes and/or drawings that needs to be deciphered
in order to pinpoint its location. Gabriela believed that by finding all the amulets, she would see her grandfather again.
- Datu Sumakwel – Nap Rokos skeleton at a mining tunnel in Baguio.
- Datu Libay – in a thickly forested area between the Bataan-Corregidor borders, a hidden community of the Bandila (Bayan ng mga Bandila). They are also called the Bandila ng Bayaning Banal (Flags of the Sacred Hero). Most of their men looked like Jose Rizal. Frequently attacked by the SUDAMA.
- Datu Bangkaya – hidden in the scepter of the Queen of Southeast Asia.
- Datu Balensuela – in the south side of Manila City Halls Clock Tower.
- Datu Paduhinogan – in the Muay Thai Institute of Thailand owned by Pio Roman Dalisay (Gomburza), a KKK member.
- Datu Paiburong – jewelry auction of the former wife of the Sultan of Brunei.
- Datu Dumangsol – in the hands of the SUDAMA
- Datu Dumangsil – Surigao del Norte, rest house of the Elias family, in a hole of a tree.
- Datu Dumalogdog – in the hands of the SUDAMA.
- Datu Puti – a railroad somewhere in the squatters area of Manila when an eagle dropped it at the start of the story and was the location shooting of Elias movie Pancho Pistolero.
The real Susi
The Susi (The Key) is a KKK member who comes from the bloodline of Datu Puti that can use the power of anting-anting to unlock the Asian Treasures. The SUDAMA believed that the Susi was a girl/lady (Gabriela). Later, it was revealed the true identity of the Susi (Elias).
Elias father came from the bloodline of Datu Puti. But he left to find the Asian Treasures to make sure it is still safe. When Elias father left, his wife Amalia was pregnant. She managed to escape from the SUDAMA attacks and sought help from the KKK. She gave birth to a baby girl. The SUDAMA came and heard of the baby—that the Susi was a girl. The KKK took the baby away from danger. While the other members of KKK were fighting the SUDAMA, Julian and Ulysses came to help Amalia and surprised to see that she borne another baby, a baby boy. The KKK managed to save the twin Susi but the baby girl died due to a weak heart while the baby boy alive. Since the SUDAMA didnt know of the other Susi (the baby boy), Julian and Ulysses made the SUDAMA believe that the Susi was really a girl to protect the true identity of the Susi. When Elvira gave birth to a baby girl, that baby was brought to Julian and Ulysses to act as a fake Susi.
The time came to train the both child in the school of Gomburza and after the training, they erased their memories. The boy (the real Susi) was placed under the care of Miranda and they named him, Elias. Julian and Ulysses took care of girl and became the fake Susi, Gabriela.
Elias and Gabriela finally find the Asian treasures in Luneta Park
. Pogi finds a coin-like item while he is in Luneta with Elias and Gabriela. Pogi gave this coin thing to Elias. Elias found out that it was again a treasure map.